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Staunton Primary Care cincinnati discusses COVID-19 policies

Staunton Primary Care COVID-19 Advisory: Clinical Operations


Staunton Primary Care is issuing a COVID-19 healthcare advisory to our members and making common-sense updates to our clinical operations effective through April 27, 2020.

We are still open and accepting new patients.

For the safety, health, and wellbeing of our members, we will reschedule non-urgent clinic visits, encourage the use of HIPAA compliant TeleMed visits, and provide medication refills by mail. 

Please review the steps we are taking to remain proactive as we respond to COVID-19 and the public health impact:

  1. Reschedule Non-Urgent Appointments: For the safety, health, and wellbeing of our members, we will reschedule non-urgent clinic visits, so if you currently have an appointment scheduled, we will contact you to adjust your appointment. Your support and flexibility will allow us to serve our members and community who require urgent care in addition to avoiding unnecessary exposure.
  2. Reduce Clinic Traffic with TeleMed Visits: Your provider may recommend a TeleMed visit over having you come into the clinic. If your provider determines you need to come into the clinic, you’ll be scheduled for a visit right away.
  3. Medication Refills by Mail: For the next 30 days, we will be shipping chronic medication refills to our members to help avoid the risk of exposure. Please allow 1-week lead time for your medication to arrive.

Why is everything closing for COVID-19?

The goal of fighting a pandemic is to completely halt the spread. By using techniques such as school closures, staffing level changes in companies, we’re working to protect our communities from the spread of the virus. This reduces the number of cases that are active at any given time which, in turn, gives doctors, hospitals, police, schools, government agencies, and vaccine-manufacturers time to prepare and respond without becoming overwhelmed.

As explained in the graph above, a high curve means the virus is spreading fast. A low curve shows that the virus is spreading more slowly. Keeping the curve down diminishes the rate at which new cases occur and prevents overtaxing healthcare resources (represented by the dotted line) available to treat them. Hence, if we mitigate exposure by closure, we can essentially get in front of the virus and minimize the number of people infected, decrease the economic impacts long-term, and, most importantly, improve the health and wellness of our community.

COVID-19 Symptoms

Does everyone really need to be tested?

Realistically, it isn’t feasible to test everyone who is sick in the US. Therefore, most health officials believe it is important to prioritize the testing of people who need it the most: those at high risk such as health care workers who have been in contact with COVID-19 patients; symptomatic people in areas with high infection rates; and people 60 years of age and older with chronic health issues, such as heart disease, lung disease or diabetes.

At this time we are offering testing ONLY for appropriate patients who are members of the practice. Please understand we have limited testing supplies.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE TESTED IF:

  1. You have no symptoms.
  2. You have no symptoms and you think you have been exposed.
  3. You have mild symptoms (headache, cough, mild fever) AND you are UNDER 60 AND you have no other underlying health conditions.           
    1. We do not need to test you because the treatment/management would be the same whether you test positive or not. Treat your symptoms with rest, fluids and acetaminophen for fever. Please, however, call to notify us of your symptoms. We do want to know what’s going on with you.

YOU MIGHT NEED TESTING IF:

  1. You are sick with moderate or severe symptoms (high fever, cough, shortness of breath) AND you test negative for influenza
  2. You are sick with mild symptoms AND you have an underlying medical condition, such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lung disease, etc.
  3. You are sick with symptoms AND you are over 60 years old.

You must CALL first to be evaluated and before you can come to the office. This process may change as we expect testing to become centralized through the hospital systems. We will keep you updated as we learn more.