Enjoy a safe summer
By Susan Moore, MD
As we enjoy another beautiful Wisconsin summer, leaders and clinicians at Ascension Wisconsin would like to remind everyone of the care and services available if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Here are ways to can seek care in the Northwoods:
1. Call your primary care physician first. Unless it is a life-threatening emergency, do not go to an Ascension emergency department or urgent care facility without calling first. Your primary care physician will be able to assess you by phone, or through an online visit and determine the best options for care and testing.
2. Video chat with a physician 24/7 through Ascension Online Care without leaving home. Ascension is offering online urgent care visits (also called telehealth or telemedicine). No insurance is required. In the online urgent care visit, explain your symptoms and if it is something more, we’ll advise you what to do next.
3. Visit healthcare.ascension.org/covid-19 and use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool. This site also includes detailed information about COVID-19 and Ascension resources.
4. If you are unable to use Ascension Online Care, please call our Ascension Wisconsin dedicated toll-free COVID-19 hotline at 833-981-0711. Our nurses and care teams have the most up-to-date screening information and can guide you to the best options for care and testing.
For individuals experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, stroke, respiratory distress, emergency mental health concerns, or other acute illness or injury, a hospital emergency room is still the safest, most appropriate place to get care. It is critical to not delay care in an emergency; dial 9-1-1 immediately.
It’s still important to practice safe, everyday preventative actions to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes:
• Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• 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 available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
• Wear a face mask/cloth covering in public places
• Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet apart from others
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
Susan Moore, MD, is medical director of primary and specialty care for the North Region of Ascension Wisconsin.