Frequently Asked Questions Surrounding the Coronavirus Pandemic


Are Bristol Health providers still seeing patients?

Yes. Bristol Health's network of primary care and specialty care providers are still seeing patients. Please call your provider's office before coming to an in-person visit to review the current restrictions in place. Keeping safety as a top priority, we are now offering virtual visits with your provider through Telehealth.

To learn more about Telehealth, click here.
 

What is a Telehealth virtual visit?

Bristol Health is happy to provide you care with your provider by scheduling you a virtual visit. A Telehealth visit can be done in the comfort of your home and allow you to connect with your individual provider concerning your health care needs.

How it works:
You are able to schedule an appointment with a Bristol Health Medical Group provider through our Healow app on your computer, tablet or smartphone. You will receive notification once your Telehealth visit is confirmed. 
 

Can I bring anyone with me to my appointment?


Click here to learn more about the hospital’s visitor restrictions and exceptions. All individuals coming to Bristol Hospital will be screened in the main lobby.
 
Please do not have anyone accompany you to your doctor’s appointment at any of our primary care or specialty care offices unless absolutely necessary. We advise you to please call ahead with any concerns/questions.
 

Can I still visit the Emergency Center?


Yes. The Emergency Center is open to provide care to you and your loved ones in an emergency situation. If you are experiencing issues you believe to be related to COVID-19, please contact your primary care provider.
 

Should I be tested for COVID-19?


Call your provider's office if you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Your provider will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19..
 

Is Bristol Hospital's Specimen Collection Station Still Open?


No. Effective Saturday, June 20, Bristol Health converted its COVID-19 specimen collection to a model that concentrates on Bristol Health patients. This decision is based on the rapidly decreasing number of COVID positive patients coupled with the reduced number of collections from Bristol Health’s Specimen Collection Station.

For members of the general public seeking a COVID test, they can find a testing site by visiting the Connecticut Department of Public Health website or by calling the United Way’s 2-1-1 phone line.

What is the source of COVID-19?


Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.

*Centers for Disease Control information


How does the virus spread?


This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now 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.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.

*Centers for Disease Control information
 

I feel ill. What do I do?


If you feel ill and believe you may have some of the symptoms of coronavirus, contact your primary care provider to discuss your situation. If you do not have a primary care physician, Bristol Health Med-Help Urgent Care is open at 539 Farmington Avenue, Bristol.

Your provider will advise you of the next steps. If testing is needed, your physician will need to write up a lab order.
 

What countries are currently being labeled "high risk?"


The CDC has the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on the coronavirus, including countries with Travel Health notices. Please visit cdc.gov for the most current information.
 

I’m not sure if my symptoms are an indication that I may be infected with COVID-19?


If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice and screening.
 
Visit the symptoms section or the Centers for Disease Control web site for more information on symptoms.
 

I have a non-coronavirus related doctor’s appointment already scheduled, can I keep it?


Yes. You can also schedule a virtual visit in which you can speak with your provider from the comfort of your home. Click here to learn more about Telehealth.
 

What if I was in close contact with someone who has been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19?


The Centers for Disease Control recommends self-isolation to help prevent the spread of the virus. Please contact your primary care provider or, if you do not have one, our Med-Help Urgent Care facility at 539 Farmington Avenue, Bristol for a screening.
 

What is Bristol Health’s plan to minimize the spread of COVID-19?


Bristol Health continues to plan and prepare for the coronavirus crisis as it affects our local communities. This includes:
  • Working with local and state Public Health Departments and other key organizations
  • Putting visitor restrictions into effect
  • Canceling or postponing large events
  • Monitoring our supplies
  • ​Providing education regarding COVID-19 to the community


My spouse, family member or household member is under self-quarantine. Should I be tested?


If you have come in contact with anyone you believe may have exposed you to coronavirus, it is best to self-monitor and contact your primary care provider to discuss any symptoms you may be experiencing. Your provider will determine if you require testing.
 

Should I be wearing a facemask while out in public?


Yes. The CDC and the State of Connecticut is requiring face masks be worn at all time while in a public setting..
 

How is Bristol Health protecting its clinical staff?


All front line staff are wearing standard surgical/procedural equipment at all times while in patient care areas. This equipment includes masks, gowns, gloves and protective goggles.
 
Bristol Health is routinely cleaning all equipment and sanitizing all areas. We also require all employees to always practice proper hand hygiene to minimize the spread of any germs.
 

Is it safe to go to the hospital?


Yes. Anyone entering the hospital will be screened in the main lobby before being allowed to proceed.
 

I am a nurse and I’m looking to help out, what do I need to do?


Please use our contact us form to express your interest or contact Nancy LaMonica at nlamonic@bristolhospital.org or call 860.585.3311 to inquire on how you can help.
 

Where can I get tested if your facility is closed?


A number of additional testing facilities are being opened throughout the state, including Bridgeport, Danbury, Greenwich, Waterbury and New Haven. Please visit CT.gov or call 211 to get the most current information, and to confirm the location, hours of operation and requirements at the testing facilities.
 

Where can I get more information?


For Bristol Health specific information, visit our website bristolhealth.org or  call our coronavirus update line: 860.261.6855.  For general coronavirus resources, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: cdc.gov