To our Avalon Plus Clients, Colleagues, and Patients :
In the light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Avalon Plus is taking every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of our patients and staff while we continue to provide the same exceptional care that all of our patients and families have come to expect from us every single day.
With the growing concern about the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States, Avalon Plus has been closely following all updates from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Rest assured, Avalon Plus has a comprehensive plan in place for the care of any patient who may be presented with a suspected or confirmed case of the illness.
As a patient or someone who cares for a patient with a chronic disease, we understand that you may have concerns and we will continue to use all communication outlets available to keep you updated and informed as we learn more about COVID-19.
Precautionary Measures Being Taken:
• Avalon Plus staff are specially trained and will continue to follow all necessary protocols and procedures to ensure the health and safety of our patients, visitors, and staff. Our offices will continue to operate under a normal schedule with no disruption in care to our patients. Please plan to keep all existing appointments, unless your care provider contacts you directly to reschedule.
• Because many of our patients have conditions which may compromise their immune systems (such as diabetes or autoimmune thyroid disorders), we are taking extra precautions to protect the health and safety of everyone involved and asking you to call your TD&E office prior to any appointments if you are experiencing any of the following COVID-19 symptoms, which can range from mild to severe:
– Difficulty breathing
• When patients arrive for their appointments, some providers are asking a series of questions to help identify anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or who has signs and symptoms of respiratory illness. This is done so that they can be given a mask immediately and referred for appropriate testing and/or follow-up care. This screening may cause minor delays and we appreciate your patience during this time.
What can you do right now to protect yourself and others?
The CDC recommends common everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of coronavirus, including:
• Wash your hands thoroughly or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick and encourage family and friends to do the same.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and immediately and wash your hands.
No tissue? Cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Following these simple steps can help us keep the community we call home, safe from the spread of COVID-19.
We understand that COVID19 is of particular concern for the elderly and those with underlying health issues. The response to the virus has been a bit slow, therefore we do not truly know how widespread the infection is in our communities. Because of this, we cannot accurately predict the true risk of exposure at this time.
Since so little is currently known about this virus, we do not know if people with HSP or PLS are at greater risk of contracting the virus or getting severely ill with it. Health organizations including the US CDC, WHO, and regulatory bodies in other countries are in agreement that those with underlying health issues need to be particularly careful about exposure and should be in contact with their physicians immediately if they suspect they are symptomatic.
While still in cold and traditional flu season, it can be difficult to try and distinguish between these illnesses. The helpful graphic below from the CDC may be useful in discriminating between coronavirus, seasonal flu, and the common cold.
There is a lot of information online regarding COVID-19, much of it good, some of it questionable. We recommend sticking with credible sources like these:
In addition to preparing ahead of time in case you/your household is impacted by COVID-19, the CDC has recommended that people at high-risk (the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) limit their social activities to reduce risk of exposure. For now, this is just a suggestion from the CDC—although they do not make such suggestions lightly—but each family will need to decide for themselves what level of social activity they are comfortable with.
This is the time to be in close contact with your own physician if you have any concerns that you may have contracted COVID-19, have had exposure risk, or have questions about avoiding exposure.
Wishing you well,
Vasco M. Galvez
President & CEO