General Coronavirus Information

Is There a Coronavirus Vaccine?

Several vaccines are currently under development and are moving through the approval process. MUSC Health will soon be receiving COVID-19 vaccines. This is an exciting and hopeful step in combating the pandemic. The first phase of vaccines will be given to healthcare workers in December 2020. MUSC Health will be able to offer the vaccine to essential workers and high-risk patients sometime in early 2021. We will be posting updates related to scheduling a visit for the vaccine, availability, timeline and more as we are able. Please continue to check back for updates.

Even with a vaccine, the best way to prevent becoming infected is to avoid exposure. Proper handwashing, occurring often, with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds, is also essential to control the spread of the disease. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (PDF)

Please monitor the CDC's Coronavirus page (Spanish language CDC page) for the most up to date general information about the outbreak. Information and updates specific to MUSC Health protocols or actions will be posted here as appropriate in the days ahead.

How Should the Public Prepare for COVID-19?

MUSC has received numerous contacts from businesses, community organizations, and individuals who want to help provide necessary and in-demand health care supplies such as these masks. Learn more about making donations to MUSC Health.

The best prevention against COVID-19 is hygiene. MUSC recommends having plenty of hand sanitizer and soap available. Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds after touching objects and surfaces, and immediately after interacting or shaking hands with others. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Individuals should also practice social distancing whenever possible and wear face masks that cover their nose and mouth.

Since the coronavirus symptoms are similar to a common respiratory virus, we will continue to educate our patients and the community about prevention, detection, and treatment.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has also produced educational materials including fact sheets, videos, social media graphics, posters, and more.

What is MUSC Health's Mask Policy?

All patients and approved visitors are required to wear masks when entering or moving about the building. This includes out-patient, in-patient and ambulatory patients. A mask will be given to patients at the screening areas or in the clinics if they do not bring one on their own. Homemade masks are permitted, but must have two layers of material, fully cover the mouth and nose and fit around the sides of the face.

The following are not considered appropriate masks:

  • bandanas with open bottoms
  • neck-gaiter style face coverings
  • masks with mesh, holes or ventilation ports.

All MUSC Health care team members are required to wear appropriate masks while at work and consistently self-monitor. Care team members are to only use MUSC-provided masks, not externally sourced or homemade masks. The type of mask required to be worn depends on the work setting.

How Does Coronavirus Spread?

Information about how COVID-19 (formerly called 2019-nCoV) is thought to be spreading from ill people to others is available from the CDC.

What are the Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Please review the CDC's signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection page for further information. If you or someone you are caring for suspect you may be sick as a result of this virus, please complete a virtual urgent care visit and consult these recommendations from the CDC. Following these steps will help prevent the disease from further spreading.

I Need or Want to Self-Monitor, But Can't Get a Thermometer. What Should I Do?

We realize that many people may not have a thermometer at home and that even if you order one today, it could take months for delivery; however, in addition to taking your temperature, there are other ways to self-monitor:

  • Are you experiencing chills, sweats or feelings of weakness?
  • Are you developing a dry cough?
  • Do you feel short of breath?
  • Do your cheeks or forehead feel hot to the touch of your fingertips or back of your hand?

If any of the above-mentioned symptoms appear, take action and visit MUSC Health virtual care. A provider will advise you of appropriate next steps.

Can Coronavirus be Treated?

Please refer to the CDC's prevention and treatment resources for information.