Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
Emergencies don’t wait
Not seeing a doctor can make you sicker or threaten your life. If you have a severe injury, trouble breathing, chest pain, or confusion, call 911 or get emergency care immediately.
Natividad is open and safe for any emergency. We are treating our patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in separate areas, and we regularly clean our patient rooms and facilities very thoroughly.
Expert guidance from Dr. Craig Walls, Natividad Chief Medical Officer
What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
It is an illness caused by a new virus that spreads from person to person. Symptoms can be mild fever and cough, shortness of breath and severe illnesses, or no symptoms at all. For some, it is fatal.
How do I avoid getting sick?
The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is to not get exposed to the virus. You can get infected by getting close (less than 6 feet, or 2 meters) to a person who has coronavirus. You don’t always know who is sick. People can have the virus and be contagious, but don’t have any symptoms. The virus is spread by respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. You can also get sick by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
What do I do if I get sick?
You must stay away from other people and do things to stop the virus from spreading. People who are mildly sick and not considered at increased risk for complications can often isolate at home during their illness. You may feel like you have a bad cold or the flu, and can take over-the-counter medications for your fever or cough.
Isolate yourself, stay home from work and separate yourself from other people and pets in your home. You must do this for at least 10 full days since COVID-19 symptoms first appeared and at least 3 days (72 hours) must pass after the fever has gone away without using fever-reducing medicines (like Tylenol®), and your symptoms improve. If you cannot safely isolate at home, contact Monterey County at (831) 755-4521 to request temporary isolation accommodations.
There is no cure for COVID-19, but you can get medical care to help with your symptoms. Many doctors and clinics, including those at Natividad, are making phone and video appointments. If you have to go in person to your doctor’s office, please tell them about your symptoms before you arrive so they can get ready and protect others. Wear a mask or cloth face covering over your mouth and nose when you arrive at a doctor’s office or hospital before you have contact with anyone.
When should I go to the Emergency Department?
If you have trouble breathing, constant pain or pressure in the chest, if you feel confusion or are weak, or have bluish lips or face, get immediate urgent or emergency care. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and tell the operator your symptoms. If you are coming to Natividad’s Emergency Department by car, or are a walk-in patient, you do not need to call us before you arrive. You may receive care in our medical tent.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
No. There currently is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to not be exposed to the virus.
Am I at high risk for complications?
Anyone can get COVID-19. You may be at higher risk of complications if you are over 65, or have a weakened immune system, diabetes or chronic heart, lung or kidney functions, or are very overweight. You may also be at higher risk if you live in a nursing home or long-term care facility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that if you are at high risk, you should stay home and avoid other people. Contact your doctor right away if you have these coronavirus symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath. If you don’t have a provider, go to www.findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov to find a health center near you.
Will I get a bill?
During the coronavirus pandemic, all bills for COVID-19 screening and testing are covered at no cost. It doesn’t matter if you have insurance or not. You are not responsible for out-of-pocket costs for these services.
All California health plans must provide coverage for COVID-19 treatment. Many health plans offer treatment at no cost, while other plans may charge cost-sharing for these services. Check with your insurance provider for more information.
There are many resources for insured, uninsured and undocumented people in California. There is also a new Medi-Cal program for people who don’t have insurance and need COVID-19 testing. If you need more medical care beyond COVID-19 testing, Natividad will work with you to get the care you need at a reasonable cost or no cost. If you don’t qualify, we will help you apply for financial aid or other programs. For information about those programs, call (831) 755-4165. If you have questions about your bills, please call our business office at (831) 755-4242.
Need health insurance?
Covered California, the marketplace for private health insurance that offers discounted plans. Visit www.coveredca.com or call (800) 300-1506. Medi-Cal, the state’s free or low-cost health insurance for low-income Californians. Visit www.medi-cal.ca.gov or call (866) 323-1953. Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people 65 and over or disabled. Visit www.medicare.gov or call (800) 633-4227.
Questions about your health insurance coverage?
For medical care related to COVID-19, you should call your health insurance plan for instructions. If you do not have a health plan, contact a local community clinic or the Health Consumer Alliance hotline at (888) 804-3536 or visit www.healthconsumer.org.
Paid time off
If your workplace is still open and you need time off, ask your employer about your right to a leave of absence, including new rights to paid sick days due to the coronavirus.
What should I expect if I get tested for COVID-19?
Natividad is following CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus. We have separate areas to test and screen people for respiratory illnesses. Tests are fast and include a nasal swab. Getting tested is free for everyone and does not harm your current or future immigration status.
Where do I get tested?
Natividad is at 1441 Constitution Blvd., Salinas. You must have symptoms and have known risk factors or need immediate medical attention. You don’t need an appointment. You can get pre-screened with a bilingual nurse by calling the Natividad Coronavirus Hotline at (831) 772-7365.
Community Testing Sites
Salinas and Greenfield sites are open to the public and you do not need to have symptoms to get tested. Testing is done by appointment only. Visit https://lhi.care/covidtesting or call (888) 634-1123.
Is there a cure for COVID-19?
There is currently no treatment for mild or moderate cases of COVID-19 or a vaccine. If you believe you have the disease or have received a positive test and have been advised to recover at home, our doctors recommend these 3 things to feel better:
- Get rest
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water
- Reduce fever, aches and pains with acetaminophen like Tylenol. These common remedies may help a little, but they won’t cure COVID-19:
- OK to gargle with salt and warm water
- OK to drink juices and warm broth soups
- OK to use topical ointments like Vicks. VapoRub™ or inhaling steam with eucalyptus oil – USE CAUTION with supplements, vitamins or herbal remedies. They can do more harm than good NEVER inject any disinfectants into your body or drink them. This can cause serious harm or death NEVER spray your body with bleach or take a bleach or alcohol bath. This can harm your skin and eyes
Natividad appreciates the generosity of all who have inquired about donating supplies to support our staff and patients during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Natividad’s Materials Management team has worked diligently to obtain necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for our health care workers who are on the front lines. Our number one priority is their safety and that of our patients.
In an abundance of caution as COVID-19 spreads in our community, and with the increased global shortages of supplies, Natividad is now graciously accepting donations of needed supplies.
Donations must be in unopened, original packaging and in accordance with approved hospital standards. At this time, we are unable to accept homemade supplies (unless approved by the facility).
- Masks (N95, surgical, and procedure).
- Disinfecting wipes such as Clorox or Sani-cloth wipes.
- Hand sanitizer.
- Face shields.
- Goggles and eye shields.
- Isolation or surgical gowns.
- CAPR/PAPR machines and disposables.
- Flocked swabs.
In Person (please call before arrival)
1441 Constitution Blvd.
Building 820 – Volunteer Auxiliary
Salinas, CA 93906
Phone # 783-4216
Open Mon – Fri
8am-10am and 1pm-3pm
How and Why to Wear a Mask
Expert guidance from Dr. Chad Harris, Natividad Chief Medical Information Officer
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone wear masks or cloth face coverings when you are around others where it’s hard to practice physical distancing, and the Monterey County Health Officer’s order requires you to wear one in public. For example, when you go to the grocery store, pharmacy or hospital.
Wearing a mask is recommended as an extra layer of protection. Staying 6 feet away from others (physical distancing, also known as social distancing) is important to slow the spread of the virus. It will not prevent you from breathing respiratory droplets that carry coronavirus, but a mask helps protect others from you in case you have COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms. If everyone wears a mask in public, the risk for exposure can be reduced for the community. Thank you for doing your part to protect each other.
Do cover your mouth and nose
Don’t put the mask under your chin
Don’t wear the mask under your nose
Wear your mask correctly
- Wash your hands before putting on your mask
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
- Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
- Make sure you can breathe easily
- Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands
- Children under 2 should not wear masks
- Make sure to wash your hands before touching your child’s face and before handling food
Take your mask off carefully
- Handle only by the ear loops or ties
- Fold outside corners together
- Place reusable cloth face coverings in the washing machine immediately after wearing
- Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing, and wash hands immediately after removing
HEALTHY TIP: Gloves do not stop the spread of COVID-19. Washing or sanitizing your hands often is best.
Natividad offers a bilingual hotline to answer questions from the community about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The number for the Natividad Coronavirus Hotline is (831) 772-7365. Natividad nurses are available to speak with you in English or Spanish.
The hotline is a community resource for timely, accurate information about COVID-19 and virtual screening for people who are experiencing symptoms. Nurses are available to answer questions and direct patients to the appropriate level of care.
Patients who have COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough and shortness of breath, are encouraged to call the hotline before coming to the hospital. If you are experiencing a serious illness or medical emergency such as an injury, chest pain, difficulty breathing or altered levels of consciousness, please seek urgent or emergency care or call 911 and inform the operator of your symptoms.
Natividad is following all CDC guidelines when caring for patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19. We are ensuring all staff members who may be in contact with a COVID-19 patient are correctly trained on using Personal Protective Equipment.
You are not alone. These programs can help you
Food stamps (CalFresh)
Financial help to buy groceries. No one will be cut off from CalFresh food stamp benefits at this time. If one family member gets food stamps, it does not impact another family member’s immigration status. Call (877) 410-8823 or visit www.getcalfresh.org to apply.
Free meals for kids
Breakfast and lunch options for students. Pick-up from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm at schools throughout Monterey County. See distribution sites at www.montereycoe.org
Dorothy’s Place serves daily breakfast from 8:30 am to 9:30 am and lunch from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm at 30 Soledad St. in Salinas. For more info, call (831) 757-3838.
Meals delivered to seniors
Meals on Wheels has home-delivered meals for seniors 60 and older. For more info, call (831) 758-6325 for Salinas Valley, (831) 375-4454 for Monterey Peninsula.
The Food Bank for Monterey County distributes free food. Call (831) 758-1523 or see the calendar at https://foodbankformontereycounty.org/food-assistance Salinas walk-in or drive-thru distribution sites (as of July 2020):
- Every Wednesday, 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm 368 San Juan Grade Rd.
- Every Wednesday, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm 1212 E. Alisal St.
- Every Thursday, 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm 111 Prado St.
- Every Friday, 8:30 am to 9:30 am 1122 E. Alisal St.
- Every day, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 to 4:00 pm 43 Soledad St.
Nutrition for children
WIC (Women, Infants and Children) offers nutrition and breastfeeding support for pregnant women and kids up to age 5. Salinas office located at 632 E. Alisal St. For more info, call (831) 796-2888.
Childcare for essential workers
Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF) offers free childcare services for essential workers, including agricultural workers. Call (831) 757-0775. The YMCA is offering childcare for essential workers. Call (831) 758-3811 or visit www.centralcoastymca.org
Talk to someone about mental health
California Peer-Run Warm Line is a 24/7 service that provides free nonemergency emotional support for anxiety, panic, depression, finances, and alcohol and drug use. Speak with an English or Spanish-speaking counselor at (855) 845-7415.
Free help with legal issues
California Rural Legal Assistance offers free assistance with legal issues related to housing, work, education, public benefits and health, and more. Call (831) 757-5221.
Domestic violence and child abuse help
If you feel unsafe, call the police at 911 or the YWCA at (831) 372-6300 or (831) 757-1001. You can also call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at (800) 799-7233.
Dear Patients and Families,
Thank you for choosing Natividad for your health care needs. It is critically important that we protect our patients, their families, our staff and community while we continue to provide high-quality care at our hospital and clinics.
Due to the evolving situation with novel coronavirus (COVID-19), no visitors will be allowed into the hospital or clinics.
The following exceptions apply:
- One banded parent or one banded guardian for NICU and pediatric patients.
- One banded birth partner and one doula for patients in labor.
- One banded support person in Maternal Infant Unit (MIU).
- End-of-life patient will be managed at the discretion of the Nursing Director.
- One caregiver if patient needs assistance admitting into the facility or during an outpatient appointment (e.g., needs help walking, getting to the bathroom, or understanding instructions), at any time.
- One parent if patient is a minor seen in ED or during an outpatient appointment.
In addition to the above:
- No visitors will be allowed for suspected or actual COVID-19 patients with the exception of one banded parent for pediatric or NICU patient.
- Visitors who are allowed due to special circumstances will be instructed to wear appropriate PPE prior to entering a patient room.
- All visitors and outpatients are required to wear facemasks at all times when on the premises. Visitors and outpatients coming in without a mask will be provided one upon entering the facility.
- Visitors to the hospital and clinics may be screened for respiratory symptoms and fever. Symptomatic visitor will be asked to leave the facility.
- Visitors must stay in the patient’s room the entire time of the visit. Once they leave the patient’s room, they must leave the hospital and may not come back until the following day.
We recommend using FaceTime, Skype or the phone in your room to connect with and update your loved ones who cannot visit during your stay. We are unable to accept deliveries of personal belongings, gifts, flowers and food for patients at this time. Mail is welcome. If you have questions or need additional information, please call us at (831) 755-4111. For additional information about COVID-19, please visit natividad.com/covid-19.
Dr. Craig Walls
Chief Medical Officer
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