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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Is Tampa General Hospital prepared?

Yes. We regularly treat patients with infectious diseases and complex illnesses and have rigorous infection-prevention protocols. Our infectious disease specialists are highly trained, in continual contact with local, state and federal public health officials and closely monitoring developments.

What is Tampa General Hospital doing to protect patients?

We are screening all patients for symptoms and travel history. Those meeting the CDC's criteria are recommended for a COVID-19 test. For patients being tested or confirmed with novel coronavirus, we adhere to rigorous CDC and public health protocols designed to prevent transmission.

Should I keep my medical appointment?

Yes. Patients face no additional risk in our hospitals and clinics. Please keep existing appointments unless directed otherwise. All of our locations remain open to serve the community.

Are you allowing hospital visitors?

Yes. However, TGH has implemented a restricted visitation policy (click here to read more). If you are unable to visit a loved one at TGH and would like to send items such as flowers, balloons, magazines, toiletries, and more, please call our gift shop at 813-844-7370 and they can help make arrangements for delivery to their patient room. Hour of operation are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

How dangerous is COVID-19?

The CDC says the immediate health risk to the general public in the U.S. is low. For most people, the novel coronavirus produces a mild illness, and many of those infected don’t even know they have it. As with influenza, in some cases it can lead to serious illness such as pneumonia and death. It appears that the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions are most susceptible.

How does the disease spread?

COVID-19 spreads mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (approximately six feet). The virus can be transmitted in droplets that become airborne through a cough or sneeze. You can also be exposed after touching a surface that has the virus on it, and then touching your face, eyes or mouth.

How can I keep myself healthy?

While the CDC has determined that the current risk of infection of COVID-19 in the United States remains low, there are steps you can take to stay healthy, such as:

  • Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cough into your elbow or a tissue and not your hands. Dispose of the tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work and school.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home and do not travel or report to work.
  • Practice healthy habits: Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

Should I wear a face mask?

For most healthy individuals, per the CDC wearing a face mask is not recommended.

What are the symptoms?

According to current information from the CDC, symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. This information is based on what has been seen in similar previous viruses, and it may change as more is known about COVID-19.

What do I do if I’m sick?

If you have recently traveled to a country identified as high risk by the CDC or have been in contact with someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19 (coronavirus) and you have a fever and/or respiratory symptoms, please contact your county health department for direction about testing and treatment. Please do not go directly to the emergency room without contacting your healthcare provider first. TGH Virtual Care is one option for speaking to a physician without leaving your home. Learn more about the TGH Virtual Care service here. The Florida Department of Public Health hotline is another resource and can be reached at 1 (866) 779-6121, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How are you diagnosed and treated?

Contact your primary care physician if you experience cold or flu like symptoms. TGH Virtual Care is also a great option for care. It enables patients to seek medical attention from their home while limiting the spread of germs. You can learn more about the TGH Virtual Care service here.

If you have a fever and/or respiratory symptoms AND have traveled to Internationally or across states, OR have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, please contact your county health department for direction about testing and treatment. The health department will advise you on how to access care if needed and will contact your local hospital.

Are you accepting donations to the hospital?

All donation requests should be directed to Tallee Williams at talleewilliams@tgh.org.