Important Coronavirus Update
PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL US BEFORE COMING TO GARRISON FAMILY MEDICAL GROUP IF YOU SUSPECT YOU MAY BE AT RISK SO WE CAN PROVIDE FURTHER ADVICE.
We are now offering a Telemedicine option for our community during this Pandemic and time of increased health concerns.
There has been an outbreak of respiratory illness in several regions around the world caused by a new coronavirus (COVID-19), first detected in China.
If you develop a fever or cough or have difficulty breathing, or have had close contact with someone who has had a presumptive positive or confirmed positive COVID-19 test result, please seek medical attention by calling our provider’s office.
As of 3/22/20, LA County’s Public Health Department is recommending testing only for people who meet the following criteria
- Fever of 100.4 or higher OR signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness such as moderate/severe could or shortness of breath
- Any healthcare worker involved in direct clinical care of patients who worked while symptomatic in an acute or long-term care facility
- Resident of a long-term care facility
- Paramedic personnel and EMTs
- Part of a “cluster” of 2 or more cases of presumed infectious acute respiratory illness within a 72 hour period
- Any congregate living setting such as senior assisted-living facility, homeless shelter or group home
*All healthcare workers are to “self monitor” for symptoms and stay home from work if they experience any symptoms.
Given the circumstances you described, you do not meet criteria for a test at this time. However, you do need to have a Virtual Visit with your provider (please do not go in to the office with cold or flu symptoms) to make sure, as these criteria change frequently and rapidly, and to obtain a providers work note and disability benefits if you are eligible. I’m glad your symptoms are mild, but please remember that most people will only have mild illness with this virus. Even with very mild symptoms, it is believed that a single person will infect at least 3 others—some of whom may develop severe illness. For this reason, as well as to help flatten the curve, it is essential the you quarantine yourself at home for the length of time your provider recommends.
I’m glad that your symptoms are mild and you do not feel that you need medication.
The theory behind flattening the curve is that if allowed to proceed naturally, this pandemic will continue to infect and make ill large numbers of people in a large group. As we have seen most recently in Italy, this “surge” of very sick infected patients is likely to outnumber the resources available at our nations hospitals. This would leave our entire medical system incredibly overwhelmed with the concern that it would take a very long time for it to recover even after the virus has slowed down.
By practicing social distancing, and even taking it a step further and shutting down all “non-essential” movement in our communities, we may be able to slow the spread of the virus—by limiting human interactions—thus slowing the surge.
The predictions show that approximately the same number of individuals with become ill with COVID19 and need higher level of medical care. The hope is that we may be able to slow this to as close to a “trickle” as possible rather than a “surge.”
Unfortunately, by flattening the curve, we are not necessarily shortening the course of this situation. However, the hope is that it will not be nearly as devastating as we move through it, as it would be with a full blown surge.
Now, as always, if you are sick, stay home.
We are currently in the middle of a pandemic and still in flu season as well. There are many respiratory viruses circulating through our community right now, COVID19 is ust one of many.
Unfortunately, getting a flu shot will not keep you from contracting coronavirus.
That said, it is strongly recommended that if you have not received a vaccine for the 2019-2020 flu season, as long as you are healthy, you should get a flu shot as soon as possible.
Again while the flu shot won’t keep you from getting COVID19, protecting yourself from influenza—at least minimizing it if you do contract it—will help you stay as healthy as possible so that if you are exposed to COVID19 your immune system can fight it off well.
If you are not sure if you fall into the high risk category, please contact your provider for a Virtual Visit and have a conversation about that as well as any special concerns that may apply to you.
Unlike influenza and many other respiratory infections, children to do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID19 than adults.
Adults have continued to make up the majority of known cases so far.
There have been some documented cases of children and infants infected with COVID19, but in general children seem to experience a milder form of the illness and tend to recover well from their infection. To help protect your child from COVID19, we recommend that you teach them to do the same things everyone should be doing to stay healthy. This includes washing their hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently. Avoid people who are sick (coughing & sneezing). Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in common areas of your home—including tables, chairs, touch screens, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks, and any other hard surfaces you can think of. Wash all items possible in the washing machine on the highest heat setting possible and dry them completely.
The symptoms of COVID19 are the same in children and adults. However, children with COVID19 often only experience mild symptoms. The symptoms typically include fever (100.4 or higher), runny nose and cough. In some cases, diarrhea and vomiting have been reported.
Children with existing medical conditions may be at higher risk of developing more severe illness but that it not known yet as this is still such a new virus and we are learning more about it every day.
Most important if your child has any illness, just as everyone else, they should stay home. If there are grandparents or other high risk individuals living in your home with your child, please do your best to keep your child away from those individuals. The following link has suggestions on how to limit the spread within a household: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
First, please do not panic. As long as you are not currently symptomatic, there is no reason for you to seek medical care at this time.
You are strongly encouraged to do the following to help you stay healthy. Monitor your health daily at home. This includes checking your temperature once daily. If you develop any cold or flu like symptoms including fever, cough or shortness of breath, have a Virtual Visit with your medical provider immediately. (If you develop severe symptoms, go directly to the Emergency Department or call 911 right away).
While the sick person should be staying in one room as much as possible, if you can you should designate one “sick room,” and use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household, if you can keep to your room as much as possible, that will help to limit your potential exposure as well. DO not have visitors over.
Ensure there is good airflow in shared spaces. An air conditioner, ceiling fan, or open window can provide this.
Wash your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently. Be sure to wash for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Your sick family member should wear a face mask if they are around other people. (If they cannot because it causes trouble breathing, you should wear a mask if you are in the same room as the patient).
Do not share household items with the sick household member. At this time, no one in households should be sharing dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items without washing them thoroughly between uses. Clean all high touch surfaces frequently including counters, tables, chairs, touch screens, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, and bedside tables. It is best to use a household cleaning spray or wipe while following the instructions and precautions on the label.
Wash any clothes, bedding, or other laundry that is soiled, especially with blood or other body fluids on them.
Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items and keep the items away from you body. Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after removing your gloves.
All used gloves, masks or other disposable items should be places in a lined trash can and disposed of with other household waste.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at (661)947-7100, use the contact form below or have a “walk-in” appointment in ourVirtual Clinic
*We will update this section of the page intermittently.
COVID-19 Flyers from CDC and LA County Department of Public Health
For more information regarding the coronavirus:
Please let us know if you need assistance by calling or emailing Garrison Family Medical Group.