Published on August 16, 2021

Questions and Answers About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Owensboro Health hospitals and clinics are operating as usual. Visitation policies are subject to change.

We treat sick people and have procedures in place for a safe environment of care. If you have typical cold symptoms and do not have a fever, it is in your best interest to remain at home instead of coming into a healthcare facility.

If you are experiencing a serious illness or severe symptoms of any kind, please do not put off seeking emergency medical care due to fears of COVID-19. Delaying medical treatment could worsen symptoms or result in a life-threatening situation. In the event of a medical emergency, do not hesitate to call 911 or your doctor or visit the nearest emergency department.

If you have concerns about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) please call:

  • Call the Owensboro Health COVID-19 Hotline (24 hours a day) at 877-888-6647 to talk to a triage nurse. If it is determined that you should be seen by a medical professional, the nurse will give you instructions on where to go and what to do.
  • Kentucky COVID-19 Hotline - 800-722-5725

Can I be vaccinated?

Stay up to date on the latest vaccine news and appointment availability. At this time, we are not able to accommodate walk-in vaccinations.

How do I schedule a COVID-19 Test?

See our testing page to find out if you should be tested and schedule your appointment.

What should I expect at the testing site? What happens when I arrive?

  • You will be given directions to drive to the location and STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE. Our onsite signage will help guide you.
  • Some additional questions of verification will be asked.
  • You will be tested using a nasal swab sample. You may also be tested for other respiratory illnesses if necessary.
  • If you receive a nasal swab for COVID-19, you will be considered presumptive positive and you should stay home and self-quarantine until you receive final results.

How will I receive my results of the test?

  • You will provide your personal information and will receive a phone call once your test results are in.
  • Additionally, if you are already an Owensboro Health patient, your results will also be added to your Owensboro Health MyChart.
  • Please be patient. At this time, it can take up to 5 days to receive test results through commercial lab testing. We are working on testing capabilities within our facilities for the near future, which will be much faster.

What happens after I am tested?

  • Once you are tested, you will be asked to self-quarantine until we receive your results and given instructions on how you and your caregivers do that based upon CDC and State Health Department guidance.
  • If your symptoms worsen and there is concern that you may require additional medical care you should call our Hotline (877-888-6647). You may need to be admitted to the hospital. However, only a small percentage of people require this.

What is COVID-19 ("Coronavirus")?

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease spreading globally and now in the United States. The outbreak in the U.S. is an evolving situation and it’s important to prepare for the potential spread of the virus and take precautionary measures to ensure you and your family stay well.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

When to seek medical care:

Some of the most common symptoms of coronavirus are many of the same symptoms of the common cold or flu – fever, cough and shortness of breath. So, it could be difficult to determine at what point to seek medical care.

As concern around the outbreak grows, review these recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if you suspect you may be infected:

  • Monitor your symptoms. Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g. difficulty breathing). BEFORE seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. Put on a face mask before you enter the facility (your doctor’s office may be able to provide one to you). These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed. Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department. Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.
  • Calling 911. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive.

How can COVID-19 spread be prevented?

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. We recommend following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for prevention:

  • Wash your hands and keep your hands away from your face.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth and cover your sneeze or cough in your elbow
  • Wear a face covering when in public.
  • Physical distancing: Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others.

What else can you do?

  • Take this opportunity to stay home whenever possible. Enjoy time with your loved ones while practicing the CDC’s prevention methods.
  • With limited testing supplies and availability here and across the country, we want to ensure testing capabilities are reserved for those at the highest risk.

For information about proper handwashing, see the CDC’s Handwashing website.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC also offers specific guidance for travelers.

What is Owensboro Health doing for the health and wellness of the community?

Owensboro Health maintains our commitment to healing the communities we serve throughout this challenging time.

Our Coronavirus Leadership Team and Hospital Preparedness Team continue to meet regularly and provide guidance on COVID-19 policies and procedures that will keep our patients, guests and team members safe. The following procedural measures have been taken at this time:

  • Updating visitor restrictions policies across all Owensboro Health locations
  • Building entrances will be limited to ensure temperature checks are conducted
  • Restrictions have been placed on outside vendors
  • Providing curbside service from the Owensboro Health Regional Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering; Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital; Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center; the Owensboro Health Medical Group comprised of over 200 providers at more than 20 locations; three outpatient Healthplex facilities, a certified medical fitness facility, the Healthpark; a surgical weight loss center and program, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.

On average each year, we have 16,000 inpatient admissions, deliver 2,000 babies and provide the region’s only Level III NICU. Owensboro Health physicians perform nearly 24,000 surgical procedures, including nearly 200 open-heart surgeries. Our physicians and staff have 70,000 Emergency Department visits, more than a million outpatient visits annually. Visit our home page for more information.