Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
May 26, 2023: COVID-19 Policy Update
P&M is continuing to closely monitor all updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as all current CDC recommendations. At this time, it appears that COVID-19 numbers have significantly declined and, more importantly, serious illness and hospitalization from the virus have also reduced greatly thanks to widespread vaccination.
Please continue to exercise good judgment and take all necessary precautions to avoid exposing providers and other patients. If you are feeling ill, or have a fever or cough, please call to reschedule your appointment and get the appropriate testing before visiting a P&M office.
Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.
February 25, 2022: COVID-19 Policy Update
Thank you so much for being patient with us as we once again navigated a peak of COVID-19 cases during the winter months. I know that the restrictions in the office have been considerably stressful, particularly for our pregnant patients. Since it seems that the COVID-19 numbers are now falling, we have good news: starting on February 26, 2022, we would like to welcome back partners and support persons to the office. Each patient will be allowed one adult support person (age 16 or over) to attend any office visit. This includes ultrasounds. We are excited to get back to some sort of normalcy and look forward to removing more restrictions in the near future.
For now, we will continue to follow CDC guidelines in asking that all patients and support people who come into the office wear a mask. We do this in the hopes of preventing any possible exposures to our pregnant patients who are still considered a more vulnerable patient population. Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this continued restriction. We will diligently monitor any new recommendations that the CDC might issue regarding masks in health care facilities and update our guidelines as soon as any changes arise. Additionally, please note that the hospital still requires both patients and partners to mask while in the hospital. We will advise you as soon as there are any changes to these hospital policies; however, you can also continue to reference the Inova Alexandria Hospital website for any new updates in their policies in real time.
As we enter March, I see light at the end of this long COVID tunnel we’ve been navigating together. I truly hope that spring brings with it the end to more restrictions and a new hope of getting back to a world where we can all enjoy family and friends without any worries or precautions.
Thanks again for all your support!
December 30, 2021: COVID-19 Policy Update
Happy New Year and happy holiday season from P&M. We hope you are having a safe and healthy time with your families and enjoying the blessings of the season.
Unfortunately, I have to give you some updated guidelines for the office which will start on Monday, January 3. We have had an unprecedented number of cases of COVID-19 in our patient population over the past two weeks. In order to minimize exposure in the office, particularly to our pregnant patients who are considered immunocompromised and particularly vulnerable if they contract the virus, we will be once again restricting office visits to only our patient population. No support person will be allowed in the office for any visit type, either obstetric or gynecological. This includes ultrasound visits. We understand what an inconvenience this is for you and your partners, but we are focused on minimizing the volumes in the office to prevent possible exposures and keep all patients safe. We will still allow partners to facetime during ultrasounds and office visits.
Inova Alexandria Hospital has also modified their visitation policy. At this time, patients are allowed only one designated support person (16 years and older) and one certified doula during labor and delivery. On the postpartum floor, patients are allowed one support person (16 years and older) in a 24-hour period. No other visitors are permitted at this time. Please also remember that all patients — and their support person/doula, when applicable — are required to wear masks in the hospital, as well as in all P&M offices.
No children will be allowed in the office for visits. If a patient arrives at the office with a child, they will be asked to reschedule their appointment. Once again, these restrictions are designed to minimize exposure to both you and your child.
We are very sorry that we have to once again implement these restrictions but the Omicron variant has proven to be very virulent and we are truly trying to keep everyone safe and healthy during this most difficult resurgence of the pandemic.
Once again, we hope you have a safe and happy New Year and that 2022 brings joy and happiness to you and your family. Please call with any questions you might have.
November 2, 2021: COVID-19 Policy Update
At Physicians and Midwives we have been actively updating our policies based on recommendations from the WHO and the CDC. Both are increasing restrictions regarding social distancing particularly in medical environments that increase the risk for exposure for Coronavirus. Due to this, we are modifying our policy for in-office appointments.
- Face masks / Face coverings required when you to come to our practice
We are continuing to require all patients to wear a face mask or a face covering when you come to our practice as COVID 19 is becoming more prevalent in the DMV area. If you do not have a mask at home, a scarf or bandana is an acceptable substitute.
- No children are permitted in the office due to COVID-19.
- One (1) Support Person Permitted
All patients are permitted one adult support person for all appointments. Support persons must be over the age of 16, and all patients and their support person must wear a mask. Upon arrival the support person will undergo a temperature check and must complete the Covid Questionnaire.
We are also offering telemedicine appointments at this time to assist with scheduling restrictions.
Please call our office at (703) 370-4300 with any concerns or questions.
July 9, 2021: Inova Visitor Policy
As of July 9th, 2021, Inova Alexandria Hospital allows all adult patients to have two visitors at a time, in addition to a Designated Support Person (DSP), if applicable.
For more information, visit their website at: https://www.inova.org/about-inova/temporary-visiting-hours. As you prepare for your delivery, make sure to regularly check this website for the most updated information regarding Inova’s COVID-19 policies.
June 11, 2021: Update on COVID-19 Visitor Policies
As COVID-19 infection rates continue to slow and more and more of our patient community becomes eligible for vaccination, P&M has begun to gradually revise certain practice policies in accordance with changing CDC guidelines.
Beginning Monday, June 14, Physicians & Midwives will be permitting all patients to bring one adult support person with them to any office appointment. Previously, support persons were limited to ultrasound appointments only in order to ensure proper social distancing and a more gradual increase in practice visitors.
While we are so excited to welcome support persons back for all patients and appointment types, please know that patient safety will remain our top priority. P&M staff will continue to closely monitor all updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, and to adhere to all other recommended safety protocols and precautions. In particular, it is important to note that although the CDC has eased mask requirements for fully vaccinated individuals in some scenarios, this guidance does not apply to healthcare settings. As such, all P&M patients and support persons will continue to be screened with temperature checks and heath questionnaires, and will be required to wear masks at all appointments.
Thank you for your patience as we have navigated these new changes. We look forward to welcoming you back soon!
January 25, 2021: Update on COVID-19 Vaccine
Everyone at Physicians and Midwives are grateful for your support during 2020. It was a difficult year for everyone and we will continue to meet these challenges and ensure that we provide convenient, compassionate care for all. We are hoping 2021 brings health and happiness to you and your family.
With the COVID-19 vaccine distribution now in process, I wanted to send a note to let you know that Physicians and Midwives will continue with our current protocols for infection prevention in our offices. We will continue screening patients, checking temperatures, and abiding by social distancing practices in our waiting rooms to ensure your safety in the upcoming months. We will also continue to provide telemedicine services throughout the week to ensure that those who cannot, or do not want to, come into the office still have the means to access care.
We have received many questions from our patients regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. I would like to address some of them here in this post. I am excited to tell you that over 65% of our staff and providers have received the vaccine. I truly believe that it is the light at the end of the tunnel for getting us back to some semblance of normalcy.
Here are some pictures of our providers and staff receiving their vaccine.
What vaccines are currently available for COVID-19?
There are currently two FDA-approved vaccines available.
- The Pfizer vaccine is approved for patients 16 and over and had over 36,621 people in the trials studying its safety and efficacy.
- The Moderna vaccine is approved for patients 18 and over and had 30,350 people in the trial. Both were found to be approximately 95% effective in preventing people from getting COVID-19.
How do these vaccines work to prevent COVID-19 infection?
Both vaccines are mRNA vaccines. These vaccines provide instructions to your body to make a harmless protein called the “Spike Protein” that is displayed on the outside of your body’s cells. Your immune system responds to this “Spike Protein” by producing antibodies against future infection. It is not a live virus. It also never enters the nucleus of the cell where our own DNA is kept, and thus does not change our genetic material.
Why should I get the vaccine when there is only a 1% mortality rate with COVID-19?
Even though mortality rates are low, we have seen studies documenting potential long-term health risks for patients in the lungs, heart and brain. The benefits for prevention outweigh the risks of the vaccine in most cases.
Can I stop wearing a mask after getting vaccinated?
Unfortunately, we still do not have data on the protective nature of the vaccine in regards to asymptomatic carriers of the virus. In other words, you may be vaccinated, get infected with the virus and have no symptoms, but have the potential for passing it on to other individuals around you who have not been vaccinated. For that reason, we still recommend social distancing and wearing masks.
What if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
Pregnant and lactating patients were excluded in the preliminary studies on the vaccines so we do not have any long term studies on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines in these two populations. Having said that, since this is an mRNA vaccine that does not enter the central DNA of the cells, there is little-to-no potential for damaging growing genetic material. The Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine came out with a statement stating that “the theoretical risk of fetal harm from mRNA vaccines is very low.” While they cannot recommend that the vaccine be given to all pregnant patients because there is no long term data, they do strongly recommend that pregnant and lactating women have access to the vaccines and that counseling should be based on the theoretical risks to pregnant women for infection and disease severity. Additionally, the American College of OB/GYN has recommended that the vaccine not be withheld from pregnant or lactating patients in high-risk populations such as healthcare workers and teachers. This also applies to patients with high risk conditions such as hypertension and asthma. We will continue to monitor any long term data as it becomes available and relay this information to you as soon as we can. Until then, I will include a link to both the SMFM statement as well as the ACOG recommendations in this post for your reference and review. Please feel free to discuss your individual situation and risks with our providers at your next outpatient visit.
I hope this helps answer some of your questions, and that you and your family continue to stay safe during the upcoming months. Please feel free to call us with any further questions you might have!
May 12, 2020: Re-Opening to Annual / Non-Urgent Gynecological Patients
On behalf of the physician management team I would like to thank all of you for your support during this most difficult time in health care. We are exceedingly grateful for all of your patience as we try to navigate how best to continue giving convenient, compassionate care during the pandemic while keeping both patients and staff safe and healthy.
As you all know, we have been complying with Governor Northam’s mandate of seeing only urgent gynecology patients and obstetric patients in our office. This mandate ended on April 30 and hospitals are now reopening surgical suites to non urgent surgical cases while strictly following protocols to minimize patient exposure to COVID. With Phase 1 of reopening in Virginia starting as early as next week, P&M would now also like to slowly and systematically reopen our doors to patients at the office, including annual and non-urgent gynecological patients.
How will we do this?
1. We will continue screening all patients
We have put several measures in place to screen patients before they come into the office. This includes asking questions to determine if you have symptoms of the virus or if you have any risk factors for the virus. We also implemented our PHREESIA registration system which helps with this screening and minimizes your need to fill out significant paperwork in the office so that your visit is streamlined. We will also be checking temperatures on every patient who comes to the office. If a patient has a temperature of 100.4 or higher, they will be asked to reschedule.
2. Masks or a face covering of some sort will be required in order for a patient to be seen in the office
We know some people are asymptomatic and still have the virus. Wearing a mask minimizes the risk of respiratory droplet spread of the virus in these people. All providers will also be wearing masks and gloves to minimize this risk of spread. We will not see a patient in the office without a face covering of some sort. This does not need to be a mask but can be a scarf or a homemade covering.
3. We will continue to limit volumes of patients in the office.
As we transition back to seeing our non-urgent patients, we will continue to minimize the patient load in the office to allow for continued social distancing. Unfortunately this means continuing to enforce the restrictions we have put in place stating no children or support people in the office.
4. We will continue to offer telemedicine to those who still do not wish to come to the office or cannot physically come to the office at this time.
Telemedicine has been a successful addition to the practice and we will continue to offer this option throughout this transition time.
Once again thank you so much for your patience and support. We are excited to welcome our patients back to the office. Please call our office (703-370-4300) or send a portal message with any questions you might have.
Stay safe, continue to practice social distancing and continue careful hand washing!
April 10, 2020: Face Coverings
Thank you so much for your patience and support as we modify our schedules and our policies in the office during the COVID pandemic. All of these adjustments have been in effort to keep both you and your family, as well as our staff, safe during this crisis.
On that line, we would like to ask that patients who come to any P&M office for an inpatient visit to please consider wearing a mask, or some kind of face covering, such as a scarf or bandana.
The CDC has recommended that people wear appropriate face coverings when they leave their homes. We know that all of you do not have masks and, unfortunately with the shortage of PPE available worldwide, we cannot offer masks to every patient who visits a P&M office. But we do ask that if you have a mask, please wear it to your visits. If you don’t have, then improvising your own face covering is a good option.
» How to Make Your own Face Covering from the CDC (Video)
From our end, our staff and providers will all be wearing masks and gloves at your visits to diminish the risk of infections and we will continue to sanitize all surfaces in exam rooms in between each patient.
In other news, we have had an excellent response to our telemedicine visits. We hope to serve you better by offering these daily telemedicine visits for your non-urgent gyn or ob problems. These are available to book online at zocdoc or via phone with our schedulers!
» How to book an appointment with P&M during COVID
Thank you again for all of your support.
Please continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands and stay safe!
March 30, 2020
We are working to keep you abreast of the latest recommendations and guidelines that are constantly changing at P&M, Inova Hospital and the medical community in general.
As you know, the pandemic in the northern Virginia area has become increasingly worse with more cases of coronavirus appearing in our area. As a result, we have had to adjust our staffing and also cancel appointments in our office in an attempt to keep our patients and staff safe during this most difficult time.
We appreciate all of your support and patience with these schedule changes. I wanted to let you know about two new, very important, changes in our office.
First, and most importantly:
We are no longer allowing visitors in our office. This means we are no longer allowing any support person unless this support person is deemed medically necessary OR there is a language barrier for the patient herself. We realize this is going to be very difficult for our obstetric patients considering this means they will not be allowed to see the ultrasounds and accompany their partners to the visits and we’re very sorry, but this is keeping in line with the practice patterns throughout the Northern Virginia Area and we do think this will decrease exposure to both you as a patient and our providers, MA’s and sonographers. We hope you understand our reasoning behind this.
After April 11, we will no longer be offering Saturday hours in our office. Again, we are so sorry for this. We are trying to consolidate our staff and this will help us comply with our decreasing numbers of patient facing visits in the office that we are seeing.
Remember, there are weekly telemedicine visits open to attempt to help increase access to providers as you see office availability decline. We hope this will help to serve your needs as best we can!
Again, thank you for your patience. Please call us with any questions you may have about these new policy changes.
Stay safe, practice social distancing and wash your hands!
March 24, 2020
Physicians & Midwives now offers video-based telemedicine, so you can stay home and still receive care! Telemedicine lets you connect to your provider remotely over video, and is a great alternative for visits that do not need a physical exam. Telemedicine visits are great for: follow-up visits, reviewing your labs and test results, medication questions and refills.
March 24, 2020
As you know, we have had to make several changes in the office as a result of the worldwide pandemic of COVID 19. We now have a very important policy change we would like to inform you about.
PATIENT VISIT POLICY
Starting Monday March 30, we will only see URGENT and Obstetric patients in our office for visits.
We will be rescheduling all non-urgent visits such as well-woman exams and contraception counseling.
We know this is a significant inconvenience for many of you and I apologize for this change. Please understand that we are taking these actions to prevent you and your family from any unnecessary exposure to the virus. There continues to be a rising number of infections that are community acquired and we know that asymptomatic patients can transmit the virus. By doing this, we automatically limit the number of patients in our waiting room, complying more effectively with social distancing recommendations. We continue to ask that patients bring no more than one (1) support person to visits (only if necessary) and also avoid bringing children to the office.
HOSPITAL POLICY UPDATE
Patients can only have one (1) support person in the hospital. Patients can choose to have your doula or your spouse but not both. It must be the same support person throughout the entire hospital stay – no switching out.
In direct response to these measures, starting Wednesday March 25, we will be launching telemedicine visits.
We hope these telemedicine visits will allow us to continue to offer convenient, compassionate care to you and your whole family while you remain in the safety of your own home. Click here to get more information on how to schedule these telemedicine visits in the upcoming week.
Thank you for all your support. We will continue to provide as much information to you and your families via our website, social media and direct emails.
March 19, 2020
Thank you for being patient with the staff and providers at P&M during this very difficult time in global healthcare. We’ve been actively updating our policies based on recommendations from the WHO and the CDC who as you know are increasing restrictions regarding social distancing particularly in medical environments that increase risk for exposure. In that light, we are modifying our policy for the office regarding visitors to the following:
1. Only 1 support person/patient (and only if absolutely necessary).
We are doing our best to prescreen every patient for risk factors prior to coming into the office. We can not effectively screen every support person as well so we are trying to minimize patient and provider risk by limiting numbers. Please be cognizant of any risk factors your partner may have for the virus including flu like illness and help us by keeping them home if any risk is present.
2. No children in the office.
We realize your children are home from school but we would ask that you find child care in lieu of bringing them with you to your visits. Again we are doing this for the safety of your kids,you as a patient, our other patients and our providers. If you have an appointment that is non-emergent such as a well woman exam and you can not find child care, call the office and we will reschedule your appointment for two to three months. If you have an OB appointment or an urgent issue and cannot find childcare, call our office and we will make exceptions on a case by case basis only.
Again, thank you for your patience. Please be kind to our administrative staff who are attempting to reinforce all of these policies while attempting to keep you and your family safe and healthy.
March 16, 2020
We have a few important updates regarding Coronavirus.
1. One (1) Support Person at Hospital
First for our pregnant patients and any of our patients undergoing surgical procedures in the hospital, Inova is now restricting visitors to only one support person. They are asking that children, specifically siblings, not visit the hospital to prevent exposure to the virus. Exceptions will be made for pregnant patients with Doulas.
- One (1) Support Person
- No Children/Siblings
- Doulas are ok
2. One (1) Support Person at Office (only if necessary)
In that same light, we would ask that patients coming to our office limit themselves to one support person (only if necessary). We also ask that you be conscious of any risk factors your support person may have for exposure to the virus, such as travel, and consider keeping them home if necessary.
3. Please Keep Children at Home (if possible)
Lastly, please keep children in the office to a minimum. We know that with school cancellations this may not be feasible for some of you, but understand that we are simply trying to reduce the numbers of people in our office to protect both you as patients and also our providers.
4. Non-Critical Appointments
If you’re coming in for a simple well woman exam, we can easily reschedule your visit in one or two months when the risk of Coronavirus will hopefully have diminished.
Updates on the virus are changing on a daily basis and we will do our best to keep you all as well informed as we can. Remember that the best prevention is still doing simple things like social distancing and proper hand washing!
Thanks for your support and please call with any questions.
March 12, 2020
In light of the recent pandemic noted with the Coronavirus, we are doing our best to keep the spread of the virus to a minimum while also continuing to provide the best care to our patients. With that in mind, all patients will be screened prior to their appointments. We will be contacting you prior to your appointment to ask several screening questions.
These screening questions are taken from the CDC and WHO recommendations and will be the following:
- Have you traveled to Iran, Italy, China, South Korea, Japan, or on a cruise in the last 14 days?
- Have you been directly exposed to someone with confirmed Coronavirus or a person under investigation?
- Are you part of an organizational quarantine (school, place of worship, transportation)?
If you answer “yes” to any of these screening questions, we ask that you not come into the office. The CDC recommends a two-week self-quarantine for any person with these risk factors. Please call our office and we would be happy to answer any questions and reschedule your appointment for after that two-week window. More importantly, if you have flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, chest pain or trouble breathing, please go to the closest emergency room or urgent care center to be evaluated.
We ask that if you test positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19), and you have seen us for an appointment in the last two weeks, please let us know so that we can properly alert the staff and patients who may have been exposed.
We obviously are doing our best to limit everyone’s exposure to the virus and keep both patients and staff safe, but if you have any questions or in need of care even if you are self-quarantined, our nurse triage and medical staff are still available via patient portal and by phone (703-370-4300). We are working on a possible telemedicine solution to office visits. We will be updating our screening questions and website as more information becomes available.
We truly appreciate your help and patience in this difficult situation.
March 12, 2020
Re: Changes to Inova’s Visitor Policy
Physicians and Midwives would like you to be aware of recent changes to the visitor policy at Inova Alexandria Hospital.
Here is Inova’s temporary visitation policy, “To protect the health and safety of our patients, their families and staff from the spread of COVID-19, Inova has enacted the following changes to our visitation policy, effective Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 10 a.m.:
- Visiting hours are restricted to two times per day: 10 a.m. to noon, and 6 to 8 p.m.
- Visitation is limited to two visitors per patient at any given time.
- Visitors under the age of 18 are strongly discouraged from entering our facilities.
- Visitors entering an Inova facility will undergo a verbal screening. Individuals answering “yes” to any screening questions will be asked to delay their visit until they are well.
- Visitation will not be allowed for suspected or confirmed patients with COVID-19 or those with active respiratory illness.”
Inova’s website (https://www.inova.org/about-inova/temporary-visiting-hours) will provide the most current information on visitors at Inova Alexandria Hospital.
We truly appreciate your help and patience in this difficult situation.
March 12, 2020
Re: All P&M Pregnancy Classes Temporarily Cancelled – Videos Available
In light of the recent confirmed cases of coronavirus in the DMV area, we will unfortunately be cancelling our Prenatal EZ Pass classes and Birthday Classes at the hospital temporarily. Understand that pregnant women have been identified as a high risk patient population in regards to coronavirus severity and we are trying to avoid exposure of our patients as much as possible to any place such as the hospital that might increase that exposure risk.
For your convenience, both prenatal classes are available for review on our website at PhysiciansandMidwives.com and, of course, as always, you can feel free to call us (703-370-4300) with any and all questions you may have regarding your care!
We are working on establishing a secondary site for the classes and will keep you all up to date regarding when the live classes will be up and running again.
Thank you for your understanding!
March 3, 2020
Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. Here is what you need to know about this virus.
What do we know so far about coronavirus?
On December 31, 2019 health authorities in Wuhan, China reported a cluster of viral pneumonia cases. The World Health Organization (WHO) has since identified this illness as coronavirus and given it the official name: ‘Coronavirus disease 2019’ or COVID-19.
At present, coronavirus has spread to a number of countries around the world including the United States. Because the number of cases linked to this outbreak is changing quickly, public health authorities are monitoring the situation closely.
Physicians & Midwives is keeping up to date with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and will continue to update this page with new information as it is made available.
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections. In the past, we have seen other coronaviruses like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
COVID-19 is the most recently discovered member of the coronavirus family.
Coronavirus is in the United States. What does this mean for me?
On February 25, 2020 the CDC confirmed its first case of coronavirus in a US resident with no travel history to a high risk country. Nor did the individual come into contact with a known carrier.
While the CDC attempts to trace all cases of coronavirus, at this time the risk of contracting coronavirus for the average American remains LOW.
The CDC is watching the situation closely as it evolves.
At Physicians & Midwives we will continue to work with our partners in healthcare as we monitor coronavirus and any change in its status.
How is coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus is a new disease that scientists are still researching. The World Health Organization believes that the virus is spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
- Dry cough
- Difficulty breathing
- Aches and pains
- Runny nose, sore throat
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.
Because symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu, it’s important to consider other factors that might put you at greater risk of having coronavirus:
- Recent travel to countries where coronavirus has a large presence (e.g. China, South Korea, Italy, Japan or Iran).
- Recent contact with anyone that has traveled to one of these countries in the last few weeks.
- Living or working in a community (in the United States) where local or state health officials have confirmed cases of coronavirus.
What should I do if I suspect I have coronavirus?
If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, runny nose) it’s important to remember that you probably do NOT have coronavirus.
In consideration of our patients, we ask that if you have flu-like symptoms such as cough or fever, please consider rescheduling your appointment for another time and being evaluated at either your primary care provider or in an urgent care setting to ensure that you are being cared for appropriately.
If you have traveled outside of the continental United States, particularly in Asia, we ask that you consider scheduling your appointment no sooner than two weeks after your return to ensure no symptomatology develops in that time frame.
However, we ask that any patient with flu-like symptoms and a recent travel history to parts of the world including China, Iran, South Korea or Italy (or if you have been in contact with someone that has recently traveled to these countries) call ahead before coming into the office. This will allow staff to properly assess you in a safe and appropriate setting when you arrive.
Additionally, take sensible precautions by staying home from work or school until you’ve spoken to a medical professional who can provide further guidance.
Thank you for helping us take precautions and advocate for all of our patients! If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to call our office to speak with one of our providers.
How is coronavirus diagnosed?
At this time, testing for coronavirus is conducted through the CDC. If a doctor or healthcare provider suspects that you have coronavirus they will be in direct contact with the appropriate authorities to determine if testing is needed.
How is coronavirus treated?
Most people (about 80%) recover from coronavirus without the need for special treatment or hospitalization.
In a very small number of cases, patients with severe symptoms and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. These patients may require hospitalization and will receive supportive care to help relieve the worst of their symptoms.
Is there a vaccine for coronavirus?
Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against coronavirus (COVID-19).
What are some steps I can take to protect myself and my family from coronavirus?
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from coronavirus is by following good hygiene steps as listed below:
- Wash your hands frequently and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- When washing your hands with soap and water, do so for at least 20 seconds. Wash hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing (eg. coughing into your elbow or into a tissue).
- Stay at home when you’re sick.
- Avoid touching your face particularly after touching other surfaces.
- Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Keep a small bottle of alcohol-based sanitizer that you can use if you’re not able to wash your hands readily with soap and water.
- Get your flu shot. The flu shot does not provide protection against coronavirus but having an active flu infection weakens the immune system. This can make you more susceptible to coronavirus.
Do I need to wear a mask?
The simple answer is No.
The CDC and leading public health authorities are not currently recommending masks for the prevention of this virus. The best protection against coronavirus is to follow proper hygiene as mentioned above.
Coronavirus and pregnancy. Is there an increased risk?
Pregnant women experience natural physiological changes to their bodies while pregnant. Some of these changes make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including coronavirus. As such, pregnant patients have been identified as a high risk population when exposed to the Flu or Coronavirus. The CDC suggests that pregnant women should engage in usual preventive actions to avoid infection like washing hands often and avoiding people who are sick.
If you are pregnant and suspect that you have coronavirus or may have come into contact with someone that does, call your local healthcare provider immediately.
Where can I get more reliable information about coronavirus?
For detailed, accurate and real-time information on the status of the virus and its risk to residents, please visit the following websites:
- World Health Organization – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
- CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Your own state and local health authorities may provide more detailed information on their website that is specific to your area.