Bellin COVID-19 Hotline

  920-445-7313

I PROTECT YOU.
YOU PROTECT ME.

Knowledge is power—especially when we take what we know about COVID-19 and put it to work to protect one another. Our commitment to you is to compile and share knowledge that will make us all safer. And to put what we know into practice, so that you can come to us with confidence when you need healthcare.

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THE COVID VACCINE: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Bellin Health physicians recommend that you should get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it's available to you. The vaccine distribution will occur in phases with healthcare and other essential workers and those at highest risk receiving the vaccine in the earliest phases. Bellin is working with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on vaccine distribution, using the CDC framework to guide its efforts. Please continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands, and follow state and local recommendations.

The following Q&A's were developed by Bellin's medical staff to address some common questions and concerns.

Who determines the COVID-19 vaccine priority? 

Who gets the vaccine and when is determined by the states of WI and MI in accordance with the prioritization laid out by the CDC.

We will keep our patients updated through a variety of channels including:

  • Bellin's myChart site/app
  • Provider/clinic communications
  • Social media
  • News media as appropriate

As always, the Bellin Health COVID-19 Hotline is available to answer your questions 24/7 at 920-445-7313.

Who is currently eligible for the vaccine?

Click below to access the most recent eligibility information issued by Wisconsin and Michigan.

How to schedule your COVID-19 vaccination?

Bellin Health has switched to a waitlist system procedure for COVID-19 vaccinations to account for allocation uncertainties and to make the scheduling process simpler and more efficient for patients and staff members alike.

Currently, Bellin Health has temporarily stopped scheduling new COVID-19 vaccination appointments via mybellin.org and the COVID-19 Hotline. Instead, patients and community members who are currently eligible for vaccination may request to be added to our waitlist by calling our COVID-19 Hotline at 920-445-7313.

Where will the COVID-19 vaccinations take place?

Green Bay: Bellin Health Ashwaubenon clinic campus, 1630 Commanche Avenue (vaccinations will be given in the turf gym area just inside the Northwest entrance)

Marinette: Bellin Health Marinette, 2820 Roosevelt Rd.

Iron Mountain: Bellin Health, 440 Woodward Avenue Unit 101

Do you take walk-ins at your vaccination sites? 

Unfortunately, we are not able to accept walk-in appointments for vaccinations. If you are currently eligible to receive the vaccine, please utilize our waitlist system. To be placed on the waitlist, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 920-445-7313.

I’m worried there won’t be enough vaccines when it comes time to receive my second dose. What can you tell me?

We will schedule your second dose at the time you receive your first dose. This scheduling is factored into our planning process so we can ensure all second doses are given on time.

Why should I be vaccinated?

The COVID-19 vaccine is critical to ending this pandemic and eventually returning us to life as normal. It is safe, it is remarkably effective, and it is recommended for almost all individuals who meet age criteria (16-plus or 18-plus, depending on vaccine version). Bellin Health strongly recommends you receive the vaccine when it becomes available to you.

Does the vaccine actually protect against serious COVID-19 illness?

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you by creating an antibody response in your body without you having to become sick with COVID-19. If you get COVID-19, the vaccine might keep you from becoming seriously ill or from developing serious complications. Early results from clinical trials have shown that some vaccines may be 94–95% effective in preventing the spread of illness from COVID-19. Getting vaccinated may also protect the people around you, especially those at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

How long does protection against COVID-19 last once I receive the vaccine?

We do not know how long protection will last following vaccination, but further information from ongoing clinical trials will become public over time. In comparison, immunity to two similar coronaviruses, SARS and MERS, lasted at least three years.

What are the side effects to this vaccine?

The most common side effects found in the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine trials included pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pain, and joint pain. Side effects tended to be more frequent after the second dose, according to the analysis. No serious long-term effects of the vaccine have been found to date, and monitoring will be continued in trial participants for two years.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine actually make a COVID-19 infection worse?

No, there is no evidence that any of the coronavirus vaccines in development worsen a coronavirus infection. In fact, if you get COVID-19 infection after getting vaccinated, it will be less severe than if you had not been vaccinated.

Can I develop COVID-19 infection from the vaccine?

No, the vaccines in development do not contain active viruses, but only small fragments of the spike protein that allows the body to develop an immunity to the virus. There is no chance of getting COVID-19 infection from these vaccines.

When does protection against COVID-19 begin after the vaccine?

There is evidence of protection 12 days after the first dose. The 95% effectiveness is achieved seven days after the second dose.

What about allergic reactions to the vaccine?

There has been some recent media attention surrounding the allergy risks associated with the COVID-19 vaccine. Bellin Health’s Medical Branch continues to monitor these risks, and there are a few key points they would like you to share with your teams:

  • Severe allergic reactions to the vaccine are very rare
  • Individuals are screened for possible allergy issues before receiving the vaccine
  • A 15-minute observation period is built into each vaccination appointment in case there are any issues with the vaccine
  • Severe allergy reactions are treatable, and all vaccine administrative sites have treatment available

Click here for CDC information on COVID-19 vaccine allergies.

Should we be worried that this vaccine is approved under Emergency Use Authorization? Is the vaccine less safe than other vaccines because it was developed so quickly?

No, the EUA process has been deliberative, and despite some experts' fears, the authorization wasn't rushed to meet the artificial deadline of Election Day. People in the studies for new COVID-19 vaccines have been followed for at least two months after vaccination, which is long enough to see almost all side effects from any vaccine. Plus, because the new coronavirus has surged so severely in recent weeks, we've seen a mounting number of COVID-19 cases among placebo recipients—even as those who received the vaccine enjoyed robust protection. In that sense, the worsening of the pandemic has actually increased our confidence that Pfizer's vaccine is effective. As with any new drug or vaccine, there will be ongoing monitoring and reporting of side effects.

Should the vaccine be given to those previously infected with COVID-19?

Yes, data from clinical trials suggest the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and likely effective in people who were previously infected with the coronavirus, and vaccination should be offered to them. However, people with a current infection should not be vaccinated until the person has recovered, if they had symptoms, and if they're clear to leave isolation. There's no recommended minimum period between infection and vaccination, but since it appears reinfection is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection, vaccination could be delayed until near the end of that period.

Should the vaccine be given to children?

Currently, neither vaccine is approved for children under 16. Pfizer’s Emergency Use Authorization covers ages 16-plus while Moderna’s and Johnson & Johnson’s covers ages 18-plus.

Should pregnant/nursing mothers get the vaccine?

There have been a lot of questions — and some unfortunate misinformation — surrounding COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for pregnant or nursing mothers and rumors that vaccination can affect fertility. Here’s what you should know:

It’s Safe

  • The consensus in the medical community is that the vaccine is safe for pregnant and nursing mothers
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) say the vaccine should not be withheld from pregnant or nursing mothers just because they are pregnant or nursing
  • Although the vaccines were not tested on pregnant women, small numbers of women in the trials either became pregnant or were vaccinated while unknowingly pregnant, with no ill effects

It’s Important

  • Pregnant women are at higher risk for contracting more severe cases of COVID-19, versus the general population
  • Pregnant women frequently receive other immunizations to protect themselves and their babies. These include influenza, tetanus and pertussis

Does the COVID-19 vaccine affect fertility?

Internet rumors about the COVID-19 vaccine inhibiting fertility are just that — rumors. There is no scientific evidence that the vaccine has any impact on fertility. Here are some key points:

  • Syncytin-1: Facebook posts and other social media outlets have comments stating that the antibodies from the vaccine will target the placental protein, syncytin-1, and damage the pregnancy or prevent it from happening. There is no scientific evidence to support this. In fact, every vaccine FAQ from every university or teaching hospital says the exact opposite. There is no scientist or doctor claiming this. Antibodies made from getting the vaccine attack the spike protein from coronavirus. They recognize spike protein based on the size, shape, and composition of spike protein. There is absolutely nothing about the size, shape, or composition of syncytin-1 that is similar to spike protein. They are completely different.
  • Moderna did do animal studies to see if their vaccine would cause any pregnancy concerns. They discuss the research in their information submitted to the FDA and is available online for anyone to read. They found no issues with their vaccine in pregnancy or fertility in animals. You could easily assume the same for the Pfizer vaccine since it is very similar to the Moderna vaccine.
  • In the Pfizer study, there were 23 women who got pregnant shortly after getting vaccinated. It’s a small number, but there were no problems.

Should we just give one dose of the vaccine to individuals in order to extend the supply to more people?

No, that is not recommended by the FDA. We recommend that people complete the two-dose series in order to achieve the 95% efficacy rate.

Can I finally stop wearing a mask after I get the vaccine?

The CDC has released guidance for those who are fully vaccinated.  Click here to learn more.

Masks and social distancing will  be recommended for some time after people are vaccinated. While the vaccine is highly effective, it is not 100%, and it is not yet known how well it prevents asymptomatic infection or how long its effects will last. Taking precautions like masking and physical distancing will be important until the spread has stopped.

Messenger RNA technology is new. How do we know it is safe?

There are several reasons why we know mRNA technology is safe. First, mRNA vaccine technology is not entirely new. Human trials of cancer vaccines using the same mRNA technology have been taking place since at least 2011.

Second, mRNA vaccines do not alter your DNA. That idea is completely false and has no scientific basis or rationale for that to happen. Once the injected mRNA enters a human cell, it degrades quickly and only stays in the body for a couple of minutes or hours. This is why people need two injections to develop the best immune response.

Third, mRNA vaccines are very specific. They are designed to only trigger an immune response to the virus's spike protein, which is just one component of the viral membrane and enables the virus to invade our cells.


LONG-HAUL COVID-19

You may have heard about “post-COVID long haulers” or “long-haul COVID.” These aren’t technical terms, but they’re common names for a common condition: people who have had COVID-19 and still haven’t returned to their pre-COVID state of health after weeks or even months.

It’s estimated that up to 30% of patients continue to have serious problems for two or three weeks, and up to 10% are still having problems after three to six months. Here are a few things you should know about the condition.

What are the symptoms of long COVID?

Symptoms common to long COVID (medical professionals generally call it “long COVID,” “post-acute COVID,” or “chronic COVID”) are similar to the regular symptoms of COVID-19: fatigue, body aches, shortness of breath, cough, difficulty concentrating, inability to exercise, headache, difficulty sleeping, racing heartbeat, chest pains, ongoing loss of taste and smell, GI symptoms, intermittent fevers, chills, and “brain fog.” The main difference is that while regular COVID-19 symptoms usually go away, long COVID symptoms continue even after the patient doesn’t have any detectable virus in their body.

Who gets long COVID?

We see long COVID in two groups: people who’ve had damage to organs like their heart or lungs (generally after severe COVID-19) and people who just continue to have symptoms for reasons we don’t entirely understand. Medical professionals are working all the time to learn more about long COVID.

We do know we’re more likely to see long COVID in people over the age of 50, people who already have two or three chronic illnesses, and people who got very sick when they first had COVID-19.

Is Bellin Health ready to treat long COVID?

Absolutely. We’ve always been dedicated to the close relationships between our care providers and our patients, and those relationships are key in treating COVID-19 long-term. We know you and your medical needs, and we know what to look for and how to treat chronic conditions like long COVID. Bellin is with you all the way.

We’re here to help.

It starts with a call to your Bellin Health primary care provider who will assess your symptoms and, if needed, connect you with additional members of your Bellin care team.

If you don’t have a primary care provider, simply call our Long COVID Care Hotline at 920-445-7395. One of our trained navigators will get you connected to the care you need.


TESTING

An easy way to access COVID-19 testing, or to determine if you have symptoms, is to sign up for MyBellinHealth. It’s free, easy to do, and gives you access to online tools that make healthcare more effective, efficient, and convenient.

When might you want to be tested?

  • When you’re experiencing mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms
  • When you’ve been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • When you’re preparing to travel, visit loved ones, or return to your place of work
  • Whenever you feel that you could present a risk to others in the event you have coronavirus

To determine if you need a test (or other care) and to sign up for a testing time:

  • Sign into your MyBellinHealth account, or visit to set up a free account if you don't have one
  • Click COVID-19 Self-Triage and follow the prompts

You can also contact the Bellin COVID-19 Hotline at 920-445-7313 or 1-888-330-3524.

Bellin has testing sites in Wisconsin and Michigan at the following locations:

  • Green Bay: 1555 Green Bay Plaza - Former Sears Auto Center
  • Iron Mountain, MI: 1800 S. Stephenson Avenue - Former Kmart Auto Center
  • Crivitz: 218 S. US Hwy 141
  • Peshtigo: 501 Pine Street
  • Algoma: 831 Parker Street

When and how can I expect results?

  • If your test is positive:
    • You will receive a call from a Bellin care team member and Public Health. If you have a MyBellinHealth account, your result also will appear there
  • If your test is negative:
    • If you have a MyBellinHealth account, you will receive results there. You will not receive a phone call
    • If you do not have a MyBellinHealth account, you will receive a phone call

Note: Please do not present to your local clinic or hospital for COVID-19 testing or schedule a standard clinic appointment online for COVID-19 testing. If you are seriously ill, call 911.

Bellin offers COVID-19 testing for current and new patients. Learn more.

Will I owe for testing?

Ultimately, you should not owe anything for your test. Here is how it breaks down:

  • If you have insurance:
    • Bellin will bill your insurance. This is done to cover the cost of purchasing and administering COVID tests and allows for a substantially faster turnaround than state programs that do not bill insurance
    • Testing should be covered at 100 percent
    • You should not have a balance after insurance processes. If you do, please contact Bellin’s Patient Financial Services Department at 920-445-7210, and we will have it removed
    • Note: If you have insurance and choose not to bill your insurance, you will be responsible for the balance yourself
  • If you do not have insurance:
    • You will not owe anything
      • A Bellin partner will contact you to discuss no-cost permanent insurance options. You can also contact us at 920-965-0741 to begin the discussion
      • There are also federal programs and Bellin’s Community Care Program that we will help you utilize

Why do I see a balance in MyBellinHealth?

  • Any balance being held will be visible in your MyBellinHealth account
  • You do not owe anything unless you receive a statement from Bellin

What’s the difference between viral testing and antibody testing?

There are two kinds of tests for COVID-19. If you’ve been exposed to the virus, Bellin will perform a viral test, which shows if you have a current infection. That’s a simple nasal swab that will provide results within two to seven days.

The other kind of test is called an antibody test. This test determines whether you’ve been infected in the past and is performed via blood draw. It won’t determine if you’re infected now—the body takes one to three weeks to develop antibodies after infections. The serum antibody test takes about a week to provide results.


SAFETY AND HYGIENE

Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise all across the country. But the disease can only spread when people come in direct contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces. You can take precautions to help prevent getting COVID-19 and spreading it to others.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for 20 seconds
  • If you can’t wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • When you have to leave home, maintain at least six feet of distance—about two adult arm’s lengths—between you and others
  • Avoid unnecessary travel, and check CDC travel recommendations before planning a trip
  • Use a household wipe or spray to disinfect doorknobs, lights switches, desks, sinks, and other objects and surfaces that are frequently touched
  • Wear a mask in public to help protect others from your respiratory droplets

Why am I being asked to wear a mask?

The CDC recommends people wear cloth coverings over their nose and mouth when in public and around people who aren’t in their household. This is because it’s possible to have COVID-19, and to be contagious, without experiencing symptoms—you could have it and not know it. A mask keeps respiratory droplets from traveling into the air when someone speaks or coughs, where other people can inhale them and potentially become infected. When you wear a mask, it protects other people from you, and when they wear a mask, it protects you from them. Bellin encourages you to join us in looking out for each other, showing that you care by wearing a mask when you’re out of the house or around other people.

Read the CDC’s guidelines for safe use of masks.

Read five myths about COVID-19 and face masks.

Are my groceries safe? What about my mail?

While it is possible to contract COVID-19 from contaminated surfaces, it’s the less common way of becoming infected. (Most infections come from person-to-person contact.) With some simple precautions, you can feel safe bringing your groceries and packages inside. After you put away your groceries or open your mail, recycle or toss the bags and packaging, rather than keeping them for future reuse. And always wash your hands, for 20 seconds with soap and water, immediately after touching anything that might be contaminated.

WISCONSIN CASE NUMBERS BY COUNTY


covid-19 and your healthcare

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much about our daily lives, from work and school schedules to social calendars and, yes, the way we approach healthcare. And at every step of the way, Bellin Health has had your safety and well-being in mind.

Early on in the pandemic, we chose to postpone all non-urgent appointments to prevent the spread of the disease and conserve critical resources. Now, in light of our current circumstances and the progress that has been made, physician leadership at Bellin Health have determined that it’s not just safe, but important to reconnect with all of our patients for your healthcare needs.

Learn more about how Bellin is keeping you safe as you return to our facilities for care.


What is covid-19?

Get the facts on COVID-19 and the virus that causes it.

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in humans. The type of coronavirus causing the current pandemic is called SARS-CoV-2. This virus has never been seen before—scientists refer to it as “novel”—and much is still being learned about how it spreads and the severity of illness it causes. Humans have no natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2, and currently, there is no vaccine.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. It’s an abbreviation of “coronavirus disease 2019” (2019 being the year the novel coronavirus was discovered).

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 spreads via respiratory droplets from an infected person. This can happen when a person touches a surface that’s been contaminated with droplets, or when a person is in close physical contact—less than six feet—of an infected person.

Who is at risk for COVID-19?

Anyone of any age or level of health can become infected by COVID-19. But some people are more susceptible, and some people are at greater risk for severe illness if they get it. That includes:

  • People 65 years and older
  • People who have a history of diabetes, cardiac, or respiratory problems
  • People with compromised immune systems from other diseases or from immunosuppressants
  • People living in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People with other high-risk conditions like chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, or heart disease with complications
  • People who are immunocompromised (cancer treatment)
  • People with severe obesity (body mass index BMI ≥ 40)

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 comes with a variety of symptoms, but most have been described as “flu-like.” Symptoms appear an average of five to six days after exposure to the virus, although it can be as little as two days or as long as 14 days. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

What should I do if I think I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?

First of all, don’t panic. Next, concentrate on keeping the virus from spreading more—don’t leave your house, don’t have guests over, and if you live with others, try to isolate yourself from them as much as possible. Keep this up for 14 days after your last contact with an infected person, and watch for a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms.

If you start to experience symptoms, please don’t show up at a clinic or hospital—stay home, call your healthcare provider or the Bellin Health COVID-19 Hotline at 920-445-7313 and make arrangements to be tested in a safe location or to be seen by a provider should symptoms warrant. You can also visit MyBellinHealth to access our COVID-19 Self-Triage tool and to schedule a test.

Note: If you are experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath, call 911, tell them your symptoms, and tell them you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 so the ambulance crew can take the proper precautions.


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