Important Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information

Greater New Bedford Community Health Center is closely monitoring the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and we want to do all we can to help our community stay safe and healthy. We are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Mass Department of Public Health (MDPH) for guidelines in caring for our patients. We will help patients understand their symptoms and guide them to further appropriate testing which may include a test for the COVID-19 virus.

What should I do as a patient of Greater New Bedford Community Health Center?

If you are experiencing fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and have traveled to an area with widespread transmission of COVID-19 within the past 14 days, please contact the Health Center prior to arriving. Please see the CDC website for the list of areas of widespread COVID-19 transmission which is updated frequently. When you arrive at the Health Center, please follow the directions posted on entry doors to help us determine if a mask may be needed for you during your visit.

Should I wear a face mask if I am healthy to prevent catching COVID-19?

CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is recommended for health workers and other people who are taking direct care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings. Most often respiratory viruses are spread from person-to-person in close contact or within six feet of each other. As a healthy person, the best way to protect yourself and your community is with everyday preventative actions, like staying home when you are sick, washing hands often with soap and water, disinfecting surfaces and avoiding people who have symptoms. These actions will help minimize and slow the spread of the respiratory illness in the community.

What can be done to prevent the spread of coronavirus?

• 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.
• When coughing or sneezing, always cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or tissue. Wash your hands after every time.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Avoid close contact with individuals who have a fever or cough
• Stay home when you are feeling sick.

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

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and what is the severity of illness?

The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of the new coronavirus may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure. Symptoms can include:
•Shortness of breath
Reported COVID-19 illness has ranged from mild to severe, including illness resulting in death.