Update on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Mount Sinai Health System has been preparing for the arrival of the novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, in the New York area. Our infectious disease specialists are trained and equipped to care for patients with complex diseases such as COVID-19.

The outbreak was first recognized in early December 2019 in Wuhan, China, but has spread widely throughout the world, including to the United States. While COVID-19 has been widely covered in the news media and the number of cases has grown substantially, incidence in the New York area remains rare. Respiratory symptoms like fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, are much more likely to be caused by a seasonal illness like the flu rather than COVID-19.

Patient Information

If you traveled to an area where COVID-19 is occurring (the CDC maintains a list of affected countries) and you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within 14 days after returning to the United States, or if you have these symptoms after close contact with someone who recently traveled there, you should call ahead and then go to your personal physician or browse our directory of local physicians and specialists. Calling ahead will let us prepare a special area where we can evaluate you while protecting both you and our other patients. Please do not go to the emergency room unless you are seriously ill.

New Visitor Policy

New Limitations on Visitors: As of March 24, due to the escalating COVID-19 emergency, we are prohibiting all visitors across the Mount Sinai Health System, including visitors to the emergency departments, inpatient units (including Labor and Delivery), ambulatory sites and other facilities.

There are limited policy exceptions for HEALTHY visitors, including:

  • Pediatrics and Pediatrics ED: One healthy visitor.
  • NICU: One healthy adult visitor for the duration of the hospitalization, no rotation.
  • End of Life situations: One healthy visitor and they may have a limit of one visitor per 24 hour period.

Due to these visiting restrictions, the following enhancements for patients have been enabled:

  • FREE television service for all patients
  • Patients will be asked to designate an external partner in their care, to whom updates on their condition will be provided daily
  • Patient discharge instructions will be made available for playback from any phone the patient chooses and will contain all pertinent information to the individual patient’s case. Instructions will be provided and can be shared with family members if the patient chooses

All Emergency Department Patients and Visitors

You must use the Emergency Department entrance off Oceanside Road (back of the hospital). There is no Emergency Department access through the main entrance of the hospital.

Public Events Cancellation

In order to best protect our patients, staff and community from the current public health crisis related to COVID-19, effective March 10, we have instituted a temporary policy cancelling all in-person lectures, events, classes, and meetings across the Mount Sinai Health System. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.

Protecting Yourself from COVID-19

The steps to protect yourself from COVID-19 are generally the same as those for the flu:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including the flu and COVID-19. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of these diseases to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

The CDC website remains your best source for up-to-date, detailed information about COVID-19. Mount Sinai Health System experts also offer important facts and scientific insights about the disease.

CDC Resources

CDC Website
CDC Travel Information
Information from the CDC on COVID-19

COVID-19 Infographc


Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Preventive measures for Flu & COVID-19
How to Wash Your Hands the Right Way (Video)