To the editor: Springfield Hospital to open testing site, alters some procedures

Here at Springfield Medical Care Systems, we know it is a very stressful time for everyone. To protect our patients, our healthcare workers and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic, we are doing a lot of things differently.

  • If you are sick, please call before coming to one of our clinics.
  • If you arrive at a clinic, we may ask you to call and talk to our triage nurses or providers from the parking lot and you may be asked to return home if it is the safest option.
  • We will always ask you about symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath when you enter our buildings.

If you have symptoms that require an in-person evaluation, we will be wearing face masks and eye protection when we care for you.

Many of our visits may be offered via telemedicine to patients who have access to a phone or computer with a camera. Some visits may be conducted on the telephone. In an attempt to centralize care, you may be directed to a site that is not your regular clinic and you may see a provider who is not your primary care provider.

You will not be given an appointment to clear you to go back to work. In cases of febrile illnesses, we can provide a letter for your employer consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health.

Testing for Covid-19 has been very limited due to a shortage of tests, however, it is our goal to begin to test all patients with symptoms consistent with Covid-19.

We will be re-opening our drive through testing site in the upper parking lot of Springfield Hospital. To be tested, you must have an order from your primary care provider or one of our triage or walk-in providers. Once that order has been placed you will be called by our registration department and scheduled for a specific testing time. Do not drive up to the testing site unless it is your scheduled time.

If you have fever and mild respiratory symptoms, we recommend you care for yourself at home. You can discontinue home isolation when you have been without fever (without taking fever reducing medication) for 72 hours and have had improvement in respiratory symptoms and at least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

But: If you or your loved one are unable to catch your breath, are not getting enough oxygen, have persistent chest pain or pressure, or are unarousable or have new confusion please seek emergency care! Call ahead to the Emergency Department if possible and, if needed, call 9-1-1.

Please know that we are responding to this pandemic with your best interest at heart!

Please have patience with us as we also navigate changing technology, regulations, guidelines and ways of providing care.

Thank you to everyone in the community that has shown us an outpouring of love and concern by donations, messages and most importantly by practicing social distancing!

With gratitude,

Katrina L. Taylor DO
Chief Medical Officer
Springfield Medical Care Systems

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