COVID-19 Update 4/4/20

It has been a little while since I have written to you.  We are continuing to work with our colleagues at the Logan County Health District, Mary Rutan, Maple Leaf, and Costin Family Practice to bring more tests to the community.  That work is moving forward, but before we can announce anything on that front, we do have a few other things we would like to bring to your attention.

First, this disease is quite sneaky.  Some of us will have almost no symptoms at all while others will get a range of severe and dangerous complications.  Please note that there is some evidence that you do not need to have multiple (or even any) symptoms to spread the virus.  The standard combination of fever, cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing are certainly hallmarks of the disease.  Other symptoms that are occasionally reported by COVID19 patients include diarrhea, inability to smell, and/or headaches.  In short, it is very hard to know if/when we are sick with this disease.  Please, be careful and follow the instructions of our Governor – stay at home.

Second, even if you are working in an essential position, you should not attend work if you have any of the following symptoms within 72 hours: fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, body aches, runny nose, or chest pain.  Note any one of these means that you should stay home for at least 7 days and until 72 hours have passed without symptoms.

The shortage of masks, gowns, and face shields is real.  We have shared what we can with others and would appreciate any donations you can make – even if they are old.  At Hickory, we are particularly low on face masks; however, any donations you might have are most welcome and will be used or passed along.  You can drop things off with us or check with any other provider. 

Finally, we know many of our patients are struggling.  If you are unable to pay for membership, please let us know.  With the COVID epidemic, we have stopped terminating memberships for patients who are out of work and unable to pay for membership right now.  We will continue to care of our patients who are unable to pay as long as we are able to.  If you are unable to pay right now, please make sure that we are aware of your situation, as we need to know as much as we can about how our finances will be impacted so that we can make the necessary adjustments.

We are so grateful for the chance to be a part of this community.  Please, do stay home and stay safe.  We look forward to getting to the other side of this and seeing you all, in person, again!  Never hesitate to be in touch.
 
Rudi