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. We have received several inquiries regarding our preparedness for screening patients and treating any potential cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) or other infectious diseases in our community. Please know, we regularly treat patients with infectious diseases and have comprehensive protocols and resources to ensure we are able to do so with the highest regard to health and safety.
We continue to actively monitor the outbreak of this virus and are working closely with the Tom Green County Health Department, the Texas Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prepare for the possibility of community transmission of COVID-19.
We will share information from our partners and also encourage you to check the CDC website for the latest news and updates.
Shannon COVID-19 hotline
This number is available from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Individuals with questions regarding screening or testing for COVID-19 can call and get connected 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
Beginning Wednesday, October 21, Shannon will be relocating its COVID testing site. It will now offer COVID testing at 2 locations:
Shannon Urgent Care West, 4251 Sunset Drive
Shannon Urgent Care North, 2626 N. Bryant
COVID testing will be available as a drive-thru service at each of these locations. 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.
Testing will be available at these locations 7 days a week from 7 am to 7 pm. No appointment is needed.
This site enables patients to drive up and 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.
No appointment is needed, and 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.
To help you determine if you need to be screened or tested, use this self-checker tool from the CDC.
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.
- Following state guidelines, no visitors are allowed within Shannon’s Skilled Nursing or Behavioral Health units at this time.
- 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.
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.
How to make a mask
The CDC and our local Health Department have issued recommendations that all individuals wear a mask in public settings to further limit the spread and exposure of COVID-19.
Below are links to videos that show how to make a simple mask from materials at home:
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.
Temporary changes in services
To best protect our patients and staff at this time, Shannon has temporarily changed operations and services at some of our locations.
Shannon Women's Fitness Center
As of Wednesday, March 18, the Shannon's Women's Fitness Center will be closed until further notice. This decision was made to reduce risk to our staff and members. We will notify all members as soon as we are able to re-open.
Shannon Clinic Lab Sites
Beginning, April 1, these Shannon Clinic lab sites will be open to assist patients. Patients may visit any of these lab locations to have their labs drawn.
For more information, call (325) 481-2050.
- Southwest Clinic: 7 am to 5 pm, Monday-Friday
- North Clinic: 7 am to 5 pm, Monday-Thursday. 7 am to Noon, Friday
- Beauregard Clinic: 7 am to 5 pm, Monday-Friday
- Harris Clinic: 7 am to 5 pm, Monday-Friday
- Urgent Care South: 7 am to Noon, Monday-Friday
- Urgent Care West: 7 am to Noon, Monday-Friday
- Regional Heart Center (Magdalen): - 7 am to 4 pm, Monday-Thursday; 7 am to Noon, Friday
- Shannon Oncology Center (Magdalen): 8 am to 5 pm, Monday-Friday **Oncology Patients Only
- Pediatric Clinic: 9 am to 5 pm, Monday-Friday
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. Currently, we have a need for the following items:
- Disposable Flat/Procedure Masks
- N-95 Respirator Masks
- Disinfectant Wipes – Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide or Super Sani-Cloth
- Foam Hand Sanitizer
- Medium and Large Disposable Gloves
- Shoe Covers
- Disposable Gowns
- Disposable Stethoscopes
All items should be in original, unopened packaging.
COVID-19 frequently asked questions
Q: What is the difference between a COVID-19 screening and a test?
A: 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.
Q: What is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A: 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.
Q: How does COVID-19 spread?
A: 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).
Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
A: 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
Q: How can I protect myself and my family from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A: There is currently no vaccine to COVID-19 and 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.
Q: When should I seek emergency care if I am having symptoms of COVID-19?
A: 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.
Q: When is quarantine necessary with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A: Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of a communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.
Q: Am I at risk of contracting coronavirus if I come to visit the hospital or become a patient?
A: 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.
Q: What are the different types of testing for COVID-19?
A: This podcast from the Medical Director of the Austin-Travis County EMS System explains the different types of COVID-19 testing along with when someone should go into quarantine and how long people remain infectious to others. Listen here.
For more information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit www.cdc.gov.
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