Prisma Health responds to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Stay informed with updates from Prisma Health experts.
Prisma Health is prepared to care for you.
Do you think you may have coronavirus?
Take these steps
- Start with a free Prisma Health Virtual Visit, call your primary care provider, or call our community outreach hotline at 1-833-2PRISMA.
- Call ahead before visiting any Prisma Health location.
- Do not go to the Emergency Department for COVID-19 testing.
- If you have a medical emergency, call 911.
If you’re a patient
See updates regarding scheduled surgeries and appointments.
If you’re a visitor
Visitors are no longer allowed in our hospitals, Emergency Departments and outpatient facilities.
Wash your hands
Thorough hand washing helps prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Cover your mouth
When coughing or sneezing, cover with tissue and discard tissue immediately.
Stay home if you feel sick
Isolate yourself for the protection of your family, friends and coworkers.
Frequently asked questions
Guidance about coming to Prisma Health facilities or events
To protect our patients, staff, and community, Prisma Health has implemented restrictions on visitation in our hospitals, Emergency Departments and outpatient facilities. All hospitals in South Carolina are making this change.
Taking into account the circumstances that exist with some of our patients, one visitor per patient will be allowed for the following:
- Pediatrics patients
- Obstetrics patients
- Intensive Care Nursery patients
- End of life events
Children less than 18 years of age will not be approved as visitors. Additionally, there will be no visitors for patients suspected of or who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Our physicians are evaluating routinely scheduled office visits and scheduled surgeries.
For provider appointments, our providers will determine if a telehealth visit is an alternative. This will include both telephone and video virtual health visits.
- Appointments are not cancelled unless the providers determine that after talking with the patient.
- Our practices are open for patients who need to be cared for by our providers on site for any acute issues.
- Each provider practice will proactively contact patients who have scheduled office appointments to determine if they come in person or if they set up a call or have a virtual visit, if that is an option. Patients with smartphones or online video access may have additional options, such as using a video consultation.
- If a patient has a scheduled surgery, the physician will determine the best treatment plan and discuss that with the patient.
Prisma Health also continues to urge patients to use its Prisma Health Virtual Visit, which is free for anyone seeking care for potential COVID-19. To access the free virtual visits, use promo code COVID19 at PrismaHealth.org/Virtual-visit.
Yes. Prisma Health is prepared to care for patients presenting with COVID-19 symptoms. We will not waiver in our dedication to provide high-quality care during this challenging time.
We regularly treat patients with infectious diseases and have rigorous controls and measures in place. Our team members include infectious disease specialists, who undergo specialized training. They also work closely with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) as the state public health agency that monitors public health crises.
It’s important to know that Prisma Health prepares for many different types of events facing our communities, such as disasters and emergence of new illnesses like COVID-19.
All patients admitted to our hospitals are being screened to find out if they have any symptoms, have traveled internationally recently, or have been in close contact with someone who has. We regularly treat patients with infectious diseases and have rigorous controls and measures in place to contain viruses or bacteria. Our team members include infectious disease specialists, who undergo specialized training.
First, call your doctor if you develop symptoms such as a fever, a cough and shortness of breath AND have had close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 OR have recently traveled to an area with widespread ongoing community spread of COVID-19. Close contact means being within six feet of the infected person for a prolonged period of time. Your health care professional will determine if you need to be seen in person for possible testing for COVID-19.
Before coming to Prisma Health, you also can use a free Prisma Health Virtual Visit to get quick care online for potential COVID-19. Use the payment code COVID19 for the free visit. Follow the guidance you receive from the health care professional for possible testing or other next steps.
Prisma Health is offering drive-through COVID-19 testing for patients with orders from their Prisma Health provider or from a Prisma Health Virtual Visit provider. In Columbia, testing also is available to patients sent from the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC).
Patients must have a provider order for the COVID-19 test and official personal identification.
- In Columbia, patients must have an appointment for their test.
- There will be signage to help direct patients.
- The site is not designed for general public. We are not able to provide testing to community members without a provider order at this site.
Upon arrival at the drive-through location, patients will remain in their car as a sample is collected. The results from samples collected from this location will be sent to the provider. Care providers will provide results to the patient.
Columbia hours and location
- The site is operating 9 a.m.–5 p.m., seven days per week.
- The Columbia site is outside Prisma Health Richland Hospital near the Emergency Department.
Greenville hours and location
- The site is operating 9 a.m.–6 p.m., seven days per week.
- The Greenville site is on Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Medical Campus on the lower level of the South Parking Deck.
Sumter hours and location
- The site is operating 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday–Friday.
- The Sumter site is at Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital’s Calhoun St./Day Surgery entrance.
Our Midlands and Upstate practices recommend continuing routine in-office prenatal care, unless instructed otherwise by your provider.
Continue infection prevention, per the CDC, including:
- frequent hand washing;
- covering your cough;
- disinfection of frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs, light switches, countertops, etc.); and
- avoiding contact with people who are sick.
If you have symptoms: If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath and are concerned that you were exposed to COVID-19, please call your practice to get information about COVID-19 testing and how to self-quarantine.
Delivery: We continue to recommend delivery in the hospital setting. We are prepared to care for all women at the time of delivery and have plans in place for infection prevention in all of our hospitals.
We know that these are unprecedented times with many unknowns. Please know that we are here and ready to serve you.
Use a Virtual Visit or call your provider. Our practices are open and are accepting new patients. Depending on your healthcare needs, we can handle your visit by phone, online or in person.
Contact your provider or choose one by browsing their profiles.
We recognize the need for family and friends to stay connected with loved ones during their hospital stay, and we are working on ways for the public to send well wishes to patients. In the meantime, family and friends are encouraged to stay connected with patients in the following ways:
Health Information Management (HIM/Medical Records) Release of Information areas have suspended walk-in services to minimize exposure to COVID-19. Patients and others may use these avenues to request records:
- Call HIM during normal business hours:
- Columbia hospitals: 803-296-5865 or fax requests to 803-296-5869
- Tuomey Hospital: 803-774-8710 or fax requests to 803-774-8817
- Greenville Memorial: 864-455-4566 or fax requests to 864-454-4654
- Patewood Medical campus: 864-454-4600 or fax requests to 864-454-4654
- Submit a request online
- Mail requests to addresses listed on the forms found here for the Midlands and here for the Upstate.
Patients may access their medical records via the patient portals or, at Tuomey, by contacting HIM.
Coronavirus quick facts
What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
COVID-19 is a new respiratory disease that was first identified in Wuhan, China. Symptoms have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
In 80% of patients, COVID-19 causes only mild cold symptoms. Older adults and those with pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease, appear to be more vulnerable to the virus.
The virus is thought to spread between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
There are several steps that community members can take to help stay healthy in general
Wash your hands.
Using warm water and soap, scrub under your nails, between fingers and on the back of your hands for at least 20 seconds. Dry hands with a paper towel and throw away, turning faucet off with another dry paper towel. Thorough hand washing helps prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. It is acceptable to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
Cover your mouth.
When coughing or sneezing, cover with tissue and discard tissue immediately. COVID-19 and many other infectious diseases are spread through by contact with respiratory particles.
Stay home if you feel sick.
Stay home if you feel sick. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, especially fever, cough and shortness of breath, isolate yourself for the protection of your family, friends and coworkers.
Changes in services and events
Under the guidance of both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Prisma Health implemented visitor restrictions at Prisma Health Lila Doyle to limit potential exposure to our residents, family members and team members. Visitation is only allowed in special circumstances, such as end-of-life care.
Every effort will be made to provide other means of communication with residents, such as phone calls and email.
Prisma Health recognizes the dedication, compassion and selfless commitment to service of its volunteers to patients, guests and team members. While we have rigorous controls and measures in place, we are going an extra step to further protect our volunteers and patients by temporarily pausing our volunteer service in our inpatient units, the Emergency Department and in other areas where volunteers have direct patient contact.
Volunteers who work in non-patient care areas are not affected at this time. If preferred, volunteers may be reassigned to non-patient areas or can elect to take a leave of absence from their volunteer duties.
In response to changing staffing needs, the Prisma Health North Greenville Hospital Emergency Department has temporarily closed its emergency department, as of Sunday, April 5, and will remain closed for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Prisma Health ambulance and its paramedic crew is based at the Prisma Health North Greenville Hospital ED location to assist with any medical emergencies during the ED’s temporary closure.
The outpatient services located at the hospital, such as radiology and laboratory services, are also temporarily closed.
To help the community better cope with the increasing number of potential patients with COVID-19, Prisma Health transitioned its Prisma Health North Greenville Hospital into a dedicated facility for the care of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients.
Prisma Health updates
To ensure all team members are comfortable in the clinical setting, Prisma Health is requiring surgical masks be worn by all team members who work in patient-facing environments. This includes team members in Environmental Services, Food and Nutrition, Admissions – anyone who comes in contact with any patient.
- The new team member universal masking policy details include:
- All team members who enter clinical buildings or physician practices that encounter patients or visitors will be provided a daily mask and paper bag for storing the mask.
- Masks will be worn in any common or shared areas of their clinical facility.
- Team members will be provided directions for proper donning and doffing of the mask to enhance fit and safety. They will be asked to perform strict hand hygiene to avoid unintentional contamination of the mask.
- If the mask becomes soiled, a replacement mask will be provided.
- When team members participate in the performance of an aerosol-generating procedure (AGP) with a patient, they will use an N95 respirator and follow current PPE guidelines.
- This policy does not change masking procedures for team members caring for confirmed COVID-19 positive patients and for patients awaiting test results.
- At the end of the workday, team members will discard the mask.
Prisma Health has added in-house COVID-19 sample testing in both the Midlands and Upstate. Even though in-house testing is being done on limited basis, it is quickly reducing the number of patients awaiting COVID-19 test results at the hospitals, which helps reduce the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Being able to test internally has decreased waiting time for test results from days to a few hours.
Prisma Health is committed to keeping our patients, team members, visitors and community informed. The CDC and SC DHEC are the lead public health and environmental agencies and provide real-time updates on the progression of this disease.
For the most up-to-date information and recommendations on COVID-19:
Join us in thanking our team members for their dedication to our community during this fight against COVID-19. We appreciate these selfless heroes.
Prisma Health introduces innovative ventilator device
Prisma Health announces the introduction of VESper, a unique ventilator expansion device that allows a single ventilator to support up to four patients. This device will increase hospital capacity to treat those needing ventilator support, including COVID-19 patients.
Help us respond to COVID-19
If you would like to show your support for our healthcare professionals across Prisma Health, please consider a charitable donation or an in-kind donation of needed supplies.
From your health and wellness experts at Prisma Health
Tips to help you stop touching your face
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve been told to stop touching our faces. But it’s a hard habit to break. Cassidy Hood, MD, Greer Family Medicine, explained why we should stop and how to do it.
How to tell the difference between allergies and a virus
Distinguishing between seasonal illnesses and viruses such as COVID-19 can be tricky because the symptoms can be similar. Jason Liu, MD, Palmetto Health-USC Primary Care, shared ways you can tell the difference.
Nine tips for self-care during difficult times
To help you manage stress and anxiety, Karen Lommel, DO, Behavioral Health Chief Medical Officer and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Prisma Health–Upstate, offered advice on ways you can take care of yourself.