Main Family News
We realize the importance of staying connected and intend to provide weekly updates in this format for some education, encouragement and challenge. Each week is different as our lives shift and change with the complexities we experience personally and jointly in these days. Our desire is to give you the facts as known at the time of these letters and assist in filtering the poignant developments for your consideration and application. As your healthcare team, you can count on receiving authentic communication from us and our remaining a positive force in this journey together.
COVID-19 Updates From Dr. Gee
Information on COVID -19 (Coronavirus) is rapidly increasing and daily evolving. Your healthcare team at Main Family Medical is continually seeking up-to-date and accurate information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and local Health Departments. We strive to provide quality care to every patient while ensuring that we protect all patients and staff as well.
Our information to you is based on what we know as of March 11, 2020. It is currently known that this virus causes upper and lower respiratory illness and ranges in appearance from a simple cold to significant respiratory failure. It is primarily spread through respiratory secretions. The CDC indicated that over 80% of the 40,000+ positively tested patients out of China have mild cold symptoms while the mortality concerns are highest in elderly patients and those with pre-existing conditions. These statistics do not indicate the baseline rate of all positive Coronavirus patients in the general populations as many may not have enough symptoms to have been tested or evaluated. To date, no cases have been documented in Idaho, but this will certainly change given the cases in surrounding states.
Prevention measures for the Covid-19 virus are the same good hygiene practices needed for cold and flu prevention throughout the year. These include the following:
- Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly for 20 seconds. Use at least 60% alcohol hand sanitizers if not washing your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with the crook of your elbow or a tissue and then immediately throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Minimize exposure to others if you are ill. Stay home from work or school. Take particular consideration for those with chronic illness and elderly in your spheres of interaction.
- Disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched such as phones, keyboards, doorknobs, etc.
- If you show signs of respiratory illness and must go out, wear a mask. CDC does not recommend that those who are well wear masks.
- Eat, exercise and sleep with good health in mind.
If you or your family member are experiencing any signs of respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath, fever) and feel you need to be seen by a provider, we will have you speak over the phone with one of our Triage staff. They will ask about recent travel, cruises, and possible exposures to COVID-19. They will also speak with you about what symptoms you are experiencing. WE DO NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO TEST FOR COVID-19 AT MAIN FAMILY MEDICAL. If there is a possible exposure, we will coordinate appropriate care with your local Health Department.
If you are scheduled at Main Family Medical for respiratory illness, shortness of breath, fever or cough we will ask that you remain in your car and call when you arrive. A staff member will then call your cell phone when we have an exam room available and escort you in through the rear entrance if able. This is to limit exposure to other patients and staff and decrease the potential spread of any viruses.
Please refer to the following websites and phone numbers for more information:
Central District Health (Ada, Boise, Elmore and Valley Counties): Operates weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; call the hotline at 208-321-2222.
Southwest District Health (Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee and Payette Counties): Operates weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; call the hotline at 208-455-5411.
South Central Public Health (Blaine, Camas, Gooding Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls Counties): Operates weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; call the hotline at 208-737-1138.
North Central Health District (Idaho County): Operates weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; call the hotline at 208-748-0400.
A tremendous amount has transpired since our last correspondence on COVID-19. The great news is that we have reached our ﬁrst benchmark in our new, overused, pandemic lexicon of “ﬂattening the curve” in Idaho. This is based on signiﬁcant reduction of new cases reported given the proﬁle of patients that have access to testing.
We want to encourage each one of you to respect the implications Covid-19 has on your friends, neighbors and loved ones. Compliance with the “6-foot rule” for social distancing will grant better outcomes for all of us. You may have heard that meeting in groups of 10 or smaller is OK at this time; we would discourage this with the current knowledge of the virus.
It is important that we maintain communication and connection in these unprecedented times. Each of you undoubtedly is feeling stress and tension for various reasons of altered plans, schedules, expectations, financial loss, inconvenience, loved ones’ health risk, and the list could go on.