A message from the Chief Medical Officer

If you have recently traveled to any country on this list or have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, please call 781-581-3900 BEFORE you visit any LCHC site, including Urgent Care.  Your provider will instruct you on what to do. 

 

Coronavirus: A message from Chief Medical Officer Geoff Pechinsky, MD

 A message from Chief Medical Officer Geoff Pechinsky, MD

By now, you have likely heard a great deal about the new Coronavirus.  Coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, is an infectious disease first detected in China and now making its way to various parts of the world, including the United States. Symptoms of Coronavirus include fever, and respiratory symptoms, such as cough and shortness of breath.

Because this is a new virus, we are still learning how it is spread, how contagious it is, and how serious an infection may be.  COVID-19 is in a family of viruses similar to the common cold and therefore believed to spread - like other respiratory illness - through coughs or sneezes, or by touching an infected surface or object and then touching your own mouth, nose or eyes.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that most cases of COVID-19 are expected to include mild or possibly no symptoms.  Like the seasonal flu, COVID-19 infection is more severe in patients with chronic underlying health conditions (especially chronic lung problems and immune deficiencies) and in the elderly.

At Lynn Community Health Center, we take the safety of our patients and our employees very seriously.  Therefore, we are taking the following precautions to reduce the risk of spreading illness:

The CDC maintains a list of countries in which there is a high-risk of COVID-19 exposure in the community.  Current CDC guidelines are for travelers to these countries to stay home (“self-quarantine”) for 14 days.  The guidelines apply even to returning travelers who have no symptoms.  If you have an appointment at LCHC for a physical or a routine matter, please call our office, and we will reschedule your appointment.  If you have respiratory symptoms or are concerned about your travel history, please call so we may assist you.

If you have not recently traveled to one of the countries on the CDC travel list and you have active respiratory symptoms, please call our office to speak with a nurse.  Influenza, bacterial pneumonia and non-COVID-19 infections are very common this time of year and are treated differently from COVID-19.  When appropriate, we will provide medical guidance or treatment over the phone.  If you are having severe respiratory symptoms, you may be directed to visit the nearest Emergency Room for evaluation and management.

As always, we advise you protect yourself from illness in the following ways:

· Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

· Avoid close contact with people who are sick

· Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like your phone or computer

· Cover your nose & mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and then throw the tissue in the trash

· Stay home when you are sick

 

Thank you,

Geoff Pechinsky, MD

Chief Medical Officer