Coronavirus COVID-19 Information

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, which can cause the common cold to serious respiratory illness.   The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, China.  

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of COVID-19 include – cough, fever, shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.  

How can coronavirus spread?

Human coronaviruses spread just like the flu or a cold:

  • Through the air by coughing or sneezing;
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it;
  • Occasionally, fecal contamination.  

You can help protect yourself and others from transmission of the coronavirus using the following measures:

  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, do not use your hands!
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, and other frequently touched items.
  • WASH your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Contain: if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.  

When should I see a doctor?

  • If you are currently having mild respiratory symptoms such as fever, and/or cough or shortness of breath, have traveled or have had contact with a person who has a confirmed case of coronavirus in the last 14 days please contact your primary care physician (PCP) office by phone.  The physician office staff will help assess your condition and will be able to recommend next steps.
  • Patients with a non-Heritage Valley Multispecialty group provider can now be tested for COVID-19. These patients should call one of our ConvenientCare sites near them to be evaluated for a COVID-19 testing. The provider at ConvenientCare will do a telephone/telehealth visit with the patient and determine if testing is indicated.  

    ConvenientCare Phone Numbers 
    -    Calcutta: 724-773-1995
    -    Chippewa: 724-770-7999
    -    Ellwood City: 724-773-4681, option 1
    -    Robinson Twp: 724-773-8950
  • If you do not have a PCP, please call one of our ConvenientCare locations. The office staff will help assess your condition and will be able to recommend next steps.  Please do not come to the ConvenientCare with the above symptoms unless directed to do so by the staff
  • You can also contact the PA Department of Health at 1-877-724-3258 or reference information from the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/)

When should I go to the emergency room?

Go to the emergency room if you feel severely ill and need immediate medical care. Emergency warning signs include, but are not limited to:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face    

How and where do I get tested?

After speaking with a physician, he or she will discuss your case with the Department of Health (DOH) if you are at high risk for COVID-19.  If DOH determines that you should be tested based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you will be given further instructions on where to receive testing.  

To better serve the community during this coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Heritage Valley Health System is offering COVID-19 drive-through testing at two locations.

Testing will only be available for patients who have an authorized order from their Heritage Valley provider in advance of arriving at the testing site. For more information on Heritage Valley's COVID-19 Testing efforts in the community, click here

Who is most susceptible to COVID-19?

The CDC has not yet identified any factors that would increase an individual’s risk of acquiring COVID-19. However, elderly, those with chronic medical problems or people with compromised immunity (i.e., recent surgeries, cancer, etc.) are at higher risk of complications if infected with COVID-19.  

Is there a treatment?

Currently, there is no antiviral treatment for COVID-19. Those diagnosed with COVID-19 are provided with care to help relieve symptoms.  

When will a vaccine be available?

No vaccine is currently available. Estimates range between 6-18 months.   The following websites provide additional information about the coronavirus pandemic: