By Michael Duffy, MD
The COVID-19 pandemic is touching all of our lives in one way or another, and we want you to know we’re here for you.
To help ensure the health and safety of our patients, employees, and community, we’re changing how we provide care during this pandemic. These measures include reducing the number of visitors at our locations, opening offsite care locations, postponing elective procedures, and offering care by telehealth. We are taking these steps to reduce the spread of the virus, but also to ensure your health needs are taken care of.
How to access health care at home
From primary care to specialty care, telehealth visits are a convenient way for you to get the care and guidance you need without leaving home. During a telehealth visit, using your phone, tablet, or computer, you and your provider can accomplish much of what you would be able to do in a typical office visit, including addressing medical issues, diagnoses, symptoms, prescriptions, and more. Please call us to learn more about telehealth visits. For your reference, our care centers and services can be found by visiting NorthernLightHealth.org/Mercy-Hospital.
COVID-19 care options
If you feel unwell or think you may have COVID-19, you’ve probably received the advice to stay home, rest, and drink plenty of clear fluids. While we support these recommendations, we want you to know that we remain available to care for you. If your symptoms persist or worsen, we encourage you to contact your primary care office to talk about your options.
If you don’t have a primary care provider, we encourage you to call us at 207-553-6050. We’ll ask questions during this call that will help us determine next steps for your care, whether it be self-isolating at home, visiting a COVID-19 assessment site, or going to the hospital. Please note that our COVID-19 assessments are by appointment only.
We can all help reduce the spread
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, so the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to it. As we work closely with the CDC and other experts in this ever-changing environment, one thing remains constant—we can all help reduce the spread in our communities by following some simple steps:
• Clean your hands often
• Clean and disinfect surfaces
• Cover coughs and sneezes
• Practice physical distancing
• Avoid close contact with those who are sick
We are here for you, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. Thank you for what you are doing to limit the spread of this virus in our community.
Dr. Michael Duffy is Northern Light Mercy Hospital’s Senior Physician Executive.