The outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) has prompted changes in the usual procedures at our offices. Since the declaration of a pandemic by the world health organization and the recent diagnoses of this infection in our community, special precautions are necessary to protect the health and welfare of our patients as well as to do what we can to slow the transmission of this virus.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to those of a cold or flu and may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should call our office for a telemedicine visit, so that we may advise you if you meet criteria for COVID-19 testing at one of the screening sites in the area. Symptoms of this virus have proven to be highly variable, being very mild in some cases, and quite serious in others, particularly the elderly and those with heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. Testing is important so that a diagnosis can be made promptly and any affected individual can self-quarantine so as not to spread the infection to others. Please note, we are not equipped to test and treat for COVID-19 in our office. Our office will be available to continue to address any of your concerns or needs. The allergy department will be mixing vials and SLIT weekly as previously advised. All shot patients will either transition to SLIT or be educated on home administration of shots. We will do everything in our power to maintain a safe environment for all of our patients while still providing you with the vital care you need. To that end, we are pleased to offer telemedicine visits. Telemedicine visits offer a safe, convenient way to take care of your needs from the comfort and safety of your home. All you need is a computer equipped with a webcam, a tablet computer, or smartphone in order for us to have a telemedicine encounter.
The next thirty days will be decisive for our public health authorities in terms of their efforts to slow the progress of this virus. We should all remind ourselves at this time that while we may personally contract only a mild illness from this infection, our family members or friends may be severely affected if they are vulnerable due to age or illness. We must all do our part to ensure the health and welfare of our community.
To your very best health,
Dr. Maria Doucet