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Emergency FAQs

Safe Pathways To Care

We care about the community and will provide you with verified information from trusted resources to keep you and your family safe. We have created this space to keep you armed with information you need to make decisions about your health. Most of all, we're here to help. Let us know your questions. We are right beside you.

What you need to know today:

  • Many of those experiencing mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are turning to Reid Health's Urgent Care locations or even the Emergency Departments. Instead, your first call should be to your primary care provider.

  • Anyone who has mild respiratory symptoms should reach out to their primary care provider's office. Staff there can help you get set up for COVID-19 testing
    -- if needed -- either at the office or at Reid's drive-thru testing sites. They also can schedule a telehealth visit for those who would rather not come to the office or direct you to the best place to seek care outside of the primary care provider's regular hours.

  • Reid also offers virtual urgent care through Reid Health NOW, which is priced at $29 through the end of February.

  • Recent surges in COVID-19 cases have pushed Reid Health's Urgent Care sites and Emergency Departments to their limits. It's critical that those who are experiencing only minor symptoms turn to their primary care provider first. If you have more serious symptoms such as shortness of breath or trouble breathing, that's when it's appropriate to visit the Emergency Department.

Read Full Update

Today's COVID-19 Stats:

  • Patients in containment areas: 63
  • Number of those patients who are unvaccinated: 44 (69.8%)
  • COVID-19 patients in the ICU: 8
  • Number of those patients who are unvaccinated: 6 (75%)
  • COVID-19 patients on ventilators: 3
  • Number of those patients who are unvaccinated: 2 (66.7%)
  • Tests submitted since last update: 303
  • Lab-confirmed positives since last update: 111 (36.6% positivity rate)
  • Suspected COVID-19 admissions in the past 24 hours: 29

Updated 1/28/2022

See Full Details

COVID-19 Hotline 

Available 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., 7 days a week

Call for questions related to:

  • COVID-19 testing and scheduling
  • COVID-19 test results
  • Clinical advice about your symptoms

Please use the COVID-19 Hotline (765) 965-4200 as your primary contact number for all things COVID-related.

COVID-19 Hotline 

COVID Emergency FAQs

Why is this an emergency compared to last year?

The highly contagious and more severe Delta variant -- which was not around a year ago -- is causing the current surge in COVID-19 cases. The average hospital stay for patients in this wave has been six weeks, which means available resources such as beds and staffing are not turning over as quickly as they have in the past. This has caused Reid Health and other hospitals in our region to reach their limits in their ability to care for new patients suffering from COVID or other health issues.

Why can’t you just add more beds to handle the surge?

Patients with severe COVID-19 illness need more than just a bed. They need a high level of care from staff with higher certifications and training. Those staff are at their limit in the number of patients for which they can properly provide care.

Why are you holding patients in the Emergency Department?

There is no immediate space available at Reid Health, and other hospitals around the region are not accepting patients. Patients are being held in the Emergency Department until a more suitable place for them elsewhere can be found.

How can I celebrate the holidays safely?

The best thing you can do is get vaccinated. If you've already done so, get your booster shot if you're eligible. Everyone -- fully vaccinated and boosted or not -- should wear masks while indoors, social distance, and wash their hands frequently. When having larger family gatherings, it would be best to keep individual family groups (yourself, your spouse, and your children) distanced from other family groups (such as your sibling, their spouse, and their children) as much as possible. You also can get tested for COVID-19 before any planned get-togethers, and if you're feeling unwell, stay home.

I’m hearing the new Omicron variant is thought to be less severe. If that’s the case, why are we in an emergency situation?

The current surge in COVID-19 cases is the result of the highly contagious and more severe Delta variant. Although Omicron has been detected in Indiana, Delta remains the dominant strain.

Isn’t it mainly older people who are in the hospital for COVID-19?

The Delta-variant surge looks different than earlier waves of the pandemic. Previously, patients tended to be older people with underlying health conditions, in other words, the most vulnerable among us. Today, the sickest patients usually are younger (between the ages of 35 and 65), are overweight or obese, are diabetic, and most importantly, are unvaccinated.

Your Guide to COVID-19 Testing

Testing is important in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Your primary resource for scheduling, questions, and results is the the COVID-19 Hotline. There are also options for self-testing if you have symptoms or may have been in contact with someone who has tested positive. Read frequently asked questions below.

Where to get tested

If you need to be tested for COVID-19, Reid Health offers drive-thru testing at the following locations:

Richmond - 1200 Chester Blvd. 7 days a week, by appointment and available 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day.

Connersville - 2025 Virginia Ave. Monday through Friday, by appointment and available 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Testing FAQs

Who should get tested?

The CDC recommends the following people be tested:

  • Anyone showing symptoms
  • Those who have been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19
  • People not fully vaccinated who are asked or referred by their school, workplace, or healthcare providers

What are the types of tests?

There are two categories of COVID-19 tests: Testing for current infection and testing for an infection in the past.

Antibody tests are for those who may have been infected with COVID-19 in the past. Antibodies are detected in the blood of someone who has previously been infected with COVID-19 or someone who might have been vaccinated against the virus that causes the disease.

Viral tests are for those who might be currently infected with COVID-19. There are two types:

  • Rapid tests (Antigen Symptomatic) return result in about 15-30 minutes. These are less sensitive than PCR tests and are generally used when a patient is symptomatic and within a certain number of days since symptom onset. These are best when there is a known exposure to a person with COVID-19.
  • PCR tests (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test - NAAT) detect genetic material (nucleic acids) and sequences (RNA or ribonucleic acid) that makes up the material of the virus. Specimens are retrieved by swabbing the upper- or lower-respiratory tract. These tests can be used on patients who may be asymptomatic as they are more sensitive in detecting the virus.

I traveled recently. Should I get tested?

The CDC recommends people be fully vaccinated before traveling.

Those who are not fully vaccinated should get tested 1-3 days before their trip and again 3-5 days after their trip. They also should stay home for a full 7 days after returning.

Those who are fully vaccinated do not need to get tested or self-quarantine when they return home but should monitor themselves for potential symptoms.

Here is a helpful graphic from the CDC.

I tested negative. Now what?

A negative result likely means you don't have COVID-19, or at least you didn't at the time your sample was collected. You should consult your school/workplace policies to find out whether you can return to your normal schedule.

I tested positive. Now what?

All those who test positive for COVID-19 -- whether fully vaccinated or not -- should isolate from others for at least 5 days from either their first day of symptoms or the day of their positive test, whichever was earlier. If after Day 5 you no longer have symptoms, you can leave your home, but you should continue to wear a mask around others until after Day 10. If you have a fever, stay home until it's gone.

The Indiana Department of Health's page on contact tracing says you can spread COVID-19 two days before you begin to have symptoms. Once you test positive, you should reach out to anyone you've been in close contact with so they can begin their quarantine. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

If you don't have symptoms, you should reach out to any close contacts from the 48 hours before you were tested. If you do have symptoms, it's the 48 hours before you developed those symptoms.

Once your isolation period has ended, if you are not vaccinated yet you may do so. The CDC says there is growing reason to believe being fully vaccinated offers better protection than natural immunity. One study showed unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than two times as likely as fully vaccinated people to get sick again.

If you test positive between doses of the two-shot Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, you'll need to wait until after you are well enough to end your isolation period to get your second dose.

Ask the Expert

Helpful Resources

It's important to stay informed to help you remain in good health and protect your family. View the information below to understand COVID-19, its symptoms, and to know where you can go to receive the latest updates.

Resource List

Understanding COVID-19

  • COVID-19 spreads when someone who is infected with the virus breathes droplets and small particles that contain the virus (source).
  • It is transmitted in 3 main ways:
    • Breathing in the small droplets exhaled by an infected person
    • Sprays from coughs or sneezes
    • Touching your face with the virus on your hands

Symptoms of COVID-19

This list is not all-inclusive. Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions might be more susceptible to serious complications (source).

  • 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

It's important to seek emergency care immediately if you have:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in your chest
  • New confusion
  • An inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

Reid Health COVID-19 Latest Statistics

  • Confirmed COVID-positive patients in containment areas: 63
  • Number of those patients who are unvaccinated: 44 (69.8%)
  • COVID-19 patients in the ICU: 8
  • Number of those patients who are unvaccinated: 6 (75%)
  • COVID-19 patients on ventilators: 3
  • Number of those patients who are unvaccinated: 2 (66.7%)
  • Suspected COVID-19 admissions in the past 24 hours: 2
  • Tests submitted since last update: 303
  • Lab-confirmed positives since last update: 111 (36.6% positivity rate)
  • Total tests submitted since pandemic began: 97,928
  • Total positive results since pandemic began: 12,485 (12.7% positivity rate)
    As of 1/28/2022. Unvaccinated, as defined by the CDC, is anyone who has not received a dose or has received only the first of a two-dose vaccine.

Reid Health COVID-19 Vaccination Doses

  • Total from all locations: 57,366

    As of 1/27/22

    Reid Health serves an eight-county area, including Wayne, Randolph, Henry, Union, Fayette, and Franklin counties in Indiana and Darke and Preble counties in Ohio. The statistics above represent patients from throughout the service area.

General COVID-19 questions

What can I do to protect myself and others?

  • Get vaccinated and if you're eligible, get boosted.
  • Stay home if you're sick.
  • Wear a mask when in crowded indoor public places.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated areas.
  • Wash your hands often. Watch this video on proper handwashing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch objects and surfaces regularly.

Why are there breakthrough cases in vaccinated people?

When someone who is fully vaccinated from COVID-19 becomes infected with the virus, this is called a "vaccine breakthrough infection." No vaccine can 100% eliminate a virus. After receiving a vaccine, some fully vaccinated people can still get sick, be hospitalized, and even die from COVID-19.

Research has shown those who are vaccinated and still become ill with COVID-19 experience less severe symptoms and less risk of infection, hospitalization, and death. Data shows those who are vaccinated experience adverse effects from the virus at a much lower rate than those who are unvaccinated.

I've had COVID-19 or I've been vaccinated. Why do I still need to wear a mask?

The recommendation is that although vaccinated or recovered from previous infection, you should still wear a mask while remaining at least 6 feet apart, especially indoors. Because the virus is spread through the transmission of respiratory droplets when someone coughs, sneezes, talks, or breathes on another person, a mask will add an additional layer of protection to help slow the spread.

What is the Delta variant?

Delta variant is a mutation of the COVID-19 virus. This variant has been the most common seen in positive cases since August 2021, causing twice as many infections as the original virus because of its viral load. The greatest concern with this variant has been the impact on unvaccinated people as the transmissibility has been higher in unvaccinated groups.

What does a surge in cases mean for a hospital?

Health systems have found themselves in "critical" bed status, similar to the surge felt at the previous height of the COVID-19 pandemic in late fall/early winter 2020. The strain is felt across health systems because resources are needed in high acuity areas.

Staffing is one factor in surges throughout the country, but most of the impact is felt from the severity of patient illness. Since the surge in COVID-19 cases as a result of the Delta variant, patients are entering emergency rooms with more severe symptoms that require more hospital resources.

The average length of hospital stay also is longer as patients are sicker. More people are admitted than discharged, which taxes health system capacity.

What is the risk of my child becoming sick with COVID-19?

The CDC reports the Delta variant has resulted in an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations among U.S. children and adolescents. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there was a 10x increase in hospitalizations among children 0-4 years old. Additionally, hospitalizations among unvaccinated adolescents was 10x higher than those fully vaccinated.

Similar to effects in adults, children also can experience severe outcomes with COVID-19. Preventative measures such as handwashing, mask wearing, and social distancing should be taken to help prevent the spread in schools and communities.

Can Ivermectin help treat COVID-19?

Ivermectin is not approved by the FDA for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. There is little scientific evidence at this point to prove the drug is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19 patients.

Can we achieve herd immunity naturally?

There is no practical way to completely keep young, otherwise healthy people from contacting vulnerable populations such as the elderly or chronically ill people. During the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, waves of the virus occurred over a three-year period, meaning it took years to develop natural herd immunity while many people succumbed to the illness. The quickest and safest way to achieve herd immunity for COVID-19 is through vaccination.

Do I need to get vaccinated if I've already had COVID-19?

According to the CDC, those who have recovered from COVID-19 should get vaccinated. The CDC cites evidence that suggests people get better protection from reinfection by being fully vaccinated, including one study that showed unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than 2x more likely than fully vaccinated people to become infected again.

Do the COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility? Are they safe for pregnant people?

There is no evidence the vaccines cause infertility issues, and the CDC says the vaccines are safe for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or who hope to become pregnant in the future.

Along with the CDC, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine have endorsed COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy.

Pregnancy causes changes in the body that could make it easier to get very sick from respiratory viruses such as the one that causes COVID-19.

In addition to the same severe illness and death risks that all those with COVID-19 face, pregnant people who become infected have a higher likelihood for preterm birth, stillbirth, and the need for their baby to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

Meanwhile, studies have shown breastfeeding people have antibodies in their breastmilk, which could help protect their babies from infection.

Have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine?

Get Your Questions Answered

Community Support

Reid Health is grateful for the care teams that continue to support and protect our patients and for the community that rallies behind them. Thank you!

Discrimination is Against the Law. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and Indiana laws. We do not discriminate against, exclude or treat people differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. Please see our Patients’ Bill of Rights.

Reid Health
1100 Reid Parkway
Richmond, IN 47374
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