Having COVID-19 Symptoms? Call your doctor or UrgentCare
Having COVID-19 Symptoms? Call your doctor or UrgentCare

Having COVID-19 Symptoms? Call your doctor or UrgentCare

Hospital

Calling a medical provider or Wyandot Memorial Hospital’s UrgentCare is still the first step to take for individuals experiencing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath.

The hospital follows COVID-19 testing guidance provided by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), who continues to restrict testing to patients who are most severely ill, patients who are moderately ill with a high risk of complications and professionals who are critical to providing care and service to those who are ill.

“Once more testing supplies and options are readily available, those guidelines may change,” explained Dr. Chevone Vent, the hospital’s chief of infection prevention. “Until then, we are following the ODH procedures that start with a clinician determining if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested.”

Dr. Vent and other area physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are providing phone and telehealth assessments and triage for patients exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, and individuals without a medical provider may phone WMH’s UrgentCare at 419-294-4991, extension 2126. If testing is indicated, the patient will be directed to the hospital’s temporary respiratory clinic conducted via drive thru at the old emergency department entrance.

Testing is prioritized by ODH for hospitalized patients and symptomatic healthcare workers, followed by people at highest risk of complications from COVID-19. That group includes symptomatic individuals who are residents in long-term care facilities, patients age 65 and older or with underlying medical conditions, and first responders.

“For patients meeting these criteria, specimens are sent to ODH or Ohio State University for testing,” Dr. Vent noted. “For patients not falling into one of the priority groups, their medical provider can still authorize a COVID-19 test to be performed by a clinical laboratory.”

Dr. Vent said she understood the frustration people are feeling with the lack of testing available right now.

“I know you’re concerned about not being able to get a test,” she stated, “but try to remember that testing does not change treatment, for there is no medication that treats COVID-19. At this point, we can only use fever reducers and pain relievers to make you more comfortable.”

Patients isolating themselves at home should call their medical provider if symptoms worsen or do not improve, especially shortness of breath.

“Every patient journey with COVID-19 is different,” Dr. Vent added, “so it’s important to remain in close contact with us so we can help monitor you and your symptoms.”

The temporary respiratory clinic at Wyandot Memorial Hospital is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the hospital’s old emergency room entrance in the front parking lot. Yellow signs provide directional guidance to the drive-thru clinic. Only individuals with respiratory symptoms are assessed at the site. For more information, contact hospital administration by phoning 419-294-4991, extension 2267.