WHEN DO I SEEK EMERGENCY MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR COVID-19 SYMPTOMS?
Watch carefully for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately*:
- Bluish lips or face
- Extreme Difficulty Breathing (gasping for air, unable to talk without catching your breath, severe wheezing, nostrils flaring)
- Severe and Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or disorientation
- Inability to awaken (Unconscious or very difficult to wake up) or difficult to stay awake
- Slurred speech or difficulty speaking (new or worsening)
- New or worsening seizures
- Signs of low blood pressure (too weak to stand, dizziness, lightheaded, feeling cold, pale, clammy skin)
- Dehydration (dry lips and mouth, not urinating much, sunken eyes)
*MAP does not have any emergency medical care locations. Call 911 or call ahead to a local emergency facility (e.g. Augusta University, Doctor’s Hospital, University Hospital). Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
ATTENTION: TO REDUCE THE INCIDENCE OF TRANSMISSION/ILLNESS DUE TO COVID-19, THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES ARE NOW IN EFFECT AT ALL MEDICAL ASSOCIATES PLUS LOCATIONS:
- VISITORS MAY NOT ACCOMPANY ANY PATIENTS TO OUR MAP LOCATIONS. THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTIONS DO APPLY:
- PEDIATRIC PATIENTS MAY BE ACCOMPANIED BY ONE PRE-SCREENED PARENT/GUARDIAN;
- OB PATIENTS MAY BE ACCOMPANIED BY ONE PRE-SCREENED ADULT FAMILY MEMBER; &
- PATIENTS WITH DISABILITIES REQUIRING ASSISTANCE MAY BE ACCOMPANIED BY ONE PRE-SCREENED ADULT CAREGIVER.
- WAITING ROOM CAPACITY HAS BEEN AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE LIMITED TO COMPLY WITH SAFE SOCIAL DISTANCING RECOMMENDATIONS. AFTER CHECK-IN, PATIENTS MAY BE ASKED TO WAIT IN THEIR VEHICLES UNTIL CALLED BY THE MEDICAL ASSISTANT.
- IF YOU HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, YOUR FIRST VISIT FOLLOWING THE DIAGNOSIS WILL BE HELD BY TELEHEALTH, WITH YOU AT HOME AND THE PROVIDER IN THE OFFICE COMMUNICATING WITH YOU. SUBSEQUENTLY, BEFORE BEING SEEN IN ANY ONE OF OUR MEDICAL ASSOCIATES PLUS PRACTICE LOCATIONS YOU MUST:
- QUARANTINE FOR A MINIMUM OF 10 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF DIAGNOSIS OR FIRST DAY OF SYMPTOMS.
- BE FEVER FREE FOR 24 HOURS AT LEAST (WITHOUT TAKING TYLENOL OR ALEVE, ETC.) AND BE SYMPTOM FREE (LINGERING COUGH OR GREATLY DECREASED SYMPTOMS OKAY) FOR A MINIMUM OF 24 HOURS.
- NOT HAVE BEEN HOSPITALIZED FOR MORE THAN 24 HOURS WITH COVID-19
IN THE EVEN OF TESTING POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, AND HAVING NOT MET THE ABOVE CRITERIA, YOU WILL CONTINUE TO BE MANAGED BY TELEHEALTH UNTIL THE PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER OR SPECIALIST SEEING YOU CLEARS YOU TO RETURN TO THE OFFICE.
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS-19
- Dry cough
Less common symptoms:
- Aches and pains
- Sore throat
- Conjunctivitis (pinkeye)
- Loss of taste or smell
- A rash on skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Chest pain or pressure
- Loss of speech or movement
Seek immediate medical attention if you have serious symptoms. Always call before visiting your doctor or health facility. We at Medical Associates Plus will still take care of you, or get you taken care of…however you need to be honest about any symptoms or suspicion of being COVID-19 positive so we may protect our clinical and other staff, our other patients, and everyone’s family members. This is especially important for anyone who may have a chronic illness or have a family member with any high-risk illnesses.
Older adults (65 years and up) and people with severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
Other conditions associated with an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19:
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Cystic Fibrosis or Pulmonary Fibrosis
- Immunocompromised State (Weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant: taking medications that may cause immune suppression
- Other Immune Conditions (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis) in people with other medical conditions like lung disease or heart disease or on disease modifying therapies (DMT)
- Bone Marrow Transplant
- Long-term use of prednisone or similar drugs that weaken your immune system
- Severe Obesity (Body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher)
- Serious Heart Conditions, such as Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Attack or Cardiomyopathies
- Blood Disorders such as Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia
- Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
People with the following conditions might have an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19:
- Asthma (moderate to severe)
- Smoking or Vaping
- Cerebrovascular Disease (CVD)-affects heart or blood vessels and blood supply to the brain
- Coronary artery diseases (CAD) – Angina and myocardial infarction (heart attack)
- Heart Failure,
- Hypertensive Heart Disease,
- Rheumatic Heart Disease,
- Abnormal Heart Rhythms,
- Congenital Heart Disease,
- Valvular Heart Disease,
- Aortic Aneurysms,
- Peripheral Artery Disease,
- Thromboembolic Disease, and
- Venous Thrombosis. (DVT)
Symptoms commonly appear between 2 and 14 days after exposure to someone already infected with COVID-19.
IN ADDITION TO THESE EVERYDAY PRECAUTIONS, IF YOU ARE AT HIGHER RISK OF INFECTION OR OF DEVELOPING SERIOUS COVID-19 SYMPTOMS, YOU MAY WANT TO ALSO TAKE THESE PRECAUTIONS:
- KEEP A 30-DAY SUPPLY OF YOUR PRESCRIPTIONS AND OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATIONS
- BE SURE THAT YOUR VACCINATIONS ARE ALL UP TO DATE: ESPECIALLY THE INFLUENZA AND PNEUMONIA. BEING ILL WITH EITHER FLU OR PNEUMONIA MAY WORSEN YOUR HEALTH OUTCOME IF YOU ALSO CATCH COVID-19
- CONSIDER DOING YOUR MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS VIA PHONE OR VIDEO CONFERENCE SO YOU DO NOT HAVE TO COME INTO THE OFFICE AND BE AROUND OTHERS WHO MAY HAVE SOME INFECTIOUS ILLNESSES
- MINIMIZE SIZE OF GROUPS FOR SOCIAL VISITS, STILL STAY 6 FEET APART, AND TRY TO BE OUTSIDE FOR THESE INTERACTIONS
- DO NOT EAT IN RESTAURANTS: EITHER SIT IN OUTSIDE SEATING OR TAKE OUT
- IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, DO NOT USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION (BUSES) OR RIDE SHARES (UBER, LYFT) IF YOU DO USE THESE, WEAR A MASK ENTIRE TIME IN VEHICLE
- STILL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW UP WITH YOUR PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER (DOCTOR, NURSE-PRACTITIONER, PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT) AND ANY SPECIALIST PROVIDERS DURING THIS TIME. CONTACT THE OFFICE TO BE ADVISED ON WHETHER TO HAVE A VIRTUAL VISIT, IN PERSON VISIT, ETC.
- CHRONIC CARE MANAGEMENT STILL IS VERY IMPORTANT DURING COVID-19: DO NOT LET YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE OR BLOOD SUGAR, ETC. GET OUT OF CONTROL AND NOT BE ADDRESSED BECAUSE OF YOUR FEAR OF BECOMING COVID-19 POSITIVE.
- SCREENINGS FOR CANCER—MAMMOGRAPHY, PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING, COLON CANCER SCREENING (FIT TESTING AND/OR COLONOSCOPY) ARE ALL STILL NEEDED AS THEY WERE PRIOR TO COVID-19 AND WILL BE AFTER COVID-19 IS UNDER CONTROL.
If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please do not show up unannounced at a testing location, an emergency room, or any health care facility. In the event of an emergency call 9-1-1. After honestly informing whomever you contact with these details, you will be taken care of by emergency services (ambulance, ER, etc.) or your own primary care provider depending on the circumstances. Please recognize that every person working in the healthcare arena needs to know how to receive you into their facilities for your best care, while keeping you and the doctors and nurses and all other patients, staff, and our communities safe.