COVID-19 information and visitation policies as of October 23, 2020. Learn more >>
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COVID-19

COVID-19

Patient Safety at Mary Washington Healthcare

Mary Washington Healthcare facilities are open and safe for patients and visitors. (See our visitation policies here.) We are taking extra steps to clean our facilities to make them as safe as possible. Our nurses, medical staff, and other associates wear masks inside our facilities, and you will be given a mask if you don't have one already.

Click on our safety flier to learn more about how we are keeping you safe.

Click here for COVID-19 testing information

As of October 23 there have been 171,284 positive COVID-19 cases in Virginia, including 402 positive results from Caroline County, 582 from Fredericksburg, 26 from King George County, 2,389 from Spotsylvania County and 2,314 from Stafford County. There have been 3,539 deaths in the Commonwealth. We closely follow information and recommendations from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to stay current on confirmed cases and ensure we offer the best care to the people we serve. We also collaborate with other local health organizations, like the Rappahanock Area Health District, to monitor the health of our community.


Learn how Mary Washington Healthcare is handling the spread of COVID-19. View our COVID-19 playlist on YouTube.

Help our frontline medical workers by donating much-needed items.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is COVID-19 and what are the symptoms?

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory infection; symptoms include cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Most patients also experience at least two of these symptoms: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.

If you develop any of these emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

I have recovered from COVID-19. How can I help others?

As someone who has recovered from COVID-19, you may be in a unique position to help those still suffering. For our sickest patients in the hospital fighting to recover, convalescent plasma treatments have shown promising results. If you are interested in donating plasma, please click below for more information from the American Red Cross.

Donate plasma to the Red Cross

How can I get tested for COVID-19?

Mary Washington Healthcare has convenient testing centers for COVID-19. All tests require a physician order and scheduled appointment.

If you are very sick, get medical attention immediately. If you develop one of these symptoms, seek emergency care.

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in your chest
  • New confusion or inability to wake up
  • Bluish lips or face

Note there are many other reasons for seeking emergency care. Do not delay care if you are concerned for your safety. If you are unsure what level of care you need, call the Health Link Nurse Line at 540.741.1100 for an assessment and nurse advice.

Learn more about COVID-19 testing at MWHC.

Temperature checks and restricted access

Temperature checks are required for anyone entering Mary Washington Healthcare facilities.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Our focus is always on the health and safety of our patients, Associates, and community. All entrances during this time, excluding the main entrances and emergency department entrances, will be closed.

Any person who has a temperature of 100°F or greater will not be granted access to the facility and directed to seek COVID-19 screening. Patients coming for an appointment will be given a mask if they have a registered temperature and allowed to enter for their appointment.

If you are experiencing a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19, call your primary care provider.

Mary Washington Healthcare has two drive-up testing sites in Fredericksburg and Stafford. You must have a physician's order and scheduled appointment for a COVID-19 test. If you need urgent or emergency care, do not delay. Seek treatment immediately.

If you have questions about COVID-19 or need guidance on where to get tested, please call Mary Washington Healthcare Health Link at 540.741.1100. Follow us on social media for the latest COVID-19 updates.

I am having a medical emergency. Is it safe to come to the ER?

The safest place for you to be in a medical emergency is under the care of skilled clinical and medical personnel. If you are having a medical emergency, such as chest pain or stroke, do not delay care because of fear of COVID-19. Call 911, and the first responders will transport you safely to the hospital.

If you are still unsure if you should come to the emergency room, please call our Health Link nurse advice line from 6:00 a.m.-midnight, 365 days a year. You can reach them at 540.741.1000.

I have an appointment or procedure already scheduled. Should I still have it?

If your doctor has scheduled a surgery or procedure for you, please click here for an important checklist of steps you'll need to follow to keep you and our staff safe.


Regular appointments with your primary care provider or specialist

We recommend that you not cancel or delay any appointment you have scheduled. You should proceed with your healthcare as previously planned.

  • If you have an appointment with a Mary Washington Medical Group provider, you will be pre-screened prior to your appointment.
  • If you are experiecing any respiratory symptoms, please call prior to your appointment to be sure the office can still see you.
  • You may be asked to reschedule a non-urgent specialty appointment if you are symptomatic, and you will be directed to visit your primary care provider.
  • You may notice that magazines and remote controls have been removed from patient waiting areas. This is for your protection.
  • We recommend practicing social distancing in providers' waiting rooms, for the safety of you, your children, and others.

Any changes to these recommendations will be published on this page and on our Facebook page.

Yo tengo un procedimiento programado.

Si su médico le ha programado una cirugía o un procedimiento, por favor haga click aquí para ver un listado importante de los pasos que deberá seguir para protegerle a usted y a nuestro personal.

Can I visit my loved one in the hospital or accompany them to their appointment?

What should I do if I start feeling sick?

If you experience COVID-19 symptoms but do not require immediate medical attention, it’s recommended you stay at home to recover and prevent the spread of illness. If you have trouble breathing or have flu-like symptoms that do not improve, call your provider before visiting the office or hospital. For the protection of other patients, you will be asked to wear a face mask prior to arriving.

In this video clip below, Mary Washington Healthcare physicians, Dr. Richard Lewis and Dr. Steve Mandell, advise our community of where to seek care if you have respiratory symptoms or exposure to COVID-19. You can also call 540.741.1000 to talk to an MWHC nurse to determine your best level of care based on your symptoms.

How and when should I wear a mask?

Image from the CDC website.

Are there other closures or cancellations?

In the interest of public safety and the health of our community:

  • Support groups and community meetings that meet in Mary Washington Healthcare facilities are cancelled until further notice.

  • Life Support Training Center classes including NRP Courses at Mary Washington and Stafford Hospital have been cancelled until further notice.

  • Walk-in bill payment service is suspended for now. Please pay your bill through MyChart or by calling 540.741.1041. For any questions or concerns about your bill, please call 540.741.1041. For help with MyChart login, or to learn how to pay as a guest, please visit our Pay My Bill page. You can also pay your bill by mail by sending a cashier’s check, personal check, or credit card information to the following address. Indicate Bill Number on the memo line of the check:

    Mary Washington Healthcare
    2300 Fall Hill Ave., Suite 101
    Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Mary Washington Medical Laboratories, Medical Group practices, Mary Washington Eye Care Center and Medical Arts Pharmacy are OPEN and maintaining their regular hours. If you are experiencing any respiratory symptoms, please call ahead before your appointment.

We appreciate your understanding as we respond to the health needs of our community.

What can I do to stay healthy?

As always, good hygiene and proper handwashing techniques are best practices to keep you and your family healthy. According to the CDC guidance on handwashing, these five steps will help prevent the spread of germs:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Other ways to stay healthy:

  • If you are feeling ill (fever, cough, shortness of breath), stay at home and avoid close contact with other members of your family.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces with household detergent and water prior to disinfection.
  • Wear a cloth mask when you are in public places to help minimize the risk of you inadvertently shedding the virus if you are presymptomatic. See below for laundering instructions we have shared with our associates.

Dr. Steve Mandell on the importance of social distancing:

Laundering instructions for homemade cloth masks. (All other masks should be cleaned or disposed of according to manufacturer instructions.)

  • Do not shake dirty laundry; this minimizes the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air.
  • Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people's items.
  • Clean and disinfect hampers or other carts for transporting laundry according to guidance above for hard or soft surfaces. To transport the mask between work and home, you can use brown paper bags, plastic disposable bags, or a small plastic container. If you use a reusable container, you should decontaminate it daily (wash with hot water and soap, Clorox wipes and air dry).​​

I am pregnant or breastfeeding. Are my baby and me in danger?

If you are pregnant:

Here is guidance based on the latest science:

  • Pregnant women might be at greater risk of severe illness than other healthy adults if they get the virus.
  • It is unlikely for a woman to transmit the virus to their baby while pregnant. However, it may be possible to transmit after the baby is born via respiratory particles; wearing a mask lowers this risk.
  • There are rare reports where the virus has been detected in samples of the breastmilk, blood, placenta, and amniotic fluid of infected pregnant women.
  • The baby is unlikely to be exposed to the virus during pregnancy.
  • The virus is unlikely to cause problems with the baby’s development and no long-term problems have been found so far.

Nevertheless, if you are pregnant public health officials recommend you take certain safety precautions.

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Stay away from public places.
  • Reduce social contact with others through social distancing.
  • Avoid anyone who has symptoms of the virus.
  • Routinely clean any surfaces after each use.
  • Refrain from touching your face.

If you are breastfeeding:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization recommend you continue to breastfeed your baby.

  • There are rare reports where the virus has been detected in samples of the breastmilk, although it remains unclear if the virus can be transmitted through breastfeeding.
  • The virus can be transmitted through coughing, sneezing, and even breathing - small droplets can spread the virus from person to person.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting test results, follow these steps:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before you touch your baby.
  • Wear a mask during feedings. Your doctor may recommend using a breast pump and avoid feeding at the breast directly until your symptoms resolve.
  • Wash your hands before touching breast pumps or any parts.
  • After pumping, clean the pump and its parts thoroughly.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect any surface you touch.

Other COVID-19 resources

Download the coronavirus journal

Volunteer with the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps

"We have all been inspired by the generosity of so many individuals in Virginia since COVID-19 began impacting the Commonwealth," said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey, MD. "We need all hands on deck as we expand our health system capacity in the weeks ahead. Now more than ever, joining the MRC is a great way to take action and give back to your community in a meaningful way."

Individuals with or without medical training are encouraged to apply to the Medical Reserve Corps, Virginia’s dedicated force of volunteers in times of crisis.

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is made up of teams of health professionals, as well as community members, who volunteer their time and expertise to help save lives.

To become a Virginia Medical Reserve Corps volunteer, please visit Virginia Volunteer Health System (www.vamrc.org). Once you apply, your application is immediately forwarded to the MRC coordinator in your area. Applications that are incomplete after 2 weeks will be deleted. If you need assistance, please email vamrc@vdh.virginia.gov.

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