As a healthcare provider we wholeheartedly support everything that our government has laid down to prevent a medical catastrophe in South Africa. We all need to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus and flatten the curve of the number of people falling ill.
The way the practice will be operating as from Friday the 27th March 2020, in support of the lockdown measures is as follows:
We are available at our usual hours throughout the lockdown period.
In suspected Covid-19 cases, the recommendation is a consultation done remotely.
For Discovery patients we will use the relevant process on their Doctor Connect app.
For any patient, we can also use WhatsApp video calls and even a telephonic conversation. This is in the best interest of the patient concerned, our other patients and staff.
Please note that we have strict sanitising procedures in place for the practice. Please work with us for the sake of all our safety.
If you have a temperature of 38 you must be on high alert. If your temperature reaches 39 seek urgent medical attention.
If you have shortness of breath seek urgent medical attention.
If you have travelled recently to high risk countries or have been in contact with someone that has travelled to high risk countries you must be on high alert.
REGARDING PRECAUTIONS AND ISOLATION
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer valuable guidelines regarding COVID-19 precautions and isolation using a symptom-based strategy.
1. Duration of isolation and precautions
For most patients with COVID-19 illness, isolation and precautions can generally be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.
A limited number of patients with severe illness may produce replication-competent virus beyond 10 days that may warrant extending duration of isolation and precautions for up to 20 days after symptom onset.
For patients who never develop symptoms, isolation and other precautions can be discontinued 10 days after the date of their first positive RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
2. Role of viral diagnostic testing (PCR or antigen)2 to discontinue isolation or precautions
For patients who are severely immunocompromised, a test-based strategy could be considered in consultation with infectious diseases experts.
For all others, a test-based strategy is no longer recommended except to discontinue isolation or precautions earlier than would occur under the strategy outlined above.
3. Role of viral diagnostic testing (PCR or antigen)2 after discontinuation of isolation or precautions
For patients previously diagnosed with symptomatic COVID-19 who remain asymptomatic after recovery, retesting is not recommended within 3 months after the date of symptom onset for the initial COVID-19 infection.
For patients who develop new symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during the 3 months after the date of initial symptom onset, if an alternative etiology cannot be identified by a provider, then the person may warrant retesting.
Consultation with infectious disease or infection control experts is recommended, especially in the event symptoms develop within 14 days after close contact with an infected person. Persons being evaluated for reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 should be isolated under recommended precautions while undergoing evaluation. If reinfection is confirmed or remains suspected they should remain under the recommended SARS-CoV-2 isolation until they meet the criteria for discontinuation of precautions – for most persons, this would be 10 days after symptom onset and resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms.
For persons who never developed symptoms, the date of first positive viral diagnostic test (PCR or antigen) for SARS-CoV-2 RNA should be used in place of the date of symptom onset.
4. Role of serologic testing
Serologic testing should not be used to establish the presence or absence of SARS-CoV-2 infection or reinfection.
Read the full article here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/duration-isolation.html#cecommendations