As the status of the COVID virus changes daily, so do the guidelines and testing procedures. The CDC is tightly controlling the supply of test kits and prioritizing their use for people who are symptomatic and have had a known exposure to a confirmed case. Until the kits become more widely available, only the most likely cases can be tested for confirmation. We can test for other respiratory illnesses, such as the flu, and are happy to evaluate our patients with upper respiratory symptoms.

If You Are Sick
If your symptoms are mild and tolerable, you do not need to be evaluated or tested. Take precautions to not spread your illness. If symptoms are moderate or troublesome, please make an appointment with us or visit an urgent/emergency care facility. If symptoms are severe, such as difficulty breathing, go to the emergency room. For those in high risk categories such as those over 60, those with chronic respiratory issues, or those with compromised immune systems, seek medical attention early even if symptoms are mild.

Risks and Guidelines in AZ
The risk of exposure is still minimal in Arizona, with a total of 18 confirmed cases statewide since the first case was confirmed Jan 26. The goal of precautionary measures is to slow the spread of the virus so the healthcare system is able to handle the needs of the community. For now the best way to achieve this to to continue basic sanitation (hand washing, cover coughs, etc), stay home if you are sick (except to receive medical care), and practice social distancing by maintaining 3 feet distance from those you do not live with. The AZDHS currently recommends cancelling gatherings larger than 50 people and teleworking if that option is available to you.

Our Community
Keep in mind that to manage a community health crisis successfully, it is crucial that we work together as a community. Not only do we need to follow the guidelines to slow the spread, we also need to be considerate and compassionate of others in our community. So let’s leave some food and supplies on the shelf for the next person, lend a helping hand, check in with friends and relatives remotely, and show kindness in those busy parking lots and long checkout lines.

For the most up to date local information, visit the Arizona Health Dept website at azdhs.gov, and national information from the CDC at cdc.gov.

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