Hello Ark Family Health members!

We hope that you are all staying positive and healthy during these difficult times. We wanted to send out an update with some temporary changes in our office policies as well as new information on COVID-19 and testing options. We also want to thank you for your patience and understanding in our delayed response time for nonurgent needs. We are trying to get back to everyone as promptly as possible.

1. WE ARE STILL HERE! 623-226-8825

Our office hours will remain the same and open for phone calls, emails and text messages. We also continue to provide after-hours care for urgent needs. However, we ask that you please do not come to the office without an appointment. In order to help those with urgent needs and do our part in protecting the community, we are currently only scheduling phone or video appointments except when an urgent in-office procedure is needed.

Refill requests may take up to 48-72 hours to process and we will temporarily be sending all medications to your pharmacy.  We ask that you try and request your refills a week before you run out, as to avoid running out of your medications.

2. UPDATE ON TESTING

I received this from the Arizona Department of Health today:

Healthy individuals and those with mild disease do not require testing. These individuals should practice social distancing and follow the recommendations of their local and state public health authorities. There is no specific treatment or management strategy

3. NO UNTESTED TREATMENTS

This message was also sent by the department of health today:
“ARIZONA PROVIDERS: Please do not prescribe theorized “anti-COVID” medications and counsel patients against using inappropriate medications and household products to prevent or treat COVID-19”
We will not be risking your health and the health of others by prescribing unproven medications like hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.  We are, however, watching this closely and if sufficient evidence is shown, we will be among the first to use them.

I am praying for all of you every day and everyone here on staff is here to help with whatever questions you have.

CRITERIA FOR MANDATORY TESTING:
Symptoms of coronavirus and
– Travel to an affected geographic area
or
– Known contact with an infected individual.At this point Maricopa County Department of Public Health is not requiring testing for any persons that have not had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient or travel to an affected geograhic area (as of today that includes China, Iran, Europe and South Korea).  If you are having symptoms and have traveled to one of these places or have known contact with a confirmed case, you can call our office and we will likely direct you to the public health department for testing.

Commercial labs have made tests available but they have not gotten us the test strips. Once these tests are available, other individuals besides the ones above may be tested.  These tests will be in limited supply and will be given to those at highest risk first.  If the supply becomes large enough, we may be able to offer a test to anyone who is interested.

Common symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Call immediately if you have:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

What we are doing to prevent spread:

  • Washing hands and disinfecting waiting room and exam rooms between each patient.
  • Conducting as many visits as possible by phone. Most visits do not require an in person appointment including cough visits.
  • Keeping our own employees home if they have any symptoms.
What you can be doing:

  • Wash hands, wash hands, wash hands.  We have all been hearing this but few people are doing it when it matters most.
  • Sanitize doornobs, counters and your phone.
  • Keep your distance from anyone who is sick (6 feet is a safe distance).
  • Don’t wear a mask (unless you are sick or caring for someone who is sick.