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I LOVE WINTER.
THIS YEAR, I AM READY FOR SPRING!
HERE IS FIONA, MY DAUGHTER CELEBRATING SPRING SKIING.
SADLY, THIS YEAR, THE END OF GERM SEASON ISN’T IN SIGHT, YET.

There is a lot of hype, a lot of fear, some misinformation and some complacency all mixed together around Coronavirus or COVID-19.
We want you to know…
You are in the right place with your DOPC membership.
Here is why:
If you have concerns about your health, we can do a phone visit.
We can even do virtual FaceTime like visits if you need it!
You have us here, in your corner, and you can call any time.
Just remember: press option one to leave an urgent message.
We hired another helper, she’ll be answering the phone during business hours!
We will introduce you to Chris soon, she is lovely.
If you want to add a loved one or friend under our proactive healthcare umbrella, now is the time.
We have developed a new, expedited on-boarding process.
To add someone, just call or text and we will get started.

We are proactive about HEALTH.  
We are here to serve in times of need.

We will continue to provide good information, resources and updates as the COVID-19 situation evolves.  See below for our current guidelines.

NEW: APPOINTMENT CONFIRMATION
Over the coming weeks, due to the current concerns of COVID-19, we are asking every patient on the schedule to answer questions prior to coming in for an appointment.  Be aware you will receive the following by text before your visit:

1. Have you had a fever of 100.4 or more in the last two weeks?
2. Have you traveled within the last two weeks? Where?
3. Have you had exposure to a person with a known case of COVID-19?

If the reason for your visit can be addressed in a phone visit and you’d prefer to convert to that, please let us know.

What you can do to prepare for Coronavirus – for individuals and families
(COVID-19) 

At this time, DOPC does not have the ability to test COVID -19.  However, we can arrange for YOU to be tested and send an order if you meet criteria for testing.  This criteria changes daily.

We have made an internal protocol to triage all patients by phone or virtual visit – please protect our staff and our families by NOT coming to the office during or within two weeks of a fever over 100.4.

CONTACT US BEFORE YOU GO ANYWHERE FOR COVID TESTING, its best we are in touch first if you are concerned.

**SYMPTOMS** What to look for 
Fever over 100.4 GET A THERMOMETER.
Shortness of breath and cough GET A PULSE OXIMETER ON AMAZON IF YOU CAN, VITAL SIGNS ARE VITAL.
Difficulty breathing – Not anxiety related, the “can’t catch your breath” kind.
Worsening of symptoms at day 5 or 11.  THIS ILLNESS GETS WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER.  REACH OUT IF YOU ARE NOT IMPROVING.
No symptoms but exposure to a KNOWN case of COVID- 19 within 2 weeks
If you get sick
HYDRATE.  HAVE VITAMIN C, PEDIALYTE, GATORAGE AT HOME.
Tylenol and Ibuprofen (alternate every 3-4 hours) to control symptoms and your inflammatory reaction.
STAY HOME FIRST.  CALL SECOND.
Monitor for worsening symptoms – pulse over 110, uncontrolled fever with medication (over 102), Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
This virus can present in many ways.  The concerning symptoms for progression to severe disease is a lower respiratory tract infection (LUNGS) primarily.  It CAN start as upper respiratory symptoms (sinus) and <10% of people will have nausea/vomiting and diarrhea.  MOST have fever from the outset, unfortunately not always.
REMEMBER THIS: The biggest reason people get really sick is from the difficulty breathing so that is the symptom to keep track of.  Monitor for worsening around a week into the illness.

How to avoid it
*Hand washing – soap is the best option with 20 seconds of washing.  Any soap will work, its the soap function (bubbles!) that work “antibacterial” not needed as this is a virus. Hand sanitizer is ok (if >70%), but it works best for killing bacteria but unfortunately, its antiviral effect is not as strong.
*Hard surfaces – diluted bleach solutions or wipes are the best.  Bleach is highly effective and and cheap.  Other disinfectants like hydrogen peroxide can work.

*Avoid health care facilities for any non urgent concerns
*Avoid public spaces, crowds and airports when not necessary
HAVE ON HAND: Pulse oximeter, Thermometer, Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol or good old fashioned soap!
Boost your immunity
Fruits and Veges (oranges and blueberry are in season, yum)
Sleep
Hydrate
Exercise
We have stocked a large selection of vitamins – if you want to pick something up to boost your immunity let us know in the new portal and we’ll review what is right for you.  Vitamins we like for immune boosting: vitamin D, N-Acetyl-Cysteine, Elderberry, Zinc, and Vitamin C.
Remember taking care of YOU is taking care of the most vulnerable people in our society – our elders and immunocompromised patients.  If you get the virus, chances are your symptoms will be mild and you will be ok. Be cautious not to spread it through your community by your actions.
Good reads: 
A friend of mine, a doctor in California, wrote this excellent summary.
Read this if you still do not think COVID-19 is a big deal.
Up to date Colorado Public Health Department information here.
CDC information here.

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