North Atlanta Primary Care

COVID-19 Update Article

Coronavirus Update #15

Posted on June 30, 2020 by Physicians and Staff at NAPC

NAPC remains alerted to the fact that Georgia now is amongst the states with a greater than 50% increase in reported COVID-19 cases. We are continually refining our NAPC policies and protocols to keep our patients safe and informed. The increased testing and the increased prevalence in our community of SARS-nCoV-2 will increase the number of ER admissions, and ICU bed usage in the upcoming weeks. Unfortunately, the numbers of patients who will develop COVID-19 will rise exponentially. What can you do? Remember to ultimately be responsible for your health and that of your family. Continue to adhere to the 3 Ws:

  • W. WEAR A FACE MASK.
  • W. WASH YOUR HANDS.
  • W. WATCH YOUR SOCIAL DISTANCING.

What is NAPC doing to address the ongoing COVID-19 threat?
All 12 NAPC offices remain open to evaluate all patients. We appreciate your trust and referrals. Our staff remains diligent in protecting themselves and YOU. Our COVID-19 task force continues to monitor the CDC and GA DPH for best clinical practices and guidelines. Our staff keeps our clinic offices sanitized, safe and clean. Our patients with ongoing chronic conditions, such as, heart disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes, obesity, anxiety/depression, cancer, immunosuppression, dementia, kidney failure are all at risk for complications from neglecting their healthcare, as well as, severe complications from COVID-19. We will continue to provide healthcare to you via both virtual visits (using telehealth) and in person office visits, following our strict COVID procedures and protocols. Important health reminders:

  • If you are experiencing any upper respiratory symptoms, fever or exposure to a known COVID positive patient, you must call and meet with a provider in a virtual visit BEFORE coming to office.
  • All patients will be screened at the front for an elevated temperature.
  • All COVID high-risk patients will be escorted to a secure treatment area.
  • Testing for the SARS-CoV-2 is a decision best discussed with your physician/provider.
  • Self-isolation is still the best recommendation if you have a fever, cough, or known exposure to COVID-19.
  • Contacting us at the NAPC Follow My Health Patient Portal is encouraged for questions, and routine requests. It is NOT for emergencies.
  • Testing for SARS-CoV-2 is increasing at many locations and can be found online.
  • COVID-19 point of care testing with Abbott ID NOW is available in all 12 clinics. We have limited testing kits each week. Each test requires about 30 minutes so we must manage the use of this test for scheduled patients. If you have COVID symptoms please call, schedule a quick virtual visit and we will coordinate care.
  • COVID-19 diagnostic testing from Quest is available in all 12 clinics. Results are delayed due to increased volumes.
  • Serology testing for COVID antibodies is available in all 12 clinics.

Can NAPC patients obtain at home COVID-19 testing?
Currently the FDA has authorized several companies to offer at home self-testing for COVID-19. This method of screening means less exposure for both you and healthcare workers. However, the results for each test are delayed by transit and processing time. Each of these diagnostic companies have received a EUA or Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA. You must go the company website to initiate the testing process. Once your results are back the company will contact you by phone, email or app to follow up. NAPC will work with our patients to help manage any positive results, but please remember to self-isolate and contact us via a virtual visit.

Is it safe to fly now?
Airlines are lifting flight restrictions and on July 1st many are filling all seats with little or no distancing. There are significant risks involved as airports are becoming more crowded and transportation hubs with connecting flights mix people from all over the world. You will also encounter many high touch surfaces and close interactions with airport agents. You must wear a mask, practice social distancing and use scrupulous hand hygiene. However, the risk of encountering SARS-CoV-2 is high and you must ask yourself is it worth the risk? Of course each person has a different risk tolerance, age and co-morbid conditions that will affect their decision. Lastly, remember many places will require you to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Which activities are safer during vacation to avoid COVID-19?
It is hard for society to live in a bubble and continuously self-isolate. Our mental and spiritual well-being is important to our overall health. Here are a few examples of activities that are lower risk:

  • Exercising outdoors: You can do this either alone or in a socially distanced manner. Golf, running, cycling, and hiking are all low risk activities. Avoid contact sports such as soccer and basketball. It is safer to not share a ball.
  • Attending a backyard gathering: Of course this is best with your family with whom you have been quarantined. As friends gather keep a social distance, avoid sharing food and drink. Avoid too much alcohol as it lowers your inhibitions and judgement.
  • Spending a day at the beach: Unfortunately, Florida is closing beaches due to the fact crowds have not behaved well. If you do get to the beach remember to keep a social distance from others both on the land and in the water. Avoid crowded entry points, restrooms and parking lots.
  • Going camping: Great escape as this is especially safe if it’s in an isolated area, with your household members and few other people around. Once again avoid crowded parks, restrooms and picnic areas. Don’t share a tent with anyone other than your family or household.
  • Staying in a vacation rental: Residing with only your household family members would be low risk. Remember to clean high touch surfaces upon arrival.

Final Thoughts:
As we prepare for the annual July 4th Celebrations we are reminded of the greatness of our country and of our right to life and liberty. The last few months have been a tremendous burden on each and every one of us. Even though our scientists and medical experts have made great strides in developing treatments, therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19, the pandemic is far from over. Healthcare leaders remind us that this is only the early phases of the COVID-19 crisis that has resulted in over 125,000 American deaths. All of us have been affected. We must remember that we are in this battle together. NAPC remains committed to your health and well-being. We are proud of our staff, managers, techs, nurses, physicians, advanced providers and our patients for working together to keep our communities safe. Today we reaffirm our commitment and dedication to keeping you healthy and performing our professional duty. Please stay safe, stay home. #NAPCSTRONG.

Thank you for placing your trust and health to NAPC.

Respectfully,

Physicians and Staff at NAPC

Alpharetta: 3400-C Old Milton Parkway, Suite 270, Alpharetta, GA 30005
Braselton: 1255 Friendship Road, Suite 130, Braselton, GA 30517
Cumming: 1800 Northside Forsyth Drive, Suite 450, Cumming, GA 30041
East Cobb: 1121 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 450, Marietta, GA 30068
Johns Creek: 4235 Johns Creek Parkway, Suite A, Suwanee, GA 30024
Sandy Springs: 1150 Hammond Dr., Building E, Suite 310, Atlanta, GA 30328
Sugar Hill: 4700 Nelson Brogdon Blvd., Suite 250, Buford, GA 30518
West Paces: 3200 Downwood Circle NW, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30327
Woodstock: 250 Parkbrooke Place, Suite 300, Woodstock, GA 30189

All locations: 770-442-1911