Q. My surgery or procedure has been postponed. When will it be rescheduled?
A. Norman Regional joined four other health systems in the Oklahoma City area in postponing non-urgent and elective procedures. This was a difficult decision and it was made out of concern for our patients' safety. Elective surgeries are allowed to return April 24. Norman Regional physicians, based on their medical judgement, input from their patients and guidelines from the American College of Surgeons and the Oklahoma State Department of Health, will prioritize the scheduling of patients. If you have any questions about the rescheduling of your surgery, we urge you to contact your physician's or surgeon's office.

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
A: For confirmed COVID-19 infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people being mildly sick to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses.

Q: How do people become infected with COVID-19?
A:The exact way the virus is spread is not fully known. With similar coronaviruses (such as MERS and SARS) person-to-person spread is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other viruses that cause respiratory illness spread. The persons at greatest risk are close contacts of someone who is infected and have been in the same room with them for a long period of time, such as healthcare personnel or household members.

Q: How can I help protect myself and my family?
A: The best steps to avoid contracting respiratory viruses include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Q: Should I be tested for COVID-19?
A: If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider or the State Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline, 877-215-8336. Older patients and individuals with severe underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild. If you have severe symptoms, such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips and face, seek care immediately by calling 911.

Q: What does novel mean?
A: A novel coronavirus (CoV) is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified.

Q: What is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus?
A: The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Q: What are the symptoms and complications that Novel Coronavirus 2019 can cause?
A: Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Q: How does the virus spread?
A: This virus probably originally emerged from an animal source but now seems to be spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. It’s not clear yet how easily COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person. When person-to-person spread has occurred with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. Spread of MERS and SARS between people has generally occurred between close contacts.

Close contact is defined as:

a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters), or within the room or care area, of a novel coronavirus case for a prolonged period of time while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment or PPE (e.g., gowns, gloves, PAPR); close contact can include caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a novel coronavirus case.

or

b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a novel coronavirus case (e.g., being coughed on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.