Updated May 6, 2020
An overview of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, including HealthFit appointment policies, 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 the newest strain is now a worldwide concern. Its official name is the coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. It is also called novel (new) coronavirus.
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HealthFit COVID-19 appointment policies
Contact us before your appointment
Attention HealthFit patients: Please contact us before your scheduled appointment to determine if you should come in or do a telemedicine appointment (a video call with the provider).
Health & safety measures
The HealthFit team is following all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for patient care and safe environment practices to keep our patients and staff safe. All staff members are required to wear masks, and we also ask that all patients wear masks prior to entering the office.
If you have symptoms
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), and/or a combination of other symptoms. These symptoms are often mild, but may develop into more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, in people at higher risk. See the full list of symptoms from the CDC.
- 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 was first detected in Colorado in early March and subsequently lead to the state’s initial stay-at-home order, followed by the current “safer at home” guidelines. The coronavirus is still present in Colorado, and public health officials at the state, county and city level continue to issue guidance and restrictions for public health and safety. 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, which is known as an asymptomatic carrier (someone who has the virus but does not show symptoms).
- 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.
- Testing for current COVID-19 infection, known as a viral test, is available. State and local healthcare providers will determine who should be tested. For the most up-to-date Colorado COVID-19 testing information, see Colorado.gov’s COVID-19 testing page.
- Testing to confirm past infection through an antibody test is also available for those who suspect they previously had COVID-19 (caught the virus, and subsequently recovered). Learn about HealthFit’s antibody test.
- There is currently no vaccine for the coronavirus.
Symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
Symptoms typically include:
- Shortness of breath, trouble breathing.
And/or at least two of these symptoms (although this list is not all inclusive):
- Sore throat.
- Repeated shaking with chills.
- Muscle pain.
- New loss of taste or smell.
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.
Wear a face mask when you go out in public
Another way you can prevent the spread of the virus is by wearing a face mask anytime you are in public. Because some people can carry and spread the virus before showing symptoms or without ever having symptoms (asymptomatic), wearing a face mask helps prevent the virus from spreading through normal breathing or talking. The mask does not protect the wearer from being infected by others who are not wearing a mask.
The CDC has step-by-step instructions on how to create your own mask: CDC face mask tutorial.
Note: If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you should stay home.
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.