Dear Valued Patient,
As you clearly know by now, we are facing a serious global pandemic with this new form of Corona Virus, referred to as COVID-19. At We Care Family Wellness Center, our primary goal is to maintain your health and safety while doing our part to limit the spread of this potentially dangerous virus until a vaccine can be produced to protect us from it.
First, it can be very difficult for non-medically trained people to make sense of the barrage of information, some accurate and some not, that we are presented with from news sources, on-line opinions, interpersonal communications, etc. Next, there are many questions regarding this virus that still remain unclear. But let me give you the best overview that is available at the moment.
Here are the basic facts:
This NEW Corona Virus (COVID-19) is a highly contagious virus that causes upper and lower respiratory symptoms including FEVER, A DRY COUGH, and SHORTNESS OF BREATH in susceptible people. The incubation period can be anywhere from 2 to 14 days; meaning that after a person is exposed to the virus, it can take that many days for them to develop symptoms. The average incubation period appears to be 5 days. The virus is transmitted through the air (after infected people cough or sneeze) as well as from close contact with infected people and from contaminated surfaces that have been touched or coughed on. There is a wide range of severity of illness, depending on the patient’s age and physical condition. People with strong immune systems appear to develop mild cases or moderate cases that resolve in a few weeks. People with immune compromise, including elderly, people with active cancer, auto-immune disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease, and other compromised groups are at much higher risk. The people who fare worst from infection with this virus develop severe cases of pneumonia, compromising their ability to breathe. These people require immediate medical attention in a hospital setting.
The best methods of protecting yourself and your family from this virus is by limiting close contacts with others, especially those who are sick. In addition, frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, avoiding touching of your face and cleaning household/work surfaces (phones, counters, door handles, etc) will limit your chances of contracting the virus. We would recommend that our patients avoid large gatherings as attending these will increase your risk. It is important for our community that we all step up and take these precautions. Without honoring the risks and taking this seriously, we will have more severe cases than our medical personnel and local hospitals can take care of. If we can slow the transmission of this virus, we will “buy enough time” until a vaccine becomes available. Meanwhile, please DO breathe fresh air (in your yard), drink lots of water, take immune support (Vitamin C, D3, Zinc, etc) and eat healthy food.
In order to protect our patients, our staff and all family members, we have been forced to temporarily change many of our office protocols. These carefully thought out changes will allow us to best care for you while minimizing the spread of the NEW Corona Virus (COVID-19) in our community. Please be patient with us as we attempt to responsibly care for our patients and for our community. Here are the temporary policies we are forced to implement for the time being (length of time is unknown):
We will limit face to face appointments in the office, only seeing patients in person for the most important/pressing medical issues. As medical director of We Care Family Medical Center, I will make the final decisions in these matters. Many routine types of visits will be postponed for now. Thanks to technology, we can ensure that patients DO NOT RUN OUT OF medication and have multiple methods of staying in touch with us (phone; email; portal; text). We can offer some patients the option of telephone visits or telemedicine (video chat) visits when appropriate.
What follows is an outline of our plan. Please keep in mind that we will make exceptions on a case by case basis, depending on extenuating circumstances. In order to properly implement this plan, we will require patients to be specific regarding the reason(s) for their visit when calling for an appointment. All appropriate confidentiality will be maintained. Please be available to us by phone so that we can clarify your needs and assign you the proper level of care.
- Sick patients: We will screen sick patients by phone, in your vehicle and/or in the courtyard outside our office prior to any sick visits to properly triage these patients. We may limit “sick visits” to particular portions of our work day.
- Injured patients: We will see you as promptly as possible.
- Chronic illness follow-ups: We may defer your appointments or conduct visits by phone or video chat, depending on your needs.
- Well patients/Preventive Care visits (for example: general physicals, well woman exams, well child exams, pre-operative exams for elective surgery, etc: We will generally defer all of these visits for the time being. We realize that some patients will be in need of routine vaccinations; we will address this issue on case by case basis. In certain cases, we may conduct these visits due to extenuating circumstances so please stay tuned.
- Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment visits: We will defer these visits for now
- Hormone consultations visits/Review of labs: We will defer these visits for now
- Procedure visits: We will defer these visits for now
- Forms visits: We will defer these visits for now
- Other/Miscellaneous visits: These will be determined on case by case basis.
For patients who are given appointments, we would ask for your help by complying with the following instructions:
- PLEASE DO NOT JUST COME TO THE OFFICE WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT
- Please be on time for your visit
- Please do NOT bring family members/friends who are non-essential
- Please have your cell phone on in case we need to reach you prior to your arrival
- Please WAIT OUTSIDE until greeted (feel free to knock on door)
- If we instruct you to meet us in the courtyard prior to entering the office, please be patient
- If you would like to purchase Xymogen products, please call first to place your order
We are acutely aware that these policies will create a hardship for some of our patients. We are asking for your patience, your cooperation and your understanding as we attempt to take care of the most pressing of our patients’ needs while doing our part to limit the spread of this dangerous virus. Please be patient as we implement these emergency measures. We recognize that there is a great deal of anxiety circulating through our community and that many of you have questions. We promise to address your concerns/needs as quickly as possible but must begin with focusing our care on those most urgently in need. With your help, we will “weather this storm” and ensure the safety of our community with the most minimal negative impact on peoples’ health that is possible. We greatly appreciate your faith in us as your medical team and your patience through this difficult time.
Best of health,
Jordan Ross, D.O.
We Care Family Wellness Center