COVID-19 & Flu: Get the latest information

HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

Family reading in the park

Spring is Actually Here

April 2, 2020

In the midst of very real concerns about the many different ways the Coronavirus is interfering with "life as usual," Spring has arrived. All around us nature is going on as it does and the Winter has turned to Spring. It is lovely outside. The temperature is slowly getting warmer and the flowering plants are bursting into color. And many of us are missing it. We are more or less "in our heads" (more than usual) thinking about all of the things that we think about normally plus a host of additional concerns. We are worried about our children, our parents, our patients, our jobs, our... Continue Reading

Peaceful mountainside with a bench and path leading into the distance

Dealing with Uncertainty

April 2, 2020

by Rev. Dr. Chris Mason, Chaplaincy Program Coordinator at Augusta Health Uncertainty is a word that comes up often in regards to COVID-19. There is uncertainty about our health, the health of family and friends, economic and financial means, and probably some other areas of uncertainty as well. Uncertainty is one of those words that may conjure up feelings of apprehension, stress and anxiety for you, but here are a few important things to understand about our feelings in the midst of uncertainty. First, whatever you are feeling right now is completely understandable and normal. Second, we... Continue Reading

Sick woman on the sofa and talking on her cell phone

When you are tested for COVID-19, what’s next?

April 1, 2020

The results of the test are not immediate; it can take several days to receive the outcome from the testing labs. Most patients who are tested are not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital, so they are sent home and asked to isolate until the test results are known. Waiting through any period of uncertainty causes anxiety and uneasiness, especially when waiting for the results of a medical test such as one for COVID-19. To provide support for patients in this situation, Augusta Health has implemented the COVID Care Management Team . This group of nurse care managers and medical... Continue Reading

Nurse listening to a young girl's lungs, girl has a stethoscope too

Mindfulness: Remember Who We Are

April 1, 2020

As we continue down this new and unfamiliar path let us reflect on who we are and how we came to be here. We are all dedicated to the work of helping and healing and empowering others. We are all dedicated to serving the needs of the people who live in our communities. We are by our very nature supportive, generous and loving to others. We all have our different areas of strength and together we do amazing work. The work we are doing in every corner of this hospital is already helping people manage this difficult time with less suffering. These next days and weeks will pose all kinds of... Continue Reading

Staff wearing masks and talking outside of the hospital

White Paper: An inside look at our Hospital Surge Plan

March 31, 2020

As part of its standard Emergency Operations Plan, every hospital has a Surge Plan in place to deal with a sudden or extraordinary need for resources—beds, equipment and staff—due to a large increase in patient volume. Surge plans are implemented in phases as each facility's capacity, patient census and the acuity (or severity and complexity) of the cases evolve. Memorandums of understanding with facilities such as Augusta Expo, utilities and suppliers to handle surges have been in place for many years. In October, 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Augusta Health participated in a regional... Continue Reading

Mother and child sitting on couch watching TV

What’s the difference between isolation and quarantine?

March 31, 2020

Isolation and quarantine are two different terms that some are using interchangeably during the COVID outbreak. It's important to understand the difference. Isolation Isolation refers to separating sick people with a contagious disease from those who are not sick. Hospitals use isolation for patients who have a known infectious disease that can be spread easily to others. A person, who finds themselves ill with COVID-19 , needs to isolate themselves in a specific room away from other household members. Household members should use a separate bedroom and even a separate bathroom if possible... Continue Reading

Dad teaching his son to ride a bike

Take Your Workout Outside

March 30, 2020

Feeling stir crazy? Spring is a great time to lace up your shoes and take your workout outside. If you're not into running, take a brisk walk instead. Research shows that outdoor exercise improves mood and reduces depression. Exposure to sunlight enhances vitamin D production, which may be partially responsible for this mood-enhancing effect. A regular dose of outdoor activity can help boost the already powerful esteem-enhancing effect of exercise. One of the greatest benefits of getting outside is the opportunity to connect with the world around you! Even as we practice social distancing, we... Continue Reading

Storm clouds gathering over a mountain

Mindfulness: Dealing with the Enormity of it all

March 30, 2020

We can see it coming from the top of the hill. We know it's going to hit us. We don't know exactly when or from which direction. We don't know who it will impact and how bad it will be. The unknown paired with the realities that we have already heard about in parts of the US and in other parts of the world can feel overwhelming. But take heart in what we do know: We know that at every level our staff is doing absolutely everything we can do to prepare for different scenarios. We do know that we are meeting the needs of people who are in the hospital and we are screening people who need to be... Continue Reading

Woman choosing fruit at the grocery store

Grocery Shopping While Social Distancing

March 27, 2020

Quarantining and social distancing to prevent the spread and of the COVID-19 virus changes our habits and the way we do every day activities, such as grocery shopping and meal planning. Healthy meals are even more important in times of stress, though, so these tasks may be more essential than ever. Most grocery stores have expanded their services or changed their hours in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. If your grocery store has special hours for those over 60 or with compromised immune systems, take advantage of those hours to shop if you are eligible. They are usually early in the... Continue Reading

dad and daughter washing hands together

Mindful Hand Washing

March 27, 2020

We are all washing our hands like crazy these days for very good reasons. We may already have a mindfulness ritual around washing our hands like washing for 20 seconds. Perhaps we have a favorite song that we sing (out loud or silently) that lasts the proper number of seconds to assure that we have killed all of the germs that we may have picked up on the door knob or the stapler. But if you'd like something other than, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star x 2, you might want to consider some other options. There is a mindfulness practice that has been around for over 2500 years called Loving Kindness... Continue Reading

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