There are a number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus ( COVID-19) within the United States, including ones in Western Pennsylvania.  The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus which has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and presents as a respiratory illness which spreads mainly from person-to-person. Reported illnesses have ranged from very mild (including some with no reported symptoms) to severe, including illness resulting in death. Older people and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions — like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example — seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.

Washington Health System understands that you and your family may be anxious about the news of Coronavirus-COVID-19. We want to assure you that WHS Washington Hospital, WHS-Greene Hospital and all outpatient locations have rigorous infection-prevention protocols in place. We are closely monitoring our internal resources and information from federal, state and local agencies around the clock. The safety of our patients, staff, students, and the general public remains our top priority.

Questions & Answers

Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
The best prevention you can take includes washing your hands frequently or using hand sanitizer, coughing into your elbow or a tissue and not your hands, and staying home if you’re sick. When possible, avoid large crowds and persons displaying symptoms of an illness.
We ask that you do not call our hospitals or physician offices with general questions regarding COVID-19. Instead we suggest that you obtain the most up to date information by visiting www.CDC.gov or www.health.pa.gov.
If you feel like you are developing COVID-19 symptoms and the symptoms are light to moderate, Washington Health System does not recommend that you immediately come to the Emergency Room. To reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others, we encourage you to utilize the WHS Virtual Care platform where a doctor can quickly evaluate you via smart phone, tablet or computer.  Washington Health System is dedicated to protecting the health of all of our community members by reducing the risk of exposure whenever possible. To utilize our WHS Virtual Care platform visit whs.org/virtualcare. If you prefer to see your primary care provider, please call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms. They will decide whether you need to be seen in the office or tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill are able to isolate at home.
Should your symptoms worsen, please call 911 or seek medical attention at the closest emergency room. Emergency symptoms include:
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face
When possible, notify the hospital ahead of time or before you enter the building in order to help reduce exposure to other patients and staff. Know when to get emergency help, and call 911 if needed.
If you do not have a primary care physician (PCP) please call the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) at 877-PA HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).  Please do not go to the emergency room, unless it is an emergency. WHS also offers convenient access to high-quality care through our telemedicine service. www.whsvirtualcare.com is a mobile app that offers 24/7 virtual visits through a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Testing for Coronavirus-COVID-19 must be ordered by a licensed medical provider. Currently, testing cannot be performed at the request of the public without an order. Starting Wednesday, March 18th, WHS will offer two testing locations:
  • Washington County location – WRCWC Building #3, Suite 86
  • Greene County location – WHS Medical Arts building Suite 100 next to hospital
Both locations are open Monday – Friday, 8am-4pm.  Testing will only be done if you can provide a script from a medical professional
WASHINGTON HEALTH SYSTEM UPDATED VISITOR POLICY EFFECTIVE TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2020. WHS Washington Hospital and WHS Greene Hospital will be CLOSED to ALL VISITORS in an effort to further protect our patients, staff members and the community from the spread of COVID-19 Virus.  UPDATED VISITING POLICY:   WHS Washington Hospital and WHS-Greene Patient Care Units will be closed to all visitors.  ONE visitor will be permitted in the following situations:
  • Patients under the age of 18
  • Patients with a significant cognitive or physical disability or other impairment
  • CARE Center for Family Birth and Women’s Health Unit (Labor and Delivery plus Post-partum Recovery only) – One healthy adult permitted. Individual should be prepared to remain in the patient room for the duration of the visit.
  • Emergency Department – One person may accompany patient to the registration area and then must exit the building until they are called to assist the patient home. Minor patients or those with a significant cognitive or physical disability or impairment in the ED will be allowed one healthy adult visitor.
  • Surgical Services or Invasive Procedural Units – One healthy adult will be permitted to stay during procedure and visit immediately afterward in the patient room if the patient is admitted.
Special considerations may be granted for end of life care. Visitors meeting the categories above will enter through the Emergency Department or Main Entrance at either hospital. Visitors will be screened by hospital staff where a temperature will be obtained and a series of questions will be asked. Any visitor not meeting the screening criteria will be denied access. We understand that when a loved one is hospitalized that it is difficult to be separated. However, these steps are being taken to protect the health of everyone involved. We encourage family members and patient to keep in touch using your telephone or social media during this public health crisis. Due to the rapidly changing situation of the COVID-19 crisis in our community, this policy will be revised accordingly in response to circumstances. Washington Health System staff members reserve the right to further deny or limit visitation in the interest of patient safety.
The following services will be closed through the end of March 2020.
  • WHS Children’s Therapy Services
  • WHS Rehabilitation Services
  • WHS Outpatient PT, OT and speech therapy
  • WHS Cardiac Rehabilitation Services
  • WHS Pulmonary Rehab
  • Outpatient Radiology. Some outpatient studies will still be done based on clinical need.  All inpatient and emergency services will remain open.
  • Outpatient Lab on the 2nd floor of WHS Washington Hospital. All other lab sites to remain open.
  • Elective surgeries and procedures at WHS Washington Hospital and Tri-State Surgery Center. Emergency and essential surgeries will continue
  • Physician offices will be rescheduling non-urgent (annual wellness visits, physicals, etc.) visits for a later date
  • All scheduled supports groups are canceled until further notice
  • WHS Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center
  • All WHS gift shops are also closed until further notice
  • WHS

This is a rapidly changing situation and Washington Health System is committed to keeping our patients, communities and team members safe and informed. In compliance with our infectious disease protocols, we will remain vigilant and continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines.

We urge everyone to remain calm. Even though the public attention is focused on Coronavirus-COVID-19 please remember that our healthcare system continues to care for community members with other illnesses, injuries and births as we have done each and every day since opening our doors in 1897. Your health and the health of our community are continuously our priority.