Information About COVID-19

COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that can cause a variety of symptoms in human beings ranging from mild to fatal. This virus is currently considered a pandemic and has spread rapidly throughout the world, including Virginia and Charlottesville. Symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection may be respiratory like a cold (runny nose, cough, sore throat, low grade fever) or gastrointestinal like a stomach flu (particularly diarrhea). Adults over the age of 60 years and those with underlying illnesses are at greater risk for more severe disease. The typical onset between exposure and symptoms averages 5 days (the range is from 2-14 days), and the typical onset between exposure and severe illness appears to be averaging about 11 days. COVID-19 spreads easily and rapidly between people via respiratory droplets, even from those who don’t yet have symptoms or those who never develop any symptoms. The droplets can infect people directly, or be transferred to hands or hard surfaces, from which the virus can survive and infect other people for up to 72 hours. Because asymptomatic people can spread the virus to others quickly and efficiently it is critical to practice social distancing as we try to slow the spread of the virus.

Symptoms and Symptom Management

What About Testing?

Unfortunately, Charlottesville is still experiencing a lack of adequate testing supplies and capacity. This means that we have to prioritize who to test, to make sure we are using our testing ability to identify those patients who could truly benefit from having the presence of SARS-CoV-2 confirmed. You can read about guidelines for testing here.

Even patients who meet CDC/VDH criteria for testing may still not be able to receive a test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 due to the limited availability of testing. At this time Ivy Family Medicine is not able to offer/consider testing for those patients with mild symptoms who would like testing to confirm whether or not their symptoms are due to COVID 19.

Stay At Home

The single most important thing you can to do protect yourself and our community from the spread of COVID is to STAY HOME, which has now been mandated by Governor Northam. The goal of this stay at home order is to “flatten the curve” and slow the rate of transmission and contraction of the illness which will allow the community and medical systems more time to prepare. You can find the anticipated peak hospital resource use across the country here.

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You can read a more detailed explanation here.

Minimize Exposure Risk

Reliable Sources of Information

There are many brilliant people actively working to address the current pandemic. It is critical that you get inform yourself from reliable sources. I recommend:

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