Get the Facts About the Coronavirus.
Get the Facts About the Coronavirus.

Facts About COVID-19

UPMC Press Briefing (March 27, 2020)

Tami Minnier, UPMC Chief Quality Officer, Discusses COVID-19 Training, Protective Equipment

Listen as Tami Minnier talks to KDKA’s Marty Griffin about UPMC COVID-19 preparedness efforts. “We have the resources that you need. We have the supplies you need,” Minnier says.

How to Find Help

People most at risk of contracting COVID-19 are those who have traveled to places where person-to-person transmission of the virus is occurring, and/or those who have been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

If you believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus and have no symptoms, you may contact your doctor for advice. Practice routine precautions such as social distancing.

If you have flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, you may call your primary care doctor to schedule a video visit or use UPMC AnywhereCare. A video visit from home limits the spread of infection, and if needed, UPMC can guide you safely to the next care site. 

If you are experiencing severe symptoms such as trouble breathing, you should visit an emergency department in your community for immediate care. If you can, call ahead of time so they may prepare for your arrival and prevent the spread of any illness, but do not delay if you have severe breathing problems.

Please note that UPMC Urgent Care locations and Primary Care Walk-In Centers are not able to test for or treat patients with COVID-19. They are open to treat minor illnesses and injuries.

Visit  UPMC CareFinder to find locations near you

Need to see your doctor or specialist but concerned about the COVID-19 risk? You can schedule a MyUPMC Video Visit with your doctor or specialist via your smartphone from the comfort of home.

Call your provider’s office or use our UPMC Referral Line at 1-800-533-8762 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to make a video appointment. Visit our Find a Doctor directory. 

COVID-19 Testing at UPMC

UPMC has developed a test for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — and will use this test to diagnose select, symptomatic cases.

UPMC is directing patients with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to specimen collection sites in Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood. Additionally, regional COVID-19 nasal specimen collection sites are now open in Altoona, Erie, Harrisburg, and Williamsport to enhance local testing efforts.

These sites are not open to the general public. Patients must have a physician referral approved by UPMC’s infection prevention team and an appointment to have their specimen collected for testing by either UPMC or public health authorities. Walk-in patients cannot be tested. Testing capacity is dependent upon resources and is finite.

UPMC Press Briefing (March 20, 2020)

UPMC Visitor and Volunteer Restrictions

Beginning March 26, 2020, all visitors, patients, and staff will be screened upon entry to any UPMC hospital and cancer center. Visitors, patients, and staff entering a facility will be asked a series of COVID-19 screening questions. Those permitted inside will be given an optional facemask that they may wear when inside the facility.

As of March 27, patients to UPMC’s Emergency Department cannot be accompanied by a visitor unless the visitor is necessary for the patient’s assistance and care. Visitors must be adults, cannot be showing symptoms, and cannot move around the Emergency Department or entire the main hospital.

Learn more about our temporary visitation restrictions.

What Is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) not previously seen in humans.

An outbreak of COVID-19 began in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in China’s Hubei province. To date, cases of COVID-19 have spread around the world, making the condition one of the most rapidly emerging infectious diseases.

COVID-19 can cause fever, cough, and shortness of breath. This virus is spread through human contact, much like the cold or flu. There is not yet a vaccine or medication approved to treat it.

The virus has been identified in over 100,000 people across the globe. While most people recover from COVID-19, it can be life-threatening.

Facts about COVID-19

COVID-19 is a disease first identified in 2019. As it makes headlines, UPMC is ready to care for patients and staff who may be affected.

Our facilities are well-equipped to properly care for patients with contagious diseases, and our preparedness efforts for COVID-19 are extensive.

“We are a world-class academic medical center,” says Don Yealy, MD, chair of emergency medicine at UPMC. “That means we provide outstanding patient care and do research to improve that medical care. In this current health care challenge, these features again help us respond to the needs of our community, near and far.”

Read on to learn more about this disease and how you can find help if you believe you have been affected.

UPMC COVID-19 Donations

UPMC is committed to doing everything within our power to ensure a safe environment for our patients and staff. We have enough supply of personal protective equipment and cleaning solutions to meet current demands across UPMC, and we acquire new supplies daily.

We are humbled by the outpouring of support from the community interested in donating supplies to ensure we are prepared for the potential rise in COVID-19 cases across the regions we serve.

Learn more about the donations procedure.

Latest news from UPMC

UPMC Launches Regional Testing; Widespread COVID-19 Not Yet Detected

March 20, 2020

The Pittsburgh region is not yet seeing widespread transmission of COVID-19, according to research done by UPMC clinicians, as explained today at a media briefing.

Read more.

UPMC Ready to Test for Coronavirus; First Collection Site Opens

March 14, 2020

UPMC has developed a test for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — and will use this test to diagnose select, symptomatic cases.

Read more.

UPMC Developing Test for COVID-19

March 9, 2020

UPMC Clinical Laboratories are rapidly developing a test for use in diagnosing patients suspected of having COVID-19.

Read more.

To learn more, visit our UPMC Newsroom.

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Learn more on the UPMC HealthBeat Blog

To learn more, visit UPMC HealthBeat.

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