COVID-19 FAQ and Resources

Please use this page for information on COVID-19, Cheshire Medical Center's response to the pandemic, and tips on how you can keep you and your family safe.

Our partners at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center also provide more information on the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Information about COVID-19 page.

What’s on this page?

Is information about COVID-19 available for non-English speaking or Limited English Proficient (LEP) community members?

Yes. Information about COVID-19, including testing, infection prevention and travel are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 
 in several languages. Posters are available for download and there are links to American Sign Language videos.

Is information about COVID-19 available in American Sign Language?

Yes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers an ASL video series.

What is COVID-19 and where can I find more information?

COVID-19 is the disease caused by a new virus, SARS-CoV-2, that is spreading throughout the world. The symptoms can range from mild (or no symptoms) to severe illness. Please visit the CDC's Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions page for the most recent and reliable information.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported. Please see the CDC's Symptoms of Coronavirus page for more up-to-date information, including a symptom-checker and when to seek medical attention. Information is available on this page in several languages.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), any one of the following symptoms may indicate COVID-19, if new and not explained by another health condition:

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

Many of these symptoms are also symptoms of other viruses and medical conditions. Do not delay medical care you need. Call your primary care provider for a screening and recommendations.

How can I help prevent infection?

Every person plays a role in saving lives by stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Some people with COVID-19 can spread the virus without knowing they have it because they do not experience any symptoms (asymptomatic state). Others can spread the virus without knowing they have it, because they have not developed symptoms yet (pre-symptomatic state).

That is why it is important that every person follow the CDC's guidelines for protecting yourself and others. This includes:

  • Maintain social distancing, or staying at least six feet from people you do not live with.
  • Wear a cloth face covering in public settings.
  • Wash your hands frequently and clean surfaces that are touched regularly.

Thank you for doing your part to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your community safe.

Infection prevention within our medical center has always been our priority, but we have new safety measures and visitor policies specifically to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep our patients and staff safe.

What if I develop symptoms that could be COVID-19?

  1. Stay home except to get medical care.
  2. Stop the spread of the virus you have. See the CDC's What to Do If You are Sick page.
  3. See the CDC's Symptoms of Coronavirus page to use the Coronavirus Self-Checker tool.
  4. Call your primary care provider if you plan to seek medical care. If you do not have a primary care provider and plan to visit our Walk-In Care Clinic, please call first.
  5. If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately by calling 911. Emergency warning signs include*:
    • Difficulty breathing or gasping for breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face
    • *This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your primary care team for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning. Reach Cheshire’s Primary Care teams at 603-354-5400.
Mary Pierce, RN, Infection Preventionist and Aalok Khole, MD, director of Cheshire’s Department of Infectious Diseases.

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What if I need medical care and I may have COVID-19?

Please call ahead to our medical center for a phone screening and recommendations if you plan to seek any kind of medical care and think you may have COVID-19. This includes coming in for scheduled appointments. You can reach Cheshire Medical Center at 603-354-5400.

How can I be tested for COVID-19?

Cheshire patients

If you have symptoms that may be COVID-19 and you have primary care provider at Cheshire, please do the following:

  • Call your primary care provider at 603-354-5400 to make an appointment for testing. Appointments are available on weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and on weekends from 8:00 am to 10:00 am.
  • During the call, we can also give you a phone screening and can arrange for a higher level of care if you need it.

COVID-19 community testing

If you do not have a primary care provider or you do not have COVID-19 symptoms but want to be tested, please visit our community testing page.

How is a patient treated for COVID-19?

Most people who have COVID-19 can manage their symptoms and recover safely at home. If a patient comes to one of our facilities with a suspected infection, the basic approach to prevent disease transmission is to:

  • Identify patients who show symptoms that could be related to infection
  • Isolate those patients from others for assessment
  • Based on the assessment, patients may be isolated from other patients while the COVID-19 test can be sent for and results are verified

Currently, apart from Remdesivir that already received a FDA Emergency Use Authorization, there are an array of drugs approved for other indications as well as several investigational therapies being studied by way of clinical trials across the globe. For example, our partners at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center are involved in cutting-edge research into possible treatments.

Cheshire Medical Center has received a small supply of Remdesivir. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization that allows hospitals to use this drug in hospitalized patients suffering from COVID-19, provided the patient meets criteria for therapy and consents for it.

Cheshire is also an approved site for convalescent plasma therapy (experimental therapy as a part of a clinical trial) to be used in COVID-19 patients who meet certain clinical criteria as enlisted under the Mayo Expanded Access Program.

Plasma donation for recovered COVID-19 patients

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) is evaluating the use of plasma rich antibodies as a COVID-19 treatment. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, are over 18 years of age, and are interested in being evaluated for donation should call 603-653-3775 or email and be prepared to provide the date of their last symptoms. Donors who have confirmed COVID-19 testing or a presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19 from a physician will be eligible to donate after they have been symptom-free for at least 28 days.

Patients may also choose to donate plasma through the American Red Cross. Find more information from the American Red Cross about COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma.

What should I do if my employer wants a doctor's note to return to work after suspected COVID-19 symptoms?

The CDC recommends two strategies—symptom-based and test-based—to discontinue isolation precautions for those diagnosed with COVID-19. Please review the CDC’s Return to Work page for details.

You may also choose to contact your workplace’s employee health office for details pertaining to your specific work setting.

Information for pregnant patients

We know you have many questions and concerns about exposure to COVID-19 during your pregnancy. Please visit Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health's Pregnancy and Breast Milk page and watch Julie Braga, MD, talk about COVID-19 during pregnancy, the impact on the baby in the womb, and after delivery.

Additional resources

If you're looking for more current information about the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, consult:

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