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COVID-19 August Update

 

To the patients of the Family Practice Center: 

It has been several months since we updated our patients on our clinic’s response to COVID. We are grateful for the concern for our safety that many of you have expressed, and we are honored to care for you. COVID continues to be a real concern, and below are the ways we are working with our patients to keep them and our community safe. 

First, we continue to review how we care for patients in the time of COVID. We are seeing patients for preventive, chronic disease, and urgent/acute care services. We are using virtual video and/or telephone visits for certain symptoms or for those who prefer not to come into clinic. We plan to offer such visits as long as they are covered by insurance and your doctor thinks the can evaluate you well remotely. If you would like to be seen virtually by video or phone, please alert our staff when you call/message to make an appointment. For patients due for sports physicals and pre-school year wellness exams, we are ready to see you and get you set up for the new school year. 

We are requiring all staff and patients to wear masks in all patient care areas to prevent spreading COVID. More and more studies point to wearing masks as being one of the easiest and most important ways to prevent the spread. We encourage patients to wear masks in all public places. Wearing a mask does not make it safe to seek out crowds, but masks are critical to keeping our community safe when we do necessary tasks like grocery shopping. 

In the coming weeks, schools are scheduled to begin. This leads to questions on how to keep safe as people come back together in new ways. There are not always universal, easy answers. We need to ask questions of the places we go: How are you keeping me and my family safe? What will happen when a person has COVID symptoms? How will we find out if we have potentially been exposed? To be prepared, places should have answers in place and share them freely. 

Schools and classrooms will have processes in place. Each student should have a plan – wear a mask even if not required, use hand sanitizer. If a student or family is at higher risk for COVID complications, most schools will have a remote learning option available. As you decide which option is best for you think about these questions: Am I or the people I live high risk? If I am exposed to COVID, how will I isolate myself so that I don’t spread it to others? Talk about these questions with your family, friends, and social groups. Talk about them with your doctor if you unsure how to answer them. We can’t always answer them for you, but we can help you think about how to reduce risk. 

Finally, as COVID continues to spread, tests are in high demand. The more people who are tested the longer it takes to get results. For that reason, we are testing people in clinics who either 1) have COVID symptoms or 2) have a significant exposure to someone with COVID AND risk factors for complications from COVID. If patients have an exposure to COVID but neither symptoms nor risk factors for complications, or just want to be tested, we are referring those patients to Test Iowa at this time. We will continue to update our policy as testing continues to change. 

Dr. Huwe has recorded an educational video about COVID which is available here: https://youtu.be/qGFNYXM8rlQ 

Please contact us with question or concerns. 

Sincerely, 

Adam Roise, MD, MPH, FAAFP Medical Director

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