North Atlanta Primary Care

COVID-19 Update Article

Coronavirus Update #3

Posted on March 18, 2020 by Physicians and Staff at NAPC

NAPC continues to receive your questions and concerns on our patient portal. We will continue to use our updates to communicate with our patients as this healthcare crisis evolves. Our 12 offices remain open and our goal is to keep you healthy and to protect our staff.

Question: What should I do when I have a chronic medical condition and require ongoing healthcare?

As a patient with chronic diseases you are most at risk for complications due to COVID-19. Coupled with age greater than 60 you are at the highest risk. Our patients with high risk medical history that develop fever and upper respiratory symptoms should contact our office immediately for advice, a tele-health appointment and consider CIVID-19 testing.

Some specific advice:

Diabetes: Make sure you stay on your medications, check blood glucose regularly, stay hydrated, exercise daily and eat properly. If your HgA1C is above 8.0 % you should be communicating with your doctor and titrating your medication. If your blood sugar is over 250mg/dl call your physician. If you develop a mild illness your blood sugar may spike so check it more frequently and CALL your physician. You may consider a virtual or in person appointment.

High Blood Pressure: We do not know why but patients with hypertension appear to be at very high risk of complications with Covid-19. Stay very compliant with medications and diet. Exercise or walk daily. Avoid foods high in sodium. If you develop ankle swelling, weight gain, light headedness, or BP over 160/100 please call your physician.

Congestive Heart Failure: We are fortunate that many of our CHF patients have great care coordinated with our Cardiologists on staff nearby. Please stay on your medications and appropriate diets. Please weigh yourself daily and record your weight. Even a sudden 5-10 # weight gain is important and you should call your physician. Any chest pain or shortness of breath must be reported to your physician immediately. Do not let your symptoms progress. Your physician will make all efforts to keep you out of the Emergency room. Early intervention with a virtual or in person appointment may be necessary.

Asthma and COPD: Chronic lung disease is a major risk factor for the complications of pneumonia even with a mild case of COVID-19 or the flu. Make sure you protect your airways, use your inhalers, do not smoke, and avoid all individuals that are sick. Stay compliant with all medications and measure your lung functions as directed. Keep extra “rescue” inhalers available as required. Call your physician with any exacerbation, wheezing, upper respiratory infection or shortness of breath.

Immunosuppression, Cancer, HIV: Anything that has your immune system currently depressed makes you seriously at risk for complications from COVID-19. While receiving chemotherapy do not go out in public. Talk with your Oncologists about scheduling chemotherapy visits at appropriate intervals. Individuals on biologics for rheumatoid disease or inflammatory bowel disease must also follow this advice. HIV patients with undetectable viral loads should stay on their anti-viral regiments and are not felt to be at higher risk, but should continue to monitor treatments and viral loads every 3-4 months.

Our goal is to keep all of our patients out of the emergency room and especially our patients who are at highest risk for complications from COVID-19. Please call our offices for questions or to schedule an urgent visit. A visit to your physician at the office is currently safe and can help us keep you healthy. Virtual office visits through tele-health are coming on-line very soon. Do not go to ER for COVID-19 testing. Our offices have limited testing kits available and will make sure you get tested if you meet the high risk guidelines. Drive through testing is also going to be available this week.  We continue to monitor CDC, WHO and Georgia DPH guidelines. Our goal is to keep you healthy and safe during this healthcare crisis. Please stay at home and care for yourself, your family and your neighbors. Visit www.napc.md where we will continue to post updates and guidance. Call or use the patient portal for specific questions as we move to offer “Virtual Visits” and Tele-healthcare visits.

Thank you for your trust and stay safe and healthy.

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