Week of 3/9/2020

/Week of 3/9/2020
Week of 3/9/2020 2020-03-17T19:52:09+00:00

March 12, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATES

Hello Wise Patients!

In light of the fast-moving nature of the situation surrounding the outbreak of Covid-19, our goal is to help keep patients updated so that they may be alert, but not alarmed.

Our hope is that by doing so, all members of the Wise Patient family may be prepared to safeguard their own health, as well as contribute to the broader stability and health of our state’s communities.

Misinformation about the coronavirus has spawned fear, and in some cases, stigma to those with ancestry from high-risk areas or those undergoing quarantine. We encourage our patients to remain compassionate, support those in affected communities, and speak up in the stigmatizing comments or harassment. The coronavirus is not an excuse for stigma or assumptions of health status based on a person’s ethnicity, race, or national origin.

For those getting caught up:

Novel Coronavirus Fact-Sheet: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/NovelCoronavirusFactSheet.pdf

General Covid-19 Preparation Guide: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/COVID-19-HowCanIBePrepared.pdf

Current Situation in Washington: 

Covid-19 has begun to spread throughout several communities in Washington, with confirmed cases in the following counties: Clark, Grant, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom. The majority of confirmed cases have been concentrated in King & Snohomish counties. Though it may seem as though there was a surge of new cases within the last two weeks, Public Health officials have reason to believe that disease transmission has likely been ongoing in persons with low-grade symptoms who did not previously reach testing criteria.

As of writing this, the number of confirmed cases in Washington is 366 persons, with 29 associated deaths.

Advancements in the ability of local health institutions to test potential cases has expanded greatly within the last week, with capacity extending beyond the state DOH to university & commercial labs in the area.

Current testing criteria: There are currently no restrictions for Covid-19 testing in Washington, though recommendations for testing remain to be for those sick with fever or cough who are at a higher risk of complications from severe respiratory infections (eg. age 60 years or over, those with chronic illness, immunosuppressed or pregnant persons). Healthcare workers and those who work with the medically vulnerable, those who have come into contact with confirmed cases, or those who work in a public capacity also should seek testing if symptomatic. If you have questions about whether you should be tested, just reach out to ask us.

More information about testing can be found here:

https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/NovelCoronavirusOutbreak2020/TestingforCOVID19

Insurance information about coverage for testing:

https://www.insurance.wa.gov/news/kreidler-orders-washington-health-insurers-waive-deductibles-and-copays-coronavirus-testing

In case you missed it: 

Protocol for seeking general care at Wise Patient:

Point number one: if you need a face to face visit with us, we will be here for you. Like all healthcare facilities we have an established protocol for appointments with symptomatic patients to minimize exposure to staff and other patients. In addition, we have started implementing a pre-screening questionnaire in advance of all in-person appointments to make us aware of even mild symptoms and to better offer patients our telemedicine alternatives to elective and wellness appointments. We greatly appreciate your help, questions, and feedback.

We have elected to disable all online appointment scheduling at this time so as to limit the possibility of any patient appointments occurring without this pre-screening protocol. Please contact us in advance of your appointment if you are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath so we can best advise you and prepare the clinic to care for you.

Many patients have elected to put-off in-clinical visits for elective and preventative health topics. We aren’t offended 🙂

Patients over the age of 60 may want to consider rescheduling non-essential or non-time-sensitive appointments. The CDC is recommending people in this age group avoid large social gatherings. While WPIM is not explicitly a social gathering we do interact with many individuals in varying states of health on any given day. We have had no known interactions with patients who have COVID-19 and everyone on staff remains healthy. Therefore rescheduling is not mandatory but simply an option we are offering to this age group of patients.

We have been encouraging patients to utilize our Spruce, patient portal, & telemedicine services to continue communicating with us. These are great resources for continuity of your primary care at Wise Patient as we continue to monitor the current landscape of the outbreak.

The links provided below have good information on procedures for any potential exposures to COVID-19.

Patients who test positive for COVID-19 or who are suspected to have COVID-19 infection and who are not hospitalized should receive information on management of isolation in the community.  
https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/COVIDcasepositive.pdf

What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/COVIDexposed.pdf

What to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and have not been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/COVIDconcerned.pdf

Please note, recommendations regarding COVID-19 from the CDC and King County Public Health are subject to change as frequently as daily. We will update this mailing as any major changes evolve (at a minimum of weekly) for the immediate future. Please refer to the CDC and KCPH resources above for most current information. 

Sources for this publication & resources for more information:

 Any questions? Feel free to contact our office at: info@wisepatientim.com