COVID-19

Update 24 JULY 2020: Florida reported over 12,000 new cases of COVID today. Our state has performed nearly 1.3 million tests and we have over 400,000 positive cases of confirmed COVID-19. While is it not mandatory, it is advised that everyone wear a mask when in public. People should maintain a social distance of 6 feet. Wash your hands regularly and if you cannot distance, consider wearing a face shield. Currently, Alachua county is planning on public school restarting August 24th at brick-and-mortar school facilities and virtually on August 10th.

Update 26 June 2020: Today, the Florida Department of Health reported 8,733 new cases in our state confirmed in the last 24 hours. 8,733 new cases in one day. Officially, there are 122,950 total confirmed cases of COVID for our state. Since March 1st, Alachua county has 993 cases. TODAY we had 92 new cases and 1 additional death for a total death toll of 12. For Alachua county, the average age of new confirmed cases is 30. The Governor has closed bars again. Wearing masks in public spaces is a state mandate.

Update 15 JUNE 2020: Florida has 75,568 confirmed cases. Alachua county has 541 cases. More tests are being performed as the University is requiring all employees get tested before returning to work. Likewise, LifeSouth is testing the general public searching for antibodies (and immunity). Fellow residents with immunity/antibodies have serum helpful in treating acutely and critically ill patients. The CDC has offered new, updated guidelines. Review them to understand why our office is following certain measures. Our goal is two-fold: keep our patients healthy and manage their other, non-COVID medical issues AND keep our own staff and doctors healthy. We appreciate your help in these goals.

Update for 9 JUNE 2020: There are 64,904 confirmed case in Florida. There are 399 confirmed cases in Alachua county with 8 deaths. Of those positive cases, 83 have been hospitalized and 8 have died. The median age of people being diagnosed is 46. See the state wide data and each county’s reported cases here. Florida is in Phase 2 of reopening and moving into stage 3. All people should wear masks when in public and maintain social distancing except with in-home family members. Wearing a masks protects other people. As we learn more about the COVID-19 infection, we discover how widespread it may be and how many people may be without symptoms. This means you could have it, carry it, spread it and not be sick. That’s why you should wear a mask – to protect others. We are seeing patients in the office after they have been screened and we are doing telemedicine appointments.

Update for 16 April 2020: There are 605,390 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and 24,582 COVID-19 deaths. In Florida, we have 22,897 confirmed cases and 633 deaths. In three weeks the numbers have changed dramatically. Alachua county has 199 cases but not a single confirmed death. The weekly report from the administration from NFRMC states that none of the physicians or nurses have contracted COVID while caring for patients. Across the state, over 1,100 people have recovered. We are eager for testing to become widely available and swift. As of now, we are directing patients to the Emergency Physician Medical Centers for COVID-19 testing.

We are still mandated to socially distance. Our school remain closed. We are advised to wear masks when in public. And as a community, we are all trying to support our small businesses. And odd as it sounds, Primary Care Physicians of Gainesville is also a small business. We are 100% “community supported”. We have not furloughed employees and pray each day we won’t have to. We have applied for a are waiting for confirmation that we will be granted assistance from the PPP Program – which is payroll assistance for our employees. And we are getting daily agility training on transitioning to telemedicine encounters with our patients.

If you have a medical problem or question, we can assist you through the telemedicine platform. Just call the office for your appointment.

Update for 23 March 2020: There are 1171 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Florida. Alachua county has 35 cases. There is a case report published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology regarding gastrointestinal symptoms as the predominant symptoms upon hospital presentation for COVID-19. Read a synopsis here. Several of the cases presenting at UF Shands have had diarrhea as the main symptom. Because of this AND the fact that we cannot get supplies of masks (regular or the N95), we have made the hard decision to cease all SICK patient care in this office. We can evaluate you via telemedicine. We are equipped for tele-encouters. Call and get your appointment with either Dr. Sanders or Abigail Eley. By doing this, we can maintain well-care and usual chronic care management visits in the office.

Update for 19 March 2020: There are 299 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Florida. If you want the official state data updates, get them here. For our community, there has been SUSPECTED case associated with an employee at Newk’s Eatery. The restaurant has closed to be extraordinarily cautious. There was a UF School of Dentistry student that was confirmed positive for COVID-19. The university is monitoring potential exposures to patients by that student.

What do you do if you think you have been exposed to Covid-19? Symptoms develop within 2-14 days from exposure with the average time frame being 5.1 days.

The common and expected symptoms are fever (100.4F), dry cough and shortness of breath. Because of the fever, people will also have a headache and chills. Symptoms can be mild, not much different than a bad cold. But for some, especially the elderly or people with underlying medical condition, the infection progresses swiftly and can cause extreme respiratory distress that requires mechanical ventilation. If you have symptoms, please call the office for guidance. We are in the process of setting up our telemedicine capabilities. We will keep you updated as things proceed.

Updates on Coronavirus 2019 : Currently in Florida there are twenty (20) confirmed cases of COVID-19. The most up-to-date state information is here: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/

The practical concerns about how we – as a community – deal with suspected cases. How do we limit risk and contain the spread of this infection? The preliminary reports are that the virus takes 5.5 days to incubate. Symptoms will develop before 12 days and that is why the recommended quarantine is 14 days.

It is imperative that any individuals who believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19 to contact the Alachua County Health Department at (352) 225-4181 during regular business hours or at (352) 334-7900 after hours, prior to entering any physician’s office, emergency department, hospital, or urgent care center, to ensure proper protective measures are taken to prevent further risk of spread to others.

When you call our office and report a fever and cough, we will ask if you have concern for COVID-19. Our best practice is to keep people isolated and limit unnecessary contact. We will not be bringing you into the office if you have recently traveled out of the country or have had contact with people who have recently traveled to China, South Korea, Japan, Iran or Italy. This is an ever-evolving situation. As of this moment, we have no confirmation of any suspected cases of coronavirus in Alachua county. Your best protection is to wash your hands regularly and often. Try to keep your hands away from your face. Older people (over the age of 70) and anyone with underlying respiratory disease must be extra careful. Social distancing and limiting group activities is reasonable.

August 2020
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