Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Information Learn More
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Information
Our hospital is committed to providing the highest quality care and ensuring the safety of our patients, employees, providers, volunteers and visitors. We are continuing to monitor the evolving situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are taking the necessary steps to ensure we are fully prepared to care for patients, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in partnership with our local and state health departments.
COVID-19 Online Risk Assessment
To help support the health of our community, we are providing access to an online COVID-19 risk assessment developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This tool does NOT provide a diagnosis, and it should NOT be used as a substitute for an assessment made by a healthcare provider.
- Bluegrass Community Hospital is pleased to continue offering COVID-19 vaccinations in accordance with prioritization guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal government and the state of Kentucky.
- We currently are not administering anymore vaccines due to limited supply. Those who qualify for vaccination within phase 1B (70 and up) should contact the Woodford County Health Department at (859) 873-4541 or get on the vaccination list by clicking here.
- We encourage everyone in our community to be a hero and get vaccinated once the vaccine is more widely available to our community members, hopefully in the coming months. #VaccineHero
Visitor Restrictions, Limited Entry Points and On-Site Screening Process
At Bluegrass Community Hospital, our top priority is safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our patients, providers, employees and community. We continue to closely monitor the prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community and follow state and federal guidance as we adapt our operations to safely care for and support our patients. As current projections continue to indicate a lower than expected volume of COVID-19 in our region, effective Monday, January 4, 2021, we are easing our visitor policy as follows:
- Inpatients are not allowed visitors at this time.
- ER patients are limited to one (1) WELL visitor.
- Surgery patients are limited to one (1) WELL visitor in the hospital for the duration of the surgery. If social distancing cannot be maintained in the surgery waiting room, visitors may be asked to wait in their car once the surgery starts.
- Visitors are NOT allowed for outpatient appointments, high-risk, isolation, immunocompromised or respiratory patients who are under observation or test positive for COVID-19 unless there is an exception made by the administrator on-call.
- All visitors must be 18 years of age or older, will be screened upon entry and will be required to wear a mask and armband at all times while in the facility.
- Visitors who do not pass the screening at entry will be asked to reschedule their visit until they are symptom-free.
- The following exceptions include:
- Pediatric patients may have two (2) WELL parents or guardians during their hospital stay.
- Patients who are at the end-of-life may have up to two (2) WELL visitors for the length of time cleared by the attending physician.
- Patients with altered mental status, cognitive impairment, developmental delays or disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care, may have one (1) WELL visitor.
- Additional exception requests will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the administrator on-call.
- We continue to screen everyone who enters our facilities for symptoms consistent with COVID-19, per CDC guidelines.
- Please utilize alternative methods of communication, including technology, with patients as much as possible.
Signage is being posted around the facility notifying visitors and the community of these new restrictions and guidelines.
To prevent the spread of illness, visitors who are cleared are expected to do the following:
- Must remain in the patient’s room at all times.
- Must immediately leave the hospital once leaving the patient’s room. Visitors should not wander through hallways or spend time in common areas of the hospital, including lobbies, waiting areas, and vending areas.
- Limit the number of personal items brought into the hospital.
- Must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer EVERY time entering and exiting a patient room.
Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation as we work to maintain a safe environment for our patients and team.
As the situation regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, so does our hospital’s response. In addition to measures we’ve taken including restricting visitors, closing common areas, and adhering diligently to Kentucky Department for Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, Bluegrass Community Hospital is taking more precautionary steps to help ensure the safety of our patients, employees and visitors.
We have limited entry points to our facility and are screening everyone – employees, providers, patients and the visitors with exceptions – who enters the building. The following provides additional detail about both safety measures:
- Single Entry Point: Until otherwise notified, everyone entering the facility should come through the ER entrance. All other entry points are closed until further notice.
- Screening Process: All patients, visitors with exceptions and staff entering the facility will be screened with questions regarding respiratory symptoms and travel history, per CDC recommendations. Patients with symptoms will immediately be provided masks and managed per CDC guidelines. Based on the screening, visitors may also be asked to take their temperature, speak further with someone, or come back at a later date. If any visitor with exceptions is experiencing any respiratory symptoms or has a fever, they will not be permitted to visit a patient - even if they are wearing a mask. Screening will occur upon every entry.
Common Areas Closed: We have closed our common areas, such as the gift shop, chapel, and cafeteria, as another step to minimize the risk of exposure to patients, visitors, employees and providers. Our cafeteria will continue to operate for patients, employees and providers only.
We know that these increased precautions may seem concerning. We do not want to cause alarm – but we do want to send a clear message to our community that we are prepared, responding appropriately and are committed to protecting the well-being of our patients, visitors, employees and community.
These increased safety measures do NOT mean that you cannot access the hospital or your providers. Please seek medical care as needed. And if you are concerned you may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call your provider in advance of going to his or her office. Of course, if you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the emergency room.
Bluegrass Community Hospital values the trust our community places in us, and we appreciate your understanding as we shift our visitation policies during this time.
Below are a number of resources to help educate you and your family on COVID-19.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Woodford County Health Department
- Woodford County Emergency Management Association
- Kentucky Hospital Association
- Kentucky Department of Public Health (DPH)
- DPH COVID-19 Hotline 1-800-722-5725
Community FAQ – COVID-19 Vaccine
We know there are a lot of questions about the emerging COVID-19 vaccines. Our goal is to keep you informed as vaccines are approved and rolled out for our workforce, patients and community in the weeks ahead.
We have created a list of common questions about the COVID-19 vaccines based on current knowledge and understanding. These questions will continue to evolve with time, so we encourage you to check back frequently for the most up-to-date information.
Common Questions about COVID-19 Vaccines:
Who is currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine? When will it be available to the general public?
We are in the process of distributing the vaccine in accordance with prioritization guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the federal government and our state health departments. We are currently in phase 1B of vaccination. Those who qualify for vaccination within phase 1B should contact the local health department. We encourage everyone in our community to get vaccinated once the vaccine is more widely available to our community members, hopefully in the coming months. #VaccineHero
The vaccine was produced very quickly. How do I know it is safe?
The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Safety is the top priority while federal partners work to make the COVID-19 vaccines. Despite what the name may suggest, “Operation Warp Speed” does not mean that manufacturers were able to skip steps or cut corners in the vaccine development process. Instead, after development of the vaccine, manufacturers took a secured risk and overlapped the study, manufacturing and distribution phases. The FDA committed to giving these vaccinations priority (not rushed) review at all phases of the studies, which helped speed up the overall process. Ongoing monitoring of vaccine effectiveness and side effect reports will continue to be evaluated by the FDA and the manufacturers.
If I get the COVID-19 vaccine, should I still wear a mask?
Yes. For several reasons, a mask and other proven methods of preventing COVID-19 (hand hygiene and social distancing) are still important even after receiving the vaccine. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, should I still get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available?
Yes, at this time the vaccine is recommended even if you previously tested positive for COVID-19. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, individuals who have previously been infected with COVID-19 should proceed with getting the vaccine. However, due to limited vaccine supply at this time, you may be asked to wait to get the vaccine if you had COVID-19 within the previous 90 days, as the likelihood of reinfection during this time period is likely low.
Can you contract COVID-19 by getting the vaccine?
No. The vaccine is NOT a live vaccine, and it is NOT possible to contract COVID-19 from receiving the vaccine. Some people experience side effects from the vaccine, such as headache, muscle pain, or fever – but that does not mean you have COVID-19. It means your body is working to build the necessary immunity against the virus, which is a good thing.
What are the possible side effects/adverse events from the COVID-19 vaccine?
The most common adverse reactions reported have been fatigue, headache, fever/chills and joint pain. This means your body is working to build the necessary immunity against the virus.
Can the COVID-19 vaccine be administered to children?
The COVID-19 vaccine is not indicated for children younger than 16 years old at this time.
Can the COVID-19 vaccine be administered to pregnant women?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals. It is important to note that the COVID-19 vaccines currently available have not been tested in pregnant women, so there is no safety data specific to use in pregnancy. Pregnant women should make an informed decision after discussing with their healthcare provider.
How many doses are required? If multiple, when do I get another dose?
For both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, two doses are required. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine should be administered 21 days after the first dose. The second dose of the Moderna vaccine should be administered 28 days after the first dose. It is very important to note that the second dose must be from the same manufacturer as the first dose.
What should I do if I am unable to get the second dose exactly 21 days (Pfizer) or 28 days (Moderna) after the first dose?
While it is recommended that you receive the second dose as soon as feasible after day 21 or day 28, we understand that it might not be possible to receive it on the desired date. This could be due to multiple reasons. Please keep the following in mind if you cannot receive the second vaccine dose on the desired date:
- You must receive the second dose from the same manufacturer as the first dose.
- Get the second dose as soon as possible after the desired date has passed, as it is better to get the second dose late than not at all. You will still experience the same efficacy in the long run, although you may not see the full effect of the immunity until a few weeks after the second dose.
How long after receiving both doses of the vaccine until it is considered effective?
Similar to the flu vaccine, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection. As a general rule, the vaccine is considered effective about two weeks after the second dose, according to the manufacturers. There is evidence that the first dose will begin providing some immunity, but it is still very important to receive the second dose for optimal results.
Can I choose which vaccine I get (Pfizer or Moderna)?
We do not recommend waiting for a specific manufacturer. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have similar efficacy and potential side effects, and have shown decreased disease severity in the small numbers of study participants who contracted COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine. Both manufacturers require two doses. It is important to remember that the second dose you receive must be from the same manufacturer. Early defense is better than no defense against COVID-19.
Should those who experience significant side effects from their first COVID-19 vaccine dose expect significant or worse side effects with the second dose? What about those who were previously COVID-19-positive?
Based on data from each vaccine, there appears to be an increased incidence of experiencing certain side effects from the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine compared to the first dose (e.g., fever, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pain, and joint pain). This does not mean that all vaccine recipients will experience these side effects with the first or second dose. A full list of the reported side effects comparing Dose 1 and Dose 2 may be found within the Pfizer BioNTech EUA and the Moderna EUA .
At this time, we do not have definitive data to state whether vaccine side effects are worse in patients who were previously positive for COVID-19.
How long will I need to be observed after I get the vaccine?
In general, a 30-minute observation period is recommended for anyone with a history of severe allergic reactions (due to any cause), and a 15-minute observation period is recommended for all other individuals.
Will the COVID-19 vaccine result in a false positive COVID-19 test?
No, COVID-19 vaccination will not cause a false positive COVID-19 viral test. Per CDC guidance, the immunity response from a COVID-19 vaccine could possibly result in a positive antibody test, which indicates previous infection and potential protection against the virus.
If I become COVID-19-positive following my first dose of the vaccine, should I take the second dose?
Per CDC guidance, you may receive the vaccine (either dose) following resolution of symptoms, if any, and completion of the quarantine period.
What ingredients are included in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine?
Ingredients for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines can be found via this CDC link. Individuals with allergies to any of the vaccine components should discuss concerns with their healthcare provider before receiving the vaccine.
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Our clinical teams are trained on the proper procedures and protocols to minimize the risk of spreading any infectious disease, including COVID-19. If we have any reason to believe a patient may have the novel coronavirus, our providers immediately implement the appropriate infection control measures in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. These include masking and isolating the patient, donning personal protective equipment (PPE) – inclusive of an N95 respirator mask, eye protection, gown and gloves – and ensuring environmental hygiene.
|Who is at risk?||
The risk to the general public remains low at this time. Right now, influenza is a much more significant threat to Americans. Protect yourself from the flu - it’s not too late to get your flu vaccine.Evidence to date indicates those most at risk for becoming ill with COVID-19 are:
The CDC Travel Health Notices website provides a list of countries with sustained COVID-19 transmission.
Travelers returning from one of the countries with community spread of COVID-19 should monitor themselves for fever and other symptoms of COVID-19, including cough and shortness of breath, for 14 days after they return from one of those countries.
|What are the symptoms?||
Patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
|Are there different strains of coronavirus?||
Yes, there are seven different coronaviruses known to infect humans.
|I have respiratory illness symptoms, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. What should I do?||
If your symptoms are mild:
If you are experiencing mild respiratory illness symptoms, you care and should isolate at home during illness. Restrict outside activities, avoid public areas (work, school, etc.) and refrain from using public transportation.
Treat symptoms with rest, plenty of fluids and over-the-counter medications, as appropriate.
Separate yourself as much as possible, staying in a separate room and using a separate bathroom, if available. Restrict your contact with pets and other animals.
Be alert to any changing symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if your symptoms are getting worse (e.g. difficulty breathing)
Before visiting a healthcare provider, call ahead before you arrive to tell them that you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19. This will allow your provider's office staff to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.
If your symptoms are getting worse:
Before visiting a healthcare provider, call ahead before you arrive to tell them that you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19. This will allow your provider's staff to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.
If you are having a medical emergency, please call 911 and notify the dispatch agent that your emergency is related to possible COVID-19-related symptoms.
|What should I do if I have traveled to an area with the infection and feel sick?
If you have had exposure to a known case or traveled to a country with community spread and developed a fever or respiratory symptoms, please isolate yourself at home from others and contact the Kentucky Department for Public Health at (502) 564-3261 or the local health department before seeking medical care. If you need immediate medical care, contact your healthcare provider to describe your symptoms and any recent travels before you go to the healthcare facility.
How do I get tested for COVID-19?
At this time, tests for COVID-19 require a provider order. Visiting a provider does not necessarily mean you need testing or that you will receive testing. Your provider will work with the Woodford County Health Department to follow all appropriate guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kentucky Department for Public Health to determine if testing is recommended based on your symptoms and recent travel history.
What are the qualifications for being tested for COVID-19?
Someone may be a candidate for testing if he or she has:
Can I pick up or buy a test kit for COVID-19?
No. At this time, tests for COVID-19 require a provider order and are not commercially available to the public.
What do I do if I’ve been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19? I want to be tested.
If you have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should self-monitor for fever or symptoms of respiratory illness for 14 days. If you begin to experience fever or symptoms of respiratory illness, and they are mild enough that you can manage them at home, you should remain at home in isolation. For details about how to correctly perform home isolation, tips for managing your illness at home with family members, and guidance on when you can discontinue home isolation, please visit the CDC’s website (link to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html)
If you are not experiencing symptoms, or you are experiencing mild symptoms you can manage at home in isolation, you do not need to seek medical care or testing.
I believe I have symptoms of COVID-19. What do I do next?
I’m experiencing mild symptoms right now, but I’m worried.
If you are experiencing fever and/or mild symptoms of respiratory illness, you can and should isolate at home during illness. For details about how to correctly perform home isolation, tips for managing your illness at home with family members, and guidance on when you can discontinue home isolation, please visit the CDC’s website (link to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html)
Should I get tested? Isolating yourself at home and self-monitoring mild symptoms is the best course of action unless you feel you need medical care.
Worsening symptoms – I need to see my provider.
Be alert to any changing symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if your symptoms are getting worse. If you feel you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead before you arrive to tell them you’re experiencing symptoms that may be related to COVID-19. This will allow your provider’s office staff to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.
Will I be tested? Your provider will make this determination based on your symptoms, and recent travel history. You may or may not be tested, but your provider will follow all appropriate CDC and Kentucky Department for Public Health guidelines.
Emergent symptoms – I am having difficulty breathing.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1 and notify the dispatch agent that your emergency is related to possible COVID-19 symptoms.
Will I be tested? Your emergency medicine provider will make this determination based on your symptoms and recent travel history. You may or may not be tested, but your provider will follow all appropriate CDC and Kentucky Department for Public Health guidelines.
|How can I protect myself?||While there is currently no vaccine and no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus and those with the virus can seek medical care to relieve symptoms. There are simple, everyday actions you can take to help prevent spreading germs that cause respiratory viruses. These include:
If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:
While we have not treated any patients with this virus at our hospital to date, Bluegrass Community Hospital has taken the following measures to prepare, in accordance with CDC guidelines:
- Patients in the Emergency Department and inpatient units are screened based on their recent travel history.
- Personal protective equipment is available, including face masks and eye protection, for example.
- Hand hygiene products are easily accessible throughout the facility.
Importantly, all of the above are standard operating protocols that are in place year-round to help ensure the health and well-being of everyone who enters our hospital.
BGCH follows guidance from our local health department, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding precautions and testing. We recommend the public continue to follow these trusted sources for the latest information.We want to assure our community that our providers and clinical teams are well-trained and prepared to manage outbreaks of viruses and infectious diseases, including the coronavirus. For more information on the virus, please contact the health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov.
A complete list of frequently asked questions and answers about COVID-19 is available on the CDC website, by clicking here.
Supporting Efforts to Keep Our Community Healthy
Our community – along with communities around the world – is navigating unprecedented challenges as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread. The cycle of our lives and neighborhoods has been altered, and we are all working to accommodate an ever-changing new normal. Fear and uncertainty complicate our collective abilities to do this.
Bluegrass Community Hospital is dedicated to helping everyone in our region navigate the COVID-19 environment in which we are all living right now. We have received many questions from our patients, partners and neighbors about how people can assist our efforts to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible.
Here are some important actions everyone can take:
- Stay home. In times of trouble, our first instinct is to reach out – to come together and help one another. That’s why so many people are struggling with the best and most crucial advice healthcare experts are giving: stay at home and keep your distance from friends, neighbors, and even family. But we all must listen to and follow this advice. People’s lives depend on it – especially our healthcare workers and those who are over 60 or already live with underlying health conditions.
We encourage everyone to stay in your own home as much as possible. Only go out if you have to, and choose a time to go to the grocery or pharmacy when it’s not crowded. If you see other people, try to stay at least six feet away from them, and don’t touch them. No handshakes, hug, or kisses. Remember: a lot of people who are carrying this virus won’t show any symptoms. So, the surest way to avoid catching it is to maintain social distance and cancel all gatherings, even small ones.
- Follow medical guidance. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, we recommend that you self-monitor for fever or symptoms of respiratory illness for 14 days. If you begin to experience fever or symptoms of respiratory illness, and they are mild enough that you can manage them at home, you should remain at home in isolation.
Be alert to any changing symptoms and seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen. If you feel you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead before you arrive to tell them you’re experiencing symptoms that may be related to COVID-19. This will allow your provider’s office staff to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1 and notify the dispatch agent that your emergency is related to possible COVID-19 symptoms.
- Donate medical and protective equipment and supplies. Hospitals across our nation are bracing for shortages of medical and protective equipment and supplies such as disposable masks, gowns, gloves and shoe covers. These are essential in protecting our staff on the front lines of caring for patients. Bluegrass Community Hospital is accepting donations of unused and unopened medical and protective supplies and equipment. The hospital can accept the following unused and unopened medical and protective supplies and equipment:
- Disposable face masks including surgical masks and ear-loop masks
- Respirator masks rated N95 or higher
- Cloth face coverings for approved visitors and outpatient appointments (Click here to see how to make, wear, and clean cloth face coverings.)
- Face shields and googles designed to protect eyes
- Disposable gowns such as medical/dental gowns as well as impervious or isolation gowns
- Disposable non-latex gloves
- Disposable surgical caps
- Disposable foot covers
- Antimicrobial wipes
- Hand sanitizer
At this time, Bluegrass Community Hospital cannot accept medical devices, medications or linens. If you have supplies and equipment such as these, please consider donating them to Bluegrass Community Hospital. Those with unused supplies and equipment to donate may contact Administration at 859-879-2305 to arrange delivery.
- Donate blood. In addition to potential supply shortages, healthcare providers are preparing for blood shortages. Many communities have had to cancel blood drives due to COVID-19, so blood in many regions is in short supply. Donating blood is a safe process, and you can help out by calling 800-775-2522 or visiting kybloodcenter.org to find a donation location near you.
Bluegrass Community Hospital is grateful for our community’s ongoing support and cooperation as we work to protect local families from the spread of COVID-19. We appreciate all that you do and will continue to provide information on what we know about the virus and how you can help us keep our region healthy.