Last updated April 6, 2020
PARK MEDICAL ASSOCIATES IS COMMITTED TO PROTECTING YOUR HEALTH DURING THE DEVELOPING COVID-19 OUTBREAK. Please take a few minutes to read the information below:
FIRST, PLEASE KEEP IN MIND:
Your best defense is to practice good hygiene and to stay healthy:
- Clean your hands often (wash with soap or use hand sanitizer) and avoid touching your face!
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick and keep more distance from others if the disease becomes more widespread.
- Keep your regular appointments and follow-up visits, which can often be done virtually (by video). Do not ignore your other health care concerns, especially if you have health problems that need medication and monitoring. If your general health deteriorates, you will be less able to fight infections of any cause.
Despite all the attention given to COVID-19, there are many possible causes for respiratory symptoms including cold viruses and allergies (especially in the spring). It is important to be vigilant but not to overreact.
We are here to advise and guide you. Please contact our office if you have concerns.
IF YOU HAVE OR NEED AN APPOINTMENT:
We are here for you. Much medical care can be provided by virtual video visits. Call us and we can help to set this up.
Occasionally there will be a need to come to the office. We're taking steps to ensure that people with respiratory illnesses are screened by phone and advised to stay home if appropriate.
Accordingly, please let us know if you have a fever, any new respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath), loss of sense of smell, or if you have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19.
IF YOU HAVE THESE SYMPTOMS, DO NOT COME TO THE OFFICE! Call us!
AT OUR OFFICE:
For those of you who need to come to the office, we are taking many precautions to maintain a clean office environment, but we cannot do so without your help:
- Wear a mask if coming to the office. This applies to everybody, and is a change from prior recommendations.
- Clean your hands upon arrival! Yes, upon arrival. There are several bathrooms in the suite, and hand sanitizer is available at each desk.
If you prefer, you can wait for your appointment outside or in your car. Please check in first. We will call you when your doctor is ready to see you.
After your visit, clean your hands again! You were just in a medical facility! The importance of this simple step cannot be overemphasized.
If you become ill with fever or respiratory symptoms within 5 days after your visit, let us know immediately.
A NOTE ABOUT TESTING
We DO NOT perform testing for COVID-19 in our office. This procedure puts our staff and other patients at risk for transmission.
If you are sick and testing is necessary, we can arrange for testing by telephone. Because testing kits for COVID-19 are currently in short supply, for now, testing requires a doctor's prescription and is restricted to those at highest risk, though this may change.
Keep things in perspective! 98% of those infected with COVID-19 will recover fully. There is no cure (yet) and the best approach is prevention (with hygiene and social distancing). For most of us, the main objective is to slow the spread of this disease so that doctors and hospitals are not overwhelmed by those who do become severely ill.
Choose your information sources carefully. There is a good deal of misinformation (both intentional and not) and rumor out there, especially on social media. We recommend the following sources for accurate and current information:
https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/ Plainly presented information from the experts at Johns Hopkins Hospital, including a "situation" report that is updated daily.
https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/ More local information from the Maryland Department of Health.
https://www.cdc.gov/ A busy site with lots of information, but the master source of information and our best national resource. Tip: Scroll down to the "what's new" section at the bottom of the page.