Schools closed, restaurants and theaters off limits. Governor Baker weighs in. Community spread is around. Older people and those with chronic diseases or immunosuppression are at higher risk of severe infections. We describe social distancing in more detail. Establish your circle of relative safety and stick to it. Wash your hands.
We are adjusting our office procedures for dealing with patients with respiratory illness to allow for presence and risks of Covid-19 infections. We believe normal office care is safe and can continue. Quest labs told us yesterday that they in fact will be immediately testing for Covid-19. Great news. We will make regular use of those tests.
Quest labs reneged this morning on its announcement of immediate availability of viral testing for Covid-19 infections. We are seriously disappointed. We explain the role and importance of such testing for your protection during a period of community spread that is now evolving.
Shingles vaccine is an important vaccine for everyone over 50. It is highly effective. Supplies are finally improving. We are giving the shots in our office and have recently solved the bureaucratic puzzle to get patients Medicare Part D reimbursement. Pharmacies also can administer the vaccine.
We canceled a long-planned trip scheduled today to Los Angeles to visit our young grandchildren after the NY Times announced that LA County officials this morning declared a state of emergency following the confirmation of six new cases of Covid-19. We all have to carefully reevaluate planned travel and its health risk.
The coronavirus, now called Covid-19, that originated in China last fall, is spreading fairly rapidly and somewhat surreptitiously. It likely is now in the US Northwest. This infection can be serious and cause for self-protection, even though many cases are mild. I update the status and summarize what you can do to protect yourself and your family in this almost unprecedented viral disease outbreak.
Please come to our apple cider pressing event on Sunday October 13 between noon and 3 p.m. at the OHC orchard in Lincoln. Details inside.