COVID-19

Updates from FCHC Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Troy Hampton

**This page will be updated regularly**

5-14-2020 10:08AM

Fairfield Community Health Center continues to support the decisions of our state and local health departments to limit the spread of COVID-19.  We believe that prompt action to limit exposure by isolation has helped prevent the spread of this virus.  We are also beneficiaries of our more rural than urban topography, but it remains clear from the statistical models that we are not out of the woods.  We move into a phase where less people will become sick and we will begin resuming post-COVID normal life, but to remain vigilant against a virus that has demonstrated unpredicted characteristics, a greater emphasis will be placed on testing, even in those with not-so-obvious symptoms of infection.  Efforts to maintain 6 feet of separation and the wear of masks will mitigate risk as long as we do it.
 

We also look forward to resuming post-COVID normal operations as soon as is reasonable, meaning with minimal risk to patients and staff. We will be resuming normal office visits in phases over the next 4 weeks.  Expect screening for COVID symptoms by phone to determine if you may warrant testing through the FMC testing facility by First Medical Urgent Care on Memorial Drive.  Tests and forms will be completed and forwarded to the testing site without the need to come into the office.  We will be transitioning from using telephone visits to offering in-office visits for those who screen low risk for COVID and telehealth electronic visits by smartphone, tablet and computer for those who would prefer and do not have a physical need to come in to the office.  All who come into the office will be asked to call from their vehicle to quickly screen for COVID with a few questions and if still low risk, will be required to wear a mask, and will be brought back directly to the exam room to minimize congregation in the waiting room.  Our Baltimore and Hunter Trace locations are also resuming care and will utilize the same process.
 

To accomplish the care that we are providing through FCHC, a great deal of infrastructure change has been necessary.  This is no more evident than in our telephone and computer systems.  Demand has been high as we have conducted operations primarily by telephone and this has both limited and affected access to care teams.  We are ever so grateful to our clients and patients for your grace and patience during this time.  If you feel you have struggled to access care or have questions about our procedures, please be assured that we welcome honest assessment from those we care for.  All inquiries are reviewed through our organizational quality structure.  We invite all to assess our care on the basis of individual experience.  In this difficult circumstance, we have remained extremely proud of our people and processes.
 

For anyone who has become ill with fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath, know that the vast majority of patients will experience a “flu-like illness” and fully recover in the 10-14 day range.  We encourage people who are ill to read the CDC guidance at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html.  Persons with mild to moderate symptoms are encouraged to stay home and maintain the 6 foot distance from others to limit spread of corona, or any other virus.  Covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently and sanitizing contacted surfaces with Lysol, rubbing alcohol or bleach and water solution (4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water) are also measures to limit spread of the virus.
 

Anyone who is experiencing shortness of breath that requires noticeably increased work in order to breathe should be evaluated.  Because there continues to be no definitive medication to treat COVID-19, we are sending patients to the hospital when significant breathing difficulty is present, Patients who have become ill with fever, respiratory symptoms and known exposure will be considered safe to return to work if they have no fever without the use of fever reducing medications such acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) for 72 hours and have recovered 14 days from initial symptoms.  Patients established with FCHC who have met these criteria may be provided documentation supporting their ability to return to work upon request.  
 

4-13-2020 8:08AM

Fairfield Community Health Center continues to support the decisions of our state and local health departments to limit the spread of COVID-19. Prompt action to limit exposure by isolation is the only achievable means of preventing the spread of this virus.    It is clear from the statistical models that the more people maintain isolation,, the less we will collectively get sick and the less the elderly and health-compromised are likely to be jeopardized.  As yet, there are no recommended preventive medications, no vaccine and no consistently effective medications to treat COVID-19. There are multiple trials being conducted to prove that some available medications are effective but there is no definitive proof that they are.  Recent evidence suggests that the number of cases of COVID-19 is expected to increase, peaking through the month of April and into early May, so continued pointed efforts to minimize contact by maintaining distancing by 6 feet with others is still our best defense.

 

FCHC at the Main St office location continues to operate with limited entry to the building allowing for screening of those potentially exposed to COVID-19.    Hunter Trace and Baltimore locations are currently closed, however, all of our providers for all locations are conducting telephone or e-visits. Those patients who upon initial telephone visit or screen, are determined to require examination will be asked to come to the Main St office for evaluation.  All patients are asked to call the office number upon arrival to undergo screening for COVID-19 prior to entry into the building. Patients with appointments will receive a reminder call at least the day prior, and a call the morning of their appointment to obtain visit information and receive guidance for the visit.  We are conducting telephone visits and in some cases, e-visits, to address both maintenance healthcare needs, such as refills for medications, and changes in health status that can be assessed without the need to be examined.  We are highly encouraging patients to keep scheduled appointments by phone or e-visit.  We realize that waiting rooms have the potential to expose people unnecessarily in the current circumstances and the more we isolate, the less illness we experience and the quicker we get through this pandemic.
 

4-6-2020 12:37PM

3-30-2020 5:15PM

Fairfield Community Health Center stands in full support of the decisions of our state and local health departments to limit the spread of COVID-19. Prompt action to limit exposure by isolation is the only achievable means of protecting the most vulnerable members of our community from serious illness and this had to be achieved rapidly and as thoroughly as possible.    It is clear from the statistical models that the more people isolated, the less we will collectively get sick and the less the elderly and health-compromised are likely to be jeopardized.  As yet, there are no recommended preventive medications, no vaccine and no consistently effective medications to treat COVID-19.  There are multiple trials being conducted to prove that some available medications are effective but there is no definitive proof that they are.  Recent evidence suggests that the number of cases of COVID-19 is expected to increase through the month of April, so continued pointed efforts to minimize contact with others is still our best defense.

 

FCHC at the Main St office location continues to operate with limited entry to the building allowing for screening of those potentially exposed to COVID-19.    Hunter Trace and Baltimore locations are currently closed, however, all of our providers for all locations are conducting telephone or e-visits.  Those patients who upon initial telephone visit or screen, are determined to require examination will be asked to come to the Main St office for evaluation.  All patients are asked to call the office number upon arrival to undergo screening for COVID-19 prior to entry into the building. Patients with appointments will receive a reminder call at least the day prior, and a call the morning of their appointment to obtain visit information and receive guidance for the visit.  We are conducting telephone visits and in some cases, e-visits, to address both maintenance healthcare needs, such as refills for medications, and changes in health status that can be assessed without the need to be examined.  We are highly encouraging patients to keep scheduled appointments by phone or e-visit.  We realize that waiting rooms have the potential to expose people unnecessarily in the current circumstances and the more we isolate, the less illness we experience and the quicker we get through this pandemic.
 

3-24-2020 7:53AM

In accordance with Ohio Dept of Health guidance to further limit spread of COVID-19, FCHC will STOP walk-in hours temporarily.  We will continue to offer care by telephone.  You should call 740.277.6043.  A provider is available for consult from 5 pm to 8 am.  Most non-urgent cases will be scheduled a telephone visit with a provider the following day.  

 

COVID testing is recommended for any patient who has had a fever greater than 100 degrees, coughing/wheezing/shortness of breath, AND exposure to a known COVID infected contact or travel to an area with more than 8 cases of COVID.

 

Even with mild or moderate symptoms with COVID, it is recommended to stay home, isolate as much as possible from others in the home and rest and drink water to maintain hydration.  If breathing becomes hard work, proceed to the Emergency Room at FMC.

3-17-2020 4:55PM

Fairfield Community Health Center stands in full support of the decisions of our state and local health departments to limit the spread of COVID-19. Prompt action to limit exposure by isolation is the only achievable means of protecting the most vulnerable members of our community from serious illness and this had to be achieved rapidly and as thoroughly as possible. It is the only option when a vaccine is not available to prevent such contagious illness. It is clear from the statistical models that the more people isolated, the less we will collectively get sick and the less the elderly and health-compromised are likely to be jeopardized.

To that end, FCHC at the Main St., Hunter Trace and Baltimore locations have limited entry into the clinic buildings opting instead to conduct telephone and virtual visits (when available) to limit exposure to both patients and staff. Patients with appointments are encouraged to await a call in advance of their appointment to determine whether they need to be seen in office or may accomplish a telephone or virtual visit so as to adhere to the policy of physical distancing in hope of containing spread of COVID-19. Signs at the clinics will also direct patients who come to the offices to call from the parking lot to achieve the same goal. 

Patients with fever greater than 100 degrees, respiratory symptoms and exposure to a known COVID-19 positive person, or travel from a pandemic area (location where 9 or more cases have been identified) will be provided orders for testing at a testing location. Currently Fairfield Medical Center is testing in designated test locations in the parking lot, but an order is required from a healthcare provider based on meeting the above 3 criteria. It has been conveyed that testing is being offered by Ohio State University Hospitals and Nationwide Childrens outside of their main hospitals. You are encouraged to review these hospitals’ protocols online. 

We are in the process of contacting our patients with multiple medical needs to insure that they have ready access to medications and other health needs in an effort to further support their ability to isolate from potential sources of infection. We are being proactive in the delivery of healthcare needs to limit the need for patients to come to the office. We realize that waiting rooms have the potential to expose people unnecessarily in the current circumstances. The more we isolate, the less illness we have and the quicker we get through this pandemic.

For anyone who has become ill with fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath, know that the vast majority of patients will experience the usual “flu-like illness” and fully recover in the 10-14 day range. We encourage people who are ill to read the CDC guidance at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html. Persons with mild to moderate symptoms are encouraged to stay home and maintain the 6 foot distance from others to limit spread of corona, or any other virus. Covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently and sanitizing contacted surfaces with Lysol, rubbing alcohol or bleach and water solution (4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water) are also measures to limit spread of the virus.

Anyone who is experiencing shortness of breath that requires noticeably increased work in order to breathe should be evaluated. There is no current medication to treat COVID-19 and so we are sending patients to the hospital only when significant breathing difficulty is present, particularly if associated with fever and known COVID-19 exposure.

Patients who have become ill with fever, respiratory symptoms and known exposure will be considered safe to return to work if they have no fever and have recovered over 14 days from the initial symptoms. Patients established with FCHC who have met these criteria may be provided documentation supporting their ability to return to work upon request.

Troy Hampton, DO, MEM
Chief Medical Officer

© 2020 by Fairfield Community Health Center   

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • LinkedIn - White Circle

This health center receives HHS funding and has Federal PHS deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals.”

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) under grant H80CS19595, of the Public Health Service Act, Section 33, 42 U.S.C. 254b, in the amount of $1,282,607 with 75% financed with nongovernmental sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S.Government.