Tower Health COVID-19 Public Information Center
The arrival of COVID-19 in our region has prompted many questions from patients and the public. Tower Health has designed these pages to connect you with reliable information from our experts, as well as local, state, and federal health officials. Here you can learn about how Tower Health is responding to COVID-19, and find links to useful resources and information that will help you prepare as well.
A Message from Our President and CEO
An Important COVID-19 Message from Tower Health President and CEO Clint Matthews
How Tower Health is Preparing for COVID-19
All Tower Health facilities have infection prevention and response protocols in place allowing us to act quickly and safely. Our Infection Prevention teams across the system are working around the clock to provide the latest information to our physicians, employees, patients, and visitors to keep them aware, educated, and safe. Tower Health follows guidelines set forth by both the federal government and the Pennsylvania Department of Health for the appropriate evaluation, testing, and care of patients with suspected cases of COVID-19. Additionally, our facilities are taking all proper precautions to help prevent the spread of the virus and educating our patients, employees, and communities to do the same.
How You Can Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
- Frequent hand washing with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are an alternative.
- Proper hygiene, including coughing into a tissue or your elbow.
- Disinfection of surfaces with any commercially available disinfectant such as Lysol.
- Minimizing touching your face.
- Avoiding contact with infected individuals and avoiding large crowds.
- Follow your local government's recommendations to stay at home as much as possible.
What To Do If You Feel Ill
Most COVID-19 infections will be mild and will not require any medical intervention. As with any infectious respiratory disease, such as the flu, if you are ill you should avoid contact with others until your symptoms have resolved. If you are experiencing the typical COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), have traveled internationally in the last 14 days, or believe you have been exposed to an individual with COVID-19, please stay home and contact either your physician or a local urgent care provider. Phone or digital contact is a preferred first step because it allows care providers to properly advise you and to prepare for your arrival to the care setting, if necessary. Tower Health caregivers are assessing patients through a series of key questions to determine risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Where to Get Tested
Tower Health Urgent Care now offers five locations dedicated exclusively to COVID-19 assessment and screening. These sites have been established to provide simple access to testing while keeping those with respiratory illness out of the hospitals and physician offices. The five locations are:
- 10050 Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19116 (Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
- 215 Lancaster Avenue, Malvern, PA 19355 (Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
- 1050 East Philadelphia Avenue, Gilbertsville, PA 19525 (Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
- 580 West Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA, 19462 (Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. beginning 8/8/2020)
- 1212 Liggett Avenue, Reading, PA, 19611 (Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. beginning 8/8/2020)
If you feel you need to be tested, we still encourage you to be first be screened by your physician and get a prescription for testing prior to visiting one of these five locations to determine if additional screening is recommended. Patients who have a prescription from their physician will bypass the initial assessment at the urgent care site. Patients may also come to the urgent care sites without a prescription from their doctor but will be subject to the required assessment by the urgent care staff to determine if testing is appropriate.
These sites are focused exclusively on assessing patients with symptoms of respiratory infection. Individuals who present to these locations with symptoms unrelated to respiratory illness will be directed to another THUC location, or other healthcare provider, for treatment depending on the patient’s need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about COVID-19:
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus refers to a family of seven viruses that cause illness in animals and sometimes humans. The most common coronaviruses cause mild illness like the common cold. Sometimes coronaviruses that infect animals can evolve and become a new human coronavirus. This is what has happened with COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an abbreviation for “Coronavirus Disease 2019,” the official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak. A “novel” coronavirus means it is new and has not been previously identified.
Is COVID-19 the same as common Coronaviruses?
COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that had not been previously identified. The virus causing COVID-19 is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and usually cause mild illness.
What are the symptoms caused by COVID-19?
- cough, and
- shortness of breath.
Most cases are mild, but sometimes may progress to pneumonia or bronchitis. People most at risk for a more serious illness are the elderly or those with weakened immune systems.
What is the treatment for COVID-19?
Most COVID-19 infections are mild and require no more than bed rest and fluids until recovery. As with other infectious diseases, more serious cases can involve hospitalization. There is currently no specific treatment for COVID-19.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
No. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
What are the risk factors for COVID-19 virus?
- Close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case
- Any international travel within 14 days
- Domestic travel to highly affected areas, especially for persons who attended a mass gathering (e.g. a conference)
- Age>50 years, the elderly, immune-compromised, or individuals with other chronic health conditions can be at higher risk for more severe illness.
- Residing in a congregate setting (e.g. long-term care facility, shelter, group home)
- Being a healthcare worker
- Having a progressive acute respiratory illness with no apparent cause
What can be done to prevent COVID-19 infection?
The best defense against COVID-19 is the same as with other infectious respiratory diseases:
- Use proper respiratory hygiene: cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading a virus to others. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Use routine disinfection protocols to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Avoid large crowds.
If you feel ill, seek guidance from your healthcare provider.
What are health authorities doing about COVID-19?
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) continue to provide updated information on the rapidly evolving situation as it becomes available. The Tower Health Infection Prevention team receives regular updates from the CDC and the PA DOH and communicates changes as the situation changes.
Where in the United States have there been reported cases of COVID-19?
Cases have been identified across the United States. The PA Department of Health monitors and reports on cases on its web site. The CDC reports confirmed cases of COVID-19 on its website. Check here for the latest information.
What should I do if I think I have been exposed to and/or display symptoms of COVID-19?
If you are experiencing the typical COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), or believe you have been exposed to an individual with COVID-19, please stay home and contact either your physician or a local urgent care provider. Phone or digital contact is a preferred first step because it allows care providers to properly advise you and to prepare for your arrival to the care setting, if necessary. Tower Health caregivers are assessing patients through a series of key questions to determine risk of exposure to COVID-19. We report any suspected cases to the PA Department of Health, which then authorizes testing.
Can Tower Health facilities test for COVID-19?
Yes. Tower Health Urgent Care has established six locations dedicated to the assessment and screening of COVID-19 patients. See above for more information.
To view a complete list of frequently asked questions with up-to-date answers from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, click here.
Additional Information & Resources