We hope this communication finds you in good health! We would like to take this opportunity to update you on our practice operations and how we can work together to keep patient care as safe as possible.
What to consider if you have an upcoming appointment or need care?
Our top priority is keeping our patients and healthcare workers healthy and safe during this time. We want to maintain your access to care but also be mindful of reducing exposure within our practices. To that note, please review the following updates:
- If you have an appointment and are experiencing any respiratory symptoms, cough or fever please call the office to determine next steps. You may be asked to reschedule and/or given care in an alternate way (phone or virtual).
- We ask that all patients or visitors wear a cloth mask or face covering if you are coming to our practices for in-person care. Please see this link for options to make an easy, homemade mask: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
- Testing for symptomatic patients with COVID-like illness has become available at Firelands Regional Medical Center. You MUST have a provider order and testing appointment. If you are symptomatic, please call your provider office for a virtual or phone appointment to start the process and get more information.
- Please anticipate safety measures to be implemented at our practices like temperature screening, requirements on hand hygiene, non-essential visitor limitations and our healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment. We understand these measures may be inconvenient and thank you for your cooperation.
- Firelands Regional Health System has a way to deliver at-home on-demand care, 24/7 through Firelands Virtual Care if you need a remote option for mild to moderate health concerns.
Where Can I Learn More?
Centers for Disease Control - Coronavirus
Ohio Department of Health - Coronavirus
For general questions, Ohio Department of Health has opened a call center to answer inquiries regarding COVID-19. It is open seven days a week from 9am-8pm at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.
We are in this together and working diligently to be your healthcare partner in these unprecedented times!
The Firelands Physician Group Family
What are the symptoms of the COVID-19 infection?
Patients with confirmed infection from the COVID-19 virus reported these respiratory symptoms:
- Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher)
- Difficulty breathing/Shortness of breath.
If you think you may have Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Take these steps:
- If your symptoms are mild to moderate, please stay home for at least 14 days from the onset of symptoms. A medical visit is not necessary, in most cases, if you have mild to moderate symptoms.
- If you have clinical concerns or have high-risk factors, you should call your primary care provider or consider a virtual visit using Firelands Virtual Care to be advised what to do next.
- Call ahead before going in person to any Firelands Regional Health System location.
- Avoid going directly to the ER for testing. The ER is only for those who need the most critical care or are referred by their care provider.
**If you have severe symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, a severe headache, new confusion or inability to rouse, bluish lips or face or other potentially life-threatening problems, go to the nearest emergency department or call 911.
How COVID-19 Spreads
The virus is thought to 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.
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
How is the new COVID-19 virus treated?
No drugs are specifically approved to treat the new COVID-19 virus. An infection caused by this coronavirus would be treated with the same support care and preventive measures used to treat other coronaviruses such as a cold. Eventually, it is hoped that a vaccine will be developed. Medication and clinical guidance will be offered around alleviating symptoms.
How can you prevent getting the COVID-19 virus?
The best defense is to follow some of the same steps you would take to prevent getting other viruses, such as the common cold or the flu.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds — especially before eating and preparing food, after using the bathroom, after wiping your nose, and after coming in contact with someone who has a cold.
- Follow travel restrictions and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
- Avoid touching your eyes and nose to prevent the spread of viruses from your hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing and coughing or sneeze and cough into your sleeve. Wash your hands afterward.
- Avoid contact with those who have a cold. Stay home if you are sick.
- Clean frequently used surfaces (such as doorknobs) with a virus-killing disinfectant.
- Use hand sanitizers when water is not available.
- Keep your immune system strong—get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of liquids and exercise if you are able.