Guthrie Provides Latest Updates on COVID-19

March 19, 2020

As concern about COVID-19 grows, Guthrie wants to assure the community that it is taking every measure to ensure our facilities are safe for patients and that plans are in place to assess and treat those affected by COVID-19.  

Guthrie held a media briefing to share the latest updates on, and answer questions about, COVID-19 and the organization’s response. Below are the key points from today’s media briefing. 

What is Coronavirus? 

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of: 

• fever 
• cough 
• shortness of breath 

Guthrie Establishes COVID-19 Information Lines                 

Guthrie has established two information lines dedicated to answering questions about  



The lines will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

These lines are staffed by Guthrie team members who are prepared to answer questions related to COVID-19, including its symptoms, transmission, prevention and testing. These lines are not intended for emergency calls. Patients with severe symptoms who are in physical distress and need immediate attention should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department. 

Guthrie Hospital/Skilled Nursing and Personal Care Home Visitation Restrictions 

For the safety of our patients, Guthrie has restricted visitation to all hospitals for all visitors, volunteers and non-essential personnel. Special consideration will be given to visitors who are primary caregivers and those visiting patients at the end of life. 

All employees, vendors, patients and appropriate visitors entering a hospital will be asked screening questions and have their temperatures taken upon entry to the hospital. 

Surgeries and Procedures 

Non-emergent surgeries and procedures are postponed for an initial period of three weeks, beginning today, March 18 and continuing through April 10. Non-emergent surgeries are those that are scheduled in advance because they do not involve a medical emergency. 

Non-emergent procedures and surgeries at the following Guthrie facilities will be postponed: 

• Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital 
• Guthrie Corning Hospital 
• Guthrie Cortland Medical Center 
• Guthrie Towanda Memorial Hospital 
• Guthrie Troy Community Hospital 
• Guthrie Big Flats Same Day Surgery Center  

Urgent and emergency procedures and surgeries will continue at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital, Guthrie Corning Hospital and Guthrie Cortland Medical Center. 

Clinic Visits 

Healthy visits at Guthrie clinic locations will be postponed beginning Friday, March 20, and continuing through April 10. This includes annual physicals, well-child visits (except newborn checks), dental cleanings, hearing and eye exams, routine labs and some post-op visits.  

Guthrie will contact patients by phone to postpone and reschedule.  

Clinic visits for some patients will continue as scheduled, including sick visits, treatment of diseases such as cancer, physical and occupational therapy and Coumadin monitoring.