We know this is a difficult and uncertain time. We want to assure you that we are here for you in every way we can be and that you are not alone in all of this. We will start seeing patients in the clinic again on a case by case basis as determined by your doctor. We know you have questions, and the more you know, the better you can protect yourself. We have compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and how we are supporting you during this time.
I have an appointment to come into the office. What should I expect?
You should be prepared to have your temperature checked upon entering. At this time, we're requesting that you not bring visitors. No one but the patient may enter the building. We are also asking that patients wear a cloth face covering, and please know that we will be taking the highest precautions when you come in as well. We look forward to seeing you!
How do I see my doctor right now?
In most cases, we are asking that patients see us via telehealth. This can be on a telephone call or, preferably, through our platform Doxy.me. There will be some cases where we ask that patients come to the office, but that will be at the discretion of your physician.
How do I make a telehealth appointment with VIPcare?
You’ll call us like you would make any other appointment. When we find a time that works for you and your doctor, we’ll text you a link to our Doxy.me page.
How do I use Doxy.me?
We will text you a personalized link to our “waiting room”. You simply have to click the link and enter your name so your physician knows you’re waiting. Much like a regular appointment, you might have to wait just a few minutes. Stay on the line and your doctor will pop up on the screen. They’ll be able to see you and you’ll be able to see them. It is a lot like a FaceTime call.
Why should I make a telehealth appointment and not just wait until all of this is over?
Your health is more important now than ever. It’s imperative that you keep regular appointments and call us if you feel ill. Keeping contact with us right now will ease your mind and ours. We assure you that our telehealth system is easy to use, and look at it this way, you can even stay in your PJs!
The bottom line is that we don’t know how long this is going to last. We care very much about your health and wellbeing. We want to see you.
I’ve heard that I need to wear a mask when I go out. Do I have to?
Where do I get a mask or do I have to make my own?
Unless you already own your own surgical masks, those will be difficult to find and are better served protecting the healthcare workers fighting COVID-19. It’s difficult to find premade masks right now and we urge you to not fall victim to some who are preying on fear and charging far too much for masks.
We also ask that you not expose yourself by going to a store in search of masks. Most stores have run out or don’t sell fabric masks. Etsy is a good place to purchase one if you can’t make your own. If you choose to buy your own through Etsy or another site, we suggest that you pay close attention to the shipping times. Because shipping times are far longer than usual, many are deciding to make their own masks.
How do I make my own mask?
If you own a sewing machine and tightly woven cotton fabric, there are several templates and patterns out there that you can use. Elastic will be hard to find right now so here is a link to a pattern that uses fabric for the ties.
If you can’t sew, that’s okay. There are several ways to make masks without a sewing machine, and they can be made with materials you might already have around your house. Here is a video on how to easily make a face mask with a bandana.
What if I don’t have the supplies to make my own mask?
The truth is, you probably do. In the video above, you’ll see that you need a bandana and two hair ties. If you don’t have those on hand, here are some other everyday, household items that you can use to create your own face mask:
A hand towel
String or twine
While wearing a face mask is more to prevent you from spreading the virus to other unintentionally, you can insert disposable filters to your homemade mask to block out as many small particles as possible.
Some of those are:
Blue shop towels
Will a mask prevent me from catching the coronavirus?
There is no mask that provides 100% protection. The best masks are N95s and they only filter 95% of the particles. Your face mask will provide some protection, especially with added filters. But more than anything, they will keep you from touching your face while out in public.
Even more importantly, and the reason the CDC is recommending we use them, face masks will prevent you from spreading the coronavirus. Because so many people have no symptoms but still carry the virus, it is being transmitted without us knowing it. Wearing face masks will catch the aerosols from people’s lungs and prevent the spread of the virus.
If I wear a mask, can I go about my normal life and visit family and friends?
Absolutely not. Even when you wear a mask, you still need to keep a six foot distance from others that don’t live in your house. We know that it’s difficult not to be able to see your children and grandchildren and friends, but for your safety and theirs, it’s important to limit all contact right now.
Can I reuse my homemade mask?
You can, of course, reuse the fabric from your mask but everything should be washed the moment you walk in the door. The coronavirus can cling to fabrics and material. It’s important that you wash your face mask in hot water to sterilize it and throw away any material that isn’t washable. You also need to promptly remove all clothing that you wore out. Don’t shake it out. Put it directly in the wash with your mask and then wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with hot water and antibacterial soap.
VIPcare was established in 2006 as a professional corporation to serve the medical needs of Medicare Adventage beneficiaries of the State of Florida.