What to know about Coronavirus if you are 65 and older: 3/26/2020

According to CDC, older adults, 65 and over, and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease and those with weakened immune systems seem to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. 

If you are over 65 or have a serious underlying medical condition: 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use sanitizer often. 
  • Stay home if possible avoiding unnecessary travel.
  • Avoid close contact (6 feet, which is about two arm lengths) with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home. 
  • Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel. 
  • Call your Med First healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick. 

NCDHHS recommends that people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 stay at home to the extent possible to decrease the chance of infection but if you have an appointment with you Med First healthcare provider, please keep it or call ahead to inquire about alternative office visit options like telephonic or virtual visits.

Med First is working hard to continue providing you with safe, high quality and compassionate healthcare during this crisis. Here is what we are doing for YOU:

  • Offering Phone visits for many visit types.
  • Offering Telemedicine (Virtual visits) for many visit types.
  • Offering curbside COVID-19 testing at all locations.
  • Working hard with key suppliers to ensure we have COVID-19 test kits at all of our locations  
  • Raising our already high standard of sanitation and safety protocols in all locations.
    • *Telemedicine and phone visits are covered by most insurance plans but please contact your insurance plan or call ahead to inquire about your coverage.
    • * COVID-19 test kits are available while supplies last.
    • * Curbside testing is offered after visit with Provider, if deemed medically necessary.

Tips to Stay Healthy during the Coronavirus/ COVID-19 health crisis: 3/23/2020

Current data shows that individuals with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease are at higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19.  Whether you are a current patient, in need of a primary care or have an urgent care need, Med First can help you keep your health on track, follow up on current health conditions and address immediate care needs. All of our locations are open, and we have taken special precautions in our offices to ensure we do our best to keep our patients and healthcare teams healthy during this crisis. If you are a Med First patient and have an upcoming appointment or need to discuss a new health concern, keep your appointment or call to make a new one.  

Actions can you take to keep your body resilient and healthy during the COVID-19 crisis:
  • Quit smoking and vaping now.  Emerging evidence suggests that those who smoke may be at greater risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19. In addition, it is well-established that stopping smoking improves lung function relatively quickly (within a few months,) which reduces susceptibility to respiratory illnesses and improves immune function, along with many other benefits not directly related to COVID-19. Our Med First providers can help you quit smoking, call and ask your Provider today.
  • Keep your diabetes under control.  Follow your Med First Provider’s recommendations on your diet, medication plan and testing. In the event you are sick and unable to eat, keep simple carbs nearby like juice, honey, jam, and hard candies to help keep your blood sugar up. Make a new appointment or keep your follow up appointment at Med First to talk about getting your blood sugar under control or getting tested.
  • Keep your Blood pressure under control. Do this by limiting alcohol and sodium intake, maintaining a healthy weight, increasing physical activity (in whatever way you can while following social distancing and your local and state government guidance), and increase your intake of fruits and vegetables (frozen or canned is fine too, just watch for added sodium or sugar). Our Med First team can check your blood pressure and treat you if needed.
  • If you haven’t yet, get a flu vaccine. It is not too late to protect yourself from the flu, so call or request an appointment online to get your flu shot at Med First today.
  • Stay tuned for more information and new services at Med First locations.

UPDATE 3/19/2020

          In order to minimize exposure to Coronavirus, Med First has implemented curbside COVID-19 testing when ruled medically necessary by our Healthcare team. If there is a possibility that you have been exposed to the Coronavirus, or are having symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath and cough, please call the clinic phone number to speak to a team member before coming to the clinic. If you are unable to get through to someone during the hours of 8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, please call Outreach at (910) 455-0052.

ATTENTION:

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are implementing additional safety protocols as recommended by the CDC in order to minimize the spread of infection in our communities. Testing will be provided at the discretion of the Medical Provider on staff according to the guidelines set forth by the CDC and the NC DHHS, as test kits are available.

What to Expect at Med First Locations:

In order to best minimize unnecessary exposure of the COVID-19 virus to you, our staff and other patients, we are asking that if you have traveled through any airports in the last two weeks (including domestic), have had contact with someone that has traveled internationally, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, that you call ahead to speak to our medical staff to notify them prior to coming to the clinic. If you suspect that you have been exposed but are not experiencing a fever or cough, please call ahead and disclose the method of possible exposure (such as recent out of state air travel). Upon your arrival, please notify the staff immediately that you have called ahead for suspected COVID-19 infection. This is a necessary step so that upon your arrival, we can promptly perform the necessary testing while also maintaining a high level of customer service and care. Following these protocols will help minimize exposure to others and the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

Please note, no vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19 is available; antibiotics are not effective against this virus and care is supportive only.