Hancock Health’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

What is COVID-19? How does it spread? How do you protect yourself and your family? Get answers to these and other questions with Hancock Health’s Coronavirus FAQs.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent the virus, so the best way to prevent the illness is to avoid exposure and use every day preventative actions as well as follow the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent the spread of illness, including:

Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

We are following the guidelines of the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH). We are still in phase 1 of the vaccine roll-out which is focused on healthcare workers. We hope that vaccines will be available to the public in February/March 2021. Timing is still to be determined by IDOH. As soon as we have more updated information, we will pass it along. Make sure to follow us on social media @HancockRegional to get the most up to date information.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine effective?

Both the Pfizer (for use in those over 16 years of age) and Moderna (for use in those over 18 years of age) vaccines reported 95% efficacy (effectiveness). These trials were in studies of more than 70,000 people.

What does EUA mean?

An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is a mechanism to facilitate the availability and use of medical countermeasures, including vaccines, during public health emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Under a EUA, FDA may allow the use of unapproved medical products, or unapproved uses of approved medical products in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions when certain statutory criteria have been met, including that there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives. Taking into consideration input from the FDA, manufacturers decide whether and when to submit a EUA request to FDA.

Once submitted, FDA evaluates a EUA request and determines whether the relevant statutory criteria are met, taking into account the totality of the scientific evidence about the vaccine that is available to the FDA.

Pfizer received EUA on December 11, 2020. Moderna received EUA on December 18, 2020.

How many doses will I need?

The current vaccines are currently needed in two doses. After your first vaccine, you will need to schedule another appointment to receive your second dose. For Pfizer, the second dose will be scheduled in 21 days. For Moderna, it will be 28 days. Our vaccine team will help you schedule your second appointment prior to leaving your first vaccination.

At this time, you may not choose which vaccine you will receive. It will be based on availability at the time of your vaccination. Your vaccinations will not be mixed. Meaning if you receive Pfizer first, your second dose will also be Pfizer. Same for Moderna.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine give you COVID?

No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development. However, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems on how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and gets sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/about-vaccines/vaccine-myths.html

What is the mRNA vaccine?

mRNA, also known as messenger RNA is a new type of vaccine. Many questions have been asked in regards to mRNA, but this new technology is the main reason the COVID-19 vaccine was able to be produced so quickly. Another positive to mRNA vaccines, they do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19. In simple terms, the vaccine you will receive WILL NOT give you the COVID-19 virus.

Should I believe everything I read on social media?

No. Please don’t believe everything you see on social media!! You can find credible vaccine information. Before considering vaccine information on the Internet, check that the information comes from a credible source and is updated on a regular basis.

CDC’s vaccines and immunization web content is researched, written, and approved by subject matter experts, including physicians, researchers, epidemiologists, and analysts. Content is based on peer-reviewed science. CDC leadership makes the final decision on the words, images, and links to best serve the information needs of the public as well as healthcare providers, public health professionals, partners, educators, and researchers. Science and public health data are frequently updated.

For more credible sources, please click here.

Source : https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/evalwebs.htm

Where can I learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine?

To find additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the links below:

Should I wear a facemask when going out?

Per the CDC, yes. It is used to cover your nose and mouth. It is not intended to protect you, the wearer,  but is meant to reduce the spread COVID-19 to others around you. This is even more important should the individual be asymptomatic (showing no signs of having the virus), but is indeed a positive carrier.

I have questions and am wondering how I know if I have Coronavirus?

For questions about the Coronavirus, to reach the COVID-19 hotline, or to learn more about the everyday precautions that can keep you safe, please visit https://coronavirus.hancockregionalhospital.org/.  You may call the COVID-19 hotline at 317.325.COVD (2683). It is staffed by healthcare professionals.

Why don’t you just test everyone to see if they have Coronavirus?

If you’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive and/or showing symptoms call your primary care provider (PCP) or a Coronavirus hotline (Hancock Health has a hotline at 317-325.2683 [COVD] staffed by healthcare professionals) and talk to them about the best course of action. Please DO NOT show up at an Emergency Department, Immediate Care or your provider and attempt to be tested for COVID-19.

Should I just come into the Emergency Department or Immediate Care if I think I may have Coronavirus?

Unless you are completely unable to take care of your symptoms at home, please don’t come to the Emergency Department or Immediate Care. You are much more likely going to expose yourself and others to whatever you may have. It is much safer to call your primary care provider (PCP),  call our COVID-19 hotline 317.325.2683 [COVD] or sign up online for a virtual visit with a provider. Visit www.myvirtualhealthvisit.org. You do not have to have insurance or be a current patient to use this service.

What if I am sick with non-flu like symptoms?

Our Hancock Immediate Care-Greenfield or our Gateway Immediate Care locations are open and ready to take care of you. You may also call your primary care provider (PCP) and see if they can see you virtually, over the phone or maybe even in person.

Is my doctor’s office closed? What do I do if I need my doctor?

WE ARE OPEN TO CARE FOR YOU!!!  Each of our Hancock Physician Network offices are open and seeing patients. While the way we see patients might look a little bit different with the coronavirus in our midst, we are still here to care for you and meet your healthcare needs. Call your doctor’s office and they will assist in determining the best way to see you – virtually or in person.

I am sick and tired of being cooped up at home. Can I plan a little get together? Go visit friends? Run a few errands?

Don’t plan new plans. If you have them, cancel them! If you’re planning on visiting family and friends or having a party, DON’T. It can wait. Everything we know about this virus tells us that social distancing is imperative. Without the distancing, this will continue to get worse and to the point where we have lost all potential to contain the virus.

Obviously, you will need to leave your house for some things. Please just limit those activities to basics like grocery shopping or going to the pharmacy.

If you do have to go out, wear a mask.

Wash your hands frequently and especially after you first come into your home. Make that a habit as the first thing when you walk in.

But really ask yourself before you leave, “Do I need to do this now? Or do I just want to get out of the house because I am stir crazy?” I bet that the annual vet check-up can wait for Fido. And let’s hope they are already closed because they are doing their part to flatten the curve.

For more information, click here to read about the importance of “Flattening the Curve” 

Do I have to stay inside my house 24/7?

Open spaces without interaction from others outside your household is ok. Spend some time in your yard, go for a walk, but make sure it’s only with those from your household – and as long as you are not sick. If you have to go to the grocery store, go by yourself, wipe down the cart, and keep a distance of 6 feet from others.

If I get Coronavirus, is there medicine I can take?

Unfortunately, there is no medication. This particular strain of Coronavirus is so new, there hasn’t been time to develop a medicinal cure. You can treat symptoms, such as taking OTC medication to reduce fever, like Tylenol, not aspirin/ibuprofen or other NSAIDs.

How do I know if something has Coronavirus “living on it” and how long can it live?

You don’t know. You should assume it could be and wipe down counters, appliances, etc. Wash your hands FREQUENTLY for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Avoid touching your face.

Clean things that come into your home with an effective cleaner. We are not saying if you go outside to play, shower and wash your clothes each time you come inside. What we are saying, is if you are around people, at the grocery, the pharmacy, the gas station, work (for those who must still go to work), wash (hands and clothes) and wipe down what comes in from the outside.

We know this virus can live on surfaces for extended periods of time without a host and it is better to be safe than sorry.

What do I do if I have symptoms?

If you have symptoms, then self-quarantine immediately.  If, as many of us do, live with other people, try to move yourself to a “sick room” where you can be remote/secluded and if possible have a bathroom dedicated just for you.

Utilize virtual health visits MyVirtualHealthVisit.org or COVID call centers for questions and screenings. Hancock Health has a dedicated hotline staffed with healthcare providers to help during this time | 317.325.COVD (2683).

If you have self-quarantined and have no other direction from a healthcare provider, you should only leave your “sick room” and home when ALL of the following are true:

  • No fever for at least 72 hours (3 days) without the aid of fever-reducing medication, Tylenol, not aspirin/ibuprofen or other NSAIDs
  • Other symptoms have improved
  • It has been at least 7 days since you started feeling sick
How do I keep the virus out of my home?

If you don’t have the virus and don’t leave your house, you are much less likely to bring it into your home.

Obviously, you will need to leave your house for some things. Please just limit activities outside your home to basics like grocery shopping or going to the pharmacy.

Wash your hands frequently and especially after you first come into your home. Make that a habit as the first thing when you walk in.

If you work in an area of high exposure contact, disrobe immediately and take a shower. Do not hug a loved one or put dinner on real quick prior. In the door and straight to the shower.

It may be a good idea to designate a sanitization area somewhere in your home (garage, front porch, hall closet) where you are able to undress in case you have high exposure contact or where you can leave your shoes so that you don’t track germs into your home.

Leave the delivery outside the front door. Be it dinner delivery (which we strongly encourage supporting), grocery delivery, Amazon, etc. Ask them to just leave it on the porch. Call or knock to let you know it arrived. You should limit contact with one another. For the safety of both of you and the people you come in contact with.

And this may sound silly, but don’t use their pens or use your finger to sign an iPad. Because both sick people and healthy people are using delivery services, so you can’t be sure who or what touched that pen last!!! Use your own pen and if you have to electronically sign via your finger – WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE TOUCHING THE FOOD OR DELIVERY!

After your delivery, wash your hands and wipe down your delivered item. If it’s a delivered meal, take all the food contents out of their boxes and containers, place them on a plate, dispose of the containers, wipe down the countertop and then wash your hands one more time before you eat.