COVID-19/Coronavirus Update

COVID-19/Coronavirus FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

SCREENING QUESTIONS TO ENTER CAPITAL MEDICAL CLINIC:  Patients must answer “no” to all questions below in order to enter the clinic:

In the past 20 days, have you experienced:

    • Temperature greater than 99.5?
    • Chills

    • Respiratory symptoms such as (cough, shortness of breath, sinus symptoms, sore throat)?

    • Known exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or is being tested for COVID-19)?

    • Loss of taste or smell?

When should I worry that I might have Covid-19?

Symptoms include cough, fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, muscle aches, or changes in your sense of taste or smell. Another risk factor is recent exposure to somebody diagnosed with Covid-19.

Will you be able to test me?

We are offering testing for our patients, after they are assessed by one of our providers by telemedicine and determined to meet the criteria for COVID testing. If you have symptoms, schedule a telemedicine visit with your provider today. Below are the COVID Test we are offering to our patients:

Rapid Antigen test:   This test is done through a nasal swab and looks for the presence of substances such as proteins that are part of the virus. It is recommended for those who are having symptoms. We will usually have the results by the end of the business day of testing.

PCR Test: This test is done through a nasal swab and detects the genetic material of the virus called RNA. It is recommended for those who are currently having symptoms. We will send this test to an outside lab for processing. Results can be back between 1-7 business days.

Antibody/serology test: This test checks to see if your immune system has produced an antibody to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Antibody tests are not used to make a diagnosis of active COVID-19, since antibody production is not present at detectable levels until several days after the onset of infection symptoms. Unfortunately, the test cannot perfectly differentiate between the specific coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) that causes COVID-19 and other common coronaviruses that have been around for years and typically present as a common cold. If this test is positive, it could reflect either that you have COVID-19 or that you were infected by one of the coronaviruses that causes the common cold. If you have questions about antibody result, make an appointment with your physician to discuss them.

If you are interested in COVID testing, please contact our office to make a telemedicine appointment with your doctor to discuss if it’s the right choice for you and your situation.

What should I do if I think it’s likely I have Covid-19?

It depends on how severe your symptoms are. If you feel very ill, you should go the emergency room where you can receive supportive care like IV fluids and oxygen. But if your symptoms are mild, you should stay at home and monitor your them. That way you can avoid spreading it other people while your immune system fights off the infection.

But what if I have respiratory infection symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath, or fever, but haven’t recently travelled out of the country or been exposed to somebody with Covid-19? What should I do then?

There could be a variety of other causes for your symptoms such as flu, the common cold, bacterial pneumonia, or allergies. If your symptoms are very mild, you should stay home to see if they’ll resolve on their own. On the other hand, if you feel very sick—for instance if you have great difficulty breathing–you should go to the emergency room. If you are somewhere in between and unsure what to do, call Capital Medical Clinic, and we’ll guide you on the best course of action.

What is Capital Medical Clinic doing to prevent patients at the clinic from being infected?

We are taking a number of steps to protect our patients and staff. We are directing patients with a high suspicion of having Covid-19 to more appropriate locations for care such as their home or the emergency room. We are taking special precautions in interacting with anybody with symptoms of a respiratory infection. All such patients will be required to wear a mask and all staff interacting with them will be wearing a mask as well. After each patient visit, surfaces in clinic rooms are being thoroughly cleaned with germ-killing wipes. All staff with any symptoms of a respiratory infection, including physicians, are not coming to the clinic until their symptoms are gone. 

Here are some steps you can take to stay healthy:

Eat Well

Fill your plate with a colorful variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. These are low calorie foods filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Avoid red and processed meat. Eat a greater amount of protein-rich foods such as seafood, eggs, beans, peas, soy products, nuts and seeds, and lean meats such as poultry. Decrease your intake of sugar and other refined carbohydrates such as flour, pizza dough, pastries, and white rice. Eating this way will increase your energy and lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Exercise Often

Aim for at least 30 minutes of continuous aerobic exercise every day. This will increase your energy, help you manage stress, improve your sleep, and lower your risk of developing heart disease, dementia, and mood disorders. Although gyms are closed, you can walk or jog in your neighborhood or one of Austin’s beautiful trails. If you don’t have your own exercise bike or treadmill, there are a number of online workouts that can serve as your guide. It’s also important to keep your strength as you age. Here is a link to some strengthening exercises you can do at home without weights. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/30-day-strength-training-routine-no-equipment-required-ncna988936

Prioritize your relationships with friends and family

In our fast-paced world in which there is always more to do, it is easy to neglect spending time with our loved ones. But a wealth of scientific research shows that people are most fulfilled when they are engaged in deep, nurturing relationships. Conversely, chronic loneliness has toxic health effects. Of course, social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 makes it challenging to connect with others. If you live with other people, be intentional about gathering to have fun. Puzzles, games, gardening, and enjoying movies or music together are great ways to connect. Make it a priority to talk on the phone or through video with a friend every day.

Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep every night is crucial for your immune system to work at its best so it can defeat infections such as COVID-19. Sleep will also enable you to better cope with the stress COVID-19 is bringing to all our lives.

Help other people

Caring for people in worse situations than yours can put your problems into perspective and promote gratitude for what you have. Knowing you’ve made a positive impact in somebody else’s life can also increase self-esteem.

Keep a gratitude journal

At the end of the day, write down what you are grateful for.

Meditate

Research suggests practicing meditation may improve high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and insomnia—issues we’re at increased risk for with the stress of COVID-19. During meditation, you focus your attention and set aside the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be causing stress. One simple form of meditation is focusing on your breath as you inhale and exhale. As thoughts inevitably enter your consciousness, gently turn your attention back to your breath. To get started, there are several helpful apps including Headspace, 10% Happier, Insight Timer, and Calm.

Don’t smoke

Smoking markedly increases your risk of coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancers of the oropharynx, lung, and bladder. Smoking also increases the numbers of cells with your lungs with the receptor for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Maintain your health partnership with your doctor

Keep your previously scheduled appointments with your physician. While staying at home because of COVID-19, you can meet with your doctor through a telemedicine appointment. Through a video connection with your phone or computer, you can work with you doctor to ensure your health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, depression, and anxiety are optimally controlled. Your doctor will ensure you are up to date on health maintenance measures such as vaccines and cancer screening. You can also address acute concerns such as respiratory symptoms or your questions about COVID-19. To schedule an appointment with your physician, call 512-454-5171. You can request your previously scheduled appointment be turned into a telemedicine visit.

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