COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 UPDATE
from Dr. Holly Binnig, HealthSource Chief Medical Officer

The words coronavirus and COVID-19 are everywhere in the news and social media. While the rapid spread of this infection is noteworthy, panic and overreaction are not necessary or helpful. It is likely that many of us will be exposed to this virus in the next year. For most of us, this will mean nothing more than a fever and cough, like a common cold or influenza. Our bodies will heal without intervention. This includes children. People over 60 or who have multiple chronic illnesses like COPD, asthma, and diabetes are at higher risk for having severe illness and requiring hospitalization.

So, what can you do to stay healthy?
1. Wash your hands, don’t touch others and don’t touch your face. This is the absolute best way to reduce spread.
2. If you are at higher risk, stay home and/or avoid public places, large gatherings, and travel. This includes routine doctor visits. If you must go out, don’t shake hands or hug. Keep some distance between yourself and others. And wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.
3. If you have a cough or fever, call your doctor to discuss your symptoms. You can then determine if you need additional evaluation. Most people don’t need to be seen for mild/moderate viral illness. This goes for colds, flu and Coronavirus. There isn’t much we can do. There is no cure, no medication, and no vaccine for Coronavirus or most viral illnesses (but you should get your flu shot if you haven’t).
4. If you are ill, stay home. Do not go to work, do not go out. If you must go out, wear a mask. This is the only time that wearing a mask is helpful. Wearing a mask while ill keeps the fluids from a cough or sneeze from getting into the air and protects others. Wearing a mask while healthy doesn’t help you unless you are caring for someone who is sick.
5. Be prepared to stay at home for a couple of weeks. Make sure you have Tylenol, ibuprofen, a thermometer, tea, honey cough drops, etc. Anything you need when you are sick. Also, have enough of your regular medications.
6. We CANNOT test you for COVID-19. The Ohio Department of Health is currently (as of March 11, 2020) recommending that testing only be done for patients with close contact with someone who has laboratory confirmed COVID-19 or has a travel history to China, Japan, South Korea, Iran and Italy in the last 14 days and is hospitalized.
7. Be flexible. Your school, work, or doctor’s office may ask for schedule changes. It’s not to inconvenience you. It’s to try to protect as many people as we can. Ask for what you need, but be understanding. There will be inconveniences.
8. Keep informed. This is changing every day. Follow CDC and/or Ohio Department of Health websites for up to date and accurate information. Hysteria isn’t helpful, but good information and listening to health officials is.