Learn more about the differences between COVID, allergies, cold and flu.View our comparison chart
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms such as a cough or difficulty breathing, call your doctor for medical advice.
For additional up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control, PA Department of Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and CDC's Vaccine Finder.
St. Luke’s continues to monitor COVID-19 infection rates and will update visitation policies as needed.
For more detailed information regarding St. Luke’s Visitor Policies, please choose from the below:
- Pennsylvania Campuses
- Geisinger St. Luke’s
- New Jersey (Warren Campus)
- Skilled Nursing Facility
- The Summit Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at St. Lukeʼs Lehighton Campus
*masks with valves are not permitted
- Pfizer Vaccine Fact Sheet (6 months to 4 years old) - English
- Pfizer Vaccine Fact Sheet (5 years to 11 years old) - English | Spanish
- Pfizer Vaccine Fact Sheet (12 years and older) - English | Spanish
- Moderna Vaccine Fact Sheet - English | Spanish
- Janssen (J&J) COVID Vaccine Fact Sheet - English | Spanish
St. Luke’s is committed to doing everything we can to ensure your safety and that of the general public. We are diligently working to address the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic in our community. By limiting our visitors and implementing screening protocols, we are working to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our facilities. These measures are intended to allow hospitals to be prepared for the anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases as well as to limit patient and caregiver exposure. We have also established a hotline at 1-866-STLUKES (785-8537), option 7, to offer advice and help connect you with the resources you need during this pandemic.
The safety and wellbeing of our community is of the highest priority to us. We understand that you may feel anxious about the spread of COVID-19, but we want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the situation in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), and we are developing solutions to best serve our patients, staff and community.
To help protect yourself and others, follow CDC recommendations to take commonsense measures, such as:
- Perform hand hygiene with soap and water or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol often, but especially after going to the bathroom, after blowing your nose/coughing/sneezing, before eating and after coming into contact with a potentially contaminated public surface
- Avoid touching your face
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid unnecessary crowd exposure
- Wear a mask when you go out in public
- Stay home when you are sick. Call your health care provider’s office in advance of a visit
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water
- Know where to find local information on COVID-19 and local trends of COVID-19 cases
- Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if symptomatic
- Limit movement in the community
- Limit visitors
- Know what additional measures those at higher risk and who are vulnerable should take.
- Create a household plan of action in case of illness in the household or disruption of daily activities due to COVID-19 in the community
- Consider a 2-week supply of prescription and over the counter medications, food and other essentials. Know how to get food delivered if possible
- Establish ways to communicate with others (e.g., family, friends, co-workers)
- Establish plans to telecommute, what to do about childcare needs, how to adapt to cancellation of events
- Stay informed about your municipality’s and state’s emergency plans
- Know about emergency operations plans for schools/workplaces of household members
Why do viruses change?
Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur. A variant has one or more mutations that differentiate it from other variants in circulation. As expected, multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been documented in the United States and globally throughout this pandemic. To inform local outbreak investigations and understand national trends, scientists compare genetic differences between viruses to identify variants and how they are related to each other.
Patients who have Lost their Proof of Vaccine Card:
Using both of these options, the patient will receive a medical record printout verification; they will not receive an actual replacement CDC vaccination card.
- Log into your St. Luke’s MyChart account: https://www.slhn.org/mychart/login
- Under the “Menu” dropdown at the top left corner of the screen, under “My Record”, click on “COVID-19”
- Download and print your vaccination Record
Medical Records Release Process (there is no charge for the vaccination record)
- Go to: https://www.slhn.org/patients-visitors/medical-records
- About halfway down the screen, refer to the “Requesting Your Record” Section
- Click on the “Medical Information Release” link to print out and complete the release form.
- “X” the OTHER box, and write in: COVID-19 Vaccination Record
- If you would like the record emailed back to you, be sure to do the following:
Enter your email address in the “I authorize: _______ to release my medical Records to:” section
- Email: email@example.com
- Mail to: St. Luke’s Medical Records, 77 S. Commerce Way, Bethlehem, PA 18017
- Fax to: 833-932-1185
- Questions? Call Medical Records at 484-526-4719
Individuals with the following conditions are recommended for the third dose:
- Receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
People who are symptomatic and have tested positive using an at-home test should NOT seek a second, confirmatory laboratory test from the Network. (An at-home test that produces a positive result in a symptomatic individual is considered highly accurate, so a second, laboratory test is not necessary to confirm the diagnosis.)
People who believe they have been exposed to Covid but are not symptomatic should NOT go to a St. Luke’s hospital emergency department or a St. Luke’s Care Now urgent care location for a Covid test to rule out infection.
Additionally, people should NOT go to the hospital emergency department or a St. Luke’s Care Now urgent care location for a Covid test for travel needs.
As you care for the health of you and your baby, you will make many important decisions. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect both of you against the virus.
The CDC and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend you get vaccinated if you:
- Are pregnant
- May become pregnant in the future, or are
- Currently breastfeeding.
Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant?
Yes. It is safe and effective. The COVID-19 vaccine protects you from serious illness and keeps you healthy, so you can keep your baby healthy. Pregnant people who get COVID during their pregnancy are at higher risk of having a preterm birth.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine says getting vaccinated before becoming pregnant or early in your pregnancy is the best way to reduce risk of complications from COVID-19 for you and your baby.
Can getting COVID-19 while I’m pregnant cause problems for me or my baby?
Yes, a recent multinational study shows pregnant people who catch COVID run a greater risk of:
- Maternal mortality
- Preeclampsia, and
- Preterm birth.
Am I at a higher risk of severe COVID because I am pregnant?
Yes. The CDC says pregnant women are at significantly higher risk for severe COVID compared with nonpregnant women.
When you are pregnant, your body changes in many ways. Your risk of getting severe COVID increases due to these changes, including:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased oxygen consumption, and
- Decreased lung capacity.
Is the COVID vaccine safe if I am trying to get pregnant or want to get pregnant in the future?
Yes, the vaccine is safe. There is no evidence that any vaccine – including any of the three COVID-19 vaccines – cause fertility problems in women or men. A recent report from the v-safe safety monitoring system showed 4,800 people had a positive pregnancy test after receiving a first dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
Two studies following pregnant people who received Pfizer or Moderna vaccines just before or during early pregnancy have not found an increased risk for miscarriage.
What other data exists around fertility after vaccination?
A recent study, compared pregnancy success rates across three groups of women undergoing in-vitro fertilization:
- Women vaccinated against COVID-19
- Women with antibodies from having a recent infection with the virus that causes COVID-19
- Women without antibodies from either having a recent infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 or from having been vaccinated against COVID-19
The study found no differences in pregnancy success rates.
If I am breastfeeding, should I still get the COVID vaccine?
Yes, the CDC recommends the COVID vaccine for people who are breastfeeding. Reports have shown that breastfeeding people who have been vaccinated have antibodies in their breastmilk, which could help protect their babies.
Can the COVID-19 vaccine give me or my baby COVID-19?
No. The vaccine does not contain any live virus, so it cannot give you or your baby COVID-19. The vaccine teaches your body to recognize COVID-19 and create an immune response.
The vaccine is eliminated from your body shortly after receiving the shot leaving only the immune response. The immune response is like the one you would receive after getting sick with COVID, but you avoid the damage that COVID can cause to your body.
What else can I do to keep my baby safe?
You can create a COVID-safe “cocoon” by getting vaccinated and encouraging those that come into contact with your baby to also get vaccinated.
More information can be found at PA.GOV/COVID
Children and Adolescents
The Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine is available for kids as young as six months old. Vaccinating our children is a critical step in protecting them from COVID and its complications, but also in helping our children return to activities and a general sense of normalcy.
All minors (under 18) will need to have a parent or guardian complete the Minor Consent Form. Consent forms will also be available onsite.
The same rigorous testing that went into the studies for adult vaccination was followed for the younger age groups as well. The FDA and CDC have approved the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for use in individuals 6 months or older because it has been proven to be safe and effective in preventing COVID.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also fully supports the recommendation to vaccinate children.
While it is true that most severe cases of COVID (hospitalization, ICU admissions and deaths) are attributed to an older population, our children are not immune from contracting COVID. By giving the vaccine to children, we can now protect even more children from getting sick. An added benefit is that we can also cut down on their risk of spreading it to other family members, older or younger, as well as keeping them participating in daycare, school, and social events.
Not quite. The ingredients are identical. However, children will receive a reduced dose compared to the adult dose.
The vaccine is administered in three parts, dose two is 3 weeks after dose one, and dose three is 8 weeks after dose 2. It is very important to complete all three doses in the series; two shots is not believed to offer sufficient protection.
Yes, just make sure that you have completed the Minor Consent Form ahead of time and send it with your child.
Our team of nurses and doctors are very familiar with needle phobia (Trypanophobia). Just let us know ahead of time and we will pull out all our specialties to help your child feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
Yes, we want to make this experience as easy and as friendly as possible for everyone. If your child has a special need or something that will make them more comfortable, just communicate it to us during the check-in process and we will assist. Also, feel free to bring along something like a tablet or favorite toy if it helps calm your child.
While some pharmacies offer the covid vaccine for children, many are offering only for those age 3 years and older.
Like many other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine can cause mild to moderate symptoms related to the induced immune response.