Coronavirus: what you need to know

In light of coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, the CHM Board of Directors and executive management team would like you to know that we’re working diligently to comply with government directives and recommendations—both local and national—while also coming up with solutions to continue serving you as always. We are taking precautions to safeguard our employees’ health so you can feel assured that sharing of your medical bills will continue.

We thank God for His presence and wisdom, and we place our confidence in Him. We’re here to serve you and pray you and your family remain in good health.

In Him,

Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley
CHM Board of Directors

 

 

Medical bill sharing for coronavirus

Testing and treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19) is shared under CHM’s Guidelines, just as are costs for any testing or treatment for a confirmed illness, with Personal Responsibility amounts that depend upon the member’s participation level. As with other medical issues, Personal Responsibility amounts can be reduced based on discounts arranged with providers.


Update as of March 31
Join us for a live Q&A session with Dr. Jacobson!
There’s so much coronavirus-related information out there and it changes hourly. But what’s accurate? And where can you ask questions? On Wednesday, April 1, Dr. Jacobson will answer questions live on CHM's Facebook page! Tune in at 3pm to hear his informational and encouraging answers. You can ask questions by sending a private message to our social media team or by asking them in the comments section of the live stream post.

 


 

Update as of March 30 
Italy sees a potential peak in new cases; continued speculations for what this could mean for the United States
CHM Medical Director shares the latest worldwide coronavirus updates. He also compares the impact on Italy to what the United States is experiencing. He hones in on what appears to be the peak of Italy's rise in new cases per day. Since March 21, the daily new case count has been under 6,557. Because the United States has enacted similar protective policies two weeks after Italy, this may be indicative of what Americans can expect to see soon, even as the number of total cases is over 158,000 (nearly half of those cases occurring in New York). Dr. Jacobson also shares what one company is doing to further decontaminate frequently used medical equipment.
Update as of March 30
A word of encouragement about facing the worries of tomorrow
It's natural that worry and anxiety is triggered in response to what we hear and see around us. It's also vitally necessary that we view all life events through a biblical lens. In light of the current situation, CHM employee and spiritual encourager Jonny Lambert urges members to think about ways Christians can help during this time and how the Church can respond with peace.

 


 

Update as of March 27
Real questions answered by CHM Medical Director, Dr. Michael Jacobson
In this video, Dr. Jacobson answers CHM employees' questions about the coronavirus through a Facebook Q&A session, including: Can you become infected twice? When can we expect to see the benefits of the country's measures against the virus? Are people with a higher blood pressure at greater risk?

 


 

Update as of March 25
Encouraging downward trend in Italy's diagnosis of new cases each day; what this means for the U.S.
In this video, CHM's Medical Director Dr. Jacobson analyzes the trending numbers in Italy for new cases per day. He points out what this trend could mean for the U.S., which has consistently experienced similar changes in detection and action against the virus spread about two weeks after Italy. He also notes a warning from the White House that visitors of New York City should self-quarantine for two weeks. In other news, he notes an early symptom for those impacted by the virus: the loss of a person's sense of smell and taste.

 


 

Update as of March 24
Practicing good (and biblical) hygiene
Dr. Michael Jacobson, CHM's Medical Director, shows an epidemic curve graphic to viewers comparing the uptick and decline of the coronavirus spread in South Korea and America. He also highlights the latest happenings in New York and what the increase in testing supplies will do for reporting the spread. Dr. Jacobson encourages believers with biblical Scripture supporting good hygiene practices and the benefits of quarantining when necessary.
You've got questions; we've got answers!
Will my medical bills, whether coronavirus-related or otherwise, be shared? Can CHM financially support the effects of this pandemic? Will I be taken care of? These are just a few of the questions that might be on your mind. CHM's Chief Financial Officer, Charity Beall, shares with you the answers to these questions and provides an update on CHM's medical bill sharing time.

 


 

Update as of March 23

Ohio Department of health issues stay-at-home order
Dr. Jacobson provides a few highlights of the latest coronavirus happenings, including: U.S. takes the lead on new cases diagnosed, Ohio Department of Health Director, Amy Acton, issues a stay-at-home order, and a warning from the World Health Organization (WHO) about people misidentifying as WHO representatives seeking monetary contributions to the organization. Dr. Jacobson also shares an encouraging word by former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson, Michael S. Hyatt, who encourages Americans to not be too focused on the news. Dr. Jacobson further calls Christians to embrace Michael Hyatt's advice in such as way that believers are not ignorant of the coronavirsus spread but instead focus their attention on Jesus.

 


Update as of March 20

Christian Healthcare Ministries operations will be affected for the next two weeks by the state and national response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine has ordered the statewide closure of schools, restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, elections, barber shops – and the list is sure to grow. To this point, coronavirus has been confirmed in 24 counties, and the infection is undoubtedly spreading to others.

CHM has more than 250 employees in its Ohio offices. In this unprecedented time, the board of directors and management team believes it would be irresponsible for employees to come to work as if times were normal.

To do its part to protect the health and safety of each employee, their families and neighbors, and our state and nation, CHM will undergo a two-week period of off-site operations , through April 4, per the social distancing recommendations from elected officials and medical authorities.

To do otherwise risks helping to do the wrong thing, which is to potentially expose more people to coronavirus and create even greater operational disruptions down the road. We need to do what we can – now – to help bring this to an end. The possibility of staggering staff members in and out of the buildings was explored, and it wouldn’t achieve the objective.

 

 

Thank you for your patience, your kindness, and for being a CHM member.

Your medical bills (for coronavirus or other eligible medical incidents) can - and should be – sent to CHM. We encourage you to do so using CHM's Member Portal. The CHM staff will continue to share eligible medical bills. We are adjusting the tools and processes we use to share your medical needs so that we can continue to do so even during this event.

As there will be no employees in our buildings, communications will be limited. For information and updates as they occur please refer to this page, our social media channels, and check your emails for future updates from the ministry. You may also contact CHM staff through our contact page or by emailing info@chministries.org.

Dr. Michael S. Jacobson, CHM’s medical director, has given guidance on coronavirus, which is available on this page. Additional videos with from Dr. Jacobson with national and international updates will be published in coming days.

Please understand that upon deep reflection, CHM decided it would be irresponsible of us to not do what government officials and medical authorities are asking people to do to help stem the spread of coronavirus.

Update as of March 20
A tool that further explains proper social distancing and scripture about peace
In this video, Dr. Michael Jacobson shares an update on coronavirus happenings and a tool that helps viewers better understand social distancing. He also shares a scripture verse as a reminder that God's people can hold on to peace, even in uncertain times.

 


 

Update as of March 19

Free testing and a presidential plea to slow the spread
Dr. Michael Jacobson shares an update on the availability of medical testing supplies and encourages the nation to carry out the president's "15 days to slow the spread" plan. He closes the update in prayer and asking God for wisdom for world and local leaders.

 


 

Update as of March 18

Learn how to access the most accurate and up-to-date coronavirus info
Are you wondering how to decipher the latest and most accurate information about the coronavirus? In this video, CHM’s Medical Director Dr. Michael Jacobson, explains where he goes to get up-to-date information and how to navigate the unique tools available through the World Health Organization (WHO; who.int), Centers for Disease Control (CDC; cdc.gov) and other sources. Dr. Jacobson also shares the appropriate response of believers: Trust in God. With biblical wisdom and understanding Christians can respond to the pandemic in truth—not in fear.

 


 

Update as of March 17

Dr. Michael Jacobson, CHM’s Medical Director, shares how to protect yourself and your family from coronavirus and how this virus differs from other viruses. He presents the information all from a biblical and balanced perspective.

Preparations What is it? Symptoms Risk levels Recommendations
Preparing for coronavirus

By Dr. Michael Jacobson, CHM Medical Director

Last January Americans watched with growing concern as a virus that began in China spread to over 50 locations across the globe. On January 31, 2020, concern turned to alarm when Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) a U.S. public health emergency.

By the end of March 10, 2020, worldwide the death toll exceeded 2,900 and over 85,000 cases were confirmed. Through the U.S. public health surveillance system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified multiple confirmed cases in the U.S., the majority of which were travel related.

Of the 49 Americans who tested positive while traveling abroad, three traveled to Wuhan City in Hubei province, the epicenter of the virus, and 46 were on the cruise ship Diamond Princess. Japan health authorities prevented passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess from disembarking for two weeks. While quarantined onboard near Yokohama, the positive cases among ship occupants climbed from only ten to over 700. Eventually, over 300 American passengers, including 14 newly confirmed cases, were returned home on February 16 on a flight chartered by the U.S. State Department.

Global efforts were focused on limiting the spread and lessening the impact of the virus. In the U.S., the CDC purposed to prepare local communities to respond to the virus and minimize the potential of a COVID-19 pandemic.

What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses typically found in a variety of animal species. The virus causing COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) most likely originated in bats and spread to intermediate animals such as cattle, cats, and camels. Coronaviruses have the ability to jump from animals to infect people. This particular virus demonstrates capability of spreading person-to-person; however, the CDC confirmed at least two cases in California in which they have no idea how the individuals contracted the disease, the individuals having no known travel or contact with another infected person.


Symptoms and risk

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe and include fever, cough and shortness of breath, indicating a lower respiratory infection as opposed to an upper respiratory infection or common cold. The incubation period (time between exposure to infection and the appearance of first symptoms) ranges from two to 14 days. Note that it’s possible to transmit the virus to someone else even when the infected person has no symptoms.

There are no vaccines currently available to protect against human coronaviruses and no approved medications to effectively treat COVID-19. While the CDC considers the potential public health threat of COVID-19 to be very high, the vast majority of Americans are at low risk for contracting the infection.

Determining your risk level

Individuals at high risk include those who travelled to the Hubei Province, China. Also, those who have not followed recommended precautions while living in the same household or being within close contact of an infected person are at higher risk. An example of unsafe contact is being coughed upon within six feet.

The risk of infection drops to “medium” If proper precautions are followed. This holds true even if in close contact with an infected person. Air travel with an infected person poses only medium risk as long as there is six feet, or two seats, in any direction between you and the infected person. Sitting in a waiting room or classroom with an infected person does not confer higher risk.

If someone is exposed to COVID-19, but has no symptoms presenting (asymptomatic), he or she should adhere to specific protocol recommended by the CDC, according to risk level.

Recommended precautions
HIGH RISK individuals should:
  • submit to quarantine as directed by local public health authorities
  • receive daily monitoring from public health officials
  • avoid travel, unless approved by public health authorities
MEDIUM RISK individuals should:
  • remain at home
  • avoid congregating with others or going out in public
  • practice social distancing (i.e. maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others)
LOW RISK individuals should:
  • monitor themselves for 14 days to ensure no symptoms develop.


If symptoms of COVID-19 should develop in a person who is medium-to-high risk, he or she should immediately isolate himself or herself from others, wear a face mask, alert healthcare authorities of their concern and arrange for testing and transport in a manner that will not expose others. Low risk individuals who develop symptoms should similarly avoid public transportation and contact with others and reach out to healthcare authorities for advice regarding whether testing is warranted.

As of this writing, COVID-19 has taken the lives of several thousand people, the majority of whom were in the Hubei province of China. Based upon reports from China and the World Health Organization (WHO), out of more than 100,000 confirmed cases, over 96 percent of infected persons will survive. Risk of death increases to a near ten percent when other diseases, particularly diabetes and heart or lung disease, are present. Age can be a contributing risk factor; risk of death increases to 22 percent in the very elderly, while no children under the age of ten have died from the virus. Although COVID-19 does not appear to be as deadly as the 2002 SARS virus, which had a 9.6 percent mortality rate, in less than two months, the number of those infected with COVID-19 exceeded that of SARS by 10-fold.

CDC recommended measures for preventing infection
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or going to the bathroom. Use hand sanitizers when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Wear a facemask if you show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone at home or in a health care facility. CDC does not recommend facemasks as protection from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19, for those who are well.

While this information is presented specifically in reference to COVID-19, it is useful instruction for the prevention and containment of any infectious agents.

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