Covid 19 Update
Dr. Siri Akal
Important Updates for COVID-19
Dear Red Hook, Yacht Haven & Cruz Bay Family Practice Patients,
As of today, and for the next two weeks, we are open for telephone calls and non-respiratory urgent care only. To protect the health and safety of our community, providers, staff and patients we are rescheduling all non-urgent care appointments as TELEHEALTH visits (via telephone or video-chat) or at the offices starting the first week of April. TELEHEALTH visits are now covered by all major insurance. There is a fee for self pay patients. TELEHEALTH visits allow for prescription renewals, lab and test results review and allow your provider to address a wide range of medical care concerns, while eliminating the need for you to travel to the office, risking exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
At each of the three offices arriving urgent care patients will be greeted and triaged at the entry door, please knock on the door or call us on arrival so a nurse or front office staff can meet you.
In partnership with the other medical practices, Schneider Regional Medical Center and the VI Department of Health we are working to provide quality medical care as needed while protecting our staff and patients by stopping the spread of the COVID-19.
We appreciate your flexibility and patience during this global health crisis. Please call us 340-775-2303 or post general questions here. Please do not post personal medical information.
As coronavirus (COVID-19) cases have increased around the globe, we understand you may have questions about your health and how to access care. This message contains important details on what to do if you are sick, the best ways to reach us and receive care, how to make non-infectious disease appointments, Coronavirus testing, health tips and more.
Please phone first if:
- You are sick with any symptoms resembling cold, flu and/or COVID-19 OR
- Within 14 days of symptom onset had close contact with a suspect or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient OR
- Have a history of travel from affected geographic areas within 14 days of their symptom onset.
If any of the above pertain to you, please call our office for a phone assessment BEFORE coming to the office, that phone number is 888-391-3993. We will advise you on the best way to receive the care you need without compromising your health, and the health of other patients and our staff.
We will be using 888-391-3993 for all phone assessments. It is a HIPAA compliant telehealth platform that is pretty user friendly. We recommend that, whenever possible, you have a phone assessment rather than coming into a clinic. These assessments are convenient and safe, and we are offering them currently as an option. We are working on a video-chat module we hope to have available in the very near future.
GUESTS ACCOMPANYING PATIENTS TO APPOINTMENTS
If you come in for an appointment, please limit the number of guests accompanying you to one person. We realize this may be inconvenient for parents; however, it is vital to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. This will protect you, your children, other patients, and our doctors and staff. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.
AT YOUR HOME OR IN YOUR VEHICLE AT RED HOOK FAMILY PRACTICE CLINIC. We understand your concerns about the opportunity to get tested and the availability of tests. Test supplies are limited, and in most cases, testing doesn’t change the way we manage the disease. We can assure you that if it is medically necessary for you to be tested, and we have the proper equipment, either we will test you IN YOUR VEHICLE, at the Red Hook Family Practice PC Clinic, or the VI Department of Health (VIDOH) will come to your home to test you.
To determine who should be tested, the VI DOH uses the guidelines and criteria set forth by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virgin Islands Department of Health.
The criteria at present are:
- Hospitalized patients who have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 in order to inform decisions related to infection control.
- Other symptomatic individuals such as: older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions and/or an immunosuppressed state that may put them at higher risk for poor outcomes (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, receiving immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease).
- Any persons, including health care personnel, who within 14 days of symptom onset had close contact with a suspect or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient, or who have a history of travel from affected geographic areas within 14 days of their symptom onset.
When you call us, we will ask you if you have traveled outside the US Virgin Islands in the last 14 days, and if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms, which may include a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.
IF YOU ARE SICK WITH FEVER, SHORTNESS OF BREATH OR COUGH, PLEASE STAY HOME. Call the VI Department of Health’s Coronavirus/COVID-19 numbers 340-712-6299 or 340-776-1519. And call us at 888-391-3993 if you feel your illness is severe enough to require care or you are unable to reach the VIDOH.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you’re sick.
Our goal is to provide the most appropriate and safest care to you and all of our patients. Thank you for your cooperation during this time.
In good health,
The Red Hook Family Practice PC Medical Staff