• Atlanta Northcutt

Doctors Are Taking New Precautions Due to COVID-19

Updated: Apr 30

by Atlanta Northcutt- Reporter for the Southern Standard

Getting tested for the coronavirus is as easy as driving to the doctor without having to step foot outside of your vehicle.

There are new protective measures in place due to COVID-19, including a drive-up testing area at Family Care Clinic.

Those who believe they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 must inform staff of their symptoms over the phone, call when arriving at the building and then drive to the back to undergo testing in their vehicles.

“We’re taking temperatures, oxygen and pulse outside in the cars of those who are showing coronavirus symptoms,” says Ceci Romero, a receptionist and medical assistant at Family Care Clinic.

Medical professionals also encourage those who are suffering from common illnesses to partake in web visits with online practitioners.

Family Care Clinic is using Telehealth, a telecommunication service aimed to provide individuals with health-related information and the ability to undergo assessments and treatments through online and phone communication with qualified healthcare officials.

“TeleHealth is pretty much the same as coming into the office, but now it’s over video and phone calls,” says Romero.

To use Telehealth, a call to the clinic must take place to schedule the appointment, and a code is sent via text with a link to the site, where the patient will log in. After logging in, the clinic will be informed of the scheduled appointment, and the receptionist will call to check them in.

“There has been an increase in calls for appointments through Telehealth,” says Romero. “Many people don’t feel safe coming in so we provided another option.”

The office continues to remain open with six nurse practitioners seeing patients.

“If patients still want to physically visit the office they can, but there’s been a decrease in people coming in,” says Romero.

The clinic has taken extra precautionary measures, including wearing emergency protective equipment, cleaning and sanitizing the building more thoroughly and trying to reschedule non-emergency appointments.

“Our building is divided by those with common illnesses, such as a sinus infection, to come into the main lobby, and those with follow-up appointments or needing refills will come through the side door,” says Romero.

Romero states the approximate wait time to be tested outside for COVID-19 is 10 minutes with one nurse practitioner and one medical assistant performing the tests.

“When it comes to the safety of our patients, we’re taking all of the necessary precautions, and care about their well-being, but when it comes to the staff, I think everyone is mostly afraid of taking the virus home to those we love more than we’re worried about ourselves,” says Romero.

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