Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Information

Our hospital is committed to providing the highest quality care and ensuring the safety of our patients, employees, providers, volunteers and visitors. We are continuing to monitor the evolving situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are taking the necessary steps to ensure we are fully prepared to care for patients, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in partnership with our local and state health departments.

Below are a number of resources to help educate you and your family on COVID-19. For more information on the virus, please visit the Missoula City-County Health Department’s  page or for health realated questions Missoula County residents may call (406) 258-INFO (4636).

Quick Links

COVID-19 Online Risk Assessment

To help support the health of our community, we are providing access to an online COVID-19 risk assessment developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This tool does NOT provide a diagnosis, and it should NOT be used as a substitute for an assessment made by a healthcare provider.

Community Medical Center Hospital & Clinic Patients

Patients with symptoms, should call our FREE 24/7 Nurse on Call line for symptom evaluation (406) 327-4770. Please call this number in advance of visiting the hospital or any clinic. Patients experiencing respiratory or flu-like symtoms may also check-in online at Community FirstCare for symptom evaluation. Anyone experienceing a life threating condition should call 911 or visit the emergency room.

Required Masking

All adult patients (who can tolerate a mask) and all approved visitors are required to have a mask on prior to entering and must wear it for the duration of their visit. A surgical mask will be provided at the entrance. 

Temporary Visitor Restrictions

Inpatient Units
To limit the spread of infectious illnesses, in-person visits are restricted at this time. Patients and their families may communicate through phone and video chat. iPads are available for patients to use upon request. Visitor exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for the following:

  • Med/Surg, ICU, Inpatient Rehabilitation, Ortho - One visitor permitted during the duration of the patient's stay, no substitutions
  • Maternity Units - Two visitors permitted during the duration of the patient's stay, no substitutions
  • NICU, Pedicatric Unit & PICU - Two parients / guardians my visit at the same time. No substitutions & no other visitors will be permitted.
  • End-of-life care - Up to six visitors will be permitted. Only two can visit at one time.
  • COVID+ or Rule out Patients - No visitors will be permitted. Except for end of life care and patients requiring a caregiver. The care giver may not leave the room once they have entered, must wear a mast for the entire stay and must sign a consent form.
  • For these very limited exceptions, all visitors must be 18 years or older. Visitors will also be asked to return home if they exhibit cold or flu-like symptoms, or have a fever.

Spiritual Care
One spiritual care visitor will be permitted. Spiritual care visitor should be a Priest, Pastor,Rabbi, or other ordained religious leader.

Outpatient Clinics & Emergency Room
No visitors will be allowed. Patients who have mobility or cognitive issues being seen in an outpatient clinic may only be accompanied by one adult support person. All patients and approved visitors will be required to wear a surgical mask. We will continue to screen everyone who enters our facilities for symptoms consistent with COVID-19, per CDC guidelines.

Elective / Discretionary Procedures

We continue to do any surgeries related to conditions that threaten a patient’s life as well as elective procedures and surgeries including inpatient, outpatient and endoscopies (including screening colonoscopies). If you have questions, please contact your medical provider or surgeon. If you need an appointment or provider referral call (406) 327-4170.

Additional information can be found in our Patient FAQ

How do I get tested for COVID-19?

At this time, tests for COVID-19 require a provider order. Visiting a provider does not necessarily mean you need testing or that you will receive testing. A medical provider will screen you for symptoms and rule out other respiratory ailments, and will test at their own discretion or upon admission to the hospital. Providers follow all appropriate CDC, state and local guidelines. Patients should follow instructions from providers regardless of whether a test was done, as testing does not change the patient’s course of treatment. 

What are the qualifications for being tested for COVID-19?

Someone may be a candidate for testing if he or she has:

  • Fever
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (vomitting, diarrhea, loss of appetite) 

What do I do if I’ve been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19? 

The person who has developed symptoms should seek a COVID-19 test. If the individual tests positive, the health department will reach out to the patient’s close contacts.

The Health Department investigates the travel history and exposure risk of all known COVID-19 cases to identify and communicate with anyone who may have been a close contact with the patient. A close contact is someone who was within six feet of the patient for a prolonged period (at least 15 minutes) or was directly exposed to the patient’s infectious secretions (such as respiratory droplets). People who are concerned that they may have been exposed to a positive case but have not been contacted by the health department or developed symptoms do not need to be tested. If you are identified as a close contact and the health department contacts you, you will be given instructions to follow based upon your level of exposure.

I believe I have symptoms of COVID-19. What do I do next?

I’m experiencing mild symptoms right now, but I’m worried.

If you are experiencing fever and/or mild symptoms, call our 24/7 Nurse on Call (406) 327-4770 to be evaluated or visit Community FirstCare for evaluation and testing. Additionally you should isolate at home. For details about how to correctly perform home isolation and tips for managing your illness at home with family members, please visit the CDC’s website

Should I get tested?
Yes. Call our 24/7 Nurse on Call after hours for evaluation or visit Community FirstCare for evalutation and testing.

Worsening symptoms – I need to see my provider.

Be alert to any changing symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if your symptoms are getting worse. If you feel you need to visit your healthcare provider, call our 24/7 Nurse on Call at (406) 327-4770 to evaluate symptoms or visit Community FirstCare for evaluation and testing.

Will I be tested? Your provider will make this determination based on your symptoms. You may or may not be tested, but your provider will follow all appropriate CDC and Montana DPHHS guidelines.

Emergent symptoms – I am having difficulty breathing.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1 and notify the dispatch agent that your emergency is related to possible COVID-19 symptoms.

Will I be tested? Your emergency medicine provider will make this determination based on your symptoms. You may or may not be tested, but your provider will follow all appropriate CDC and Montana DPHHS guidelines.

Where to Go

In order to minimize the risk of exposing others, we are directing patients who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19, or have respiratory or flu-like symptoms, to call our free 24/7 Nurse on Call line at (406) 327-4770 for instructions on seeking care. Patients may also check-in online or walk-in to any of our Missoula area Community FirstCare clinics for symptom evaluation and testing.

Online check-in at CommunityFirstCare.com