Coronavirus Update: March 23
What a difference a week makes.
The latest numbers, as of this writing indicate that over 24,000 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the US, with over half of those in New York State. 288 Americans have died from infection with the coronavirus. These numbers are growing every day, in part due to the spread of the virus, but also because of the increase in available testing. Keep that in mind: to some extent, the numbers reported reflect more testing, not necessarily indicating more rapid spread. Truthfully, many more people than we realized have had the virus over the past month—we just could not identify them. That said, more and more people are definitely contracting COVID-19 and we have not yet reached a peak. For that reason, the more stringent restrictions have been imposed by the government and we have to be even more careful to reduce our risk of contracting the infection.
This is an excellent YouTube animated film, produced by Kurzgesagt.
It is brief and does an excellent job of explaining how the virus works and clear scientific information about how to reduce the risks of contracting coronavirus infection. Please check it out: https://youtu.be/BtN-goy9VOY
How does one know if one has a coronavirus infection? One of the problems is that the classic symptoms of COVID-19 infection: fever, cough, malaise, and shortness of breath are only present in some patients. Others may experience less common symptoms such as sore throat, congestion, or intestinal upset. Some people have barely any symptoms at all! So right now, we must consider anything that resembles a cold or flu or any fever to possibly represent coronavirus infection. In such cases, one should self-quarantine, do not go to work, and make arrangements to be tested. Contact your primary care doctor to get help with testing or contact the Westchester Department of Health at 914-813-5000.
We continue to operate in our office and are available to you. Recall that we are doing everything possible to create a safe environment for our patients. Upon entry, all patients are asked to wash their hands carefully. We actively sanitize the waiting rooms and all examining rooms throughout the day and before and after each patient. The schedule is arranged to maintain as much social distance as possible and we limit the number of people in the office at any time. For those of you who require infusion therapy, we offer the direct side entrance, so as to avoid the waiting room and the need to traverse through the office in order to get to the treatment room. Every patient is treated privately in a single room. Helene carefully sanitizes the rooms before and after each patient. We will make the process as brief and efficient as possible.
We are not seeing people in the office who have symptoms to suggest coronavirus infection; they are advised to remain at home and testing will be arranged for them at another location.
We are also rolling out a telemedicine project so that we can provide video visits. All you need is a computer with a camera, smartphone, or iPad and access to an internet connection. If interested, simply call the office to schedule such an appointment and we will send you an invitation with instructions via email.
Do your best to remain zealous and reduce your risk of infection. Frequent hand washing and/or use of sanitizers, try to stay home as much as you can. When out in public, keep a safe distance from others, avoid touching your face and carry sanitizing solution for frequent cleansing. Consider everyone with whom you have contact as possibly having coronavirus; that helps to keep you safe!