While the COVID-19 outbreak continues, we are continuing to find ways to be there for our patients and to keep our patients and seniors in the community informed and safe. Below are our answers to commonly asked questions. If you have further questions, please reach out to your first line of defense – your primary care provider. We have also compiled a range of relevant resources on our Live Better Blog, from how to prepare for a virtual visit to tips for coping during times of high stress.
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
What is Iora Primary Care doing about the Coronavirus/COVID-19?
Iora is taking the threat very seriously. We have implemented a number of new and updated processes and procedures to best protect our patients and team members. We quickly shifted much of our care to telephone and video visits and have implemented a tablet loaner pilot program for those patients who don’t have the technology to participate in a video visit. We know that in-person care continues to be important and have initiated creative solutions for some in-person needs including drive-thru INRs where patients do not need to leave their car to get the INR test. For those patients coming in for an in-person visit, we are following strict guidance on face mask usage and limiting visitors that come. We still want to make sure that family and/or caregivers can join visits, but because of the heightened risk, we ask that they join by phone or video whenever possible.
Is Iora Primary Care still seeing patients? Are you accepting new patients?
Yes, we are accepting new patients. Iora Primary Care will be serving as many patients as possible with telephone and video appointments rather than in person, first. If the provider determines that an in-person appointment is needed, they will set up an in-person visit with the patient. There is so much we can do to help our patients over the phone or video which will allow patients to stay safe at home. And what we know is that the safest place for people to be right now is home.
What should I do if I don’t feel well?
Iora patients should call us. If you do not feel well, call. As always, we are available 24/7 for our patients and want to hear from you.
What are some of the benefits of a virtual visit?
Virtual visits give patients the ability to:
- Raise any questions or concerns they may have
- Address routine follow up needs
- Discuss chronic conditions (like high blood pressure)
- Refill routine medications
- Address any urgent medical issues
- Manage their stress levels and be more productive
How can I prepare for my virtual visit?
Some tips to prepare for a virtual visit are:
- Download any software you need
- Make sure your laptop or phone is charged
- Know your medical and surgical history
- Have your current medication list handy
- Pick a local pharmacy OR mail order for 90 day prescriptions
- Write down any questions you have for the provider
Is there a treatment for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
We have received a number of calls regarding whether certain medications might help prevent or treat COVID-19. Unfortunately, as of today, there is no proven therapy to prevent or treat COVID-19. There are a number of drugs being tested, but these treatments are still considered experimental. The best prevention continues to be to stay physically distant from others and to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
What are some tips to help ease my anxiety?
In this time of social distancing and self-quarantines, there are plenty of relaxation techniques to ease your anxiety. Check out these tips and resources from our team of Behavioral Health Specialists to help you uncover how to ease anxiety through managing stress, combatting “low” moods and developing a consistent routine.
How can I stay connected while social distancing?
We know that it’s hard to be at home without being with others. To help stay connected, we will be hosting some events online for the community. Follow us on Facebook to get notified of upcoming events and see past events.
We’ve also compiled some free resources on our blog to help keep your brain active and keep you connected while you are at home.
I can’t find a mask. Where should I get one?
Your first step to avoiding COVID-19 is to stay home and away from others. Knowing that you might have to venture out to go food shopping or other essential errands, a homemade mask can suffice. A bandana or a scarf or a home-sewn mask are good alternatives. It’s important to cover both your mouth and nose with these items and make sure that the material isn’t porous (ie a loose-knit scarf will not help!). The CDC has some good guidance here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
Even with protection, you should practice physical distancing (6 ft or more away from others) and make sure to wash your mask in the washing machine to sterilize after use.
How can I stay up-to-date about the evolving COVID-19 situation?
Am I allowed to have a visitor with me at my appointments (i.e. spouse, relative, caregiver)?
We are limiting the number of visitors at our practice to reduce the chance of exposure to COVID-19. We encourage patients’ families and caregivers to join visits via phone or video. If your visitor is not able to join via phone or video, we are allowing one visitor to attend the appointment per patient. All visitors will be asked to follow the same screening guidelines as our patients in order to physically attend.
CDC recommends that people 60 and older, or those with serious underlying health issues stay home. Do you agree that we should stay home and minimize contact with other people? Any suggestions on how to keep our home safe if we have a family member who works outside of the house?
Yes. We know it isn’t easy but please stay home as much as possible to reduce your risk of being exposed. If you have to leave the house, avoid crowds, keep away from others who are sick, follow the CDC advice and wear a mask or cloth face covering, limit close contact and wash your hands often. You can find more information on Iora’s blog (https://ioraprimarycare.com/blog/) and of course on the CDC site: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html
“We are in this together and are here for you, our patients.”
– Rushika Fernandopulle, Co-Founder and CEO
Schedule a virtual visit with a primary care provider
Now more than ever, we’re here to help you get the best care possible. Whether you’re new to Iora Primary Care or you’re an established patient, by scheduling a virtual visit, you can talk to your Medicare primary care provider — by phone or video — from the comfort and safety of your home.
- Meet virtually with your primary care provider for your appointments.
- Easily invite a caregiver or loved one to your virtual visit.
- Allow your care team to get to know your home environment.