Members: A Letter From Bakersfield Family Medical Center

Members: A Letter From Bakersfield Family Medical Center

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March 16, 2020

CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

Dear Valued Bakersfield Family Medical Center Member:

We are working closely with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor COVID-19. The safety of our patients, employees, physicians and our community is our primary concern.

BFMC is proactively working to address health fears during this emerging pandemic. We are also engaging with our healthcare partners, to communicate a uniform message to inform our community on what to expect and how to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Please read the following guidelines to ensure we are able to effectively manage the number of anticipated patients seeking screening, testing, and treatment.

  • If you are over the age of 65 OR have multiple health conditions the California Department of Public Health is currently recommending home quarantine which requires severely limiting a persons exposure to public spaces and personal interactions. Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and other individuals. Elderly patients with multiple conditions (CHF, COPD, Diabetes) are at greatest risk of significant illness.
  • Practice good hand washing and cough/sneeze etiquette. Do not touch your face and avoid shaking hands, hugging or other close person to person contact.
  • If you are exhibiting symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 infection – fever, cough, sore throat, and increased phlegm call us first for instructions (661) 616-9764 or call your Primary Care Physician. Do not come to the urgent care or your primary care physician (PCP) office if you are experiencing only mild symptoms. Call us first and we can triage a safe plan of care and if you need testing. Most patients will be managed under home quarantine. Only visit the ER if you are experiencing severe respiratory conditions and are having trouble breathing. Otherwise expect to be given instructions on self-care under home isolation.
  • It is projected that over 80% of COVID-19 cases will be managed at home, under home isolation as symptoms are usually mild in younger or healthier patients. Our hospitals need to be reserved for the sickest patients only.
  • Be expected to answer some screening questions regarding the COVID-19 virus such as:
    • Have you traveled to any areas where active coronavirus outbreaks have occurred (Examples include China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, France, Spain, Iran, Seattle and New York)?
    • Do you currently have a fever or any lower respiratory illness (severe productive cough, shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing on exhale) and, in the last 14 days before the onset of symptoms, traveled to any of the above areas?
    • Have you been exposed to or in close contact (less than 6 feet) to anyone who is under investigation for coronavirus while that person was ill?

Your good health is our mission. Should you have any questions, please contact BFMC or visit our website for information at BFMC.com.

Sincerely –

Your Bakersfield Family Medical Center Coronavirus Task Force

FAST FACTS FOR PATIENTS ABOUT COVID-19

 Similar to other respiratory illnesses like influenza, coronavirus generally spreads from an infected person to others via:

  • Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes
  • Close personal contact (within about six feet), such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

According to the CDC, COVID 19 has a very low mortality rate. The populations most affected are those who are elderly with comorbidities or who are immunocompromised.

HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF FROM COVID-19?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases,  including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then
  • throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or bleach wipe
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations regarding facemasks:
    • CDC does NOT recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
    • The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

Additional trusted resources: