With the goal of maintaining a high level of patient safety, Capital Health Regional Medical Center and Capital Health Medical Center — Hopewell have established a new process for those arriving at their emergency departments.

Upon arrival, patients will be met by a clinical greeter who will assess their condition. Patients with respiratory illness concerning for Covid-19 will be evaluated by specially trained staff in new screening facilities adjacent to the ED. All other patients will be evaluated in standard emergency department facilities.

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“As an added safety measure during the current health crisis, patients coming to our Emergency Departments will be screened before entering,” said Dr. Louis D’Amelio, vice president of clinical performance at Capital Health. “From there, we will either bring them into the hospital or the new treatment area based on the urgency of their condition or illness. After that, patients who require the resources inside of our hospital will be brought in as necessary.”

Covid-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, some of which are similar to the common cold, flu or allergies. If you’re not feeling well, start by contacting your primary care provider for instructions to be screened for appropriate testing. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

Capital Health says patients who are tested for Covid-19 are kept in isolation, and staff caring for these patients wear protective equipment to limit spread of the virus. Any material or equipment they come in contact with is rigorously disinfected. They say this strict protocol is the same that would be used for a patient who tests positive for Covid-19 or flu.