Physician holding card saying Coronavirus Alert

Coronavirus is a lower respiratory infection that is spread person to person from respiratory droplets due to cough or sneezing or by touching a surface that has been infected and then touching your own face.  Sanitizers, washing hands and cleaning surfaces will kill this virus.  If you think you have the virus, please consider the following:

  1. Call first your physician for medical advice OR call your telemedicine physician (Virtual Visit, MDLive, Teladoc).  Carriers will pay for phone or video facetime visits with physicians in your carrier network who are willing to do this even if they are not a part of the telemedicine company. Be ready to be on hold 20 minutes to up to two hours when calling your telemedicine provider as they are in high demand.  It’s still a shorter time frame than waiting to get an appointment or sitting in an office.  Carriers/vendors are aware of these issues and have been given the ability to utilize physician’s from other states per the President’s new lift on many restrictions.
  2. Lab testing for the virus requires a physician’s order.  You cannot get testing without first talking to a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant.
  3. Before testing, you must have these symptoms – fever, cough or shortness of breath and at least one of the following:
    • Have had close contact with an infected person
    • Hospitalized for a respiratory conditions within the last few months
    • Traveled to an area where the disease is prevalent (i.e. Seattle, WA or New York City for example)
    • Internationally traveled or back from a cruise
    • Age 65+ with a chronic disease
    • Have an autoimmune disorder or disease
  4. Your physician may be able to perform the test and will send it on to an approved lab such as Quest or LapCorp or may send you to a CDC approved location where testing is taking place. There are drive-through testing sites in the DFW area – your physician will have this information. The telemedicine physicians also will know the nearest place to send you for testing. Do NOT go to Quest or LabCorp as they are not performing the actual physical test (saliva swab) but are collecting specimens and providing results. If you test positive, you will be asked to stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days. If you experience shortness of breath, go to the nearest hospital.

Remember the vast majority of people who have contacted this virus are able to stay at home, treat symptoms and recover quickly.  Practice 20 second hand washing with soap, use hand sanitizers, avoid touching your face*, clean countertops and bathroom areas with cleaning products, practice social distancing and stay at least 6 feet away from people, and self-quarantine if you are in contact with anyone who tests positive, traveled to a high risk area or traveled internationally.

Most of all breathe in and breathe outWe are all in this together.

*Since a major mode of transmission is through touching your face a good way to remind yourself to keep your hands away from your face is to use a hand sanitizer or lotion with a strong or unique smell, or an essential oil like tea tree or peppermint oil on your hands. This way when your hands come near your face your nose will remind you do not touch.