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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Updated: March 30, 2020

En Español

The University of Miami Health System is closely monitoring the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. University and health system leaders are working closely with government and public health agencies and continue to follow guidelines from the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.

Visitor Policy Change

The University of Miami Health System continues to assess the coronavirus pandemic on a global scale and enact measures that follow best practices, giving us the best chance of stopping the spread of the virus and protecting our patients and staff.

NO VISITORS are allowed to accompany patients in any UHealth facilities – including Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute – both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Pediatric patients and patients who are at end of life will be allowed 1 visitor at a time, who must be screened.

Patients undergoing an outpatient procedure, surgery, or receiving an infusion in an outpatient setting may be dropped off at the entrance of the facility. We will contact drivers when it is time to return to pick up their loved ones. For patients in our hospital, overnight visits will no longer be permitted.

We understand these are difficult guidelines, but please know that we are establishing them with the safety and wellbeing of you, our patients, staff and our entire community in mind.

Thank you for your understanding.

Your Appointment

Rest assured, we have amplified our already-intensive cleaning and disinfecting practices throughout all of our facilities and are screening all patients (visitors are not allowed).

At this time, UHealth is only treating patients with urgent and emergent needs that require immediate attention. All scheduled elective, non-urgent appointments, surgeries and procedures have been cancelled. If your appointment has been or will be affected by these changes, you will be contacted by our appointment office. We appreciate your patience as we implement these changes.

For medical emergencies, call 911. For urgent medical matters, please contact your doctor’s office.

You may also communicate with your doctor and request prescription refills through www.MyUHealthChart.com.

When you arrive

  • We are actively screening all patients and visitors at our facilities. Please arrive early to your appointment time to allow time for these screening protocols. When you arrive for your appointment, look for signs that will direct you where to go.
    • A tent has been installed outside the UHealth Tower Emergency Department to screen and isolate people, as needed.
  • We will ask about your symptoms and travel history, including if you have traveled to impacted countries.
  • Appointments are accepted by phone only. Call 305-243-4000.
  • To minimize the risk of exposure for all, ANY person who presents with a positive response to the screening questions will be placed in a dedicated isolated space.

Where can I be tested for COVID-19?

The below locations provide testing in Miami-Dade and Broward counties based on specific criteria.

Marlins Park Page 1

Address:
501 Marlins Way, Miami

Testing Hours:
By appointment only

Who can be tested?
People 65 and older with possible COVID-19 symptoms. To make an appointment, call 305-499-8767.

C.B. Smith Park Page 1

(Florida National Guard partnering with Memorial Healthcare System)

Address:
900 N. Flamingo Rd., Pembroke Pines

Testing Hours:
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Who can be tested?

  • First responders and healthcare staff, including police, fire-rescue, medical staff and essential staff that is supporting the management agencies during the novel coronavirus pandemic. You must have COVID-19 symptoms and be prepared to show ID.
  • People who are 65 or older with COVID-19 symptoms and have chronic conditions. You must show I.D.
  • Individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and have recently traveled internationally on a cruise or plane or have a compromised immune system. You must show I.D.
Pembroke Pines police say you can call 954-276-4680 in advance to pre-register for a screening. The registration hotline will open at 1 p.m. Monday.

Hard Rock Stadium Page 1

Address:
347 Don Shula Dr, Miami Gardens

Testing Hours:
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Who can be tested?

  • First responders and healthcare staff, including police, fire-rescue, medical staff and essential staff that is supporting the management agencies during the novel coronavirus pandemic. You must have COVID-19 symptoms and be prepared to show ID.
  • People who are 65 or older with COVID-19 symptoms and have chronic conditions. You must show ID.
  • Individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and have recently traveled internationally on a cruise or plane or have a compromised immune system. You must show ID.

Testing for homebound Miami residents
The city of Miami announced Monday that it has 2,000 test kits to test homebound residents over 65 who fear they have contracted COVID-19. City staff will first reach out to low-income senior towers.

Call 305-960-5050 to make an appointment.


What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the novel coronavirus behind the global respiratory illness outbreak. First reported in December 2019 in China, the disease has rapidly spread to many countries, including the United States.

Coronavirus COVID19 CDC
Photo: Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM/CDC

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms

  • Fever
  • Dry Cough
  • Fatigue

Uncommon Symptoms

  • Sore throat
  • Runny Nose
  • Diarrhea

If you are experiencing symptoms, please call 305-243-4000.

Who is most at risk?

Based on preliminary findings, it appears that certain populations may be more prone to developing a severe illness and death. These include people who:

  • Are aged 60 or older.
  • Have an underlying medical condition, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, hypertension, or cancer.

COVID-19 Cases in the U.S.

For daily updates on the number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States, visit the CDC website.

In addition, you can find the current statistics at the World Health Organization.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and officials believe that COVID-19 will continue to spread, so it is important to stay alert. For the latest information on cases in Florida, visit the Florida Department of Health.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus is spread from human to human contact most likely within 6 feet. When someone is ill, and they cough or sneeze, the virus can be passed to someone else through the saliva droplets in the air which can land on or be inhaled by people nearby.

It is not yet known how long COVID-19 can live on surfaces or if someone who is asymptomatic can also spread the disease. The incubation period, or the time between when someone is infected to when they start to show symptoms, is thought to be anywhere from 2 to 14 days.

According to the CDC, the virus is easily transmitted, and the outbreak has transitioned into “community spread.” This means that there are now cases in the U.S. that cannot be traced back to how or where the infection occurred.

How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

Call 305-243-4000 or your nearest hospital if you believe that you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 and:

  • Have travelled outside of the US, particularly to China, Italy, South Korea, Japan, or Iran
  • Been exposed to someone who has tested positive for virus, or
  • Are in a community with known COVID-19 cases

Are there treatments for COVID-19?

Currently, there are no treatments or vaccines for the virus. However, there is already a clinical trial for a potential anti-viral medication and researchers are working diligently on producing a vaccine.


Prevention starts with you

Give yourself the best chance to not get sick. You’ll find that they are the same things that everyone should be doing already to protect against the flu or common cold. They are also something you can do to help your community by making it harder for COVID-19 to spread.

  1. Wash your hands. This is one of the most important things you can do – regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Clean surfaces regularly with disinfectant, particularly of heavily used items like desks, phones, doorknobs, etc.
  3. Avoid touching your face, especially your nose, mouth and eyes.
  4. Stay home if you are sick.
  5. If you have to sneeze, cough or blow your nose, use a tissue and immediately throw it away in a closed bin.

The CDC does NOT recommend wearing a surgical mask to protect you from COVID-19. Also, public health officials are requesting that people not purchase N95 facemasks. These are intended for healthcare professionals who are taking care of patients who have contracted the disease.

Community level prevention

If COVID-19 is spreading within your community, public health officials may ask you to take extra precautions. These might include:

  • Social distancing: keeping at least 6 feet between you and others.
  • Stay home if someone else in your household is sick so that you do not pass the virus to others.
  • Cancel or postpone events with large crowds.
  • Set up a separate room for sick household members.
  • Check in with family and friends who live alone — especially if they have chronic diseases.
  • Ask friends and family to check in with you if you become sick.

Additional resources

Since this situation changes regularly, it is important to keep up-to-date. However, there are many inaccurate sources of information out there. In addition to listening to your local officials, these sites have many resources on the current status of the COVID-19 epidemic and how to protect yourself and your community.

The Florida Department of Health has set up a hotline for people in Florida who have questions about COVID-19. The call center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. The number is 866-779-6121. Or, email COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

Resources for University of Miami faculty, staff, and students