What is coronavirus and should you be concerned?

Coronaviruses are common viruses that typically cause upper respiratory infections such as the common cold. A new strain (now known as COVID-19) has emerged in China that can cause severe respiratory symptoms including pneumonia.

Although it is natural to feel nervous about new health threats, the CDC is stressing that the risk to the general public, even in areas where cases have been identified, remains low.

Staying Prepared

"We want to be proactive and ensure we are doing all we can to protect the general public as well as our patients, visitors and staff," said Steve Kitchen, MD, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer.

Phoebe is reiterating with its employees the proper protocol they should follow when caring for patients suspected of carrying coronavirus. "We have shared that protocol with our employees in multiple ways – through email and during daily huddles. We plan to conduct unannounced drills at our clinics and will have an online educational module that all employees will have to complete," Dr. Kitchen said.

Be Informed

Coronavirus developments are evolving quickly. You can stay up to date on the latest information and guidelines by visiting the CDC website at

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