BACKGROUND ON COVID-19

THE VIRUS, HOW IT SPREADS, SYMPTOMS, AND TREATMENT

Please visit the CDC website for additional information on COVID-19, including symptoms and how it spreads, and for additional updates and guidance as they become available during this dynamic time: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

Please also reference a factsheet developed by the CDC on COVID-19:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf

COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets. To become infected, you must be within six feet of someone who is contagious and come into contact with these droplets. It is possible to contract COVID-19 by touching surfaces or objects that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Symptoms of COVID-19 appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days, or as long as 14 days after exposure. To be cautious, many governments are requiring an isolation period of 14 days after returning from endemic areas.

There is currently no FDA approved medication for COVID-19. Those infected with COVID-19 should receive rest, fluids and fever control to help relieve symptoms. In severe cases, treatment includes care to support vital organ functions.

PREVENTION

Visit the CDC website for comprehensive information regarding COVID-19 and recommended preventative actions:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

Currently, there is no vaccine available.

  • Wash your hands often, using soap and water, for at least 15-20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with anyone who may be sick.
  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people.
    • Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
    • Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Use standard household cleansers and wipes to effectively clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season. The CDC recommends getting vaccinated, taking daily preventative actions to stop the spread of germs, taking flu antivirals when prescribed, and as outlined on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.If you are sick, wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth

  • You should wear a cloth face covering, over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people or animals, including pets (even at home).
  • You don’t need to wear the cloth face covering if you are alone. If you can’t put on a cloth face covering (because of trouble breathing for example), cover your coughs and sneezes in some other way. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people. This will help protect the people around you.

More details and a tutorial on making a cloth face covering can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

FAQ

We are taking necessary precautions on behalf of our patients, visitors and caregivers. If you are scheduled for a wellness exam or other non-essential visit in the next two weeks, please call us to reschedule for at least 30 days from your scheduled date or to explore telehealth options.

We are closely monitoring this evolving situation and our clinicians and leadership are meeting regularly and communicating proactively to prepare.

If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, or are otherwise concerned you have COVID-19, we ask that you do not come to any of our offices or facilities without calling your primary care physician or engaging with a provider through a virtual visit to be evaluated.  We’d ask you to have a clinical evaluate your situation to determine if you need to be seen in-person and if you meet CDC guidelines for testing for COVID-19 based on symptoms, travel and exposures.

Lifeline Medical Associates is now offering video-based telehealth, so you can stay home and still receive care. Telehealth and virtual visits allows you to connect to your healthcare provide remotely over video, and is a great alternative for visits that do not need a physical exam.

This is great for problem visits, follow-up visits, reviewing laboratory and test results, medication questions and refills. See below for a complete list of telehealth visits we currently offer.

We are here to help keep you and your family healthy and safe as we navigate COVID-19 together.

We can only offer this to existing Lifeline patients. To hold a virtual visit, you will have to schedule an appointment with your provider. You will need a phone, tablet or computer with a built in camera and with internet or cellular access.

Visit our website to call your provider to schedule a telehealth visit.

Lifeline Medical Associates is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak by following CDC, World Health Organization, and our medical societies’ recommendations and protocols.  We are closely monitoring this evolving situation and our clinicians and leadership are meeting regularly and communicating proactively to continue to respond to the challenges.

Please reference the New Jersey Department of Health’s website (https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_schoolbusiness.shtml) and hotline for the public:

General COVID-19 Questions: 2-1-1 (7a-11p)

Medical COVID-19 Questions: 1-800-962-1253

Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive alerts

  1. Insurance/Coverage and Benefits: We’d encourage you to call your insurance provider with any questions specific to your benefits and coverage related to COVID-19.  Many insurance companies have updated their guidelines and reimbursement regarding telemedicine, beyond COVID-19 related tests and visits.
  2. Travel Guidelines for COVID-19: Please visit the CDC website for information specific to COVID-19 for travelers and for the travel industry: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
  3. Additional Guidance and Information can be found on these websites:

Limited data shows that pregnancy does not make someone more likely to get COVID-19.  However, pregnancy does change your immune system, making you more susceptible to some viral respiratory infections. Since the virus spreads mainly from person-to-person contact, it’s recommended that pregnant women protect themselves the same way as the general public.  This includes:

  • Wash hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if you can’t wash them
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Atay home as much as possible
  • If you need to go out in public, stay at least 6 feet away from other people and wear a face covering
  • Avoid people who are sick

Although the data is limited, current reports show that pregnant women don’t have more severe symptoms than the general public. Research is taking place to get more information on how COVID-19 affects pregnancy. In previous data, women with other non-COVID-19 coronavirus infections do not show increased rates of miscarriage or stillbirth.

Mother to baby transmission of this virus during pregnancy is unlikely, but a newborn is susceptible to the virus after birth due to person-to-person spread.  A very small number of babies have tested positive for COVID-19 after birth.  However, it is unknown if the babies got the virus before or after birth. Data has shown that babies infected with COVID-19 have much milder cases.

Many patients, especially if they have a low-risk pregnancy, will have less in-person visits. Lifeline Medical Associates is now offering video-based telehealth so that you can stay home and still receive care. Telehealth is a good way to get the care that you need while preventing the spread of the disease. You may be asked to weigh yourself and take your blood pressure at home.  Your provider will discuss your appointment schedule and any other details with you.  If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) please call the office prior to going in for your appointment.

Hospitals are taking great precautions to keep patients and health care providers safe.  The safest place to deliver your baby is at a hospital or birth center and not at home. Speak with your ob-gyn or midwife regarding your birth plan.  Most moms and babies, if healthy, are spending less time in the hospital after they give birth.

Hospitals are limiting the number of visitors to just one support person during the outbreak of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread.  The number of visitors will depend on the kind of spread in your community and other factors.  Many hospitals consider a doula to be a visitor, so please check with your hospital on their policy.

If you do not have COVID-19 or have symptoms of the virus, the hospital will not separate you from your baby.

If you do test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, it may be recommended that you be separated from your baby to decrease the risk of transmission to your baby.

Breast milk is the best source of nutrition, providing protection against many illnesses.  We recommend that you express breast milk with a pump and have someone who is not sick feed the baby. You will need to pump frequently to maintain your milk supply. It is important that you wash your hand and clean your breasts before pumping.

You can continue to work in a clinical setting adhering to the general infection prevention and control guidance from the CDC.  We recommend that you ask your employer to consider limiting your exposure to patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, especially during higher risk procedures (e.g. aerosol generating procedures such as intubation, CPR, airway suctioning, and sputum collection).  We also recommend for pregnant healthcare workers to avoid in-person patient contact after 37 weeks to decrease the risk of getting infected and of mother-infant separation after birth.

For information about obtaining help with your medical bills during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit and review this document.

CONTACT

Please contact your provider with any questions.

We are following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and will incorporate the most recent updates into this site as frequently as possible. Content on this site was last updated 04.03.20 and content has been updated in accordance with the latest guidelines from the CDC and the individual states where a care center resides. For the latest information about COVID-19 including how it spreads, prevention, symptoms and treatment, please visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.

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