To our valued patients,
We at Pain and Spine Specialists wanted to update you on the current status of our practice with regards to COVID-19. We are staying current with the guidelines from the CDC to help protect our patients, their families, and our staff and the community.
We are continuing to stay in contact with local hospitals and the Maryland Health Department to put in effect any new procedures and policies to contain the spread of the virus.
Remember, it is still flu season and the likelihood of having either the flu, another non COVID-19 virus is still more likely even with symptoms of sore throat, fever, and cough. In addition, pollen counts are going up and allergy season has begun.
As of today, there is no available treatment or vaccine for the virus and therefore protecting ourselves with standard procedures is key.
- Avoid going to mass gatherings with over 50 attendees.
- If you have chronic health problems or over the age of 60, consider avoiding gatherings of over 10.
- Limit exposure to the building where healthcare is performed to protect yourselves.
- If you are in the high-risk group, avoid exposures to grocery stores and pharmacies.
Stay home when you are sick. If you have a fever, sore throat, cough or other infectious symptoms please quarantine yourself. You can call us or do a virtual visit with us through Telemedicine, but we are recommending staying out of doctors’ offices, urgent care centers or ER unless there is severe shortness of breath or any other life-threating issue.
- Self-quarantine if you have returned from international travel
- Wear a facemask if you are sick
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
- If you are caring for others: If the person who is sick is not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with the person who is sick should not stay in the same room with them, or they should wear a facemask if they enter a room with the person who is sick.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Cover: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined trash can.
- Wash hands: Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean your hands often
- Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
- Soap and water: Soap and water are the best options if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid routine appointments for medicine or dentistry, reschedule elective surgery, and avoid getting any non-essential lab work or radiology testing.
- Standard precautions: – wash your hands regularly and especially if touching any metal, doorknobs, and hands
- Cough and sneeze in your elbow, shoulder, or tissue but not your hand
- Disinfect surfaces regularly including cell phones
Testing is reserved for those who are at high risk.
As of 3/13/20 – these are the guidelines from the Maryland Board of Physicians:
- Asymptomatic persons do not need to be tested.
- Mildly symptomatic patients who are otherwise healthy can self -quarantine, monitoring temperature, and symptoms and check in with the provider as needed. These patients do not need to be tested.
- Patients who have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, should seek care immediately. Older patients and individuals who have underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their physician early in the course of even mild illness. In most situations, those patients will need to be evaluated in an emergency department.
It has been advised to contact the ER ahead of time to let them know someone is coming. If suspicion is high, it is advised to have the person wait in their car and have the ER staff come get you for further evaluation.
The situation is rapidly changing, and we will update you all when we can. Remember being afraid and excessive worry is not helpful and may work against healing. Focus on getting high nutrient foods, getting restorative sleep, keeping a calm mind and continue a regular exercise program to help support your immune system.