Updated March 26, 2020
An overview of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, including facts about the virus, symptoms, prevention and when – or when not – to see a doctor
We encourage our patients to be as informed as possible and diligent in protecting themselves, their loved ones and all Coloradans from the coronavirus disease. Coronavirus is a family of viruses, but a new strain is now resulting in concern worldwide. Its official name is the coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. It is also called novel (new) coronavirus.
Attention HealthFit patients: Please contact us before your scheduled appointment to determine if you should come in or do a telemedicine appointment.
If you have symptoms of the coronavirus (see below) or have had a known exposure (see below), you will not come in for an appointment. Instead, please call us at (303) 218-7774 and we will advise you of next steps. Please note, HealthFit cannot test for COVID-19.
If you are experiencing severe symptoms and need urgent care, go to the emergency room (ER) for care (call ahed to let them know you are coming).
- High risk areas for the coronavirus: See full list from the CDC.
- Symptoms of COVID-19 can include those of a respiratory illness: fever, cough and shortness of breath (trouble breathing). These symptoms are often mild, but may develop into more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, in people at higher risk.
- People at high risk for serious cases include older people (generally 70 years old and up), those with serious and chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, lung disease and heart disease, and those with compromised immune systems. These people need to take extra precautions to prevent infection.
Telemedicine appointment options available.
Please call (303) 218-7774 for more information.
Coronavirus: When to contact a primary care doctor … and when to go to the ER
Follow the guidelines below to see if you should keep your current primary care appointment, postpone, or go to the ER.
- Are you experiencing any of the symptoms noted above?
- If yes, do not come in for your appointment. You will need to contact us to determine next steps.
- If no, contact us to rebook your upcoming appointment (no sooner than 14 days in the future) or explore telemedicine options.
- Do not come in for your appointment. You will need to contact us to determine next steps.
- If you have an appointment, please contact us before your scheduled day to determine if it should be in-person appointment at our practice or if it can be a telemedicine appointment.
- Or make an appointment: call (303) 218-7774 or request an appointment online.
Coronavirus outbreak overview & health facts
- COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2, and is part of a larger family of coronaviruses, which are common viruses that affect people and animals.
- The coronavirus was first detected in China, and has since spread throughout the world. This includes the United States, which declared a public health emergency (PHE) on Jan. 31, 2020, in order to support the country’s healthcare providers in responding to COVID-19. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) characterized the outbreak of COVID-19 as a pandemic.
- The coronavirus has been reported in Colorado. See COVID-19 updates from Colorado.gov.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the coronavirus is thought to spread through person-to-person close contact (within 6 feet typically), especially from breathing in droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze.
- People with COVID-19 are likely most contagious at their sickest when they experience the most symptoms. Data suggests that a person can also get the virus from coming in close contact with an infected person who is not yet showing signs of the virus.
- Another possible way of getting the coronavirus is from coming in contact with the virus on a surface or object and then touching the face, especially the mouth or nose.
- Based on information about other types of coronaviruses, COVID-19 symptoms typically appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- For the most up-to-date COVID-19 testing information, see Colorado.gov’s COVID-19 testing page.
- There is currently no vaccine for the coronavirus.
Symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Shortness of breath, trouble breathing.
These symptoms are often mild, but may develop into more severe symptoms such as pneumonia in people at higher risk, who include people age 70 and older and those with chronic medical conditions like lung disease, diabetes or heart disease.
Coronavirus prevention & protection is similar to flu prevention
Encourage everyone in your household, school or workplace to decrease chances of spreading the coronavirus as well as other germs and viruses.
- Wash hands with soap and water regularly for at least 20 seconds, including right after entering the home or other destination.
- Avoid touching your face and remind others to avoid touching their face (it’s a hard habit to break!).
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw it away, or use the crook of your elbow if you don’t have tissue.
- Stop shaking hands and greet each other through noncontact methods.
- Regularly disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs, cabinets, tables, etc.
- Limit food sharing, and practice strict hygiene in the kitchen and while eating.
- When gathering as a family, for a meeting or a class, meet in open, well-ventilated spaces – even outdoors if available. Consider postponing or adjusting larger meetings or gatherings.
Protecting at-risk people
Use extra precaution for older people or those with underlying medical conditions such as heart, lung, kidney disease; diabetes; and conditions that suppress the immune system.
- If around or caring for an at-risk person, act as if you were a significant risk to that person and be strict in following the prevention tips above.
- Provide a protected space for the person at risk, such as a designated room at home that is lightly trafficked.
- Ensuring that all utensils and surfaces are cleaned regularly is very important for at-risk people.
Those who are feeling sick, or have a sick family member in their home should:
- Stay home except to get medical care, and follow the guidelines above for contacting a primary care doctor or going to an ER. Avoid public transportation and public areas, and limit contact with others – including pets!
- Stay in their own room with the door closed if possible.
- Have only one specific person care for them.
- Rest, drink plenty of liquids and take over-the-counter pain and fever-reducing medications.
Other COVID-19 resources from the CDC
For a more detailed look at the coronavirus and for the latest up-to-date information about the coronavirus outbreak, visit the following Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s resources.