Coronavirus (COVID-19) Media Information

COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. Cleveland Clinic is working with public health partners at all levels and will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.

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Download the latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) video resources for media outlets: Sound bites from Cleveland Clinic experts, b-roll from testing, broadcast packages.

Statements from Cleveland Clinic Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Statement on visitors at Ohio locations
March 20 at 9:45 a.m.

Cleveland Clinic has implemented additional safeguards to ensure the safety of our patients, caregivers and our communities.

Going forward at all Ohio locations, we are restricting all visitors. Exceptions will be made for the following patients:

  • Pediatric patients (1 visitor)
  • Labor & Delivery patients (1 visitor)
  • End of life circumstances (patient’s care team will discuss with their family)

All other visitors will be asked to leave the hospital. As we continue to navigate the best ways to contain the spread of COVID-19, we understand these changes are difficult and appreciate your patience and understanding.

Additionally, our caregivers will now undergo a thermal temperature scan each day when arriving to work at all patient care locations.

These restrictions are being put in place to help protect our patients, caregivers and community.

Statement on testing changes in Ohio
March 17 at 10:15 p.m.

“Following overwhelming demand for testing we have made the decision to reserve COVID-19 testing for patients who are at the highest risk. We currently have a supply of testing swabs on hand, however, we did not fully anticipate the impact of the crisis in Italy which is where the swabs are manufactured. We hope to continue to receive additional supplies, which will be a key part of our decision-making.

In the first four days of activating our public testing sites, we tested more than 2,200 patients with a small number of test results positive for COVID-19. We currently have 2,100 more patients waiting to be tested.

Beginning Wednesday, March 18, we are revising which patients will be tested moving forward at the W.O. Walker testing facility located at 10524 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland.

  • We are prioritizing high risk patients, which includes those who are currently hospitalized and those who are age 61 and older. These patients will continue to be tested at the W.O. Walker testing facility with a Cleveland Clinic physician’s order.
  • For patients 60 and under who already have a Cleveland Clinic physician’s order, we are re-evaluating our ability to provide COVID-19 testing and are asking they not report to the W.O. Walker testing facility until they are contacted by Cleveland Clinic with further instructions. We are advising patients with a fever higher than 100.4 degrees and/or cough to please isolate yourself from others. If your medical condition worsens, please contact your primary care provider or go to the emergency department.

In addition to changes related to testing, patients with a Cleveland Clinic physician’s order will no longer be tested at the Landerbrook location.

We are adapting to this unprecedented and rapidly evolving situation as quickly as possible while continuing to stay true to our mission of caring for our community.”

Statement on nonessential procedures
March 17 at 6:15 p.m.

“We continue to adapt to this evolving situation, with the primary goal of keeping our patients and caregivers safe.

The Ohio Governor’s office, in collaboration with the Ohio Hospital Association, announced new guidelines on postponing nonessential surgeries and related procedures for adult and pediatric patients. This change supports statewide efforts to conserve hospital beds, equipment and supplies while protecting healthcare workers in preparation for a potential surge of patients with COVID-19.

Beginning Thursday, March 19, Cleveland Clinic will use the following guidelines set by the Ohio Department of Health to determine which procedures are nonessential and should be postponed. Going forward, procedures must be lifesaving for the patient, preserving function of organs or limbs, reducing risk of metastasis or progression of disease, or reducing risk of severe symptoms.

To start, Cleveland Clinic will contact patients who have nonessential procedures scheduled between Thursday, March 19th and Friday, March 27th to discuss next steps.”

Additional information:

  • Surgical cases such as urgent or emergent surgery, cancer surgery or cancer evaluation, infected joints, or other indications consistent with the department of health guidelines above will continue.
  • Examples of nonessential surgeries and related procedures include deferrable bronchoscopy, deferrable upper and lower endoscopies, routine dental procedures, symptomatic problems which are stable, management of benign conditions, cosmetics, primary and revision joint therapy (non-infected), bariatric and elective hernia surgery, and urogynecology.
  • The relationships between our physicians and patients is an essential part of the care we provide, and we are relying on our clinicians to follow these guidelines and exercise their best professional judgment. If a physician and patient determine a procedure cannot be postponed, it may be performed.

Updated Statement on Visitation Guidelines at Ohio Locations
March 17 at 12:37 p.m.

In order to protect our patients and caregivers, we are limiting our entrances and visitation policy amid this coronavirus outbreak. At all Ohio locations, we’re asking:

  • If you’re sick, have a fever or a confirmed case of COVID-19, don’t visit or accompany a patient.
  • Patients may have only 1 person with them at any time.
  • Visitors must be age 16 and older.
  • New visitation hours are 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 4 p.m.-8 p.m. (visitors are not permitted at night).
  • Visitor exceptions will be made for pediatric and hospice patients and other patient circumstances which will be determined by the care team.
  • Visitors must wash their hands (or use sanitizer) before and after leaving rooms and hospital buildings.

These restrictions are being put in place for the safety of our patients, caregivers and the community.

Statement on Testing Lines
March 17 at 11:59 a.m.

We continue to test as many patients as we can for COVID-19. Due to an overwhelming demand, we have already reached the number of vehicles in line that will take our caregivers until 7pm to test, therefore, we cannot take additional patients. To expand testing capacity, we have opened a second site at UH Landerbrook Health Center where patients can also be tested.  We encourage anyone else who wants to be tested to go to this site. For the safety of our patients and community, we ask all patients to remain in their cars while waiting in line to be tested. Once a patient has been tested, results will now be released within 5 days on MyChart, our secure, online health management tool.

Statement on Tents at Emergency Department Entrances
March 13 at 11:05 a.m.

We are in the process of setting up tents at all of our emergency department entrances where patients will be questioned prior to entering our facilities. This is a precautionary measure to maintain the health and safety of our patients and caregivers and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please continue to look to https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/ for updates on this rapidly evolving situation.

Statement on Testing
March 12 2020, updated at 5:00 PM

We want to clarify misinformation that has been trending on social media related to Cleveland Clinic testing for COVID-19. Cleveland Clinic has not developed a new test for COVID-19. We have purchased the necessary CDC components and validated the test in our own lab. This means we can now conduct on-site testing for the virus, allowing us to test patients and receive the results more rapidly – in most cases, within one day. We expect other hospitals and academic medical centers across the country will also have this capability.

Please continue to look for updates on https://clevelandclinic.org/coronavirus and https://clevelandclinic.org/newsroom for updates on this rapidly evolving situation.

Statement on Visitation Guidelines at Ohio Locations
March 12 2020

In order to protect our patients and caregivers we are limiting our entrances and visitation policy amid this coronavirus outbreak. At all Ohio locations, we’re asking:

  • If you’re sick, have a fever or a confirmed case of COVID-19, don’t visit or accompany a patients
  • Patients may only have up to 2 people with them at any time.
  • Visitors must be age 16+.
  • Visitors can speak with a caregiver about exceptions and special circumstances.
  • No visitors are allowed from 10p-8a, unless accompanying a newly-admitted patient.
  • Visitors must wash their hands, or use hand sanitizer, before and after leaving rooms and hospital buildings.

These restrictions are being put in place for the safety of you, our patients, caregivers and the community.

Statement from Cleveland Clinic on Testing
March 12 2020 at 9:00 A.M.

We want to clarify misinformation that has been trending on social media related to Cleveland Clinic testing for COVID-19. Our organization will soon have the capabilities to conduct on-site testing, as will other hospitals and academic medical centers across the country. We are in the process of validating our testing capabilities and will soon send out more information. We anticipate test results will be available within a day. Please continue to look for updates on https://clevelandclinic.org/coronavirus and https://clevelandclinic.org/newsroom for updates on this rapidly evolving situation.

Statement on Additional Precautions Regarding COVID-19
March 11, 2020

“We are adding additional precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and caregivers. These apply to all Cleveland Clinic locations nationally and internationally, as of March 10, 2020.

  • Absences: Effective immediately and until further notice, if a caregiver is diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined due to COVID-19, those absences will be excused. We are finalizing details and will share more in the coming days.
  • Business travel: We are now restricting all international and domestic business travel until further notice.
  • In-person meetings: We are asking caregivers to replace in-person meetings with a virtual option such as Skype.
  • Cleveland Clinic events: We are in the process of reviewing all upcoming Cleveland Clinic-hosted events, including Continuing Medical Education (CME), to determine which should be canceled or postponed.
  • Volunteers: All in-person volunteer and Healthcare Partner activities at Cleveland Clinic facilities are canceled. Volunteers may continue service remotely, if applicable.
  • Testing: If you are concerned you have COVID-19, we recommend you seek care first from Express Care Online or call your primary care physician. They can evaluate you and determine if you meet the CDC guidelines for testing based on symptoms, travel and exposures.  If you do meet the criteria, you will be advised as to how to proceed with testing. Currently, we are testing in accordance with CDC guidelines. As this situation changes, we will continue to evolve our testing procedures.

As healthcare providers, our first priority is serving our patients and community. We are taking these precautions to ensure we can continue caring for our patients while also protecting the health of our caregivers.”

Statement on How to Seek Care for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
March 10, 2020

If you are concerned you have COVID-19, we recommend you seek care first from Express Care Online or call your primary care physician. They can evaluate you and determine if you meet the CDC guidelines for testing based on symptoms, travel and exposures.  If you do meet the criteria, you will be advised as to how to proceed with testing.

The Ohio Department of Health also has set up a COVID-19 hotline (1-833-4-ASK-ODH) for those with questions or concerns.

Currently, we are testing in accordance with CDC guidelines. As this situation changes, we will continue to evolve our testing procedures.

It’s important to keep in mind that the majority of COVID-19 cases are mild and only a small percentage of patients will require hospitalization. The majority of patients will be able to recover at home. Currently, care for COVID-19 patients is supportive as there are no medications available to treat this disease.

We encourage everyone to practice regular infection prevention techniques such as washing their hands frequently, avoiding touching their faces, cough etiquette and staying home when they are sick. More information can be found here or from the CDC.

Statement on Travel Restrictions
March 5, 2020

“We are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health issue. As of today, March 5, all nonessential international business travel for our caregivers has been suspended through March 31, 2020. Domestic business-related travel is being limited to essential trips only and will require hospital leadership approval.

As healthcare providers, our first priority is serving our patients and community. We are taking these precautions to ensure we can continue caring for our patients while also protecting the health of our caregivers.

We are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) travel notices, which are subject to change, and will re-evaluate our own travel restrictions accordingly.”

Statement on how we’re preparing for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
February 26, 2020

Cleveland Clinic has been closely monitoring this evolving health issue. In this interconnected world, healthcare providers are always aware of the possibility of emerging infections. This is an issue that Cleveland Clinic continuously prepares for through trainings and drills. In this situation we are preparing in a variety of ways:

  • Cleveland Clinic physicians and leaders have been holding regular, multidisciplinary planning meetings since mid-January
  • We are closely collaborating with public health officials on a local, state and national level
  • We have capacity to add up to 1,000 beds within 72 hours should the need arise
  • Preparation for healthcare includes drills, practice putting on and taking off personal protective equipment, table top exercises including mock patients, POI in urgent care ED and ICU
  • We are continuously working to keep our caregivers trained and educated
  • Currently we have adequate supplies (masks, ventilators, negative air pressure rooms)