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Coronavirus (COVID-19): FAQ for Women, Pregnant Women, & Families

Author:  Darin R. Gregory, M.D.

At Moreland OB-GYN, we want you to come to us with your questions and concerns and we're more than happy to talk you through our answers and suggestions. With plenty of hearsay regarding COVID-19, or the coronavirus, our patients want to know what is true, what they should do, and what information to trust.

It is our duty to provide our patients with the facts and information they need in order to accurately make important decisions about their unborn baby, newborn, or their own bodies. Information about the emerging new coronavirus is rapidly changing and updating on a daily basis. If you are interested in the most recent number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, please visit the CDC's website to learn more.

For the latest Moreland OB-GYN clinic and hospital updates, FAQ answers, and tips for your family, watch the video below or continue reading. 

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

What Are the Coronavirus Symptoms?

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • And more...
For more information about known COVID-19 symptoms, visit this CDC page

Can I Travel? 

Some travel is essential, including traveling to provide medical or home care to others or traveling necessary for a job that is considered essential. The travel restrictions update frequently, see the CDC website.

COVID-19 and Pregnancy

What is the risk to pregnant women of getting COVID-19? Is it easier for pregnant women to become ill with the disease? If they become infected, will they be sicker than other people?

At present there are no specific recommendations related to pregnant women 37 weeks gestation and under and work related to the risks of COVID-19 exposure. Therefore newly pregnant patients up to 37 weeks should observe the general recommendations for all employees who have the capabilities to work from home to do so.

At present we cannot provide work excuses or short term disability for healthy patients 37 weeks gestation or under. If you have had a known exposure to COVID-19 we can evaluate your situation for a recommendation for quarantine and provide a letter to that effect.  Please use myChart for all of your non-urgent requests as we have staff working remotely to meet your needs. If you have submitted a myChart message or phone call please answer all calls, including those listed as unavailable or blocked, as many of our staff are calling from outside our office.

How can pregnant women protect themselves from getting COVID-19?

Pregnant women should do the same things as the general public to avoid infection. You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by taking these actions:

  • Cover your cough (using your elbow is a good technique).
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • Clean your hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Stay at home or at least six feet away from people who don't live in your home.
  • Avoid public gatherings and individuals with symptoms.
  • Maintain appropriate social distance (6 feet) and wear a mask if you can not maintain distance.

You can find additional information on preventing COVID-19 disease at CDC’s (Prevention for 2019 Novel Coronavirus).

What should I do if I think I’ve been exposed or I develop symptoms?

Please call the office and we will direct you on where to receive care depending on your situation. Moreland continues to evaluate entries of patients with obstetric complaints in the office. We are not bringing patients with respiratory symptoms only into the clinic for evaluation and will be directing those patients to appropriate facilities for care.

What if I am a pregnant health care worker exposed to Coronavirus?

At present, pregnant patients should observe the same precautions and procedures all other healthcare workers are being instructed to observe. Please look to your institution’s employee health or infection prevention and control departments for guidance on procedures and PPE.

Can COVID-19 cause problems for a pregnancy?

We do not know at this time if COVID-19 would cause problems during pregnancy or affect the health of the baby after birth.

Will the Coronavirus Harm My fetus if I Get It?

We don’t know of any specific risks to pregnant women other than the general risks of being ill. 

Work Releases

We are currently receiving requests for work excuses related to COVID-19. At present there are no specific recommendations related to pregnant women and work related to the risks of COVID-19 exposure. Therefore pregnant patients should observe the general recommendations for all employees who have the capabilities to work from home to do so.  At present we cannot provide work excuses or short term disability for healthy patients.

If you have had a known exposure to COVID-19 we can evaluate your situation for a recommendation for quarantine and provide a letter to that effect. Please use myChart for all of your non-urgent requests as we have staff working remotely to meet your needs. If you have submitted a myChart message or phone call please answer all calls, including those listed as unavailable or blocked, as many of our staff are calling from outside our office.

Why Isn’t There a Vaccine or a Treatment?

This is a new virus. It can take years to develop vaccines and medications for new illnesses. Treatments have to be created then tested to make sure they are both safe and effective. This work is currently underway but right now, prevention is your best defense.

What Is Moreland Doing to Protect Patients Who Visit the Clinics?

We are asking all patients who enter our clinic to use hand sanitizer to protect all patients, staff, and other employees.
Our cleaning staff uses two disinfectants that are both approved for killing the flu and coronavirus. These chemicals are used daily in restrooms and on door handles, and any common touchpoints. We also use these disinfectants on break room/cafeteria surfaces. Our goal is to keep all areas used by patients and staff clean. 

What Are Some Ways to Help Prevent Getting the Coronavirus?

Clean Your Hands Often

  • Coronavirus virus outbreak and coronaviruses influenza image as dangerous flu strain cases as a pandemic medical health risk concept with disease cells as a 3D renderWash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, and handling unwashed laundry.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid Close Contact

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Put a six-foot distance between yourself and other people in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Take steps to protect others.

Stay Home if You Are Sick

Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.

Cover Coughs and Sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and Disinfect

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

To disinfect:

Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.

An option includes diluting your household bleach.

To make a bleach solution, mix:

  • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water OR
  • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Should I Wear a Mask / Face Covering?

Wear a face mask / covering if you are sick.

If you are sick: You should wear a face mask or face covering when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. Learn what to do if you are sick.

If you are NOT sick: At this point, you must wear a mask / hands-free face covering the whole time you are in the clinic. We also recommend you wear a mask / face covering when you are out in public. This decision is in your best interests and to protect the health and safety of everyone. 

Who Is at Risk of Dying From the Coronavirus?

Older adults are most at risk of dying from the Coronavirus as well as people who have serious chronic medical conditions like:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Lung disease
  • Cancer
  • And more...

For more information about those who are of a high risk of serious illness from COVID-19, visit this page

What Are the Current Number of Cases and Deaths from Coronavirus in Wisconsin?

Please refer to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services' outbreaks page to view the most up-to-date case numbers. These cases are being updated every weekday at 2 pm.

What to Do if You Get Sick

Stay home and call your doctor. Call your healthcare provider and let them know about your symptoms. Tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help them take care of you and keep other people from getting infected or exposed. If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you can recover at home. Follow CDC instructions for how to take care of yourself at home.

Know when to get emergency help. Get medical attention immediately if you have any of the risk factor warning signs listed above.

For more information on what to do if you are sick, visit this CDC web page.

Thoughts You May Be Thinking of if You Are Close to Delivery

What will happen if there is an overflow of pregnant patients who are not sick?

Right now, both Waukesha Memorial and Oconomowoc Memorial are constantly evaluating their patient volumes and making workflow changes to take care of all of their sick and their healthy patients. Additionally, they are cohorting patients to keep them separate.

Can I have an elective induction?

At present, there have been no changes to the scheduling of either elective or medically indicated inductions or C-sections.

Should I have a backup hospital?

Both Waukesha Memorial and Oconomowoc Memorial have adequate capabilities to care for all of their patients. We are not recommending patient-identified backup hospitals at this time. If that need were to arise you would be notified with instructions on how to do this.

What if my husband is immune-compromised or has asthma?

If your support person has medical conditions that put them at increased risk from COVID-19, you will need to determine the severity of those risks whether an alternative support person should be identified. These decisions are different for each family and must be individualized. We recommend you seek guidance from that support person’s healthcare professional.

Will I be alone in labor?

At present all laboring patients are being allowed to have a healthy support person present. Currently there are no plans to change this.

Will my baby get circumcised?

No system-wide changes have been made to circumcisions. At Moreland, we continue to perform them unless there is a medical reason to delay them.

Would a home birth be safer?

Home-births involve a spectrum of risks but are different for each patient depending on the complexities of their pregnancy. Moreland does not feel the risks of COVID-19 outweigh the many risks of delivering outside the hospital setting.

Make a Plan. Prepare. Take Action. 

It's important to have a plan in place and prepare for you and your family's best interests and health. Do not panic, but know enough and stay informed to know when the time is right, if necessary, to take proper action. 

Visit this page on the CDC website for ways to protect your family with a checklist and have a plan ready to go if needed. 

For more information about the Coronavirus and Influenza risks, watch a video here.

 

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