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COVID-19 information

COVID-19 Vaccine

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

844-6-SHANNON (844-674-2666)
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 testing

Testing for Patients Experiencing Symptoms or Suspected Exposure

Shannon offer drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the following locations:

  • Shannon Urgent Care West - 4251 Sunset Drive - 325.481.2226

Shannon offers COVID-19 testing (with an office visit) at the following locations:

  • Shannon Clinic North - 2626 N. Bryant - 325.481.2271
  • Shannon Urgent Care South - 3502 Knickerbocker Road - 325.481.2222

Testing is conducted inside these 3 locations. Appointments are not required but are recommended. You may call ahead and let our staff know you are coming for a COVID visit.

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.

Elective COVID-19 Testing for Travel

Many destinations have COVID-19 restrictions that require a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of travel to exempt the traveler from a mandatory quarantine. Shannon provides elective PCR COVID-19 testing for travel for a fee of $200. Testing is available Monday-Thursday from 7 am to 7 pm, and Friday from 7 am to Noon at the following locations:

  • Shannon Urgent Care West - 4251 Sunset Drive - 325.481.2226
  • Shannon Clinic North - 2626 N. Bryant - 325.481.2271
  • Shannon Urgent Care South - 3502 Knickerbocker Road - 325.481.2222

Results should be available within 24 to 48 hours in the Shannon MyChart patient portal. To sign up for a MyChart account, go to https://mychart.shannonhealth.org/mychart/signup.

For more information about screening or testing, call 844-6-SHANNON (844-674-2666).


COVID-19 Vaccine

Shannon is giving the vaccine to any individual age 12+.

The Shannon Vaccine Clinic is located at the Shannon South Hospital facility at 3501 Knickerbocker Rd. The vaccine clinic is on the first floor and the entrance is marked on the east side of the building. Clinic hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Appointment slots are available for those who wish to pick a designated time. Walk-in appointments are also welcome.

To sign-up for a vaccine appointment, click here to register online. You can also call our Shannon COVID-19 Hotline at 844-6-SHANNON (844-674-2666).

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 ages 12 and up.

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.


Letter Releasing Patient from Quarantine

The Shannon COVID Vaccine Clinic can provide quarantine release letters for patients. Patients requiring a release letter will be required to COME INTO THE VACCINE CLINIC located at Shannon South (3501 Knickerbocker). Hours of operation are 7am – 4pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; and 7am – 7pm on Tuesdays.

Patients must meet the following CDC’s criteria to be released. Those who meet the criteria will receive a hard copy of the letter and it will be available in their Shannon MyChart account.

CRITERIA TO RELEASE POSITIVE CASES AND CLOSE CONTACTS

COVID Positive Case with Symptoms:

  • Patient should be released 10 days from symptom onset AND
  • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving

COVID Positive Case without Symptoms:

  • Patient should be released 10 days from positive test

Close Contact – NOT VACCINATED OR HAS NOT HAD COVID-19 IN THE LAST 90 DAYS:

  • Patient may be release 14 days after LAST exposure to positive person

Close Contact – FULLY VACCINATED OR HAD COVID-19 IN THE LAST 90 DAYS:

  • Patient does not need to quarantine if they have no symptoms

COVID Positive Case with Severe Illness or Severely Weakened Immune System:

  • Patient may require isolation for up to 20 days from symptom onset and testing to determine if they can be around others. These people should work with their PCP to determine when it is safe to be released from quarantine.

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

Two visitors per patient will be allowed at one time within our inpatient facilities. This applies to the Acute Care units, Women’s & Children’s Hospital and Surgical Services.

  • 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 10 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 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.

Mask Requirement for Patients and Visitors

Following rules from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 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:

  • 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.

Click this link to watch the video: https://youtu.be/W6HEZsEQ4g4

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.


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:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • 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.

CDC guidance:

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.

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