As your healthcare provider, we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. For this reason, anyone who is concerned they may have been exposed to the coronavirus, unless they are severely ill, should stay home and limit contact with others until any symptoms resolve. If you are severely ill, please see emergency care via your local hospital or emergent care center.
If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to coronavirus, would like to be screened, or have any other questions please call your Primary Care Provider or 1-877-ASK-VDH3 (Virginia Dept Health Corona Virus Information Line)
If you have not been exposed to the coronavirus, have not been to any level 3 countries within the past 30 days, and are not currently experiencing any symptoms, we would love to see you at your upcoming appointment for any medical testing you have scheduled.
We have been working closely with the CDC and other government agencies to stay up to date with the latest information about COVID-19, and will actively keep you updated as changes occur.
IF YOU ARE UNSURE IF YOU SHOULD COME IN FOR YOUR TESTING APPOINTMENT, OR HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR TELEMEDICINE APPOINTMENT, PLEASE CALL US DIRECTLY AT (804) 530-1044.
SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW:
According to the CDC: “For most of the American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.”
The CDC is now recommending that anyone who has traveled to a Level 3 country – even if they don’t have any symptoms – to self-isolate for 14 days. As of March 16th, 2020, these countries include China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Schengen Area Europe, United Kingdom and Ireland. A current list of all Level 3 countries can be found here. Instructions for self-isolation are on the CDC website here. Instructions for self-quarantine are on the CDC website here.
For the large majority of patients who may have flu-like symptoms, testing for Coronavirus is still not necessary. There are many reasons why someone may have fever, cough, shortness of breath. If you have severe symptoms that are getting worse, go to an emergency room and mask yourself as soon as you can.
BEST WAY TO PROTECT YOURSELF & THOSE AROUND YOU:
We all should be vigilant about the spread of germs – especially during cold and flu season. Follow these guidelines below to reduce your risk of infection:
Practice Respiratory Etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your bent elbow.
Practice Hand Hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or touching public surfaces. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60% to 95% alcohol.
Take Environmental Health Action: Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects like cellphones, keyboards and door knobs.
If you have not received a flu shot, while it won’t protect from COVID-19, it is your best protection for the flu.
Voluntary Home Isolation: Stay home when you are sick with infectious respiratory disease symptoms. At the present time, these symptoms are more likely due to influenza or other respiratory viruses, than to COVID-19-related virus.
This situation is changing on an ongoing basis; we will continue to update you as new and pertinent information is available. We are doing all we can to keep you and everyone in our communities safe and healthy.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Are patients and visitors at your office safe? Is it safe to come to a scheduled testing appointment?
YES, it is safe. We are screening all patients prior to their appointments and are also monitoring the health of every one of our staff members closely, while also providing paid leave to any staff member who presents with symptoms.
There is no need to cancel or reschedule an appointment if you are NOT presenting with symptoms, have NOT been in contact with anyone infected with the virus, or have NOT traveled to a Level 3 country.
If you have a question or concern, call the office before your appointment to discuss your care plan with our medical staff. If you do not know if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or not, please call our office prior to your appointment. 804-530-1044
I have recently traveled from a Level 3 country (currently China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Europe, United Kingdom and Ireland) and I do not have symptoms. Can I still come in for my visit, surgery, test, etc.?
If you have been outside the United States in the past 14 days – even if you don’t have any symptoms – we need to reschedule your visit or test until that waiting period is over in order to best protect all of our patients and staff. A current list of all Level 3 countries can be found here. Instructions for self-quarantine are on the CDC website here.
I have been told to not go into places with groups of people, isn't waiting in the waiting room dangerous?
No. The waiting room is not dangerous due to the protocols we are implementing within our practice. If you would prefer to wait in your car for your testing appointment, we would be happy to give you a call when the nurse is ready for you. We can also offer isolation waiting areas per your request.
If you have a cough, we will ask you to wait in a designated separate space away from the main lobby.
Can I still bring my friend, caregiver, family member or driver into the office with me?
At this time we are urging all patients with scheduled appointments to come alone to their visit.
I have recently traveled from a Level 3 country – and I have flu-like symptoms.
If you have recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 and develop fever with cough, shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, please stay home and call your Primary Care Provider or 1-877-ASK-VDH3 (Virginia Dept Health Corona Virus Information Line)
What is my risk of contracting coronavirus?
According to the CDC: “The immediate risk of being exposed to this virus is still low for most Americans, but as the outbreak expands, that risk will increase. Cases of COVID-19 and instances of community spread are being reported in a growing number of states. People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with the level of risk dependent on the location."
Will your office provide masks?
Masks are used to protect others from getting infected. You should only wear a mask if a health care professional recommends it. A face mask should be used by people who have an illness and are presenting symptoms. Masks will only be provided if you are symptomatic.
I don’t have symptoms but I’d like to be tested. Where can I go for testing?
At this time, testing is being completed with a physician order and for patients who meet certain criteria, as provided by the CDC and the Virginia Department of Public Health.
If you have not traveled to a Level 3 country, do not have knowledge of coming into contact with a diagnosed case of COVID-19 and are not showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, there is no clinical reason for testing.
I’ve got fever, cough and/or shortness of breath – can I be tested?
For the large majority of patients who may have flu-like symptoms, testing for Coronavirus is still not necessary. There are many reasons why someone may have fever, cough or shortness of breath. Your primary care healthcare professional should rule-out other reasons for you symptoms before you are tested.
Patients with mild symptoms should self-isolate at home.
I think I have been exposed to COVID-19. Should I come to the emergency room?
If you are in respiratory distress, call 911 immediately. If you have recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 and develop fever with cough, or shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, please stay home and call your Primary Care Provider or 1-877-ASK-VDH3 (Virginia Dept Health Corona Virus Information Line).