Telemedicine and the Clinic
Please call us at 206 524 5656 to schedule a telemedicine appointment. We have providers who are available every day by secure video as well as by phone for those of you who do not have access to video. We recommend starting with talking to us about your symptoms.
Typical symptoms of COVID-19 are mild and can be fever (>100 F or subjective fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath). Less often people also complain of headache and diarrhea. These symptoms can be generalized to many different diagnosis — seasonal allergies, influenza, other respiratory colds. By talking with your provider, we can get a better picture of what is going on with you, offer medications to treat symptoms, and, if clinically relevant, refer for testing for COVID-19.
If you have had a high risk exposure, meaning that you were in close contact (within 6 feet for longer than 10 minutes) with someone who is sick with fever or symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and they tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 2 weeks, you should self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms.
The best thing to do is to stay at home, stay 6 feet from family members, use your own dedicated bathroom, and monitor your temperature daily for fever and for symptoms of cough, sore throat or shortness of breath. You should do this for 14 days since your contact with the sick person.
If you develop symptoms please call our office for a telemedicine appointment. We can evaluate and find a testing site for you if appropriate.
Currently (3/18/2020) the Department of Health guidelines recommend that you self quarantine, for a minimum of 7 days from the onset of symptoms and for 72 hours fever free and symptoms are greatly reduced which ever is longer. If you have any specific concerns please, we are happy to review your situation and offer recommendations through a telemedicine or telephone visit.
You should follow department of health standards for cleaning your house — wiping down hard surfaces with alcohol containing product or other cleaning products that indicate that they kill other similar viruses like the flu or other coronaviruses (example is Lysol or Chlorox wipes that say they kill 99.9% of viruses). Important surfaces are faucets, doorknobs, sinks, toilet handles, light switches, in the kitchen the doors to the refrigerator, oven, microwave, and all pulls.
Members of your household should use a different bathroom than you when possible. If not possible, wipe down counters and toilet after each use. You and all members of your household should continue to use good hand hygiene to prevent spread. Wash hands before you eat. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw away.
SARS-CoV 2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 It is stable for several hours to days on hard surfaces:
- in small droplets that have been aerosolized (like if you use a nebulizer at home) for up to 3 hours
- up to 4 hours on copper
- up to 24 hours on cardboard
- up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel
The good news is that wiping with regular household cleaners — Windex, Bleach sprays, surface cleaning wipes can remove the virus that causes COVID-19.
Also, if you use good hand hygiene to prevent spread, wash hands before you eat - avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth . Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw away you can reduce transmission of the virus and the possibility that you will be exposed.
There is a huge shortage of personal protection equipment in this city, the county, the state and the world. Surgical masks do offer a some protection to those who wear them from the droplets that come from sick people coughing on you. However, given the shortage it is imperative that health care workers have protective gear in order to continue to protect themselves from getting sick. Without our health care workers, where would we be?
If you are in a high risk category - over the age of 60, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, heart disease, or immunocompromised, or a health care worker, it may be a good idea to wear a simple surgical mask in public. If you do not have any masks, then you may wish to try other strategies such as having friends or neighbors shop for you, delivery of groceries, making reservations at grocery store to shop at quieter hours. The best protection is to stay away from crowded places, and wash your hands when you return.
If you have bought many masks, more than you need (i.e. more than 50 for one family of 4), then you may consider donating your masks to a local hospital.
If you have bought N95 masks, these are mostly needed by health care workers who need to perform high risk, life saving procedures and we recommend you donate these to your local hospital.
1. Give blood: during this time of isolation, blood banks are not collecting nearly enough donations. Please contact your nearest blood bank.
2. Offer to shop for a neighbor or friend who has higher risk to COVID-19: anyone over the age of 60, immunocompromised, or other conditions that make it hard for them to get to the store.
3. Video chat with friends and family and try to stay social yet isolated. Do not gather! Stop the spread by staying in your home or going out for a walk with one friend or family member and keeping your social distance to 6 feet.
4. Stay calm. This is not a time to panic or hoard. Shop for what you need and try to go at off peak hours. Batch your trips — shop for a friend or two to minimize exposure. Maintain your distance from others in line.