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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates (Live Blog)

Coronavirus guidelines are changing quickly. This blog will serve as a live update on the most current information as it becomes available to us.

March 23, 2020

Based on new guidance from our local and State Health Department, we have passed the point where COVID-19 testing is necessary for otherwise healthy individuals.

If you are otherwise healthy and experiencing mild symptoms consistent with coronavirus (fever, cough) assume you have it, self isolate and stay home.

The rationale provided by the Health Department for this change in protocol is the following:

  • We now have documentation of community transmission in NC. Additionally, there has been an acceleration in the number of cases and in instances of community transmission.
  • We need to conserve critical supplies. There is a nationwide PPE shortage. Efforts are underway to increase the supply in NC, but we need to not waste what we currently have on hand.
  • We need to limit the exposure of healthcare personnel (HCP).
  • People with mild illness due to COVID-19 who leave their homes for testing may spread the illness to others, including HCP and high-risk individuals.
  • People who leave their homes for testing may expose themselves to COVID-19 if they don’t already have it.
      • Most people (~80%) have mild illness. Testing doesn’t change management of those individuals.
      • Individuals with mild illness can call their health care provider or utilize telehealth options for assessment of their clinical status.
      • They should call their provider if their symptoms worsen.

Based on this updated information for the protocol, we are implementing the following changes, effective immediately:

  1. We will be utilizing video visits for every appointment until further notice. Schedule your visit with us just as usual. You will receive an email with instructions on how to connect with us by video at your appointment time.
  2. Many visits will be able to be completed by video. We can issue you prescriptions to pick up from our in-house pharmacy or your pharmacy of choice.
  3. Some visits will require a visit to the clinic or through our drive-thru for procedures, x-ray, testing, etc. This will be reviewed with you during your video visit.
  4. We ask that (with the exception of minors) all patient visitors remain in their vehicles and do not come into the clinic.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will adjust our procedures accordingly to ensure the safety of our patients, community and employees.

It continues to be important to practice good hygiene to limit the ability for the virus to spread. This means regular and thorough hand washing.

The CDC is doing a great job of updating information on their website regarding coronavirus. Please go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html to learn more about what you can be doing and should not be doing. As long as the CDC information is staying up to date, we will primarily use this blog to update you on what you can expect at Range.

We also want to minimize anxiety and stress as those emotions only make us more vulnerable to infections. Turn off the news, get outside and enjoy some fresh air or whatever you need to do to keep your stress and anxiety levels down.

Please remember that we are here for you. If you have questions or concerns, give us a call or send us an email. We will continue to keep this information up to date with information addressing the most common questions that we are getting.

Lastly, check this out and help support our local community through this difficult period.

https://www.ashevillestrong.com/

#AshevilleStrong

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