Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information and Resources
Getting tested for COVID-19.
If your provider determines you have a medically necessary reason to get tested for coronavirus, or you feel you have been exposed to someone who is COVID positive, you may visit our walk-up COVID testing site at 374 Grand Avenue, New Haven. The testing site is open Monday – Friday, 9am – 12noon. No appointment is necessary.
What you can expect as our patient
FHCHC is absolutely here for you and your family during these changing times. Your health and safety remain our top priority, so we have made some precautionary changes to protect your health and limit community spread of COVID-19.
As we respond to the latest Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, FHCHC patients should:
- Call first for an appointment. This helps us better understand the reason for your visit and makes sure you get the best care. At present, we cannot accept walk-ins. Any patient walk-ins will be sent home without being seen.
- Bring no more than 1 additional person to your appointment. To maintain CDC guidelines of six feet between patient families, we must have you follow this guideline. Anyone arriving for an appointment with more than one additional person (regardless of age) will be sent home without out being seen.
- Be prepared to be screened. To protect our patients and our staff, we are now conducting health screenings for every person who enters our health centers. This applies to staff and patients alike. We will take your temperature and ask you about certain symptoms. Anyone displaying signs of COVID-19 will be immediately directed for testing.
- Keep your child’s well care visits on track. We have relocated our pediatric well care visits to 50 Grand Avenue to make visits easier. Children who are due for regular check ups or immunizations should keep their appointments unless they become sick. If you have any questions, please reach out to one of our triage nurses at 203-777-7411.
- Telehealth is here! Telehealth (also referred to as telemedicine) is a video call with your health care provider, from the comfort of your home or workplace. It’s easy, confidential, and free of charge. A telehealth visit with your provider can give you the care you need and save you a trip into the health center. A triage nurse will call you before your scheduled appointment to see if a telehealth visit is a good fit for your health needs. Of course, if you and your provider determine you need a face-to-face follow-up, we can schedule that too.
- Be flexible with your appointment location. The CDC social distancing guidelines have required us to temporarily close some of our smaller sites. You can still get great care at our 374 Grand Avenue and 50 Grand Avenue locations, or our new Shoreline Family Health Care in Branford. If you require a face-to-face appointment, our Patient Access team will determine the best location, based on your health needs.
- Reschedule routine dental visits. To keep patients and staff safe, at this time we are only offering urgent and emergency detail appointments. If you have an urgent need, please call our dental office at 203-974-1021.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work to keep you and the Greater New Haven community healthy and safe. Together we can limit community spread of COVID-19 and help protect our families and our communities.
What you need to know about COVID-19
Start by staying healthy
The best way to fight COVID-19 is to avoid getting it in the first place! Your best defense is good personal and home hygiene.
- Wear a mask-Always put on a face covering when you are in a public setting. Make sure your face covering fits over both your nose and mouth and fits securely under your chin. Wash your hands before putting on your mask and after taking it off. Try not touch your mask while wearing it.
- Wash your hands frequently, with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday twice). This includes soaping up after sneezing, blowing your nose, coughing, being in a public place or using the bathroom and before touching food. Be sure to get between your fingers and around your thumbs!
- Use an alcohol-based antibacterial hand sanitizer if there is no access to soap and water. If you have to leave your house, take hand sanitizer with you. Keep some in the car to use after food shopping or pumping gas.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash promptly. Better yet, sneeze or cough into the inside of your elbow!
- Avoid touching your face: eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Maintain your social distance. The CDC has determined you should allow 6 feet between you and the next person. This is especially important when you are out in public.
- Stay home if you are sick or think you might be getting sick.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects as much as possible. Use antibacterial wipes or a solution of 1 part bleach, 10 parts water. Phones, computers and remotes also need cleaning. Consult each product’s website for specific directions.
- Monitor for signs of anxiety or stress. Sharing accurate facts is helpful during uncertain times. Talking to a behavioral health provider can also help. Be sure to call us if you or someone you love is showing signs of trauma or other mental health changes.
- Check in on those you care about. Call or video chat with friends and neighbors. Ask if you can help anyone elderly by picking up groceries or prescriptions. Take this time to start a new family tradition like learning a new game or song or making a favorite dish together.
- Make sure to save some time for your own self-care, be it a walk by yourself, or some time with a special project.
- Other questions? Call the Yale New Haven Hospital hotline at 203-688-1700. It is free and open to anyone in the community with a question about COVID-19.
Know the COVID-19 symptoms
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
It’s also important to note that in general, the risk of serious COVID-19 illness is low. Those who are at greatest risk are people of 60 years of age and anyone with a chronic medical condition (such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or a compromised immune system). By taking steps to protect yourself and your loved ones, you are also protecting friends and others in your community.
If you have COVID-19
Most cases can be treated with over the counter drugs and by staying home and getting lots of rest and fluids. Patients should be still be monitored, so please call us at 203.777.7411 so we can review symptoms and next steps together.
To care for yourself (or a loved one), you should:
- Clean all surfaces you have touched.
- Continue washing your hands.
- Get a good night’s sleep and try to eat healthy food.
- Call your provider for a phone or video visit.
IMPORTANT: If you have trouble breathing, you should immediately call your nearest emergency room and let them know about your symptoms. They will advise you how to proceed.
When to Quarantine
Quarantine vs. Isolation
Quarantine is the recommendation for people who might have been exposed to COVID. Isolation is the recommendation for people who are already known to be infected. Both have the goal of minimizing spread to others; quarantine may be a longer period because the individual hasn’t yet developed the infection and may do so over the next few days.
Who needs to isolate?
Isolation is recommended for people suspected of or diagnosed with COVID.
Who needs to quarantine?
Close contact and travel are the most common reasons for quarantine.
Close contact is defined as (1) being within 6 feet of someone with COVID for a total of 15 minutes or more, (2) providing care at home to someone who has COVID, (3) direct physical contact (4) sharing eating/drinking utensils, (5) getting sneezed or coughed on directly.
Travel requiring quarantine is defined as spending 24 hours or more in any “red state or country” within 14 days prior to arriving in CT. You can see a full list of CT’s travel advisories here.
How long is quarantine?
CDC currently recommends a quarantine period of 14 days. However, CDC advises that this period can be shortened in the following ways: (1) Quarantine can end on Day 10 if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring and the individuals can reliably report symptoms and (2) quarantine can end on Day 7 if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring AND a PCR test is negative on or after Day 5.