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COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 preparedness and testing information

Our hospital is safe, operational and prepared to handle coronavirus cases

The safety of our patients, associates and physicians is our top priority at Dameron Hospital. We have highly trained infection prevention practitioners who closely follow the guidelines of the CDC and the local public health department. Our hospitals manage infectious diseases regularly and maintain isolation rooms.

Patient care will continue uninterrupted in all Adventist Health locations, and the system continues to be in close contact with federal, state and local agencies to ensure that our physicians, staff and patients receive the best possible care.

A new ER experience for a new COVID reality

When emergencies happen, Dameron Hospital is here for you – even during a pandemic. We know that many of our friends and neighbors are feeling hesitant about coming to the emergency room during these times. Some believe it’s safer to stay at home than visiting a hospital, but forgoing critical emergency care is dangerous.

That’s why we are urging our community to not delay their care. We are safe, open and ready for you.

You and your family can be assured that you’ll receive care in a safe environment when visiting our emergency room. Our team of expert clinicians has developed and implemented protocols to ensure our hospital is sanitary and safe during this pandemic -- and we’ve done it without sacrificing the compassionate expertise you have come to expect when visiting an Adventist Health emergency room.

Dameron Hospital has re-imagined our emergency room to be even safer in this age of COVID-19 as you and your family receive the care you need. While each of Adventist Health's emergency rooms has initiated unique protocols appropriate to their patients’ needs, we have all have adopted these important practices specific to COVID-19:

  • Regular disinfecting of every area: Each waiting room, registration area and patient-care area is sanitized continuously day and night -- especially high-touch surfaces, such as countertops, seating and handrails.
  • Social distancing: All our spaces have been reengineered to ensure patients can maintain at least 6 feet of distance in lobbies or registration areas. And while examinations can’t be performed at a distance, all doctors and nurses are fully trained in safety protocols, wear personal protective equipment, wash their hands regularly and change gloves before seeing each patient.
  • Masking: Every individual entering our hospital must wear a mask.
  • Limiting visitors: Visitor restrictions are in place to ensure we’re limiting potential exposure of germs.
  • Entry screening: Everyone entering our facilities is screened for a fever and any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Designating COVID-19-specific waiting areas and exam rooms: We maintain a dedicated area of our emergency room for patients with respiratory symptoms or those who are suspected of having COVID-19. They are separated from other patients for the safety of our community.

Together, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19. Doing so involves being careful and consistent in the way we care for patients and the way we as a community care for each other by social distancing, masking and avoiding large gatherings. At Adventist Health and Dameron Hospital, we’re proud to be your destination for that safe, compassionate care you deserve.

FREE COVID-19 Testing

Dameron Hospital is not a free COVID-19 testing site. Dameron does administer the COVID-19 test through our Emergency Department (ED); however, it is considered an ED visit and will be billed accordingly.

If you are having symptoms of COVID-19 and would still like to be seen knowing that your visit will be treated as a regular ED visit, please proceed to our Emergency Department for medical care and be prepared to show your ID and insurance card.

If you’re looking to be tested for free without having to go through our ED process or obtaining a doctor’s order, San Joaquin County offers free COVID-19 testing, by appointment, through the following providers:

Adventist Health and Dameron are protecting patients and caregivers

Adventist Health and Dameron Hosptial are emphasizing fundamental infection prevention measures such as hand washing for associates and visitors, isolating infectious patients as appropriate and providing personal protective equipment (such as masks, gloves, gowns and eye protection) for associates and visitors if needed. We also follow new or additional prevention measures, issued by the CDC.

Adventist Health has managed infectious disease on a regular basis, and we want to reassure you that Dameron Hosptial is safe. We are confident we can effectively treat an infected patient with little risk to our patients and visitors. We are closely following CDC protocols and working with local public health departments to ensure your safety.

Coronavirus FAQs

What is a novel coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold


What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea


What should I do if I have coronavirus symptoms?

If you are experiencing symptoms of respiratory disease, we encourage you to first discuss your situation with your primary care physician. Do not come to the hospital.

You should call your doctor if:

  • You develop symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath)
  • You have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19
  • You have recently traveled from an area of concern.


When should I seek emergency medical attention?

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility:
Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

What is the difference between influenza (flu) and COVID-19?

Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.

Treatment of COVID-19

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19, according to the CDC. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.


How do I protect myself from catching coronavirus?

Here are some preventative measures you can take to avoid contracting any virus:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Wear a facemask or face covering that fits snugly over your nose and mouth 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Get a flu shot (for everyone six months and older)
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces


How important is it to wear a face mask in public or social distance myself?

The CDC recommends that everyone wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people not living in your household and particularly where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations. Cloth face coverings may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected.
That’s why it’s important for everyone to practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from other people) and wear cloth face coverings in public settings. Cloth face coverings provide an extra layer to help prevent the respiratory droplets from traveling in the air and onto other people.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.
Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.