COVID-19 Update: April 7th

It’s time for another installment of our coronavirus updates! I wish what I am about to write was a belated April Fools’ joke, but alas, we are in a strange new reality. 

As expected, many things have changed since my last posting. DC, MD, and VA have all imposed formal “stay at home” orders with actual penalties. I know that isn’t much fun for anyone, especially some of our parents who are now learning to home school while either working or trying to find ways to make ends meet. We here at EHP extend virtual hugs to all of you. 

For starters: some disease-related updates and housekeeping.

Stay Home if You Are Sick
If you are feeling sick, STAY AT HOME!
  1. We are again maintaining our plan for telemedicine until further notice. I will be coming into the office one or two days a week for things that cannot be managed remotely. For questions about how that process works, please refer back to our original posting with FAQs.
  2. Please continue to follow the guidance from the CDC on what to do if you think you are sick. For instances where you are only mildly ill, the guidance is still to stay home and limit your exposure unless you are worsening or have specific risk factors. Please continue to check the official site as guidance continues to change. The CDC site has been updated with a symptom checker that will give you a quick self-test to see if you need to call the office. We encourage you to start with that checker due to our high call volume. 
  3. For ROUTINE lab draws, I have checked and confirmed that Labcorp and Sunrise draw stations are open. They do close for lunch, as always. We will happily provide you with individualized guidance on what testing can be postponed. Where possible, the use of the patient portal will allow us to respond more readily. 
    1. Specifics on routine lab testing: In general, we are encouraging things that are not time-sensitive to please wait until the pandemic is under better control. The hospital has ongoing changes, so please check prior to going for routine blood work. When possible, we strongly encourage you to schedule your draw using the laboratory website, as that will also provide the most up to date service information. To date, Sunrise has not posted specific protocols during this time. Please click here to review current testing policies at Labcorp for non-COVID19 purposes. Remember to limit touching your face and other objects and to frequently clean your hands while in the community. 
  4. There has been updated guidance on the routine use of masks while out in public. While the original thought was that masks only protect those who are sick, the change is reflective of the fact we know the novel coronavirus can be transmitted by asymptomatic patients. Still, the recommendations were to use a homemade mask, if possible, so that hospitals and physicians’ offices already in short supply will not have to compete with the public for supplies necessary to protect front-line health workers. Special thanks go out to those who have been making masks to help protect their community. It’s important for our mental and emotional well being to be able to embrace the positives during a trying period as a county. 
  5. Speaking of, I hope all of you are working on finding ways to stay active at home to avoid “the quarantine 15.” Take advantage of opportunities on the few sunny days we are getting to work in the garden or take a walk (while remaining socially distant!).
  6. Have some suggestions? Send them over, and we may feature them in our next update!

That’s all for the housekeeping end of things.

Stay tuned for an update to discuss the public health side of the numbers we see daily. 🙂

Wishing you well,

Your friends at EHPVA.

 

Click Here for CDC Information on COVID-19

Click Here for VDH Information on COVID-19

Click Here for Coronavirus.gov

Missed an update? Click Here to visit our ongoing Coronavirus updates page.