COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

We want to answer your most burning questions related to COVID-19.

If you have a COVID-19 question, please submit it using the form above. We will answer the questions we receive below.

Q: My father received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in April. I believe. Can he get the Pfizer booster shot? 

No, there aren’t enough data currently to support getting an mRNA vaccine dose (either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) if someone has previously gotten a J&J/Janssen vaccine. People who got the J&J/Janssen vaccine will likely need a booster dose of the J&J/Janssen vaccine, and more data are expected in the coming weeks. With those data in hand, CDC will keep the public informed with a timely plan for J&J/Janssen booster shots.

Q: If I am not immunocompromised but it has been over eight months since initial vaccination, can I opt to go ahead and get on the schedule to get booster when I can? 

No. The CDC only has authorized COVID vaccination boosters for those who are immunocompromised. We are not yet scheduling appointments for teammates. If the CDC approves boosters, we will have a comprehensive plan to assist teammates in getting their booster shot.

Q: Will RSFH offer COVID booster shots for clinical staff if those are approved?

Yes! We will share more information as it becomes available.

Q: Does you booster shot have to be the same as your initial shot?

For people who received either Pfizer or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine series, a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine should be used. A person should not receive more than three mRNA vaccine doses. If the mRNA vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered.

Q: If I am unvaccinated and exposed to COVID-19, how long would I have to wait to get vaccinated?

If you are asymptomatic after 14 days of quarantine, you do not need a negative test and that would be an appropriate time to begin vaccination.

Q: If I’m fully vaccinated and I still get COVID-19, does that mean my vaccine didn’t work?

Not at all. Experts say vaccines are very good at reducing the severity of the illness. The main reason to get the vaccine is because they prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death. See more FAQs on breakthrough infections here.

Q: What is the percentage of our COVID inpatients who are vaccinated vs. unvaccinated?

The exact numbers fluctuate daily. As of Aug. 23, 100 percent of our COVID-19 inpatients under 70 are not vaccinated. Eighty-six percent of all COVID patients are unvaccinated.

Q: Is RSFH offering boosters for those who are immunocompromised?

We will begin offering booster shots to immunocompromised patients at all five Express Care locations beginning Saturday, Aug. 21.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its recommendations to say those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. We will be requiring these patients to present their vaccine card and to sign a self attestation form that signals they are, in fact, an immunocompromised patient.

Each of our five Express Care locations continue to average between 125-150 patients a day, with at least 50 percent for COVID-related reasons. If you need to visit our Express Care, please be patient with the wait and express gratitude to our hard-working staff.

Is there any update on a booster for teammates who received their COVID-19 vaccination late 2020 or early 2021? 

UPDATED SEPT. 20.

A key advisory committee to the federal Food and Drug Administration recommended boosters for those 65 and older as well as those at “high risk” for severe disease. The committee included healthcare workers in its definition of those at “high risk.” The FDA is expected to make a final decision this week. In addition, the CDC is scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday to discuss booster shots and who should receive them. If the boosters are approved for healthcare workers, RSFH will proceed in making those available to teammates by appointment. We will share more information as it becomes available.

If those booster shots are approved, RSFH will mobilize to provide those shots to teammates.

Q: Is the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge at the RSF Express Cares?

Yes!

Q: Why do I need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if I already have had it?

A: You should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19. If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

How can I get a COVID vaccination replacement card?

You can request a new one by emailing RSFHTeammateHealth@rsfh.com with your full name, employee number and date of birth.

What do I do if I’m exposed to COVID-19 and fully vaccinated?

You should continue coming to work if you are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated teammates who have a member of their household with COVID-19 should be tested three to five days following the date of their last exposure AND wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative PCR test result.

I am wondering if there are exemptions from the vaccine for people who can prove natural immunity?

You should be vaccinated regardless of whether you’ve already had COVID-19. The current CDC guidance states that because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19, vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19.  However, if you wish to request a medical exemption for this reason, you should submit the Medical Exemption request form signed by your treating medical provider.

Why do we allow support persons to switch out? 

Some of our support persons have other obligations – work, family or otherwise – and are unable to remain at the patient’s bedside. We know it’s beneficial to patients to have a support person, so that’s why we allow them to switch.

What is our support person policy?

We are not allowing children in our acute care facilities, including women, infants and children’s units, because most children are unvaccinated and there is too much risk of disease transmission. Exceptions can be made in our Emergency Departments when an adult patient has a child and no other caregiver is on site.

Roper St. Francis Physician Partners will resume allowing only one support person over the age of 16 per patient effective immediately.

One support person per patient is allowed in women, infants and children’s units; EDs; and inpatient units. Procedural patients can have one support person, but they must wait outside the facility during the procedure. No visitors are allowed for COVID-19 patients, and exceptions will be made for end-of-life patients.

Are we restricting what types of masks patients and visitors can wear?

We do not allow masks with vents. Otherwise, as long as the mask covers the mouth and nose, the mask is permissible. Patients may remove their mask when in their rooms but should put them back on when leaving their room. Patients with respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough or sneeze), including patients with confirmed COVID-19, need to wear a medical grade mask when leaving their room.

What do I do if a member of my household tests positive for COVID-19?

Fully vaccinated teammates who have a member of their household with COVID-19 should be tested three to five days following the date of their last exposure AND wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative PCR test result.

What do I do if I’m exposed to COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19?

Please contact RSFH Exposure Advisor. If you are unsure whether your symptoms are COVID related, NOTIFY EXPOSURE ADVISOR and they can help make that determination

The best way to contact Exposure Advisor to report symptoms or exposure is by filling out the screening form. If you have any issues with filling out the form, please email rsfhteammatehealthcovid@rsfh.com.

Exposure Advisor not only provides you with quarantining and isolation guidance, but it also collects needed data to ensure we are tracking COVID-19 illness among our teammates and providers. Additionally, notifying Exposure Advisor will ensure you receive COVID specific benefits required by OSHA.

How can I verify my COVID-19 vaccination status?

We expect to require vaccination as a condition of employment when the vaccine is fully approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration or possibly sooner, if community spread necessitates it. An exemption process will be available.  Click here for directions on how to see your vaccination status.

How do I apply for an exemption to COVID-19 vaccination?

Teammates and leaders will be advised of the exemption process once it is available. Please do not send exemption letters to Teammate Health or Exposure Advisor at this time.

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  1. Is it mandatory to get a booster vaccine

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