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COVID-19 Patient and Visitor Information

Your Safety is Our Top Priority

You may be concerned about news of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and its implications for your health and those of your loved ones. Your safety and well-being are our top priority.

Visitor Restrictions:

Effective Monday, March 15, 2021, we implemented new visitor guidelines in inpatient and outpatient areas of Suburban Community Hospital.

Hospital:

Visiting hours from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

  • Patients must have a confirmed negative Covid-19 test and occupy a single room to have a visitor.
  • One (1) visitor is permitted per qualifying patient with a visitation lasting no more than one (1) hour.
  • All visitors must pass our entry screening process, and wear mask the entire time while in the hospital including when in the patient’s room.
    • All visitors must perform hand hygiene before visiting a patient.
    • All patients and visitors are required to wear a mask at all times.
  • Once in the hospital, visitors must remain in the patient’s room throughout the visit, except when directed otherwise by hospital staff.
  • All visitors must comply with hospital requirements to minimize the potential spread of infection.

Behavioral Health:

Everything above EXCEPT visiting hours are from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Emergency Room:

  • One (1) visitor is allowed after the Medical Screening Examinations is completed.
  • If the patient is suspected of having COVID, then no visitation.

As a reminder, any approved visitors must pass a risk assessment screening before entry, which includes a series of questions related to travel and respiratory symptoms. All non-ER patients, including our Wound Care Center, Radiology Department, and other outpatient services, will be allowed access thru the Main Lobby. Same patients will be screened with specific questions regarding COVID-19.

COVID-19: What you need to know about vaccination

There is no greater privilege than caring for our neighbors, as we have for generations. We share your excitement about the COVID-19 vaccine's arrival and the role it plays in leading us to a brighter 2021.

COVID Vaccine Information

Please do not call your provider's office to request a vaccine.
You will not be able to schedule an appointment by calling.

Where are the other vaccination sites in my area?

We encourage you to be vaccinated at your earliest opportunity. Your county and state Department of Health websites will have more information on vaccination sites and availability, and we encourage you to check these often:

When can I get vaccinated?

Because there is a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control is making recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first. Find out more about the process. In accordance with this guidance, Suburban Community Hospital is distributing vaccines as safely and efficiently as possible to the members of our community who are at greatest risk. Suburban Community Hospital will hold vaccination clinics each month as our vaccine supply allows.

Vaccinations for our patients and community

While Suburban Community Hospital is a vaccination site, our ability to offer vaccinations depends on supply. Our vaccine supply is intermittent and very limited. Health systems cannot be solely responsible for the distribution of vaccines to our region. Instead, vaccinating our community will require the work of many including the local departments of health, pharmacies, and health systems.

Please do not call our Hospital requesting a vaccine outside the hotline hours described below.

Suburban Community Hospital will soon begin to vaccinate residents of Montgomery County according to the current vaccination phase as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

We do not have the supply to vaccinate Montgomery County residents all at once. In an order to efficiently and equitably meet the needs of our community, we will be taking a phased approach to vaccinating our patients.

We understand that many of you are eager to be vaccinated. We ask for your patience and cooperation as we seek to reach out to all of our eligible patients. This is a time-consuming process, but we are committed to vaccinating as many members of our community as we can with the vaccine supply that is made available to us, which is very limited. Please be assured that we will reach out to you as soon as possible.

As more information—and more supply—becomes available, we will continue to keep our communities updated. Please continue to check our website and social media accounts for updates, and thank you for your patience.

How do I sign up to get my vaccine at Suburban Community Hospital?

Our ultimate goal is to ensure everyone who is a resident of Montgomery County and is eligible under the Pennsylvania Department of Health gets a vaccination.

Information about the vaccines is constantly changing, and we will update our social media sites, and this page frequently as we learn more.

Due to the high demand for the COVID-19 vaccine, all available appointments have been filled. We ask for our community’s patience as we work to make more appointments available. Appointments will depend on vaccine availability. The vaccine distribution is determined by the State of Pennsylvania and not at the local level.

When our supply of vaccine increases, we will continue to contact patients who meet the eligibility requirements to schedule their vaccines and open registration again to the public.

Please be patient as it may take several weeks until you are able to get an appointment to be vaccinated. Be reassured that we will continue until we exhaust our vaccine supplies.

If you had already sent your registered email, you will be placed on the next available opening, when we receive additonal vaccines.

Once we receive your email, a team will review the applicant's eligibility to receive the vaccine based on the guidance in the Pennsylvania's COVID-19 Vaccination Plan (pa.gov).

We also ask that you do not come to the hospital without an appointment to wait for a possible open space, as we still need to maintain parking spaces for patients seeking medical care.

Anyone requesting a vaccine can expect a response within three to four (3-4) business days. If it is determined that the applicant is eligible per State guidance and as supply allows, they will receive a call to be scheduled for both their first and second vaccine appointments. Suburban Community Hospital only carries the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and second appointments will be scheduled for 21 days after the first dose.

As you can imagine, we anticipate a large response to this opportunity and are unable to guarantee vaccination at this time. Patience will be necessary as we process and prioritize all these requests. Additionally, we are working closely with the County and other Hospitals to help coordinate this effort, and you may expect to see changes to this operation over the next few weeks.

We are so excited to expand our public health footprint and provide this opportunity for those who need it.

Vaccinations for health care providers

Since the start of our vaccinations at Suburban Community Hospital in December, we have been vaccinating our patient-facing staff, as well as independent medical providers in our community. Additionally, 10 percent of our vaccine supply has been allocated to independent, non-affiliated practices, consistent with the order given by the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health.

At this time, we are not able to schedule any COVID-19 vaccine appointments for independent, non-affiliated health care practices.

Given the current rate of vaccine allocation, the process is expected to take weeks for additional vaccines.

Information about the vaccines is constantly changing, and we will update this page frequently as we learn more.

Suburban Community Hospital only carries the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and second appointments will be scheduled for 21 days after the first dose.

Additionally, we are working closely with the County and other Hospitals to help coordinate this effort, and you may expect to see changes to this operation over the next few weeks.

What do I need to bring with me to my vaccination appointment?

When you come to your appointment, be sure to bring identification that verifies you’re eligible as part of the state’s Phase 1A groups (e.g., doctor’s note, pharmacy medication list, medical alert bracelet, visit summary from last doctor’s visit with list of medical history) and a valid government-issued ID (e.g. driver’s license, state ID, passport).

Arrive no more than 5 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. If you have an appointment, you have a vaccine. There's no need to stand in line, as your dose will be reserved just for you — we won't run out.

What if I don’t feel well on the day of my vaccination appointment?

If you have COVID symptoms (Shortness of breath, fever, nausea, body aches) on the day of your appointment, call 610.278.2253 to reschedule.

What if I miss my first vaccination appointment?

If you miss your vaccine appointment, call 610.278.2253 for assistance.

What can I expect during my vaccination appointment?

Arrive no more than 5 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. If you have an appointment, you have a vaccine. There's no need to stand in line, as your dose will be reserved just for you — we won't run out.

You’ll receive information about the vaccine and its emergency use authorization, and potential side effects. We’ll also give you documentation that you received the vaccine — make sure to keep this while waiting for your second dose. You will also be officially registered for your second dose, but for your planning purposes it will be three weeks from your first dose on the same weekday and time of your first dose.

Even after you’ve received a vaccine, you must still continue preventive best practices like handwashing, masking and physical distancing. You will not have full immunity until one to two week s after your second dose of the vaccine.

How do I schedule the second dose?

We’ll schedule your second dose when you receive your first dose of the vaccine. It’s important that you keep your appointment to get your second dose, so be sure to note the time and date.

Where can I get my second dose?

You’ll need to receive your second dose at the same location you receive your first dose.

Should I get vaccinated?

In order to fight this pandemic, it's important to use every tool we have to defend ourselves. In addition to masks and social distancing, vaccines work with your immune system to give your body a better chance of fighting off the virus if you do get it. The CDC further explains the importance of COVID-19 vaccination.

What if I'm immunocompromised?

Vaccination is a personal decision. If you are immunocompromised or have concerns about receiving the vaccine and its side effects, make an appointment to discuss these concerns with your health care provider. The CDC has more information available for people who are immunocompromised on their website.

What if I'm pregnant? Do I still get vaccinated?

Pregnant patients may be vaccinated, but it's important to talk with your provider to help you decide whether vaccination is right for you. Vaccination for disease such as COVID-19, which has been authorized for use under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), often demonstrates greater benefit than risk. Here is more information on COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy and breastfeeding.

The vaccine came out so quickly. Is it safe?

Many people are concerned about the vaccine's safety because of how quickly it was developed. The scientific and medical community are unanimously agreed on the safety of the vaccine and you can read more about the benefits being vaccinated. The COVID vaccines are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, which do not contain a live virus and cannot infect the vaccinated person. Learn more about mRNA vaccines on the CDC website.

Can I get COVID from the vaccine?

No, you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccines being produced in the United States contain no live virus. Research continues regarding vaccination and antibody testing. Get the COVID-19 facts from the CDC.

Additional vaccination sites

In Pennsylvania the best way to follow the rollout of the vaccine is to stay tuned to the Department of Health website which is constantly being updated. You'll soon find vaccine locations in Pennsylvania, such as pharmacies, doctor's offices, urgent care centers and health centers. Currently, there is no specific timeline identified for the general public.

Whom to call with questions

We understand you may have questions about the vaccine, and you may have some concerns as well. We will continue to provide accurate, up-to-date resources and guidance from the State Department of Health as well as the Centers for Disease Control. We also encourage you to talk to your own primary care provider about whether vaccination is appropriate for you.

If you have concerns or questions about COVID-19 or are exhibiting respiratory symptoms, please contact your primary care provider.

Additional resources

Pfizer and Moderna vaccine FAQ and information

Read these facts sheets to get answers to your frequently asked questions about the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines:

Surgery:

Please know that:

  • Outpatient elective cases that routinely do not require an admission will continue to be scheduled at this time.
  • Urgent and emergency procedures will continue to be available. If you have any questions, contact your doctor for additional information.

Events and Classes:

Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, Suburban Community Hospital has canceled all previously scheduled events and classes. Events and classes will reconvene at a later date.

Individuals who are registered for an event or class will be contacted to reschedule. If you were not contacted please contact the number on your registered event for details.

For Medical Records questions, please click here.

While we understand the important role that family members and visitors play in a patient's healing process, our new policies (which align with many other area hospitals and health systems) aim to balance the needs of patients while maintaining a safe environment for all.

We will continue to monitor this situation. The need for visitor restrictions will be re-evaluated regularly.

Please know that:

  • We are taking all necessary measures and precautions to protect the safety of our patients and staff.
  • We specialize in the care of patients with complex illnesses and have experience with managing and containing novel viruses.
  • This is a rapidly evolving situation and we suggest you check out the latest updates on the CDC website as well as the website of your state health department.
  • Hospital visitor policies have been updated to reflect national efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. This policy may change at any time due to the rapidly evolving situation.
    • Visitors to patients at end of life will be allowed at the discretion of the care team.
  • Hospital entry points will be limited to enable screening of patients and approved visitors. Approved visitors who show any signs of illness, including mild symptoms, should not visit patients in the hospital or accompany patients to the emergency department.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Novel Coronavirus

What is our hospital doing to protect patients?

  • We are screening patients with symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath and with a history of travel within the past 14 days to communities with widespread or sustained community transmission of the coronavirus.
  • If we have a confirmed or potential patient with COVID-19, we will institute standard infectious disease protocols, as well as additional measures, to prevent the potential spread of the virus. All healthcare providers who have contact with the patient will use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

How concerned should I be about the coronavirus?

  • As of now, the seasonal flu remains a significant health risk.
  • Coronaviruses can cause the common cold and pneumonia. Most people infected with the novel coronavirus have mild cold symptoms. A small fraction of people, however, may require more intensive care. We understand your concern about protecting yourself from respiratory diseases.
  • We have launched an online self-checker for the novel coronavirus in the form of a bot nicknamed Robby. Robby walks users through symptoms and then gives recommendations if medical care is needed. Robby is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment purposes. Click the blue "Start Self-Check Assessment" button to launch the self-checker:

Start Self-Check Assessment

What can I do to protect myself?

It is understandable to feel uncertain or anxious during a public health crisis, and we need to remember to avoid making assumptions about others' perceived symptoms or any characteristics of identity. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent the novel coronavirus infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Here are the current CDC recommendations to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Take everyday preventive actions for respiratory infections, such as avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying home when sick, and washing hands often.
  • Avoid traveling to places with widespread or sustained community transmission of the coronavirus. A good place for reliable travel information can be found on the CDC's travel advisory page.

Should I wear a mask?

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

Where can I learn more?

Concerned patients and family members should talk with their healthcare provider.

You can also find more information about the virus from these websites.