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It may feel as if life has changed as we all know it, and thinking about how you access health care may be on your mind. While we’ve been whole-heartedly committed to helping our community through this trying time, we’ve also been steadily planning for making our services as safe as possible for you when it comes to care for other health concerns, too.
As many physicians' offices and other medical facilities reopen, and some procedures and visits that were delayed resume, you may have questions about your safety.
We want you to know we’re doing everything we can to protect you, your loved ones and our staff and medical providers as we continue to offer you compassionate, whole-person care. Here are answers to common concerns about seeking medical care at this point in time.
Q: Are physician’s offices and hospitals able to care for other health concerns while caring for COVID-19 patients?
A: We continue to deliver the care our patients need for a wide range of medical conditions, from cancer to heart disease to vaccines and other preventive measures.
Our medical teams are still taking care of people with COVID-19; however, patients with coronavirus are treated in separate areas, both in the hospital and at outpatient clinics.
Rest assured that we are taking every step possible to protect you from contracting coronavirus at any of our facilities. And if you do have COVID-19 or its symptoms, our protocols will allow our staff to compassionately care for you while keeping other patients safe.
Q: If I go to the physician’s office or hospital, am I at risk of exposing myself to people who are infected with coronavirus?
A: As more facilities reopen, we’re taking the steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our own health care experts to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes limiting the number of entrances and keeping close watch over every door.
Nearly all people with COVID-19 symptoms experience a fever. So, anyone entering one of our facilities will either pass a temperature check or go to another site for immediate evaluation. This way, we can help prevent anyone with symptoms from spreading the virus to others.
Q: Isn’t there a shortage of masks and other medical supplies needed to care for COVID-19 patients?
A: Our facilities are not currently experiencing a shortage of protective equipment (PPE), including face masks. When you seek care at any of our facilities — be it an urgent care clinic, your physician’s office or the hospital — you’ll receive one.
Q: Can a family member or friend come with me to my appointments or visit me in the hospital?
A: Our main goal is to keep you and your loved ones safe. In most cases, you’ll be able to have one person with you when you come for an appointment or an emergency visit. One person may also visit you in the hospital.
Your visitor will be required to take the same safety steps as you: wearing a face mask, getting their temperature checked before they enter the facility and staying six feet away from other visitors and patients. We’ve also taken steps to designate a separate area of the hospital to care for patients with COVID-19. This helps ensure the safety of other patients and visitors to our facilities.
Q: Shouldn't I stay home to help flatten the curve?
A: Seeking necessary medical care is a legitimate reason to leave your house, even if other activities remain limited in your area. In addition, we’ve taken many steps to ensure you can continue to practice social distancing when you come to one of our facilities.
For instance, you’ll notice that:
- Reception areas are now shielded.
- Waiting areas have been redesigned to keep people six feet apart.
- You may be able to wait in your car for a text that alerts you to come in for your appointment.
- If you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms, you’ll be assessed and treated separately from those who do have symptoms or are COVID-19 positive.
Q: What if I prefer to use telemedicine or see my doctor via virtual visits?
A: Virtual care services have expanded to keep you safe. Many types of services, from health screenings to behavioral health services to follow-up visits and checkups, can be provided through online visits.
If you already have a physician, check with the office about scheduling a telemedicine visit. Whether you need primary care or specialty care, you can also connect with new providers who are seeing patients via telehealth. Learn more about your options here.
Q: What should I do if I have symptoms that I suspect are related to coronavirus?
A: According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Chills, with or without shaking
- Muscle pain
- New loss of taste or smell
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
If you have these symptoms, call your physician or schedule an online visit. If you have emergency warning signs — including persistent chest pain or pressure, trouble breathing, confusion that’s new to you or bluish lips or face — call 911.
We’re Ready When You’re Ready
AdventHealth is committed to providing the latest information to keep you and your family healthy. To learn more about the proactive measures we’re taking to keep you safe, visit AdventHealth.com.