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Visitation limited; non-urgent procedures on hold; screening tents established

DANVILLE, Pa. – Geisinger has been monitoring and responding to the evolving novel coronavirus situation and has made the following changes to ensure the safety of all our patients, visitors and employees to prevent potential exposure to COVID-19:

Inpatient visitation limited
Beginning today, March 18, we are limiting inpatient visitation to one visitor per patient. Visitors must be age 18 or older, an immediate family member or caregiver and not displaying symptoms of respiratory disease; have not traveled out of the country in the past two weeks; or have not had, in the past two weeks, significant contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. Visitors are encouraged to call the hospital operator for visitation hours, which may vary by location.  

Elective, non-urgent procedures on hold
Beginning March 19 and for the next two weeks:

  • Elective, non-urgent procedures are on hold.
  • Non-urgent appointments may be rescheduled, or patients will be offered other care options, such as telephone or telemedicine visits.
  • Patients with urgent appointments will be cared for, and we will use the screening process already in place for identifying potential infection or exposure.
  • Scheduled imaging will continue as planned; however, patients will be screened at the time of their scheduling and/or at their appointment.  
  • We will continue to monitor the situation to determine whether we need to extend this process beyond two weeks.

Geisinger sets up screening tents at Emergency Departments
Geisinger has set up screening tents outside of emergency departments to screen for COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses. They are not a response to an existing increase in demand, but rather, they are being established so we can be prepared to care for our communities in the event of increased COVID-19 activity.

If patients or visitors to our emergency departments are showing symptoms of respiratory illness, we will immediately take precautionary infection control measures such as proper gowning, masking and more while moving the patient to appropriate area for care, whether that be a specially equipped room in the hospital or the nearby treatment tent.

Patients should only come to the emergency department if they are experiencing severe symptoms in need of emergency care.

Please call first
Geisinger experts continue to ask that before visiting a doctor’s office, convenient care clinic or emergency department, people call their primary care doctor’s office or Geisinger’s 24/7 novel coronavirus hotline at 570-284-3657 if they may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or if they have: 

  • Cough 
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

For general questions and information about COVID-19, people can visit geisinger.org/coronavirus. Using these resources before going to a doctor’s office, walk-in clinic or emergency department can help lessen the possible spread of the virus.

COVID-19 Screening Questions

About Geisinger

Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1.5 million consumers it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 13 hospital campuses, a 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With 32,000 employees and 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey by billions of dollars annually. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Geisinger COVID-19 hotline

570-284-3657

Call our 24/7 hotline for answers about care recommendations and more.

Visit Geisinger’s Coronavirus Resource Center for the latest information and helpful resources.

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For media inquires:

Matthew Van Stone
Media Relations Director

570-808-3344
mrvanstone1@geisinger.edu