To Our Patients:
During this time of COVID 19 we want to provide you with helpful information about how to decrease your chances of catching COVID 19, what to do if you become ill, and how to care for a friend or family member if they are ill. This information is in no way exhaustive but is our attempt to provide you with a resource.

COVID 19 the Basics:

1. COVID 19 is a respiratory virus that can cause a mild, moderate or severe respiratory illness.  The majority of people have a mild to moderate illness with fever and cough. Shortness of breath is a worrisome symptom and should be reported to your doctor immediately.
2. The primary symptoms are fever and cough.  Very few people infected with COVID 19 have other cold symptoms like congestion, runny nose, sore throat.
3. Symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure.
4. It is spread person to person through respiratory droplets often expelled into the air with coughing or sneezing.  These droplets can land on surfaces and then be picked up by another person.  If that person touches their mouth, nose, eyes or other mucus membrane they could transmit the virus.
5. It is possible to spread COVID-19 even if the infected person is not exhibiting symptoms.  However, it is most contagious when the infected person has cough and fever.
6. There is no role for antibiotics or antivirals (tamiflu, etc) in the treatment of non severe or uncomplicated COVID-19

To minimize your chance of catching or transmitting COVID-19:

1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
3. Stay home when you are sick.
4. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
6. Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.

  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

7. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

For more information on the basics of COVID-19:

If You Suspect That You May Have COVID-19:



 If you are experiencing shortness of breath you should either call our office or the on call provider for advice.  We may recommend that you stay home, come in for a visit or go to the nearest emergency room.

If we recommend that you come in for a visit please be aware of the following:

1. You will have to wait outside on the sidewalk or in their car until we are ready to see them.  We will call their cell phone to let them know we are ready for them.
2. You will have to wear a mask in our office.  We will provide it for you if you don’t have one.
3. You will need to use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting our office.
4. You  will need to exit the office directly after your exam and we will take care of any necessary transactions over the phone or via email.
5. You should use the bathroom at home prior to coming to our office to limit the chance that you will need to use our bathroom.

For people with an illness suspected of being COVID 19 and stable enough to receive care at home we advise you to:

1. Isolate yourself as best you can from family members and animals - sleeping in a room alone and using a different bathroom if possible.
2. Wear a face mask when in the presence of other people or pets.
3. Limit going out to medical visits only.
4. Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze.
5. Wash hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, touching your face, using the bathroom and before exiting the bedroom.
6. Do not pet, hug or cuddle your pet if possible.
7. Avoid sharing personal household items.
8. Drink at least 64 oz of water/tea/electrolyte drink a day.
9. Take Ibuprofen or Tylenol for fever.
10. Monitor your symptoms.Call our office or go to the nearest emergency room if you develop shortness of breath.  If you are advised to go or you elect to go to the ER YOU MUST CALL THE ER TO TELL THEM YOU ARE COMING

Alta Bates ER  510-204-1303
Summit Hospital ER 510-655-4000

For more information on preventing transmission of COVID 19 at home:

Friends or family members should use the following precautions when caring for a person who has or may have COVID 19:

1. Isolate the individual as much as possible for up to 14 days.  Have them sleep in a different room and use a separate bathroom if possible.
2. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
4. Wear gloves when touching anything that the sick person has touched, when cleaning up after them, etc. and always wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when coming into contact with anything they may have touched.
5. Wipe down surfaces with antibacterial wipes frequently - including door handles, faucets, arm rests.
6. Avoid contact with the sick person as much as possible and be sure the sick person is always wearing a mask when anyone is in their presence.

For more information and to be able to check for updates and changes: More COVID INFO