BACKGROUND ON COVID-19

THE VIRUS, HOW IT SPREADS, SYMPTOMS, AND TREATMENT

For information on COVID-19, including symptoms, how it spreads, and updates, please visit the CDC website:
CDC: About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

To reference a factsheet developed by the CDC on COVID-19, please visit:
CDC: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and you

COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets. To become infected, you must be within six feet of someone who is contagious and come into contact with these droplets. It is possible to contract COVID-19 by touching surfaces or objects that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Symptoms of COVID-19 appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days, or as long as 14 days after exposure. To be cautious, many governments are requiring an isolation period of 14 days after returning from endemic areas.

There is currently no FDA approved medication for COVID-19. Those infected with COVID-19 should receive rest, fluids and fever control to help relieve symptoms. In severe cases, treatment includes care to support vital organ functions.

PREVENTION

For comprehensive information regarding COVID-19 and recommended preventative actions visit the CDC website:
CDC: How to Protect Yourself

There is no approved COVID-19 vaccine currently available.

• Wash your hands often, using soap and water, for at least 15-20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with anyone who may be sick.
• Stay home as much as possible.
• Put distance between yourself and other people.
• Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
• Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
• If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Use standard household cleansers and wipes to effectively clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season. The CDC recommends getting vaccinated, taking daily preventative actions to stop the spread of germs, taking flu antivirals when prescribed, and as outlined on the CDC website:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

• If you are sick, wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth
• You should wear a cloth face covering, over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people or animals, including pets (even at home).
• You don’t need to wear the cloth face covering if you are alone. If you can’t put on a cloth face covering (because of trouble breathing for example), cover your coughs and sneezes in some other way. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. This will help protect the people around you.

More details and a tutorial on making a cloth face covering can be found here:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

OFFICE VISITS

All FWC Care Centers have put important patient safety protocols in place for all office visits:

  • For your safety and the safety of others, only our patients are admitted to our offices at this time.
    • If you have a specific reason that requires another person to accompany you, please contact our office ahead of time so we can make appropriate arrangements.
  • Our healthcare team will wear masks during your visit.
  • All patients are requested to wear a mask or cloth face covering (scarf, bandana, etc.) during their entire office visit.
  • Please do not come into the office if you are experiencing: Fever, extended cough, shortness of breath or have been exposed to anyone with COVID 19.
  • We perform health screens on everyone (our team included) who enters our office.
    • The screen includes asking about flu-like symptoms and a temperature check.
    • Patients who have symptoms or a temperature higher than 100.0 degrees may be rescheduled or have the appointment changed to a telehealth visit.
  • We maintain social distancing within the office by:
    • Providing adequate space between seats in the lobby
    • Bringing patients to the exam room quickly
  • We added to our normal cleaning procedures by using only disinfectants effective against Coronavirus and increased our lobby cleaning schedule to every hour.
  • We are following all state health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and adjust them as they are updated.

The following websites provide additional information related to the Federal and State guidelines and recommendations for healthcare services during this time:

FAQ

For information about obtaining help with your medical bills during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit and review this document. Thanks!

CLICK HERE

A telehealth appointment is an opportunity to have a visit with your known and trusted provider for convenient and comprehensive care that is currently covered by most insurance companies. Once you make a telehealth appointment, you should expect to receive emails for detailed telehealth application download and sign-on instructions so that you may have your visit using your mobile device or desktop computer. You and your provider will connect via real-time audio and video, so you will be able to hear and see each other. Not all appointments can be completed through a telehealth appointment. Please contact your physician’s office to learn about appointments available to patients through telehealth.

Many of our offices are beginning to offer telehealth for some types of appointments. Call your office to find out if there is an option for you!

Many gynecological complaints can be successfully completed through a telehealth visit with your healthcare provider. Please call your physician’s office directly to see if your medical needs can be met through a telehealth visit.  Some typical conditions that are potentially appropriate for a telehealth visit are the following:

  • Contraception (birth control)
  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infections and many urinary symptoms
  • Vaginitis symptoms (vaginal discharge, itching and pain)
  • Abnormal symptoms related to your menstrual cycles
  • Irregular vaginal bleeding (irregular, missed or skipped periods)
  • Follow-up on lab and imaging results
  • Prescription refills and follow-up visits
  • Breast concerns (lactation or breastfeeding, breast pain)
  • Follow-up after an uncomplicated surgery or procedure
  • Pelvic pain
  • Infertility
  • Menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats or vaginal dryness and painful intercourse)

Please call your doctor’s office directly to see which appointments are available through telehealth appointments.

Many obstetrical (OB) appointments can be successfully completed through a telehealth visit with your provider. Please contact your provider’s office directly to see if your medical needs can be appropriately met through a virtual visit on the following:

  • Select Prenatal visits
  • Post-partum conditions
  • Gestational Diabetes counseling, monitoring and follow-up
  • Blood pressure monitoring and follow-up
  • Breast concerns (lactation or breastfeeding, breast pain)
  • Prescription refills

Please call your doctor’s office directly to see which appointments are available through telehealth appointments.

Often times, your telehealth will be covered by your insurance. Most insurance companies have amended coverage policies due to the Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic.  Please contact your health insurance provider to learn more.

Necessary precautions are being taken on behalf of our patients, visitors and caregivers. If you are scheduled for a wellness exam or other non-essential visit in the next two weeks, please contact us to review options available to you, including telehealth, or to reschedule your appointment to a later date. Knowing that most of our patients require a physical exam, many in-person appointments will remain as scheduled.

If you have a fever, cough shortness of breath, or are otherwise concerned that you may have COVID-19, we ask that you do not come to any offices. First, call your primary care physician or engage with a provider through a virtual visit for evaluation. We ask that you have a clinical evaluation of your situation to determine if you need to be seen in-person and if you meet CDC guidelines for testing for COVID-19 based on symptoms, travel and exposures.

We are following the recommendations and protocols of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We are closely monitoring this evolving situation. Our clinicians and leadership are meeting regularly and strategizing proactively in order to prepare.

The Florida Department of Health’s website for COVID-19 can be accessed at:
https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/

The Florida Department of Health has a COVID-19 Call Center, available 24/7, at:
1-866-779-6121 or COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

The CDC website has resources specific to pregnant or breastfeeding women at:
CDC: Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Insurance Coverage and Benefits
We encourage you to call your insurance provider with any questions specific to your benefits and coverage related to COVID-19. Many insurance companies have updated their guidelines and reimbursement regarding telemedicine, beyond COVID-19 related tests and visits.

Travel Guidelines
Please visit the CDC website for information specific to COVID-19 for travelers and for the travel industry:
CDC: Travel

CONTACT

Please contact your provider with any questions.

We are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and will incorporate the most recent updates into this site as frequently as possible. Content on this site was last updated 03.20.20 and content has been updated in accordance with the latest guidelines from the CDC and the individual states where a care center resides. For the latest information about COVID-19 including how it spreads, prevention, symptoms and treatment, please visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.

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