Elective Surgeries Requiring an Overnight Stay Temporarily Suspended
Lee Health is temporarily suspending some elective procedures due to a high census across all Lee Health hospitals. Procedures that require an overnight stay that can be postposed without causing patient harm are being rescheduled or not scheduled. Patients who need an elective outpatient surgery and who will go home the same day are not impacted by this change.
We understand this decision may be disappointing news for our patients, but It is necessary to safely manage our hospitals at a time when COVID-19 is spreading rapidly throughout our community, placing an extraordinary demand on our ability to manage our hospitals’ bed capacity.
We will reevaluate this change as the number of COVID patients allows.
Lee TeleHealth Update
Lee Health Offering Free Urgent Care Telehealth Visits Through Lee TeleHealth
As the current wave of the coronavirus continues to spread across Southwest Florida, Lee Health is making its Lee Telehealth service free until further notice. The normal cost of a visit is $49. Lee Telehealth connects patients directly with a physician or advanced provider and is available 24/7.
Ivermectin: Not an Approved Treatment Option for COVID-19
Ivermectin has been in the news lately as people across the country have taken the drug in the hopes of preventing or treating COVID-19. This is not an FDA-authorized or approved treatment option. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued this health advisory, and the National Institutes of Health has determined there are insufficient data at this time to recommend the drug. The Infectious Disease Society of America, which provides treatment guidelines, recommends against its use for treatment. Lee Health does not endorse the use of Ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.
As we have throughout the pandemic, our Lee Health team of infection prevention experts, pharmacists and physicians continue reviewing data, trends and outcomes for COVID-19-positive patients. We implement and endorse treatment options that are vetted, tested and recommended by public health officials and medical experts to provide the safest, best care and outcomes for our patients. We continue to refine and adapt our recommendations and education to reflect the advances and discoveries in science involving COVID-19 and the healthcare response to this pandemic.
Lee Health COVID-19 Vaccine Updates
Lee Health: A Year of Challenge and Triumph
A COVID-19 Documentary
With the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus making headlines across the world, it’s important to provide information about how to prevent its spread and how Lee Health supports the community.
There are seven known coronaviruses that can affect humans, and four of them are relatively common and cause cold-like symptoms.
Just because someone is diagnosed with coronavirus does not mean it is the COVID-19 strain.
Lee Health and Cleveland Clinic Mask Up
Quarantine or Isolation: What’s the difference?
The Southwest Florida community continues to stand tall during COVID-19, and Lee Health’s dedicated healthcare workers are here for you every step of the way.
- Recommended for those who have had a known or suspected exposure to a contagious disease (like COVID).
- You should stay home, away from other people, except for medical care or basic necessities. If you must take care of a family member, they may have to quarantine as well.
- Lasts for 14 days — this allows enough time to develop an infection from exposure.
- Sometimes you may be requested to test during this time, BUT a negative test at any point does not end your quarantine sooner.
- Recommended for those who have a suspected COVID infection or a first positive test for COVID
- You should stay home, away from other people, except for medical care or basic necessities. If a family member must take care of you, they will need to quarantine after you are well (or after their last exposure to you while you are on isolation).
- Lasts for at least 10 days
- The 10 days start with your first symptom or positive test (if asymptomatic)
- This means that if you become sick while on quarantine, your 10 days starts at that time—not at the beginning of quarantine.
- If you are improving and have no fever at the end of 10 days, you can stop your isolation.
- Repeat testing is not recommended.
SWFL Stronger Together
Support Frontline Health Care Providers in SWFL
Southwest Florida’s healthcare leaders Lee Health and NCH Healthcare System (NCH) have joined forces to combat the COVID-19 pandemic together. You can be part of this solution by supporting frontline efforts to flatten the curve and provide lifesaving treatment.
How TeleHealth Can Help: COVID-19
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The virus can cause symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Some patients only show mild symptoms and recover, but others have developed life-threatening complications like pneumonia.
On April 24, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added six symptoms to its coronavirus list: Chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.
On June 30, the CDC added three new symptoms to watch out for: nausea, congestion/stuffy nose and diarrhea.
The CDC says these symptoms can appear two to 14 days after exposure to the coronavirus. More symptoms may be added to the list as scientists learn more about the virus
How can you avoid COVID-19?
- Proper handwashing. Remember to scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap.You can also use hand sanitizer with greater than 60 percent alcohol. Read more tips on when to wash, how to wash, and other important life-saving instructions from the CDC.
- Avoid making contact with your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with someone who is sick.
- If you are sick, stay home to help prevent the spread of disease.
- Clean frequently utilized areas.
- Always cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
Should you wear a mask?
The Centers for Disease Control urge people to wear cloth face coverings or masks when they go out in public.
Many people with COVID-19 do not show any symptoms, but they can still spread germs through coughing, sneezing, or even talking. That means face coverings are essential when visiting public places such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and hospitals.
And if you are sick, wearing a mask helps prevent the spread of germs to other people.
Social Distancing is Still Key
Remember: Social distancing is still the primary method of combating the spread of COVID-19.
Wearing masks and other face coverings should NOT replace staying at least 6 feet away from one another, working from home, avoiding public gatherings, and only venturing out for essential services.
Learn more from the CDC about how to make your own face covering as well as the proper way to wear them, clean them, and other essentials.
Lee Health experts have precautions in place if a patient with COVID-19 comes into one of our health care settings. Our team holds exercise drills throughout the year for cases such as this.
Every hospital has plans, protocols, and appropriate supplies and equipment in place to care for patients with serious infectious diseases. All clinical staff are trained in standard infection control procedures.
If a patient is suspected of having the COVID-19, we take the following steps:
- Screen patients for COVID-19 symptoms and travel history
- Isolate a patient with possible exposure to COVID-19
- Protect the safety of caregivers and staff by providing appropriate information and personal protection equipment (PPE)
- Provide any emergency care needed to stabilize a patient isolated due to possible COVID-19 exposure
- Contact local and state health departments and the CDC to determine plans for testing, and if the case is confirmed, care.
What if you get sick?
Lee Health recommends following the CDC's guidelines. Click here for information about how to track symptoms, stop the spread and when to seek medical attention.
Latest News from Lee Health
FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine
Now that the Pfizer vaccine is officially approved, Lee Health experts hope more members of the Southwest Florida community will choose to get the shot.
Delta Variant: 'The War Has Changed’ on COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges “the war has changed” in response to the delta variant of the coronavirus.
COVID-19 and Vaccinations: What You Need to Know from Lee Health’s Experts
Our Lee Health experts give you the facts about vaccination and how our community can help stem the tide of the latest COVID-19 surge.
Lee Health wants you to know: You are not alone.
Our Healthy News blog features the latest COVID-19 updates, news, and recommendations from our infectious disease and public health experts to help you and your family cope during this time.Learn more