Solena Roberts, MS, PA-C, CMO
Misti Shine MSN, FNP-C, RN, CIC
St George Medical Clinic is staying up to date on all communication regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. This like other pandemics, hit fast and created concern quickly. We have been in communication with our local health department and local healthcare officials regarding the virus and what we can do to help keep our community as safe and healthy as possible.
The biggest concern about this virus, in comparison to other viruses like the influenza, is that this is a new strain that no one has been exposed to before. Therefore, immunity is absent. Immunity to viruses can come in the form of active immunity (exposure to the disease) or passive immunity (like by vaccine). It is like the flu in that we can recover from this just as easily. Those that have comorbid conditions, altered immune systems, and are of the elderly or younger age, are at an increased risk for developing complications.
When we encounter this type of situation, we work to limit the potential exposure and control the areas of the spread we know we can control. We take direction from health care officials and experts to break the chain of infections.
Our community and its care is our greatest concern. Panic is not helpful and in fact causes confusion. While we aim to provide care to the community, we must also look at the larger picture and understand that we may have to alter scheduling, or clinic visits in order to help maintain containment of potential spread. This could include changing schedules or even curbside screenings. Tests are now available but very limited, and we will test only those that meet the criteria for testing. Criteria for testing includes: (Both criteria must be met)
- Travel from another area with confirmed COVID-19 OR
- Close contact with person diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspected persons under investigation
- Fever and/or symptoms of lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath)
We have upcoming meetings with the local health department and others that will help us communicate our needs and work together in order to provide the care that is necessary.
We are advising people to wash their hands regularly, and keep their hands away from their face. Call ahead if they need to be seen with those symptoms listed above, and limit travel to only necessary places.