COVID-19 Updates

There is a lot of information and news about COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. Below are some frequently asked questions and resources related to COVID-19.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possible their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Source:  cdc.gov

Yes.  The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Source:  cdc.gov

Know How It Spreads

  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

Take Steps To Protect Yourself

Clean your hands often!

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, us a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. 19

Avoid close contact

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.  This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Source:  cdc.gov

The incubation period means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease.  Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days.  As more information becomes available, these estimates may change.

Source:  World Health Organization (who.int)

Handwashing is the single most important piece of advice to help us stay safe from COVID-19 according to WebMD.com.

Handwashing with soap and water is a far more powerful weapon against germs than many of us realize.

Coronaviruses are encased in a lipid envelope, basically a layer of fat.  Soap can break that fat apart and make the virus unable to infect you.

Soap also makes skin so that with enough rubbing, we can pry germs off and rinse them away.

Wash Your Hands Properly

  • Turn on the water.  It doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold.
  • Lather up.
  • Scrub for at least 20 seconds, paying attention to the backs of your hands, the lower palm, fingernails and nail beds.
  • Dry your hands.
  • Use a clean paper towel to open the bathroom door.

Wash Often

  • Before, during and after food prep.
  • Before eating.
  • Before and after tending to someone who is sick.
  • Before and after treating a cut or other wound.
  • After going to the bathroom.
  • After changing diapers or helping a child in the bathroom.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • After touching an animal, or touching pet food or waste.
  • After touching garbage.

Source:  WebMD.com

These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately.  Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This is not all inclusive.  Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Source:  cdc.gov

If you are experiencing symptoms, it’s best to call ahead and discuss this with your local health care provider.  We can then further advise if you’re safe to monitor at home or if you should be seen in the clinic, the ER, or by virtual appointment.

Symptoms you should be monitoring for are fever, cough, shortness of breath, and/or sore throat. A fever is defined at 100.4 degrees. Particularly if you’re working in the health care industry, we want to know if you have a temp of 100.0 or higher. Please check your temperature if you think you may have been exposed to COVID or are experiencing symptoms.

There has been some concern regarding the use of ibuprofen to treat symptoms of the coronavirus.  If you have questions, please consult your medical provider.

As always, if you have any concerns, don’t be afraid to call your physician for guidance. We want to continue treating patient’s chronic health conditions and other issues that may arise.

Even though Coronavirus is at the forefront right now, people are still going to get sick from other causes and still need their health maintenance visits, at least to a certain extent.

Cases of coronavirus have been reported in all states and many countries.  At this time, the best defense against the spread of this virus is isolation.  Unless travel is necessary, it is not recommended.

The 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.

Cloth face coverings should not be used on children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to removed the mask without assistance.

The cloth face coverings recommended are NOT surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.

Source: cdc.gov

Please see the attached guidelines from the CDC for making a face mask.


Cloth face coverings should be washed after you have been around others.  A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.

Source:  cdc.gov

Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing a face covering, and wash hands immediately after removing.  Do not remove the face covering and lay it on your counter, or a table.  Take immediately to the laundry.

Source:  cdc.gov

COVID-19 should be taken very seriously.  The coronavirus is new, so we don’t personally have immunity to it yet, and we don’t have a vaccine to help us build immunity before we are exposed. For a majority of people who do contract the disease, it will be mild, but for some, it will be very serious and possibly fatal.

Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:

  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:

  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People who are immunocompromised (cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiences, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of immune weakening medications)
  • People with severe obesity (body mass index of 40 or higher)
  • People with diabetes
  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • People with liver disease

Source:  cdc.gov

There is a lot of misinformation out there. It is always best practice to do your own research with reputable sources. We check daily, sometimes more often, for updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organizations (WHO) and Two Rivers Public Health Department.

CDC – www.cdc.gov

WHO – www.who.int

Two Rivers Public Health – www.trphd.org

At Family Medical Specialties, we have been prepared for an influx of patients in need of care related to COVID-19.

We have opened a new Acute Care Clinic in a separate location to provide all individuals who are either infectious or possibly infectious with care through in-person and telehealth visits. This allows sick patients to avoid the risk of exposure to other patients who are in our Main Clinic for their well check and follow-up appointments.

The new Acute Care Clinic is located within the Phelps Medical Plaza. This is in the same building as our regular clinic but provides distance and separation to increase the safety for all our patients and staff. We will have patients enter on the east side of the building through door 9.

We also offer Telehealth Virtual Visits. These allow you to have an appointment with your provider over a video call on your phone, tablet or computer.

Our staff will work with you to find the best solution so that we can care for your needs.

Schedule an appointment for our Main Clinic, our New Acute Care Clinic, or an appointment for a Telehealth Visit by calling us at 308-995-4431.

To best prepare for your visit to our Acute Care Clinic, and to protect our other patients and staff, we request that our visiting patients follow these steps:

  • Park on the East Side of the Building
  • Enter through Door 9
  • Walk straight ahead to the hand washing station
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water. Turning off the faucet with a towel.
  • Put on a face mask provided by the clinic
  • Check in at reception, and they will provide your with paperwork, and instruct you on your next steps.

Watch this short video for a visual step-by-step process of our protocols for visiting patients to our Acute Care Clinic


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- Patient

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