Coronavirus Update - March 12
As you are all aware, the world is facing a widespread outbreak of a disease known asCovid-19 which is caused by a coronavirus. At Milford Regional Physician Group (MRPG), we strive to provide you with the safest environment possible. To that end, our physicians and staff would like to update you regarding the extra precautions we are taking and to provide you information that you should know about the disease.
If you have mild cold or flu-like symptoms, we encourage you to stay home. Most people can treat their symptoms at home with rest and use of acetaminophen, ibuprofen and cough medication for treatment of fevers, body aches, cough and congestion. We also encourage you to stay away from others so that they don’t get sick too. If you feel the need to see a doctor, or you are experiencing severe symptoms, please call your physician’s office or use the patient portal to message us. You will be asked a series of questions, such as where you may have traveled in the last 14 days, and directed accordingly.
If you think you may have come into contact with someone who has traveled to one of the countries with a widespread outbreak – China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, South Korea, Italy, and Japan – or someone who was diagnosed with Covid-19, and you have respiratory symptoms such as cough or difficulty breathing, please call your physician’s office and you will be directed accordingly. If you are told to go to one of our offices, urgent care sites or the emergency room, please wear a mask to your appointment if possible or ask for one as soon as you arrive. You may be met outside by a healthcare worker and given a mask to wear prior to entering the facility.
If you are experiencing life threatening conditions like severe shortness of breath, dehydration or other complications, do not hesitate to call 911.
As affiliates of Partners Healthcare, we also wanted to make you aware of a hotline they have set up for questions related to coronavirus. The hotline will operate from 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week and will be staffed by nurses and clinical experts across the network:
Supporting Clinicians, Patients and the Public
Phone Number: 617-724-7000
The vast majority of Covid-19 cases produce mild to moderate illness and do not require hospitalization. Often times, people can recover at home. The steps to protect yourself from Covid-19 are generally the same as those for the flu:
- We encourage everyone to practice excellent hand hygiene—washing frequently throughout the day with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds). When soap and water is not practical, alcohol-containing hand sanitizer (70% alcohol) is an acceptable substitute.
- Avoid close contact with sick people
- Cough/sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve or elbow to reduce the spread of infection
- Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth)
The Centers for Disease Control does NOT recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from the flu, Covid-19 or other respiratory illnesses. Face masks should ONLY be used by people who show symptoms of these diseases to help prevent spread of the disease to others.
Common sense is important: if you feel ill, even mildly ill, limit your exposure to others. Don’t go to work sick. Treat your symptoms at home and call your physician with questions. A mild illness in one person could be passed along to another and cause a life threating one. If you have previously scheduled a follow up appointment, physical, or tests with a health care provider— and are ill, please reschedule.
Lastly, this situation is very fluid and there is still much that we don’t know about this disease. Please pay attention to the public health authorities, and we at MRPG will also continue to update you.
Liz Siraco, MD
Milford Regional Physician Group