What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a dangerous disease caused by a virus discovered in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. It is very contagious and has quickly spread around the world. COVID-19 most often causes respiratory symptoms that can feel much like a cold, a flu, or pneumonia, but COVID-19 can also harm other parts of the body.

  • Most people who catch COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some people become severely ill.
  • Older adults and people who have certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Hundreds of thousands of people have died from COVID-19 in the United States.
  • Vaccines against COVID-19 are safe and effective.

Where can I read more about COVID-19 vaccines?

COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available. In most cases, you do need an appointment. Do not wait for a specific brand. Learn how to find a COVID-19 vaccine so you can get it as soon as you can.

All currently authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and reduce your risk of severe illness. CDC does not recommend one vaccine over another.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Overview

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Overview

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine Overview

Where can I get tested or receive a vaccine for COVID-19?

For more information on COVID-19 testing and vaccine locations, please use one or more of the options below:

  • Contact your local family physician and/or pharmacy
  • Visit to find vaccination providers near you.
  • Text your zip code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find vaccine locations near you.
  • Contact the Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Check your local news outlets. They may have information on how to get a vaccination appointment.
Can children and babies also be tested for COVID-19?

Children and babies can be tested if they meet the criteria and a physician orders the test. Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date.

How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

Your best protection from COVID-19 will be a combination of getting a COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands often. No one tool alone is going to stop the pandemic.

• Wear a mask over your mouth and nose when in public.
• Wash hands thoroughly and frequently
• Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily
• Practice social distancing, keeping at least 6 feet apart from each other
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with the crook of your arm.
• Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated or fully enclosed indoor spaces.
• Choose outdoor activities over indoor ones
• If you exhibit symptoms, call your doctor BEFORE going into the office

How to quarantine if I have been exposed to COVID-19

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

Instructions for how to quarantine

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

If you are experiencing fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you should contact your health provider. If you plan to visit your doctor or local ER, call their staff ahead of time about your symptoms as they may alter their usual visit practices during this time.
Are there any special precautions I should take if I have COVID-19 and diabetes?

Infections can lead to elevated blood sugar levels. Be prepared. Work with your diabetes team to figure out a plan ahead of time for medications and blood sugar targets.

If you become sick with COVID-19, continue taking your insulin and diabetes medications, and test your blood sugar levels every 4 hours. For more information on how to be prepared with COVID-19 and diabetes, please read Sick Days, COVID-19 and Diabetes.

Is there a process to follow when coming to the ER if I think I’m sick with COVID-19?

If you believe you are sick with COVID-19 you should first call your local healthcare provider. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. There is no treatment specifically approved for this virus. If you have severe enough symptoms that you feel you need to be seen in the Emergency Room, please call ahead by dialing (830) 379-2411 and the operator will connect you to the Emergency Room. The Emergency room will direct you on how to proceed.

In what ways has GRMC prepared for COVID-19?

Guadalupe Regional Medical Center is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and has a preparedness plan in place for identifying, triaging, and treating patients with suspected COVID-19. We are in close contact with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (aka TDHHS) via a daily call and are monitoring Centers for Disease Control recommendations as this scenario unfolds. GRMC is actively partnering with local emergency responders and STRAC (South Texas Regional Advisory Council) on emergency preparedness in addition to communicating with the local medical community. GRMC is ready to activate emergency response measures if necessary.

GRMC will continue to:

  • Follow updated guidance from CDC/TDHHS for the management of Persons Under Investigation for COVID-19
  • Use CDC recommended methods of disinfecting our facility with a focus on high-touch areas
  • Take care of our patients and staff by providing education on updated CDC recommendations for use of personal protective equipment and other infection control measures
  • Educate our community on hygiene practices that support containment
How is GRMC keeping patients, staff and the community safe?

Guadalupe Regional Medical Center has a long-standing commitment to the health care needs of our community. Our commitment to safeguarding the health of our patients, visitors and staff is our highest priority. This is why we are taking extra measures to minimize this risk of exposure for yourself and others to ensure our commitment to giving you a safe, reliable place to receive care.

Guided by our quality and infection prevention experts and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we have taken a number of steps in addition to our standard rigorous infection control measures to ensure our facilities remain safe places for you to confidently receive care.

Screening for COVID-19 Symptoms: We screen all patients, and visitors for COVID-19 symptoms. In addition, when you arrive, you and anyone with you will also be asked about any cough, fever and other symptoms of respiratory virus infection that you or others in your household may be experiencing. Staff are also screened for COVID-19 symptoms each day.

Masks for Staff:  All staff wear masks. The type of mask staff members wear is determined by the type of care they provide, to best ensure their safety and the safety of our patients.

Masks for Patients and Visitors: All patients and anyone with them will be asked to wear a mask or cloth face covering while in our health care facilities. You may bring your own, or if you don’t have one, face masks are available at each entrance

Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizer is available at each entrance and at numerous locations throughout each building. Everyone is asked to sanitize their hands when they enter the building. In addition, each member of our health care staff sanitizes their hands before and after each patient encounter.

Enhanced Cleaning Procedures: Areas such as waiting rooms, lobbies and restrooms are cleaned often with special attention to frequently touched surfaces including doorknobs, armrests and handrails. Patient rooms and exam rooms are fully cleaned and disinfected between each patient. We have also made special arrangements to support social distancing. You may see markers on the floors to show where people should stand for check-in and check-out. We have rearranged furniture in some waiting areas to create more space between patients.

Is it safe to come to the hospital for lab work, imaging or a procedure?

GRMC is taking precautions to ensure a safe environment for patients, staff and physicians. All people entering the facility will be screened for signs of respiratory illness.

How can I support my family member in the hospital with limited visitation?


What you can do at the Time of Admission:

  • Confirm who your loved one’s legally authorized health care representative (medical or health care power of attorney) will be. This is the person who makes decisions when a person cannot speak for themselves. Give the person’s name and phone number(s) to the hospital team.
  • Discuss who will be the primary family contact. We can only give out information to family members with the patient’s permission. We know there are many people who care about your loved one. Please choose one person who will talk to the hospital team during the stay – this allows the health care team to devote their time to your loved one.
    • It is best if the primary contact is the legally authorized health care representative.
    • That person can then share the information with your loved one’s family and community.
    • Give the name and phone number(s) for a back-up person.
  • Give the hospital team a copy of your loved one’s advance directive/living will if they completed one. (You can also mail or drop off later if you don’t have it now.)
  • Inform the hospital team about what kind of technology the primary family contact has at home. Does that person have a smartphone (like an iPhone or Android), tablet (like an iPad or Chromebook), or computer with a camera and internet?
  • Plan how you and your loved one will stay in touch while you are apart. You can use the bedside phone number that the hospital will provide if your loved one is admitted to our Medical Unit. If your loved one has a smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer you may leave it with them. Be sure the device is labeled with their name and please provide a charger cord that is also labeled with their name.

What  to Expect:

  • The designated family contact will hear from a care team member each day between 1p-4p for regular updates or more frequently if the patient’s condition or treatment changes
  • COVID patients admitted to the ICU will also be assigned a family liaison Monday-Friday who will facilitate communication with the family contact.
  • We encourage you to stay in touch with patients through phone calls and videoconferencing. If there is any way we can help coordinate a virtual visit via phone call or “face time” with your family members, please let us know during your daily call.
Who can I talk to for more information?

Please contact your local healthcare provider for information or access up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control. You may also dial 2-1-1 to contact the Texas Department of State Health Services. You can find more information on the website for the Centers for Disease Control Frequently Asked Questions.