If you are concerned you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are exhibiting possible symptoms, go through our initial screening assessment.
What you need to know about COVID-19
We understand that you have concerns about COVID-19.
We want you to know that we have been operating with heightened awareness for COVID-19 for several weeks.
The safety of our patients, our visitors, team members and our community is our top priority. We are following all guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and closely monitoring all updates to protect the health of our patients, visitors and team members. We are also working closely with our partners in the county and state health departments and will continue to practice all recommended procedures and precautions.
We hope you find the information here valuable in understanding COVID-19 and ways you can protect yourself and your family. It will be updated as any new information becomes available.
Please consider ways to help to support our patients, caregivers and the communities we serve during this challenging time.
Reviewed: March 17, 2020
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (also known as COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.
What are the symptoms?
People with COVID‐19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2‐14 days after exposure to the virus. The CDC has updated its list of symptoms, adding six new possible indicators. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID‐19:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Or at least two of these symptoms
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
How is it spread?
- Contact with someone with the virus who is sneezing and/or coughing.
- Indirect contact from contaminated hands and objects soiled with nasal and throat secretions, such as tissues.
How you can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses such as Coronavirus
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then discard in a trash.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your health care provider or the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County at 850.595.6500 or Santa Rosa County at 850.983.5200.
Download our COVID-19 Information flyer
Changes in Visitation Policy
Visitors are not allowed at our hospitals (Baptist, Gulf Breeze and Jay* hospital) at this time as we must take extra steps to protect our patients, team members and the community against COVID-19.
What Baptist is Doing
- In addition to an excellent staff of highly skilled nurses, we have physicians on our medical staff who are specialists in infectious diseases, pulmonary care, critical care and internal medicine.
- We follow all guidelines from the CDC to identify and isolate any patients who might be infectious so that unnecessary exposure of patients, visitors and team members is prevented.
- If we suspect a patient may be sick with COVID-19, we place him or her in one of our specially equipped negative pressure rooms that are designed to isolate the infectious risk from the rest of the hospital. Visitors will be limited.
- Anyone entering an isolation room will wear personal protective equipment that includes gloves, gowns, respiratory protection and eye protection.
- Our staff is continually trained and educated on the care of all of our patients. With COVID-19, additional training and education are being conducted.
- We are making every effort to educate and inform the public on ways to remain healthy, including rigorous and frequent handwashing, through this website and our social media outlets. Please check back often for updates.
What to do if you think you are sick
Contact your primary care doctor. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, please call your county health department so the health department can coordinate your medical evaluation and testing.
- Escambia County Health Department: 850-595-6500. After hours and weekends, call: 850-418-5566.
- Santa Rosa County Health Department: 850-983-5200
- Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center number: 1-866-779-6121
- Be sure to call before visiting your doctor and tell them you might have COVID-19. When you arrive, steps will be taken to reduce exposure to other patients.
What to do if you are sick
- Stay at home except for medical care. Do not go to work, school or public areas. Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.
- Call ahead before visiting your doctor and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. Once you arrive, your provider’s team will take steps to keep others from getting infected or exposed.
- Wear a mask when you are around other people or pets, and when going to a medical appointment.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues, throw away the tissue and immediately wash your hands. Cough into your elbow if tissues and hand washing are not available.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Be sure to cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Do not share household items such as dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding with family members, friends or pets.
- Separate yourself from your family and animals. Stay in a specific room away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom if possible. Do not handle pets or other animals.
- Clean hard surfaces in your home, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables, daily with antibacterial/anti-germicidal solutions such as Clorox or Lysol.
- Monitor your symptoms and report to the emergency room if you have a fever of 103 or higher or if you have difficulty breathing. Be sure to call before seeking medical care to reduce exposure to others.