COVID-19 Resources and Our Response

Virginia Gay Hospital and Clinics created this web page for information about the COVID-19 virus and responses by VGH to provide care to patients and the communities we serve. Please call ahead if you are experiencing symptoms of the flu or COVID-19. The hospital’s main number is 319-472-6200.
Clinic phone numbers are

To add your name to the wait list for a vaccine, you can either call 319-472-6363 or email at vghcovid19vaccine@vghinc.com

State Vaccine Information – vaccinate.iowa.gov

Prevention

The coronavirus can be spread directly between humans. There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19 and preventing exposure is the best way to avoid illness. We encourage you to take precautions to prevent exposure similar to those you would take to prevent influenza (flu), which remains widespread at this time.

Follow these steps to protect yourself and others:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others, as well as by health care workers who are taking care of someone with COVID-19.
  • Clean your home/area with disinfectant regularly.
  • Avoid shaking hands.

Social Distancing

As a health care organization, we are continuing to work hard to ensure the safety of our community, including our patients and staff. The symptoms of COVID-19 take days to appear. This means that someone can be carrying the virus even though they do not have any symptoms. Due to this, it is very important to adhere to the recommendations of health experts, including the CDC. Social distancing during the COVID-19 public health emergency needs to be respected. This means:

  • Do not have play dates or people over your house. Doing so creates new links and possibilities for the type of transmission that school/work/public event closures are trying to prevent.
  • Do not share food or drinks.
  • Stay home as much as possible to reduce your risk of being exposed and prevent spread.
  • To the extent possible, avoid touching high-contact surfaces in public places — elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after touching surfaces in public places.
  • Carry hand sanitizer with you and use it regularly.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
  • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones).

We understand that following these rules will not be easy and will be uncomfortable. Adhering to these rules now can dramatically reduce the number of people infected with COVID-19. Here are some things you can do by yourself and with your immediate family members:

  • Take a walk, run, hike, or ride a bike. Our community has a bounty of outdoor trails and natural areas. Now is a great time to rediscover them.
  • Discover a new hobby, such as knitting, cooking, baking, playing board games, photography, music, art, etc.
  • Read a new book or revisit an old favorite.
  • Do yoga or meditate; there are many good videos and resources online.
  • Take an online class.
  • Call your friends, family, and loved ones!

Here are some tips for managing the mental health component of social distancing: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html.

Additional Resources

Updates


Virginia Gay Hospital Visitor Restrictions

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Mom’s Vaccinated: When Can I visit Her Nursing Home?

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PRESS RELEASE: Visitation Plan

PRESS RELEASE 3/11/2021 After months of being apart, CMS and the CDC have updated the visitation guidelines for Long Term Care.  Here is our plan to transition back toward normal while being cognizant that increasing visits increases the risk of passing COVID 19 infections to staff and residents: Visitation will be scheduled through our Activities...

PRESS RELEASE: Visitation guidance Update

PRESS RELEASE 3/11/2021 It has been an extremely difficult year, especially with family not being able to visit with loved ones in person due to the COVID-19 health safety protocols put in place by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) last March. We are pleased to share that we have very recently received...

Expanded Vaccine Qualifications

Effective Monday, March 8, Iowa vaccine providers can officially begin vaccinating additional priority populations. Individuals 64 years of age and younger with medical conditions that are or may be an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are now eligible. Benton County Public Health is working through the following tiers set by Iowa Department of...

COVID-19 Update

PRESS RELEASE  2/10/21 Virginia Gay Hospital will not be making any changes in our patient screening, masking or visitation protocols in response to the enhanced public health measures effective Feb 7th through March 7, 2021.  In keeping with a commitment to patient safety, we will continue to follow CDC and IDPH guidelines.  While we have...

Benton County Public Health COVID19 Vaccine Update

Benton County Public Health News Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/02/2021 Benton County Public Health COVID19 Vaccine Update Benton County is currently in vaccine Phase 1A and 1B. Eligible persons are healthcare workers, 65 and older, first responders, PK-12 staff, early childhood education, and childcare workers. If you are 65 and older, you will be able...

Covid 19 Vaccine Waiting List

In response to questions we have received regarding availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and access for the general public, we have some updated information. While CDC makes recommendations for who should be offered COVID-19 vaccine first, each state has its own plan for deciding who will be vaccinated first. Benton County and much of the...