Daily Covid Updates

To get a Covid-19 Work Letter Please Call Us At (616) 647-3770

 

April 16, 2020:

To our patients:

Please check our website for up-to-date communications regarding COVID-19 in our community.
Governor Whitmer has extended state-wide shelter-in-place order until April 30, 2020. Medical care is considered necessary movement under this order. We continue to serve patients from our office setting and virtually. Only urgent and necessary visits are occurring at the office. Visits of lesser urgency should occur on our telehealth site, Care Convene. Instructions for signing up can be found on the main home page. Once you have been signed up for Care Convene, please call our office to schedule a Telehealth visit. If you have any trouble setting up Care Convene, please call our office and we will help you.

We are able to bill your insurance for Telehealth services. No payment will be collected or charged at the time of the Telehealth visit.

Testing is now available for anyone with mild symptoms of COVID 19. These symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath. Please call our office if you have symptoms of possible COVID 19 and we can help guide your care.

We are available on Care Convene consistently to help you review your symptoms and determine if you need further care outside your home. If needed, we may ask you to come to the office and remain in your car where an exam will take place, including checking your oxygen level. From there you may be asked to proceed to the emergency room or further instructions for quarantine will be given.

If you are in quarantine, you must remain away from others in your home as you are able. Do not leave your home. Quarantine is complete when after seven days or the complete resolution of symptoms (the longer of the two) plus an additional three days.

CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (example -grocery stores and pharmacies).

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials can be used.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Making masks: Thank you for helping out in this effort. Hospitals are coming together to receive donations. In Grand Rapids, Spectrum Health reports that you can email covid19supplies@spectrumhealth.org if you have donations to coordinate with their supply chain management. Please focus donations toward the hospitals who need the supplies most desperately. A kind note of encouragement on the masks would boost a tired healthcare worker’s spirits.

Hydroxychloroquine: There is a lot of varied information on this. Rely only on a recommendation from the CDC or FDA. Please do not call our office requesting a prescription for this medication. It is at this point in time only for off-label use among the sickest hospitalized patients.

Shelter-in-place or stay at home order status still allows for grocery shopping and we want to urge you to have caution when you shop to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 in the marketplace. Please shop for your loved ones over the age of 60 to keep them in their homes. Do not consider the supermarket germ-free. While these stores are often cleaning and disinfecting at night, they do not wipe down every item. Wiping down your cart is not enough. Plan your shopping and try to get enough for two weeks. Planning will reduce your time in the store. Now is not the time to read labels.

Commit to buy before you grab items to prevent hands on items. Remember, COVID-19 can survive in the air for three hours, on cardboard for one day and on plastic/metal for three days. Consider groceries as potentially contaminated when you bring them into your home. Consider leaving them in your car or garage for three days before you bring them inside, this will ensure that they are safe. One day for fruit and veggies is probably safe as they are porous like cardboard. Do not assume that freezing kills COVID-19 and studies on past coronaviruses has shown much extended life in frozen environments. Wipe your groceries’ packaging down with disinfectant spray if you will use them in less than three days. Wipe down surfaces where they sit with disinfectant after you put them away. Wash fruits and veggies with water as you would your hands if using within 24 hours. Wash your hands when you are all done managing your groceries.

We recognize that employers may yet be asking for work notes regarding being off for respiratory illness. We do not recommend that patients go out into the community unless absolutely necessary. We absolutely do not want you at work if you have any infectious respiratory symptoms. If you feel you need a doctor’s note, please call our office.

Please stay safe by practicing social distancing. Check on your elders and make sure their needs are met in order to keep them out of the public arena.

 

To get a Covid-19 Work Letter Please Call Us At (616) 647-3770