News: COVID Cases are Spiking - Stay Calm

You have seen in the news that COVID cases are spiking. In the past week, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of positive tests (now over a 15% positivity rate) as well as hospitalizations. Governor Pritzker has encouraged everyone stay-at-home and will likely make it an order by early next week.

In an effort to stay ahead of the risks associated with the pandemic, we are planning to cancel upcoming wellness exams. We will see patients in the office, as needed. Our physicians and staff will continue to be available according to our regular schedule during the closure.

We have reached a point in the pandemic where we need to stay home. Infections are widespread and occurring at a record setting pace. Testing facilities are overwhelmed and the hospitals are quickly filling up. Wearing masks and staying distant is critical. Social functions, even if outside, should include masks and social distancing in small groups (< 10 people). It is best to go out for essential needs only.

With all of that said, stay calm! Remember the following:

  1. The majority of infections are mild. Overall, the severity of infections is currently lower than it was in the spring.
  2.  Treatment is based on symptom relief. Many of the medications that you hear about in the news are reserved for severe, hospitalized patients.
  3. At this point, testing is not mandatory.
    1. Standing in line at a testing facility can increase your risk and results are taking longer to come back making them more irrelevant.
    2. If you were exposed to someone who has tested positive or who is ill, you require a 14 day quarantine, regardless of any test result. (yes, we should all be quarantined as discussed above).
    3. If you have flu-like symptoms, please call us to discuss next steps.
  4. Up to 40% of infections are asymptomatic yet these people can still be spreaders.
  5. Staying home will ultimately reduce new infections and help preserve hospital capacity.

The upcoming holidays will also present a challenge given where we are in the pandemic. We are recommending against any gatherings outside of household contacts. There is a high likelihood of contracting the virus during travel or while eating unmasked with family and friends outside of your immediate household.

We are all exhausted by the restrictions and limitations the pandemic has put on our lives. We are in the middle of a second wave that is looking more severe than the first. Please take a deep breath and hunker down for the next several weeks. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are close and they will make a big impact. We will send more information next week.

In the meantime, stay in touch with us as needed. We will continue to be available when you need us.