By now we all have heard about the coronavirus or COVID-19 and how it's effecting the entire world. The purpose of this page is to share some life-saving information and best practices, with respect to your medical health.
Here are some best practices and ideas, that might be helpful as you and your family go through the corona pandemic.
If you need any assistance or have questions please do not hesitate to reach out.
SECTION I: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – General Info
Coronavirus – (COVID-19)
Here’s general information about the coronavirus from the CDC on how to protect yourself and what to do if you are sick.
This is a page from the CDC outlining who’s at risk for getting the virus.
AVMA - Veterinary Medical Association
Does Wearing Gloves Help Prevent Coronavirus?
If going to the grocery store or pharmacy is giving you anxiety, you are not alone! As the number of COVID-19 cases rise many of us are taking extra precautions to avoid contracting the virus.
More and more people are starting to wear mask and are also wondering if they should cover their hands as well with some type of gloves.
Recently, the Center for Disease Control – CDC modified their recommendations regarding wearing some type of face covering or mask but to date has not included hand protection via gloves.
Why gloves don’t protect against coronavirus for the general public
Basically, you cannot get the COVID-19, through touch alone because the virus does not get absorbed through the skin.
The only way you can acquire the virus through touch is by touching something that has been contaminated and then touching your face or eyes. This is what makes wearing gloves useless.
While wearing a glove does create a “protective barrier” the gloves immediately become contaminated when you touch an item like a shopping cart, grocery items others may have touch before you, the card machine at the register etc.
Therefore wearing gloves, for “protection” is not necessarily a good idea! The best strategy is to practice good hand washing technique, do not touch your face and avoid using your phone and carrying a purse while doing your grocery shopping. That way you create less chances of contamination.
Lastly, try to keep some form of hand sanitizer in the car. Your car is a “safe zone” and in order to keep it safe you want to sanitize your hands before you place your “contaminated hands” on the steering wheel! Think about it!
How to Properly Wear a Facemask for COVID-19 Protection
When you have symptoms of a cold, flu, COVID-19, or other infectious viruses, wearing a facemask can help protect others from getting sick. However, it is very important that you properly wear the mask and follow the infection protection precautions when putting it on and taking it off.
How to Put the Mask On
- Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.
- Dry with clean paper towel and immediately throw away.
- Check mask for any tears or defects before putting it on. Throw away if any defects are noticed.
- Make sure the exterior (usually yellow or blue) side of mask is facing out, away from your face.
- Place the mask on your face, with stiff bendable edge at the top of the nose.
- If the mask has ear loops, put one loop around the ear.
- If the mask has ties, pick the mask up by the ties then tie the upper ties behind your head first.
- Once the mask is in place, use your index finger and thumb to pinch the bendable edge of the mask around the
bridge of your nose.
- If the mask has lower ties, then once the mask is in place and fitted on the nose, tie the lower ties behind your head.
- Make sure the mask is completely secure and covers your nose, mouth and the bottom edge is under your chin.
- Wash your hands after you finish securing the mask.
Removing the Mask
- Wash your hands before removing mask.
- Do not touch the inside of the mask (part over the mouth and nose) as it may be contaminated from your breathing, coughing or sneezing.
- Untie or remove the ear loop and remove the mask by the straps.
- Immediately throw the mask away.
- Wash your hands.
Disposable masks are intended to be worn one time. If you are wearing a reusable cloth mask, take the mask off being careful not to touch the front of the mask. Immediately wash the worn mask in hot water inside a pillow case or mesh laundry bag. Either hang to dry or place in dryer.
What do you do if a family member is suspicious of having COVID-19?
You should immediately self-isolate to prevent spreading. Monitor your symptoms and call your doctor.
- Fever (99.9 or greater)
- Body Aches and pains
- Nasal Congestion
- Sore Throat
- Shortness of Breath
After lab test confirms you have COVID-19, continue to isolate yourself away from others until you are no longer contagious (~15 days), but confirm with your doctor.
Being confined to a separate room from others in the house including bathroom. Only one person should be assigned to taking care of the sick individual to prevent others from getting sick. The assigned individual should be responsible for checking on them, providing them with all their needs including but not limited to:
- Liquids (i.e. Water, juices)
- Cleaning supplies etc.
It’s very important, that the care giver use appropriate infectious disease precautions every time they come in contact with the sick family member.
- Good hand washing Technique
- Disinfect Isolation Area
- Eye protection so that you do not touch eyes
Managing Laundry with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19
- Wear gloves when touching a sick person’s laundry
- Don’t shake out dirty laundry
- You can wash sick person’s laundry with other items
- Wash clothes in hot water
- Wash hands immediately after removing gloves
- Disinfect hamper and keep clean
SECTION II: Research & Vaccines
COVID-19 is an emerging and rapidly evolving situation. – Updated daily
COVID-19 is new and scientists understand very little about the virus. The cost to create a vaccine to protect people against this virus will run into billions of dollars and will take months to develop.
Is the coronavirus Test Covered by Insurance?
By now, most doctors are not seeing patients face to face, but rather seeing patience via video conference called Telehealth. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, insurance companies were not covering Telehealth. However, due to the social distancing and the safety of both doctor and patients, Telehealth is now being covered by most insurance plans including Medicare.
Coronavirus Testing Coverage
We all know, that every insurance coverage varies from plan to plan therefore, it’s important to always check with your provider regarding coverage benefits. We do know, that coronavirus testing is being done without cost and insurance should be covering at no cost. Exclusionary tests like the flu, strep and others are not being covered.
Self-funded plans, coverage varies from state regulated plans therefore, a call to check benefits would be recommended. Also, state regulated plan guidelines vary from state to state. Check with your states department of insurance website for details.
Another thing to keep in mind is, many insurance plans end coverage for coronavirus testing & treatment at different dates between 5/31/2020 – 6/15/2020, (no timeline for Medicare). Again, it’s always best to check with your current insurance provider.
Coronavirus Treatment Coverage
Currently, there are NO FDA medication treatments that have been approved and insurance will not cover experimental or clinical trials.
Treatments that are being used are oral medication, intravenous infusion and plasma antibody. These treatment range in cost from $40 - $1,200. The good news is, that on April 14, 2020, Gilead Pharmaceutical CEO announced 1.5 million doses of the antiviral medication remdesivir at no cost for clinical trials.
Because COVID-19 is new, medical experts are literally learning day by day what test and treatments work. Therefore external appeals may be required to get these test and treatments covered by insurance.
SECTION III: Being Prepared For an Emergency or Pandemic
Proactive care Planning – Being Prepared!
“What if you had a sudden, severe illness and could not speak for yourself? Who would you want to speak for you? What would you want them to know about your preferences for care?”
Proactive care planning is very important. However, it’s something we never give much thought of until we are in a crisis. The fear and uncertainty we are all fearing related to the coronavirus is real. Because of such uncertainty, there is one thing we can control and that is, who will speak for you if you find yourself in the position where you can’t speak for yourself.
Your Medical Story - Why is this important to do now?
Because this virus is so fast moving, we need to be prepared. If we have to go to the ER, most of the times a loved one will not be able to accompany us and we will be left to speak for ourselves. SCARY!!
With COVID-19, especially those individual with underling conditions, the likely path would be is to be on a ventilator.
Therefore, you need to make changes to your advance directives, specifically as it relates to COVID-19. Afterwards you can change it. Another reason is, as the virus peeks, we could potentially find some hospitals doing Healthcare rationing.
What is Healthcare rationing?
Healthcare rationing – means that healthcare providers may need to make decisions on whose lives they save and who they take off, or put on ventilators. They will have to prioritize that based on “something”, which is why it’s so important to have your wishes documented.
So the questions that need to be answered are; do you want to be intubated? What future quality of life you would find acceptable? What circumstances you would refuse a ventilator? Having this in writing could benefit you and your healthcare provider, if you find yourself in a rationing position.
Document Your Medical Story
Now is the best time to review your advance directives if you have one. It’s also a good idea to document your medical story. This document provides a snap shot of your medical history that is vital to paramedics/EMTs and emergency room physicians.
Having your medical story in a one page document can be a lifesaving tool. The information provides vital medical information and wishes specifically pertaining to you during an emergency. This information reduces a doctor’s time to understand your medical picture and increases the ability to make sound recommendation for your care.
Are you prepared for a medical emergency? Do you have your medical story in place?
If you answered NO, then simply click on the link below to get a FREE consultation.