Coronavirus update: We need your help

. Posted in News, Health, Coronavirus

Dear Patient,

During these difficult and unprecedented days, it is important that we stay connected and well informed. We are in a critical period of time in our battle against the coronavirus, and we are grateful for your sacrifices and commitment to controlling its spread.

It is still early to know definitively, but preliminary data indicates that our efforts may be paying off. While this would be good news, it’s critical to continue our efforts to aggressively combat this virus.

We are all in this together
COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is being reported in all groups of people across America. These groups include those over 60 years old, those with preexisting conditions, as well as young and healthy individuals. This means we all need to be diligent about taking precautions against the spread of this virus.

Please continue to practice social and physical distancing — keeping space between yourself and those outside of your household:
• Stay at home to avoid exposure. Work from home when possible and consider a grocery delivery service.
• Stay at least 6 feet away from people outside of your household.
• Avoid groups and crowded places.
• If possible, avoid using public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.

The coronavirus is highly contagious, and with no treatment or vaccine we must rely on social and physical distancing, good hand hygiene, and wearing a mask to stop its spread. These measures are especially important because some people are infected and have no symptoms but can still spread the virus when they cough, sneeze, or talk.

We need your help: homemade masks
All patients and visitors to our offices are asked to cover their nose and mouth with a scarf, a homemade cloth mask, or a surgical mask. Often, patients are not able to find or make something that works properly. And this is where we hope that you can help.

Please consider making and donating masks for our patients. This could be a good project to keep you and your family busy. Several websites offer good instructions, including one we like from the New York Times.

Masks can be dropped off at our administrative office at 100 Gannett Drive in South Portland.

Quarantine or isolation?
Finally, patients have asked us to clarify the difference between quarantine and isolation.
If you’ve had contact with someone with COVID-19, you should quarantine yourself by staying at home, and limiting your exposure to others for 14 days.

If you become ill, self-isolate by staying in a designated “sick” bedroom or space and using a different bathroom, if possible, until you have been symptom free for 72 hours. Most people with COVID-19 recover at home, but if symptoms worsen, contact your physician, who may recommend a telehealth visit so the two of you can speak via computer or mobile device.

Learn more about social distancing, quarantine, and isolation on the CDC website

More than ever, keeping our communities healthy is a team effort. Thank you for all that you do to help. Together, we will weather this storm knowing we all made a difference.

Best wishes for good health,

Dan Loiselle, MD
InterMed Chief Medical Officer