For the past several weeks, Bray Family Medicine’s team of providers and staff along with other area physicians, our local hospital, the health department, school officials, and community leaders have been actively preparing to combat the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). As of March 12, 2020, there has been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community, but that will likely change in the upcoming days.
Bray Family Medicine is taking the necessary steps to limit person-to-person spread of COVID-19 and will continue to provide care to all our patients, those affected by this virus and patients with other urgent healthcare needs. As of Friday, March 13, 2020, we are temporarily suspending walk-in visits. We will also be contacting patients to postpone wellness visits and routine check-ups. Routine medication will continue to be refilled until your next visit. If laboratory testing is due, your healthcare provider will determine if it can be safely postponed and provide further instruction. It is very important that all patients call the clinic or send a message via the portal or our secure text messaging app, OhMD, before coming to the clinic. During our regular office hours Monday through Friday 8 AM – 5 PM and on Saturday 9 AM – 12 PM, our clinical staff and providers will be taking your calls, evaluating your symptoms over the phone, and offering treatment or arranging an office visit or video visit depending on your individual needs. For urgent issues after-hours, you can reach our on-call provider by calling (870) 464 – 1515. In addition to following stringent infection prevention protocols, we have established two clinic entrances and separate waiting areas to reduce exposure for patients without respiratory illness. When you are scheduled for an office visit, you will be given instructions on whether to use our main entrance (South) or side entrance (West). There will also be signs posted on site. Upon arrival, you may see clinical staff members wearing masks and/or gowns. Patients who exhibit any respiratory symptoms will also be asked to wear a mask before entering the clinic. These measures are strictly a precaution to protect our patients and our staff and reduce the spread of illness in our community.
Bray Family Medicine is committed to providing up-to-date, accurate information related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are actively monitoring this rapidly changing situation and will post new information on our website and Facebook page as it becomes available. For more information visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/.
- COVID-19 is a new strain of a respiratory coronavirus.
- Symptoms are similar to the flu: fever, cough, fatigue, muscle aches, & sore throat. Patients with more severe illness may experience shortness of breath.
- Most patients infected with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms that do not require medical attention and should be cared for at home with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) and/or Advil (ibuprofen).
- People over age 60 and those with existing medical conditions such as COPD, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are at higher risk for developing severe illness requiring hospitalization.
- Children with COVID-19 typically have mild upper respiratory symptoms or no symptoms at all.
- COVID-19 spreads easily from person-to-person. A person infected with the virus may not show symptoms for 5 – 14 days but can spread the virus to others before symptoms develop and throughout the time that symptoms are present. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- There is evidence that COVID-19 can live on non-disinfected surfaces for over a week. Therefore, it is possible for a person to contract the virus by touching a surface or object that has virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.
What to do if you feel sick:
Mild to moderate symptoms – If you develop flu-like or respiratory symptoms without shortness of breath:
- STAY HOME to protect yourself and others.
- Get plenty of REST and FLUIDS.
- Treat your symptoms with OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) and/or Advil (ibuprofen).
- If you have questions or concerns about your symptoms, CALL THE CLINIC at (870) 464 – 1515. During our regular office hours Monday through Friday 8 AM – 5 PM and on Saturday 9 AM – 12 PM, our clinical staff and providers will be taking your calls, evaluating your symptoms over the phone, and advising you on the best course of action.
- If our clinical staff determines you need to be evaluated in our clinic, you may be asked to call when you arrive and remain in your car. Staff may evaluate you in your car or ask you to wait in your car until a room is ready for you.
- Currently, we can send a sample for COVID-19 testing, but testing is NOT recommended for those without symptoms or for most patients with mild or moderate symptoms. Your Bray Family Medicine healthcare provider will determine whether COVID-19 testing is appropriate based on CDC and Department of Health recommendations. It currently takes 3-4 days to receive a result.
Severe symptoms – If your symptoms are severe and you have developed shortness of breath, call the clinic immediately or dial 911. Be sure to alert our staff or the 911 dispatcher of your symptoms and any risks you may have for COVID-19 including travel in the last 14 days or close contact with someone who has tested positive.
What to do if you are concerned you have been exposed to COVID-19:
If you have recently traveled to an affected area or you have been exposed (within 6 ft) to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and you are not exhibiting any symptoms, call our clinic at (870) 464 – 1515 for further instruction. You may be directed to stay home on self-isolation for 14 days.
To reduce the spread of illness:
- Avoid public gatherings such as social, religious & athletic events and work from home when possible.
- Avoid unnecessary travel.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty. It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- Cover your cough or sneeze—using your elbow or a tissue. Then throw the tissue in the trash. (Putting a tissue on a table contaminates the surface of the table with germs.)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Routinely disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. You can use a cleaning spray or wipe that includes effective disinfectant ingredients, such as 62%-71% ethanol (ethyl alcohol), 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite (bleach).
- Talk to your children about good hygiene and make sure they are washing their hands frequently while at school, daycare, and out in the public.
- Stay home if you are sick.