GMA COVID Update (1/10/22)
As we find ourselves in the midst of a massive COVID surge with the Omicron variant, we want to update you and address some of the challenges that our patients are dealing with:
Drive through Rapid Antigen and PCR Testing is available at many locations including:
- Pharmacies including CVS and Walgreens
- Greensboro Coliseum ( https://mako.exchange/scheduler/registration/?location=6683 )
- Four Seasons Town Centre (https://unityphr.com/campaigns/starmed/covid)
- Cone Health testing sites- https://www.conehealth.com/covid-19-information/testing/
- Additional sites can be located at:
We will continue to see patients who are having symptoms but must prioritize those patients with more severe symptoms or risk of complications given limited provider capacity and the anticipated shortage of test kits that we are facing. Others should seek at home testing or testing at one of these sites.
Treatment for COVID positive patients:
Treatment options for symptomatic patients who test positive (monoclonal antibody infusions, new oral treatments, and Remdesevir infusions) are in extreme short supply and are being administered at infusion centers based on an algorithm that prioritizes patients with the highest risk of complications. Currently, NC DHHS has advised that treatment should be limited to immunocompromised patients and unvaccinated patients over the age of 65 who have medical conditions that place them at higher risk. While we will continue to refer patients who are at high risk of complications, these protocols are prescribed by NC DHHS to ensure judicious use of the very limited supply of treatments in NC and the decision of who receives the treatment is beyond our control once the referral is made. We hope that access to treatment will improve as treatments become more readily available. For those who do not warrant these therapies, the treatment is focused on symptom management similar to other viral illnesses with over-the-counter options like Mucinex DM, Tylenol and fluids. Antibiotics are not helpful or warranted in viral illnesses.
Isolation for positive patients and quarantine for contacts:
The CDC has advised that COVID positive patients should isolate for at least 5 days after the onset of symptoms or a positive test. If they are asymptomatic or if symptoms are improving with no fever for 24 hours, they can discontinue isolation after 5 days but should wear a high quality medical mask for the remainder of the 10 day period, even around family members, to prevent exposing others. If testing is available, we encourage a negative Rapid Antigen test after 5 days to ensure a lower risk of transmission, as will be required for our employees returning to work after 5 days of isolation. Vaccinated people who are within 6 months of their last Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or within 2 months of their last J&J vaccine do not need to quarantine after an exposure but should be tested if they develop any symptoms and should consider being tested 5 days after last exposure. All others should quarantine for 5 days and consider testing after 5 days. Anyone who has been exposed should wear a well-fitted medical mask grade mask for 10 days to reduce the risk of asymptomatic spread.
Vaccination remains our strongest line of defense. Fortunately, for fully vaccinated patients who have received their booster when due, the Omicron variant does appear to be milder with less risk of severe disease and hospitalization. The FDA and CDC now recommends booster doses for everyone over the age of 12 when it has been more than 5 months since the 2nd Moderna and Pfizer vaccine and when it has been more than 2 months since the J&J vaccine. Please get vaccinated and get your booster dose when you are due to protect yourself and others. You can find locations to receive the COVID vaccine at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines
Based on trends in other countries and experience with prior surges, we do anticipate the current wave will peak in the next 2 weeks and should decline fairly rapidly after that but we encourage all to be extra cautious by wearing medical grade masks in public, being tested or isolating if you have any symptoms (including mild viral symptoms), and avoiding crowded indoor gatherings until the current situation improves. Please be patient with us as we do our best to prioritize and address the enormous volume of patient issues that we are addressing everyday. If you prefer to convert your upcoming visit to a virtual/telemedicine visit during this time, please contact the office as this remains an option for those who prefer to limit their risk of exposure.
We have some exciting news at Guilford Medical Associates! We recently went live with a new, updated Electronic Health Record system. The new system will help your doctor & the staff continue to provide excellent care while employing the latest technology. As we continue to become more familiar and adjust our workflows to best leverage this new technology, please be patient. It may take an extra minute or two to fill in some additional information at first but it will be much more efficient than the old system.
To sign up on the new patient portal, please click on the following link and enroll now: https://health.healow.com/GuilfordMedicalAssoc
Thank you for entrusting your medical care to the doctors and staff at Guilford Medical Associates, PA.
Closings or Delays:
Changes to regularly scheduled hours due to severe weather conditions will be posted here and also on the WFMY News2 website under closings & delays.
The office will be closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Office hours are 8am – 5pm Monday through Friday.
After hours care is available Weekdays (Monday – Friday) from 7:30am through 6:00pm
For a non-emergency appointment please contact our office at 336 621-8911 or through the patient portal.