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corona

COVID-19: Frequently asked questions

Geisinger is committed to the safety and well-being of our patients, members, employees and communities. Check this page for the latest information regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

As concerns arise about the new strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19, Geisinger is here to provide community members reliable answers to any questions they may have. On this page, you’ll find the latest updates and a list of frequently asked questions to help understand the facts about COVID-19.

FAQs — Education and prevention 

FAQs — Contracting COVID-19

FAQs — Geisinger preparedness

FAQs — Blood supply

FAQs — Treating COVID-19


Education and prevention

What do we know about coronavirus and COVID-19? 

Coronaviruses are a large family of diverse, common viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from a common cold to a severe lower respiratory tract infection, like pneumonia. The novel (new) coronavirus you’ve been hearing about, which originated in Wuhan, China, results in an illness called COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that usually includes not only an upper respiratory tract infection, but also a lower respiratory tract infection, which can lead to pneumonia and breathing issues.

How is COVID-19 spread?

Coronaviruses, including COVID-19, spread like most respiratory viruses, including the flu or a cold:

  • Droplets traveling through the air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it
  • Although the virus RNA can be found in stool samples, spreading through feces is not likely

Symptoms of a COVID-19 infection can resemble that of a cold or flu and typically include a fever, shortness of breath and cough.

What symptoms should I be on the lookout for?

COVID-19 symptoms can appear as early as 2 days and as late as 14 days after exposure. Symptoms are similar to a cold or flu with fever, cough and shortness of breath, and can last up to 14 days.

Most people with COVID-19 will have minimal symptoms and will fully recover. However, so far, those with certain underlying health conditions and who are over age 60 are at a higher risk of infection and related complications.

What should I do if I have flu-like symptoms?

Whether you’re waiting to be tested for COVID-19, you’re waiting for your results or you’ve tested positive, you should isolate yourself at home to protect everyone around you.

Here’s how to do that:

  • Quarantine yourself at home. Stay in a single room away from others. Use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.
  • Don’t share personal household items. Use your own set of dishes, utensils, towels, bedding and other household items. Wash them thoroughly after use.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces in your home daily, including counters, tables, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, phones, keyboards and tablets.
  • Clean your hands thoroughly and frequently. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues into a lined trash can, then wash your hands right away.
  • Tell anyone else that you’ve been in contact with that you may have contracted COVID-19. They should follow the recommendations above and monitor their health for any signs of respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath).

If you’re having symptoms you think may be related to COVID-19, before you visit a doctor’s office, clinic or emergency room, call your doctor or our 24/7 hotline at 570-284-3657 for care guidance or to talk with a nurse.

We ask that you do this before heading to the ER or seeking care at your doctor’s office, unless your symptoms worsen, and you have no other options for care. The ER is a crowded place, and the risk of infection to you and others is higher there.

Contracting COVID-19

Who is at most risk for contracting a severe case of COVID-19?

Anyone can contract COVID-19, but to date, severe cases have mostly been limited to people over age 60 and those with existing chronic health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and respiratory disease.

How dangerous is COVID-19 to healthy people?

So far, most healthy people under age 60, including children under age 10, have avoided serious impact or complications from COVID-19.

What can people do to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Like the flu, the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is through common-sense prevention measures:

  • Practice social distancing. Don’t shake hands, avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet away from others. 
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after coughing, sneezing and visiting public areas. Alcohol-based sanitizers and wipes with at least 60% alcohol are also good options for hand hygiene.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Keep surfaces clean and disinfected at your home, workplace and school.
  • Wear a cloth mask or face covering in public.

The only time you should leave your home if you aren’t feeling well is to seek medical care. The best thing you can do if you’re sick — with a bad cold, the flu or COVID-19 — is staying home and self-isolating.

Is masking an effective way to keep from getting COVID-19?

Staying home is the most effective way to protect yourself and to stop the spread of COVID-19. If you must leave your home, in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines, a homemade cloth mask is recommended.

Surgical and N-95 masks are not necessary if you must leave your home. Surgical and N-95 masks are designed to protect healthcare workers who are continuing their work to care for our neighbors and communities. For more information about homemade masks, click here.

Why should I wear a mask when going to [store/outside]?

Staying home is the most effective way to protect yourself and to stop the spread of COVID-19. According to guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, wearing a homemade mask is an extra level of protection against the virus.

Wearing a surgical or N-95 mask in public is not necessary. Those masks are needed for healthcare works who are continuing their work to care for our neighbors and communities. For more information about homemade masks, click here.

Should people be preparing an emergency stockpile of food, water and medicine?

In case COVID-19 spreads in your community, it’s a good idea to keep a two-week supply of:

  • Prescribed and over-the-counter medications to addresses symptoms
  • Liquids to help you stay hydrated 
  • And food (including pet food)

However, keep in mind that this is not an event that causes community-wide blackouts or utility failures, like a natural disaster or a hurricane — there’s no need to hoard water, toilet paper or other staples.

What should I do about upcoming international and domestic travel?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is regularly updating travel recommendations as COVID-19 circumstances evolve. Visit the CDC website to get the most up-to-date information.

Has Geisinger had any suspected cases of COVID-19?

Yes, Geisinger has treated and tested patients who have been presumed positive for COVID-19. We continue to follow CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) guidelines for screening suspected cases of COVID-19.

Are Geisinger’s COVID-19 cases reported to the PA Department of Health?

Yes.

Are Geisinger’s cases included in the PA Department of Health’s COVID-19 totals?

Geisinger reports its confirmed cases to the PA DOH. The Department of Health can address specifics about how it reports COVID-19 cases.

Why are the Geisinger cases called “presumed”?

While Geisinger is one of a select few institutions providing COVID-19 tests for its patients, the results must be sent to a state lab for confirmation.

How many persons under investigation has Geisinger had for possible COVID-19 infection?

The PADOH should be consulted for information regarding public health statistics.

Should I self-quarantine if I’m feeling ill or returning from travel?   

The only time you should leave your home if you aren’t feeling well is to seek medical care. The best thing you can do if you’re sick — with a bad cold, the flu or COVID-19 — is staying home and self-isolating. The CDC COVID-19 website has full recommendations for people returning from international or domestic travel, which can be found at cdc.gov/coronavirus

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

At this time, there is no specific vaccine for COVID-19.

Will my flu shot protect me from COVID-19?

No. However, getting a flu shot can help you avoid influenza, which could be confused with COVID-19 due to similar symptoms. It is still highly recommended that everyone get their flu shot if they haven’t already had it.

What can first responders do to stay safe from contracting coronavirus?

We recommend first responders follow the CDC’s guidelines for first responders, which includes proper protective equipment and infection control practices. Full CDC recommendations can be found at cdc.gov/coronavirus.

What is physical distancing (social distancing)? How can it help prevent the spread of COVID-19? 

Physical distancing (social distancing) is staying at a distance from other people to lower the risk of infection. If you are near people, maintain a reasonable distance (about 6 feet) in conversation and encounters with others — especially those who are coughing or sneezing, as the virus can spread about 6 feet in droplet form. When possible, stay home and don’t visit public places such as stores, theaters, classes or playgrounds.

Should I cancel my upcoming appointments?

At Geisinger, we follow CDC best practices and guidelines for infection control and prevention to ensure our facilities are always safe. There is no need to avoid our clinics or hospitals when seeking scheduled or emergency care.

Geisinger preparedness

Has Geisinger made changes to its elective procedures?

Due to COVID-19, Geisinger needed to put elective, non-urgent procedures on hold. While our surgeons never stopped performing procedures that were urgent to people's health and well-being — and our emergency rooms and Careworks Convenient Care clinics remain open — we will begin to resume procedures that are non-emergent but medically necessary, progressively and safe.

In early May, we began resuming low-risk procedures that:

  • Can be performed in an outpatient setting
    and
  • Do not require COVID-19 testing, overnight hospitalization or our staff to wear the highest-level of PPE (personal protective equipment)

Some examples of these types of procedures include:

  • Carpal tunnel surgery
  • Cataract surgery
  • Hernia surgery
  • Joint or spine surgeries

We will begin resuming these procedures in areas where COVID-19 activity is lower, currently in areas around central and west-central Pennsylvania. This approach will gradually expand across our service area based on COVID-19 activity in each community, while we weigh guidance from state and federal officials and assess our internal capabilities. 

Learn more at geisinger.org/safe.

Why has Geisinger made these changes regarding elective procedures?

We are taking measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

Is Geisinger screening all patients and visitors entering the hospital facilities?

Yes. Everyone entering Geisinger facilities will be asked questions about potential COVID-19 exposure and recent symptoms. The screening process also includes taking the temperatures of every patient and visitor entering a Geisinger facility using a no-contact infrared thermometer. Each person who enters one of our facilities is required to wear a mask, including all patients, visitors and employees. Masks can be found at or near the entrances to these sites, or you can ask a team member for a mask.

Is Geisinger screening all patients and visitors to its outpatient sites and community practice offices?

Yes. Patients will be asked COVID-19 screening questions about potential COVID-19 exposure and recent symptoms either before their appointment or upon arrival. Each person who enters one of our facilities is required to wear a mask, including all patients, visitors and employees. Masks can be found at or near the entrances to these sites, or you can ask a team member for a mask.

How is Geisinger prepared for handling COVID-19 cases? 

As the region’s leading healthcare provider and health insurer, Geisinger is ready to do what we’ve always done — take care of our patients and members.

  • We continue to follow guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our staff members are in daily conversations with experts from these federal and state authorities as well as our healthcare colleagues across the country.
  • Teams across Geisinger have been regularly meeting since January and our staff is prepared to identify, test and treat patients who may arrive at a Geisinger facility seeking diagnosis and treatment for COVID-19.
  • Our staff has the equipment they need to safely treat patients who may have COVID-19 to protect their own health while preventing further spread of the virus. And we have developed our own test for COVID-19 to make testing more easily and quickly available in our communities. There are strict guidelines for who should be tested. Call your physician or our 24/7 hotline at 570-284-3657 if you believe you need to be tested.
  • We have placed visitor restrictions in our hospitals to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
  • Each person who enters one of our facilities is required to wear a mask, including all patients, visitors and employees.
  • We know you, our community members, have many questions as this situation evolves. To address them, we have a 24/7 hotline staffed by nurses to answer your questions at 570-284-3657, as well as an online Coronavirus Resource Center.  

Our team is prepared and trained, and we stand ready to treat our communities during any public health concern — and COVID-19 is no exception.  

How does Geisinger handle a suspected case in one of its hospitals?

In line with CDC recommendations, Geisinger is screening all people who seek care in our hospitals to ask about potential exposure to COVID-19 and recent symptoms. If a person meets CDC screening criteria, we will follow traditional quarantine and isolation procedures while confirmatory tests are performed.

How does Geisinger handle a suspected case in one of its clinics?

In line with CDC recommendations, Geisinger is screening all people who seek care in our clinics to ask about potential exposure to COVID-19 and recent symptoms. If a person meets CDC screening criteria, we will transport them to a hospital and follow traditional quarantine and isolation procedures while confirmatory tests are performed.

What is Geisinger’s isolation procedure?

Geisinger is following CDC guidelines for testing. If a person meets CDC criteria for symptoms and/or exposure, Geisinger can obtain specimens for testing. We have not received testing kits from the CDC, and are one of a select few Pennsylvania provider organizations whose laboratory developed its own COVID-19 test. While Geisinger has the in-house expertise to test COVID-19 specimens, testing is only available to Geisinger patients who meet CDC screening criteria for COVID-19 testing.

What would lead Geisinger to test for COVID-19?

Geisinger is following CDC guidelines for testing. If a person meets CDC criteria for symptoms and/or potential exposure, Geisinger, like many providers, has the capability to obtain specimens for testing. We have not received testing kits from the CDC, and are one of a select few Pennsylvania provider organizations whose laboratory developed its own COVID-19 test. While Geisinger has the in-house expertise to test COVID-19 specimens, testing is only available to Geisinger patients who meet CDC screening criteria for COVID-19 testing. There are strict guidelines for who should be tested, therefore only patients who meet CDC screening criteria will be tested on-site.

Are you using telehealth to triage and treat suspected COVID-19 cases?

We use telehealth in our Intensive Care Units (ICUs) to monitor patients requiring round-the-clock monitoring.

We are also offering telemedicine virtual care appointments for people who would like to schedule a new appointment or are limiting travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For those who have a health concern and want to speak with a doctor immediately, we are partnering with Virtual Care by TDH, powered by Teladoc, to offer 24/7 virtual doctor visits for $45 per visit.

Geisinger Health Plan (GHP) members who need care now can use Teladoc telehealth services — including COVID-19 screenings —at no cost through September 30, 2020.

How is Geisinger protecting its employees from contracting COVID-19?

Geisinger follows CDC guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection control which includes proper gowning, masking and more. Teams across Geisinger have been regularly meeting since January and our staff is prepared to identify, test and treat patients who may arrive at a Geisinger facility seeking diagnosis and treatment for COVID-19.

Our staff has the equipment they need to safely treat patients who may have COVID-19 to protect their own health while preventing further spread of the virus. And we have developed our own test for COVID-19 to make testing more easily and quickly available in our communities for those who meet the testing guidelines.

Is Geisinger offering remote work options for those capable of doing so?

Yes. If an employee is experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should stay home. In line with social distancing best practices and to provide a safe environment for our employees to deliver care, Geisinger is also asking any employees who do not work directly with patients and who can work from home to do so through August 31. We have established IT capabilities that will allow for all employees capable of working from home to do so if needed.

How is Geisinger managing any staffing changes due to COVID-19?

In response to COVID-19, we are exploring ways to reassign staff in areas of need, but we would not make any staffing changes that impact delivering critical, lifesaving care to our communities. We understand these are unprecedented circumstances for employees and we have taken several measures, such as creating a child care program, granting immediate access to sick time for those impacted by COVID-19, enhancing work-from-home capabilities and much more to accommodate the unique challenges our employees are facing.

How is Geisinger assisting employees who have child care needs?

As part of our response to COVID-19, Geisinger is developing support options for our employees, especially our essential staff and those relied upon for patient care. Geisinger Kids Camps are offered at various locations throughout the Geisinger system to support essential Geisinger employees who need child care assistance. These camps are following COVID-19 guidelines and be limited to small groups.

What is Geisinger doing to support employees to account for daily changes due to COVID-19?

We understand these are unprecedented circumstances for employees and we have taken several measures, such as creating a child care program, granting immediate access to sick time for those impacted by COVID-19, enhancing work-from-home capabilities and much more to accommodate the unique challenges our employees are facing.

Does Geisinger have enough beds to address a surge in COVID-19 patients?

Geisinger has enough beds to meet current and projected needs in our communities. Social distancing practices and other preventive and precautionary measures will help ease the burden on the national and regional healthcare infrastructures.

Does Geisinger have a shortage of items like personal protective equipment (PPE) or masks?

No. Geisinger maintains an adequate stockpile of supplies to successfully manage times of crisis or high demand.

I heard there are problems with the national stockpile of masks. Is this true?

We cannot speak for other health systems or suppliers, but Geisinger maintains an adequate stockpile of supplies to successfully manage times of crisis or high demand. We are monitoring our supply and usage daily.

Is Geisinger rationing supplies or altering regular use of supplies?

Like all providers, we are confronting worldwide challenges for a number of supplies. But as a large health system, we are well-positioned to take measures to address these challenges. Guided by recommendations from the CDC, we’re advising staff on appropriate use of certain items to help them understand guidelines for the right time to use safety equipment, how long certain equipment can be used and which items can safely be used more than once.

What does COVID-19 testing cost?

The cash price for a COVID-19 diagnostic test is $200. We provide this information to our patients, health insurers and the general public, pursuant to Section 3202 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. If you have medical insurance, Geisinger will adjust your cost-sharing responsibilities to $0. If you do not have insurance, you will not be charged for the cost of the test itself, however, you may still incur charges for any related care you receive.

How will Geisinger Health Plan cover the cost of COVID-19 tests or treatments?

Geisinger Health Plan (GHP) wants to be sure that cost is not a barrier to testing for COVID-19.

To address the spread of COVID-19, GHP is doing the following for its members:

Geisinger Health Plan (GHP) is waiving member cost-sharing for testing and treatment of COVID-19.  

  • Members will not pay for a COVID-19 test. Members will also not pay a visit fee to a PCP, urgent care center, or ER if they are tested for COVID-19.

  • If a member is hospitalized for COVID-19, all in-network, inpatient treatment costs will be waived.

  • Cost-sharing is also temporarily waived on all telehealth visits with participating providers, for medical or behavioral health needs, whether or not the visit is COVID-19 related.

The cost waivers will be in effect until further notice. This is applicable to all Geisinger Health Plan members. Self-insured/TPA groups may opt-out. 

  • COVID-19 antibody testing will also be covered under certain conditions:
    • A member had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection and multiple negative tests; or
    • A member who has recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection and is now considering plasma donation; or
    • A child with suspected Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)
  • Antibody tests must be ordered by a healthcare provider. Cost-sharing for antibody tests is also waived. Contact the customer care team for additional information.

Members may call their Customer Care Team at the number on their member ID card for more details.

Updated August 4, 2020.

  • Prescription refills: We are allowing early refills for 30- or 90-day prescriptions at retail pharmacies. Members are encouraged to ask about and use home delivery when available for their prescriptions. We are also allowing early refills on 90-day prescriptions from our mail order pharmacy, which delivers directly to the member’s home at no extra cost. Early refills are available for controlled substances but will not apply for prescriptions that contain opioids outside of certain conditions.
     
  • Prior authorization: Prior authorization will not be a barrier for any COVID-19 related testing or treatment.

  • Telehealth: Through September 30, all Geisinger Health Plan members can use Teladoc telehealth services at no cost.

Read more about coronavirus and treatment coverage.

Does Geisinger have test kits available? Is Geisinger testing for COVID-19?

Geisinger, like many providers, has the capability to obtain specimens for testing. Geisinger has not received testing kits from the CDC. Geisinger is one of a select few Pennsylvania provider organizations whose laboratory developed its own COVID-19 test.  While Geisinger has the in-house expertise to test COVID-19 specimens, testing is only available to Geisinger patients who meet CDC screening criteria for COVID-19 testing. There are strict guidelines for who should be tested, therefore only patients who meet CDC screening criteria will be tested on-site.

What is Geisinger’s testing capacity?

Based on the current spread of COVID-19 and how it has spread in other countries, Geisinger is well-prepared to test for COVID-19 in our community members who meet CDC screening criteria for testing. There are strict guidelines for who should be tested, therefore Geisinger will not be testing anyone who does not meet CDC screening criteria. Doing so is not a reliable way to identify exposure nor predict future symptoms.

Will Geisinger be testing samples collected at other healthcare facilities?

At this time, Geisinger is only testing samples collected at Geisinger facilities.

Are Geisinger Careworks/Convenient Care sites seeing patient volumes increase? 

Our team is prepared and trained, and we stand ready to treat our communities during any public health concern — and COVID-19 is no exception.

Geisinger will only test people who meet CDC screening criteria. If you are experiencing symptoms you think may be related to COVID-19, you should first contact your primary care physician, who can advise on proper treatment and, if necessary, recommend further testing. You can also call our nurse triage line at 570-284-3657 with questions about symptoms or the need for further evaluation or testing. 
 
We ask that you do this before heading to the ER – which are extremely busy this time of year – or seeking care at your doctor’s office, unless your symptoms worse and you have no other options for care

What should I do if I would like to get tested?

Geisinger will only test people who meet CDC screening criteria. If you are having symptoms you think are related to COVID-19, first call your primary care physician, who can advise on proper treatment — and if necessary, recommend further testing. You can also call our nurse triage line at 570-284-3657 with questions about symptoms or the need for further evaluation or testing.

We ask that you do this before heading to an ER — which is extremely busy, putting you and others at higher risk for infection — or seeking care at your doctor’s office, unless your symptoms worsen and you have no other options for care.

What is a COVID-19 testing kit? 

COVID-19 test kits detect the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. These kits are supplied to state public health agencies for use with suspected COVID-19 cases.

What is Geisinger recommending for its medical students who live or volunteer abroad?

We follow CDC guidelines for international travel and will continue to work with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to best advise our medical students on planned travel.

Why is Geisinger restricting travel for employees despite advising the community that it’s OK to travel?

While the risk for developing a severe case of COVID-19 in the United States remains low for most healthy people, it is Geisinger’s obligation to protect the health and well-being of our communities. Even the smallest risk is one that should be avoided on behalf our patients, visitors, employees and communities. Because of this, we have asked employees to postpone any non-essential business travel. We are not asking employees to change personal travel plans; however, we do recommend that all travelers — employees or not — adhere to the CDC’s travel recommendations.

Is Geisinger restricting visitation in its hospitals?

To continue to protect our patients and members, their families and our employees from possibly contracting COVID-19, visitation in our hospitals and clinics is being limited

Visitation hours have been limited at all our hospitals and we have reduced the number of open entrances at every hospital.

See our updated hospital visitor policy.

Is there a shortage of COVID-19 testing kits?

There are several options available for COVID-19 testing, including federal and state tests and commercial laboratories. To meet the demands of our communities, Geisinger is one of the few provider organizations in Pennsylvania that has developed its own COVID-19 test.

Geisinger will only test people who meet CDC screening criteria. If you’re having symptoms you think are related to COVID-19, before visiting a doctor’s office, clinic or emergency department, you should first contact your primary care physician, who can advise on proper treatment and, if necessary, recommend further testing. You can also call our nurse triage line at 570-284-3657 with questions about symptoms or the need for further evaluation or testing.

How do you collect what is needed to test for COVID-19?

A nasal swab and a phlegm sample are needed for the test.

How long does it take Geisinger’s lab to return a COVID-19 test result?

Results from Geisinger’s laboratory typically return between 3 and 24 hours, depending on the time of specimen collection.

What is the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine doing to prepare for COVID-19?

It is Geisinger’s obligation to protect the health and well-being of our communities, so even the smallest risk is one that should be avoided on behalf our patients, visitors, employees and learners. Because of this, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine public events have been canceled or postponed until further notice.

Additionally, the School of Medicine and Geisinger Lewistown Hospital School of Nursing will deliver their entire classroom curricula online from March 16 until further notice.

In accordance with guidance issued by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) and from other health professions organizations, educational leaders at Geisinger have removed all learners from clinical rotations, effective March 17. This decision includes the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Temple and other visiting medical students, nursing students, advanced practice students, pharmacy students and all other learners who participate in our own programs or who rotate in clinical assignments at Geisinger. Leadership will be monitoring the status of COVID-19 in our communities and will be prepared for a phased return of students to the clinical environment, guided by the priority of safety and the adequacy of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Blood supply

Is Geisinger experiencing a blood shortage?

The entire country is facing blood supply challenges, as thousands of blood drives have been canceled across the nation. At Geisinger, we are taking proactive measures to be sure we maintain an adequate supply for critical services like emergency surgery and oncology treatments. Learn more.

Why is Geisinger holding blood drives?

Thousands of blood drives across the country have been canceled as a result of COVID-19, putting an incredible strain on the nation’s blood supply. At Geisinger, we are not exempt from these potential impacts, but we are taking proactive measures to be sure we maintain an adequate supply of blood to treat our friends and neighbors most critically in need. The best way to support these efforts is to call on our community members to donate blood at upcoming blood drives being held in many of our communities. Learn more here.

How can I sign up to donate blood or host a blood drive?

For more information about how you can help save lives in our communities by donating blood, visit geisinger.org/coronavirus to schedule an appointment at an upcoming blood drive.
If you would like to host a blood drive, contact Kathryn Rowinski at 570-449-5586 or krowinski@GiveAPint.org.

How long will these shortages last?

It is difficult to determine how long a shortage will last, but we are preparing for a shortage of three months or longer. The most effective way to address these potential shortages is to continue partnering with our communities to hold safe, easily accessible blood donation drives.

Are blood supply issues related to the canceling of elective surgeries?

Placing elective procedures on hold is just one of many measures we have taken to maintain an adequate blood supply for lifesaving care. Most importantly, we are asking the people in our communities to help by donating at one of our upcoming blood drives.

How is Geisinger adhering to social distancing (physical distancing) while hosting a blood drive?

The blood drives on our campuses are being managed by appointment only so we can maintain small groups according to social distancing best practices.

Will blood donated at these drives be used locally?

The majority of the blood will be used at Geisinger, and all of it will be used in the communities of central and northeast Pennsylvania.

Treating COVID-19

How is Geisinger treating patients with COVID-19?

After receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis, many patients can manage their symptoms and recover at home under a self-quarantine. Only a small number of patients require hospitalization for COVID-19. If a person requires hospitalization, we will follow traditional quarantine and isolation procedures while confirmatory tests are performed.

How many COVID-19 patients is Geisinger caring for?

Due to patient privacy, Geisinger doesn’t disclose the number of patients admitted to its hospitals for treatment of any illness or procedure.

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.

Get virtual care now
 

Information for Geisinger employees

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