COVID-19 Coronavirus Patient Guide
  • COVID-19 Patient Guide

Visitor Information

To protect our most vulnerable patients, we are limiting the amount of visitors to 1 per adult patient. For pediatric patients, we ask that parents and guardians bring ONLY the child seeking care to the office visit. Only 1 adult will be permitted to attend the visit with the child.

We are discontinuing all public use of our conference and community space, effective immediately, until future notice.

We understand that these restrictions may cause challenges for our patients and their families. Thank you for your patience and adherence to these policies as part of our continued efforts to keep our patients, visitors, and workforce protected and healthy during this time.

A message to our patients about COVID-19 Coronavirus

By Primary Health Network staff
Published March 21, 2020 | Updated January 5, 2021

As the global community continues to tackle COVID-19 (coronavirus) and its far-reaching implications, we would like to reassure you, that we stand ready to continue to meet your healthcare needs and provide you with the quality care you deserve.

We understand that you may have a lot of concerns and questions about your health, and we are committed to keeping our patients, staff, and community safe by introducing new safeguards and procedures, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which will include:

  1. Schedule a Telehealth Visit

    Throughout the public health emergency Primary Health Network's medical and behavioral health services have remained open, available and staffed to care for existing and new patients. In accordance with recommendations from public health officials, we may limit the number of patients that are seen face to face in our offices. We are proud to offer virtual visits using telemedicine, telepsychiatry and teletherapy, currently available throughout our Network, to assure access to the same high-quality care you've come to expect from Primary Health Network.

    Telehealth allows for our healthcare providers to evaluate, diagnose and care for patients remotely through various communication technologies. Assessment and treatment of non-emergency conditions would include:

    Medical

    • Upper respiratory or urinary tract infections
    • Management of chronic health conditions, such as: diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, etc...
    • Review and discuss diagnostic tests
    • Medication management
    • Provide recommendations for additional follow-up

    Behavioral Health

    • Psychiatric evaluations
    • Medication management
    • Mental health therapy

    Specialty Care

    • Neurology
    • Chiropractic
    • Podiatry
    • OB/GYN

    Dental

    Limited Teledentistry services are available for emergency diagnostic purposes during the COVID crisis. Emergencies would include screenings such as:

    • Tooth aches
    • Abscesses

    Individuals do not have to be established patients to utilize these services. Please feel free to contact our sites directly and know that we are here to help. Our Locations

  2. If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, or are experiencing flu-like symptoms, we ask that you please call us prior to entering the health center for further assessment.

  3. In an effort to help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from infected asymptomatic sources, all patients and visitors will be issued a mask upon entry into our Health Centers.
  4. All Primary Health Network employees are wearing masks at all times. Additionally, all clinical employees are wearing eye protection, and if a patient is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, clinical employees will also wear a gown and gloves.
  5. Only a certain number of patients are allowed in the waiting room at one time.
  6. Our sites continue to be cleaned throughout the day and every night using hospital-grade cleaning products.
  7. We have made necessary adjustments to our waiting areas to allow for proper social distancing.
 

If you want to take extra precautions after the appointment, there are a few additional steps you can take:

  • Wash your hands
  • Wipe down all surfaces you touched (car seat, seat belts, steering wheel, etc.) with a disinfectant wipe
 

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

If you are experiencing a psychiatric emergency, please call 911 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK

Stay well informed on all of the new/developing information related to COVID-19 through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

What is COVID-19?

While there are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses, coronavirus disease 2019 refers to a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that had not previously been seen in humans. The term COVID-19 is an abbreviation, in which 'CO' stands for 'corona,' 'VI' for 'virus,' and 'D' for disease. COVID-19 is now recognized as a worldwide pandemic, which has had significant impact on the health and well-being of our communities.


What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Should I be worried about getting infected with COVID-19 at Primary Health Network?

Primary Health Network has extensive and thorough infection control procedures, and we will do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our community. We have protocols and systems in place to keep all patients and healthcare workers safe.


Is there anything I can do to keep myself, my family and friends safe?

  • Wear a face mask covering when you go out in public.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Practice good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. The CDC recommends keeping a distance of at least 6 feet.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Plan how you will take care of sick family members. Make plans for childcare if you are sick or if your child is sick. Have a thermometer at home so you can check for fever if you or a loved one feels ill.
  • Try to get a few extra months worth of your prescription medications, if possible.
  • Stay informed - check the CDC site regularly for new updates.

When should I be tested?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who should be considered for testing include:

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • People who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone with confirmed COVID-19.
  • People who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 because they cannot socially distance as needed, such as travel, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded indoor settings.
  • People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider or state health department.

Not everyone needs to be tested. If you do get tested, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.


How do I request a COVID Test?

Primary Health Network is providing drive-up and on-site testing for established patients suspected of having COVID-19 at select locations. Patients are required to be evaluated by a PHN provider through a telehealth appointment to determine if testing is necessary. Patients who meet criteria for COVID-19 testing will be given an appointment and directed to a testing location.

Find a PHN Provider near you

Current Testing Locations

Transfer Health Center
225 Edgewood Drive Extension
Transfer, PA 16154

Rochester Health Center
176 Virginia Ave
Rochester, PA, 15074

Latrobe Health Center
529 Llyod Ave
Latrobe, PA, 15650

Lewistown Health Center
106 Derry Heights Blvd
Yeagertown, PA 17099

Clarion Health Center
30 Pinnacle Drive
Clarion, PA 16214

Sharon Medical Group
63 Pitt Street
Sharon, PA 16146


What is the cost for a COVID-19 test?

COVID-19 tests are available at no cost nationwide. The only cost to the patient is for the initial evaluation. Being a Community Health Center, PHN accepts all patients regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. We participate in most managed care plans, process most insurances, and offer a Sliding Fee scale to eligible patients for discounted services.


I tested positive for COVID-19. What do I do?

  • Stay home
  • Answer the call
    • Tell people you have been around recently to get tested and stay home. You might save a life. Use this resource to determine whom to call.
    • If you see a number you don't recognize, it may be the health department. Talk honestly; your responses will be private.
    • Hang up if someone asks for your financial information or social security number.
  • Get connected
    • Download the COVID PA Alert app to help keep your friends and family safe.
    • Call the United Way of Southwestern PA at 2-1-1 if you need help with non-medical needs.
    • Sign up for Allegheny Alerts at alleghenycounty.us/alerts to get the latest COVID news from the Health Department.

I have been around someone with COVID-19, and I might have it too. What do I do?

  • Stay home
  • Answer the call
    • If you see a number you don't recognize, it may be the health department. Talk honestly; your responses will be private.
    • Hang up if someone asks for your financial information or social security number.
  • Get connected
    • Download the COVID PA Alert app to help keep your friends and family safe.
    • Call the United Way of Southwestern PA at 2-1-1 if you need help with non-medical needs.
    • Sign up for Allegheny Alerts at alleghenycounty.us/alerts to get the latest COVID news from the Health Department.

Vaccines have been around for decades and are crucial to fighting deadly infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Though the current COVID-19 vaccine is limited, we strongly encourage our patients and community members receive the vaccine when it becomes available. Primary Health Network is working closely with our public health authorities on their vaccine distribution plan and will continue to provide information as it presents itself.


What are the current distribution phases?

Since there will not be enough supply initially to meet demand, health systems in collaboration with state and local governments will distribute the COVID-19 vaccine in a phased approach, based on guidance from the CDC. We are currently in Phase 1a of the distribution plan.

Phase 1: Healthcare workers and first responders, state and local authorities, essential workers and residents of long-term care facilities

Phase 2: Seniors and adults with chronic medical conditions

Phase 3: General Public


How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

In general vaccines work to give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the "spike protein", which is found on the surface of the viruses such as COVID-19.

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are given in the upper arm muscle. Once the instructions (mRNA) are inside the immune cells, the cells use them to make the protein piece. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them.

Next, the cell displays the protein piece on its surface. Our immune systems recognize that the protein doesn't belong there and begin building an immune response and making antibodies, like what happens in natural infection against COVID-19.


Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

Yes. The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. The COVID-19 vaccine has been held to the same rigorous safety and efficiency standards as all other types of vaccines.


Will the COVID-19 vaccination will help protect me from getting COVID-19?

COVID-19 vaccines are one of many important tools to help us stop this pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccine is administered in two doses. The second dose is administered 3-4 weeks after your first shot and is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer against this serious disease.


What are some potential side effects to the COVID-19 vaccination?

The side effects from COVID-19 vaccination may feel like flu and might even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection.


Could I have an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Allergic reactions were uncommon during COVID-19 vaccine trials. However, all recipients receiving the vaccine, are required to be monitored for at least 15 minutes after vaccination for any possible reactions. If you have a history of allergic reactions to vaccines, please talk to your healthcare provider before receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.


If pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive, can I get immunized?

More data is needed to assess the risks and benefits for pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding and women currently trying to conceive. We recommend that you consult your OB/GYN provider to learn more about immunizations.


If I've had COVID-19 should I get vaccinated?

Based on the recommendation from the CDC, those who have had COVID-19 should still receive the vaccine. However, we advise waiting 90 days after getting infected as reinfection within that period is uncommon.


Can a COVID-19 vaccine give you COVID-19?

No. The COVID-19 vaccines currently being developed in the U.S. don't use the live virus that causes COVID-19.


CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Page


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