We know there is a lot of worry and anxiety surrounding the recently classed pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19. We want to assure you that our office will do everything we can to help your family and to prevent the spread of the disease.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new strain of the coronavirus. The symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath
- The CDC has more information on symptom development here.
These symptoms, coupled with exposure to someone who is confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19, or someone who has recently traveled from a country with a high infection rate is cause for concern. Please call our offices immediately.
As of March 17th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have several recommendations to help protect you and your family. We have summarized them below. To get the newest information from the CDC, see their site here.
If you or someone in your household is older/elderly or has one of these chronic illnesses, heart or lung disease, or diabetes, they are at a higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19. Please call our office to speak with our Physicians about extra steps you can take to protect yourself or your family, and visit the CDC site here for more information on high-risk populations.
The CDC Recommends:
To clean your hands often:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday twice!). Especially after sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose, or being out in public.
- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. If at all possible, washing your hands with warm, soapy water is a better way to ensure that your hands are clean and germ-free.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid Close Contact:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you have a sick family member, the CDC recommends having only one family member care for them, keeping them quarantined into one room of the house, and making sure pets are kept away from them as well. To see all recommended actions for helping sick family members or, if you are sick visit the CDC site here.
- Practice social distancing. COVID-19 is spreading and will continue to spread with increased contact. To protect your family, and those who can not protect themselves like the elderly, the very young, and the immunocompromised, stay home as much as you can.
- All gatherings of 10 or more people are to be canceled or not to be attended for at least the next 8 weeks.
- The White House has put out more guidelines on March 16th that are available here, and on the CDC website.
- Quarantine can seem like an overreaction at this stage in the US but, it is an appropriate response to the risk, and will help contain the spread of the disease.
- Doing your part to help others now will help keep our healthcare system from being overworked and overwhelmed later.
The CDC also recommends following a few steps to protect others in your community:
- Stay home if you are sick:
- Stay home if you are sick except to get medical care. Always call our Physicians first if you have any questions about your care.
- Cover Coughs and Sneezes:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have tissues on hand, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Throw tissues away in the trash right away.
- Wash your hands immediately.
- If you must leave the house and you are sick, wear a facemask. If you are not ill, you do not need a facemask. Using them when you are not ill takes them away from healthcare providers and people who are sick and need them.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
- Keyboards, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, desks, phones, toilets, faucets, and sinks all need to be cleaned once a day.
More Sources and Information:
To see updated data from the CDC see their “At a Glance” page.
For more details and background on the disease, the CDC has a comprehensive article that they are updating daily here.
To see Virginia’s specific CDC page on COVID-19 click here.
To see a live map of cases and testing click here.
We know these can be scary times, and we want you to know that our office is taking every step and protective measure to keep you and your family safe as always. If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to speak with your Provider about the situation, please call us at 549-349-3225.