The health and well-being of our patients, visitors, healthcare providers and staff at Shannon is our main priority as we provide a safe environment and the very best care for our patients. As we have updates regarding COVID-19 care in our community, we will update the information below.
Shannon COVID-19 hotline
This number is available from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Individuals with questions regarding testing or the vaccine for COVID-19 can call and connect to a clinical provider who can answer questions and direct them to next steps. This line can also answer questions about other services at Shannon during this time.
COVID-19 drive-thru screening and testing
Shannon offers COVID-19 testing at the following locations:
- Shannon Urgent Care West, 4251 Sunset Drive
- Shannon Urgent Care North, 2626 N. Bryant
Testing will be available at these locations 7 days a week from 7 am to 7 pm. No appointment is needed.
Patients will enter the parking lot and proceed to the designated COVID testing starting point. Patients will first stop at an intercom and will be asked for registration information and receive additional instructions. This site enables patients to be evaluated in their vehicle by a medical provider. If the provider determines the patient may have COVID-19, according to the criteria set by the CDC, the patient will then be tested on site. Personnel will collect the necessary samples for the test. The patient will then receive instructions regarding self-quarantine and next steps they must take until test results are returned.
There is no cost to the patient for the test. Shannon is not collecting any money at our testing sites - we are only collecting patient contact and insurance information, similar to any doctor visit.
Your test result will be posted in your Shannon MyChart account. You will also receive a letter, but you may be able to see your MyChart results more quickly. To sign up for a MyChart account visit https://mychart.shannonhealth.org/mychart/signup. You will receive information in your packet from the testing site that will give you instructions on what to do depending on whether your result is positive or negative. If your result is positive, the local Health Department will contact you.
Shannon is following guidelines from the Texas DSHS and CDC regarding vaccine distribution for individuals in Phase 1A and Phase 1B. Phase 1A includes healthcare workers who have potential for direct or indirect exposure to infections, first responders and long term care facility residents. We are also working to identify individuals in Phase 1B. This includes:
- individuals age 65+
- individuals with at least one of the following health conditions
- chronic kidney disease
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies, solid organ transplantation
- obesity and severe obesity
- sickle cell disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
Shannon is scheduling vaccinations by appointment only for individuals in these groups as we have supply available. Our current waiting list is much longer than our current supply of vaccine. If you have called to be placed on this list, you will remain on the list until we have vaccine available and can call you to schedule your vaccine.
How to Sign Up for a Vaccine Appointment
If you meet the criteria for Phase 1A or Phase 1B and would like to sign-up for our vaccine appointment list, please call our Shannon COVID-19 Hotline at 844-6-SHANNON (844-674-2666). They will collect your name, date of birth and phone number so that someone may add you to the Vaccine Appointment List and call you as we have an available appointment time.
COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
Dr. Doug Schultz, Chief Medical Officer at Shannon Clinic, provides general information about the vaccines and addresses some of the myths and questions surrounding them. Click here to learn more in this video interview.
Is the vaccine mandatory?
No, the vaccine is optional and is being administered under an FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). At this time, the vaccine is only going to be administered if you voluntarily want to receive it. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is another way to protect yourself and others from getting and spreading COVID-19.
Will the vaccine cost me anything?
The government will be providing the vaccines for free. Your health insurance information will be obtained at registration for the vaccine to cover the administration fee for the vaccine. You will not have a co-pay or have to pay anything out of your own pocket
How can I get the vaccine?
Shannon is following guidelines from the Texas DSHS and CDC regarding vaccine distribution. Currently we are giving vaccine to individuals in Phase 1A and 1B. Phase 1A includes healthcare workers who have potential for direct or indirect exposure to infections, first resonders and long term care facility residents. We are also working to identify individuals in Phase 1B. This includes individuals age 65+ and other indivdiuals with certain health conditions. For information on this criteria, click here. We will add new eligibility information as we receive guidance from the State and CDC.
How do I know whether the COVID-19 vaccine is safe?
Safety is a top priority while federal partners work to make COVID-19 vaccines available. The new COVID-19 vaccines have been evaluated in tens of thousands of volunteers during clinical trials. The vaccines are only authorized for use if they are found to be safe. Even though they found no safety issues during the clinical trials, CDC and other federal partners will continue to monitor the new vaccines. They watch out for serious side effects (or “adverse events”) using vaccine safety monitoring systems, like the new V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker app. For the most up-to-date information, see the Vaccine Safety section of the CDC website. To learn about CDC’s new vaccine safety monitoring system, see the V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker section of the CDC website.
Will this vaccine protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?
Like the influenza vaccine, the COVID19 vaccine will either protect you from getting the virus, or if you get the virus, it will likely lessen severe. For the two-dose vaccines, the process of getting fully vaccinated takes over a month in total. You will get full protection from the vaccine usually 1–2 weeks after getting your second dose. Talk to a healthcare provider to get information specific to your COVID-19 vaccine. Early Phase 3 results of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine suggest a 95% reduction in risk of contracting the virus once fully vaccinated.
Will the vaccine make me sick or give me COVID-19?
No. COVID-19 vaccines do not use the live virus and cannot give you COVID-19. The vaccine does not alter your DNA. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an immune response without having to experience sickness. To learn about COVID-19 vaccines, visit the Different COVID-19 Vaccines section of the CDC website.
You might experience some minor side effects from the vaccine, like what you might experience with any vaccine. The most common side effects are a local reaction such as redness and soreness at the injection site, but those side effects should not interfere with daily activities, including reporting to work. These side effects should resolve within 24-48 hours. Some people may report a low-grade fever, mild headache, fatigue after vaccination. Most of these side effects were experienced in about 60% of people aged 55 and under after the first dose, and 65%-70% of people aged 55 and under after the second dose. Again, these side effects should not interfere with daily activities, including reporting to work. These side effects should resolve within 24-48 hours. It is important to know that cough, shortness of breath, high fever, and loss of taste or smell are not side effects associated with receiving the vaccine. If you experience these after receiving the vaccine, you will need to be tested for COVID-19 because it is likely that you encountered COVID-19 prior to developing an immune response to the vaccine.
Who should not get the vaccine?
You should consult your primary care physician about this question. Unless you have a known allergy to the contents of the vaccine (located on the EUA Fact Sheet) or have had a severe reaction from receiving another type of vaccine in the past, you are OK to receive the vaccine as severe allergic reactions are not common.
Once I have received the vaccine, do I still have to wear a mask?
Yes. The vaccine is another form of protection along with masks, social distancing and hand hygiene. Experts are still learning about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions. The vaccine is not expected to be 100% effective. At this time, CDC recommends that everyone continue to use all the tools to protect ourselves and others from getting and spreading the virus. Wear a mask or cloth face covering whenever you are out in public or when around people who don’t live in your household. These masks or face coverings help when you can’t avoid being in the same space as others. Wearing a mask or cloth face covering does not mean you don’t need to stay a safe distance from others. Social distancing, or staying at least 6 feet apart from others, is still necessary to keep you and others safe. So, once you get vaccinated, keep wearing your mask, washing your hands and staying six feet from others until you hear differently from CDC and DSHS.
Do I need to get vaccinated if I’ve already recovered from COVID-19?
Yes. Immunity from the COVID-19 vaccine may last longer than the natural immunity you get if you’ve already had COVID-19.
Free virtual COVID-19 screenings
Shannon is providing Concho Valley residents free online coronavirus screenings through its telehealth program, Shannon On Demand. The service is for people who are worried they may have been exposed to the virus, and are suffering from mild to moderate flu-like symptoms.
Shannon On Demand provides a virtual visit with a healthcare provider through a mobile device or computer. Patients are able to talk face-to-face with the provider through a video chat for evaluation of their symptoms. The service is available online 24/7. The providers are utilizing the CDC’s guidelines to screen patients for COVID-19, which include asking about a patient's travel history and exposure to the virus as well as their symptoms.
If the Shannon On Demand provider determines a patient should receive further evaluation for COVID-19 testing, they will immediately connect them to a local urgent care clinic or emergency department for additional testing and coordination with state and local health authorities. If they determine a patient needs emergency care, they will contact 9-1-1 and notify the closest hospital.
To start a screening, patients can go to www.ShannonOnDemand.com. To utilize the service on a mobile device, download the free Shannon On Demand app from the Apple or Google Play app stores. Patients then must create an account by following the prompts to set up their screening. Upon reaching the payment screen, enter the code SHANNONCOVID19 and the screening will be free.
Temporary visitation policy
The containment of COVID-19 and the care for our patients remains our highest priority. To maintain safety for all, while also supporting the needs of our patients, we have revised visitation restrictions within our hospital facilities.
One designated essential visitor will be allowed with each patient in the Emergency Department.
- Designated visitors must remain with the patient and in the patient’s room while in the Emergency Department. Each visitor will need to bring a mask to the hospital and wear it at all times while in the Emergency Department. Those that are not designated visitors are asked to wait outside the hospital and not to congregate or wait in the patient lobbies or waiting rooms
One designated primary essential visitor and one alternate designed essential visitor will be allowed within our inpatient facilities. Only one designated essential visitor will be allowed in the room at a time. This applies to the Acute Care units, Women’s & Children’s Hospital and Surgical Services.
- Designated visitors will be screened upon entry to the facility. Any visitor screening positive for the symptoms of fever, cough or flu-like symptoms will not be allowed to enter the facility.
- Visitors are asked to bring a mask to the hospital and should wear it in common areas or while providers and staff are present in the patient’s room.
- No visitors under age 18 allowed at this time.
- Based on HHSC guidelines, limited visitation is allowed at Shannon's Skilled Nursing Unit. Visits must be scheduled in advance. Please contact the SNF Administration at 325.659.7427 for scheduling or more information.
- Following state guidelines, no visitors are allowed within Shannon’s Behavioral Health unit at this time.
Patients at end-of-life may have a very limited number of visitors who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit. This will be coordinated with the family by the patient’s care team.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding to help prevent the potential spread of illness during this time.
For patients at Shannon Clinic:
- In order to meet patient needs and maintain a safe environment, we are screening all patients and visitors upon entrance to our clinics. All patients are asked to wear a mask. We are also limiting visitors at our clinic locations.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we implement these safeguards to protect our patients, caregivers, visitors and staff and help prevent the potential spread of illness during this time.
Shannon is continuing elective procedures at this time. The mandate by Governor Abbott includes the provision that hospitals may continue procedures if they have adequate capacity of PPE and beds for treating COVID patients. Shannon still has adequate capacity of both to safely perform procedures. If this changes, we will contact you to discuss rescheduling your procedure. We continue to take extra measures to ensure patients are able to get the care they need in a safe environment. Please let us know if there are any questions or concerns that we may help with. If you have a question about your procedure, please contact your provider's office.
Mask Requirement for Patients and Visitors
Following rules from the Texas Medical Board and the Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality (CIHQ), all patients and visitors to any Shannon location are required to wear a mask. To ensure we have adequate supply of masks to serve all of our patients, we ask that you bring your personal mask to your appointment. All Shannon providers and staff will also be wearing masks in all public and patient areas. Thank you for your help in ensuring a safe environment for all of our patients and staff.
Safety Precautions for our Patients
Your health and well-being is our top priority, and we are taking numerous measures to provide a safe environment for all of our patients. Healthcare needs should not be put on hold – whether you have a chronic illness, are due for a screening or test, need a surgical procedure, or just an urgent care visit, you can be assured that our entire team is committed to providing you with exceptional care while keeping you safe.
Several additional safety measures have been put in place to make sure our facilities are the safest environment for all of our patients:
- We are screening all of our Associates and Providers daily to ensure they are well.
- Before any patients or visitors enter the clinic, they are screened at the door. A trained Associate will greet you, take your temperature and ask you a series of questions at the door. If a temperature is detected or answers require additional follow-up, we will make sure to take special measures to keep that patient isolated from everyone else.
- All of our staff are wearing masks, from the receptionists at the front desk, to our clinical staff and providers. All patients and visitors are also required to wear a mask while in our facilities.
- There are multiple hand washing and sanitizing stations set up throughout the clinic. We encourage patients and visitors to utilize these as often as necessary.
- We have implemented social distancing guidelines in all of our registration areas and lobbies. You may see lines on the floor to help you maintain a 6 foot distance from the person in front of you.
- We have limited the seating in the waiting areas to ensure you are a safe distance from other patients. We also ask our clinic patients to limit visitors accompanying them to just 1 if possible, so we are able to maintain distancing in our waiting areas and help eliminate exposure as much as we can.
- We have been cleaning both the lobbies and exam rooms more frequently. Exam rooms are thoroughly wiped down and cleaned before and after your visit.
- Some of our departments may have additional guidelines. If you have a specific question before your visit, we encourage you to contact your provider's office.
Your safety is our number one priority. We look forward to seeing you and thank you for letting us care for you.
How to use a Pulse Oximeter at Home
Some patients are asked to use a Pulse Oximeter at home to help monitor their oxygen saturation levels. The video below describes how to use this device.
Donation of Plasma
Vitalant, the local blood donation facility, is collecting plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19. Call "convalescent plasma," it contains antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which can be given to patients currently fighting COVID-19.
To be eligible, you must have:
- A prior laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19, either by a positive swab test OR a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies requested by your health care provider
- Complete resolution of symptoms for at least 28 days
- All other donor eligibility for an automated plasma donation
To learn more about this process and to apply to donate plasma, visit the Vitalant website at https://www.vitalant.org/covidfree.
Donations of supplies and equipment
Shannon Medical Center has received numerous inquiries from individuals and organizations in the community on how they can help our front-line staff during this time. We sincerely appreciate this support. If you would like to donate items or inquire about other ways you may help during this time, please contact our Development Office at 325.657.8343 or email SuziReynolds@shannonhealth.org.
COVID-19 frequently asked questions
What is the difference between a COVID-19 screening and a test?
A screening for COVID is really an assessment of a patient who is experiencing flu-like symptoms and worried they may have been exposed to the virus. A provider will look at the patient’s symptoms and discuss their exposure to determine if they have potentially contracted the virus. If the patient meets the criteria mandated by the CDC, then we issue an order for the patient to be tested. Not everyone who is screened needs to be tested, and the decision is based upon the CDC criteria. To learn more, visit the CDC website.
What is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, cause by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not been previously seen in humans, which was first identified in Wuhan, China, in 2019.
How does COVID-19 spread?
Current understanding about how the novel coronavirus spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. The virus is spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after expsoure to the virus. According to the CDC, people with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain or body aches
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
How can I protect myself and my family from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
While distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine has started, it will take time to be able to offer it to all individuals. The best way to prevent the illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. However, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of illness, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 40-60 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touch objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
When should I seek emergency care if I am having symptoms of COVID-19?
Unless you are experiencing an immediate or life-threatening condition, there is no need to seek emergency care without first contacting your primary healthcare provider.
What are the guidelines for quarantine and isolation for COVID-19?
Below is the latest guidance (updated 12-2-20) from the CDC regarding quarantine and isolation, shared from the Tom Green County Health Department:
Stay home if you might have been exposed to COVID-19
Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health and follow directions from their state or local health department.
Local public health authorities make the final decisions regarding how long quarantine should last based on local conditions and needs in the communities they serve. Follow the recommendations of your local public health department if you need to quarantine.
While the CDC still recommends people who have close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive to quarantine for 14 days, Tom Green County Local Health Authority Dr. James Vretis announced on Dec. 3 that, based off new guidance from the CDC on options to reduce the length of quarantine, that we would change our 14-day quarantine requirement to 10 days in some instances. Effective immediately, people who are quarantined and have had no symptoms can be released from quarantine after 10 days without testing via this form.
Am I at risk of contracting coronavirus if I come to visit the hospital or become a patient?
We regularly treat patients with infectious diseases and have comprehensive protocols and supplies to ensure we are able to do so with the highest regard to the safety and protection of our patients, visitors, healthcare providers and staff. If a patient is admitted to Shannon under investigation for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), that patient will be cared for according our protocols for dealing with infectious diseases, including treatment in isolated areas in compliance with CDC guidelines.
For more information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit www.cdc.gov.