HWC & COVID-19
As the news surrounding COVID-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus) evolves, the main priorities and mission of Hope and Wellness Center remain the same — to walk alongside our clients in their journey to healing, wholeness, and overall wellness. Education, awareness, and a level of wise caution will be vital as we all navigate through this situation.
How Hope and Wellness Center is Adapting:
Due to recent events and increasing concerns about COVID-19, Hope and Wellness has begun offering telehealth sessions as a healthy alternative to an in office visit.
Here is a link about the video session platform we are utilizing:
Please consider your unique health needs and the needs of your loved ones when deciding whether to pursue office versus telehealth visits. Please call your insurance provider and/or reach out to the Hope and Wellness office for any plan specific concerns or if you are uncertain as to whether your plan covers video sessions. Below are the insurance companies that typically treat telehealth sessions in the same capacity as an in-person session and co-pays would be the same (this list is not a guarantee of insurance coverage).
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- United Healthcare
- NE Medicaid
In addition, Hope and Wellness Center is making sure office spaces are sanitized often and there will be hand sanitizer in the office for your convenience. Also, please remember, it’s normal to feel fear, anxiety, and increased stress about these events and how it’s affecting your everyday life. There is no right or wrong way to feel about COVID-19. If you have a low level of concern, you are not under-reacting; and, if you are concerned and taking precautions and/or cancelling travel, you are not overreacting. If at any point between sessions you are feeling a level of fear or anxiety that is concerning to you or difficult to manage, please reach out to your clinician or the Hope and Wellness Center office by email or phone.
Listed below, you will find some helpful information and education about COVID-19 including symptoms, precautions, and best sources of information. Your health and wellness is very important to us, please let us know how we can best serve you and if you have any questions or concerns.
Denise Legg Braverlly, LIMHP, NCC, CDFW
What is COVID-19?
The new coronavirus was identified in December 2019 as the cause of an outbreak of illness in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Symptoms typically include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing and can appear from two to 14 days after exposure.
Two well-known types of coronaviruses have led to outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). COVID-19 is a condition that is caused by an outbreak of a new coronavirus.
COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets and can persist for a short period of time on some surfaces. It generally takes prolonged and close (fewer than 6 feet away) contact to become infected. Most patients who are infected have mild disease. Those that have preexisting chronic disease or are elderly are at
increased risk for complications.
How can I stay informed?
Reliable sources for current updates about COVID-19 are:
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- World Health Organization (WHO) https://www.who.int
- National Public Radio (NPR) https://www.npr.org
How is it transmitted:
- Primarily transmitted through particles expelled from mouth/nose particularly when coughing and sneezing
- It can NOT permeate skin. But if you touch your face, you can get then contract it.
- Latex gloves could help but are not recommending since it cannot permeate skin
- When are people contagious?
- Individuals with it are most contagious when they are symptomatic. As a result, when they find out someone has it, they are tracing their activities back to when they first showed symptoms (and adding a day). So we keep hearing about asymptomatic people infecting, they believe that is very minor.
- How long does it survive?
- It is NOT a hardy virus. It can live on metallic hard surfaces for only a few hours, but longer on porous materials.
- The story in the news about it living 9 days was in a lab controlled environment and not typical
- They expect if you receive it once you will be immune for a short period of time. Do not know if you will be immune the rest of your life.
- Cases of people recontracting are very rare and have been in immunocompromised people
- Outbreak duration
- They expect that once it gets going in a community it will peak and recede in a 6-12 week period
- They expect seasonality/warm weather to help in this regard as we come into summer
- Allergies vs COVID 19 — Fever is the biggest notable difference. COVID is also more respiratory, less itchy eyes, etc.
- Pregnant women – No evidence that the baby can be impacted or transmitted to it. They’re in the high risk category and expect it would be the same as other serious respiratory illnesses.
- Omaha specific information
- Omaha does not have enough tests to do broad testing yet
- Individuals are asked a series of questions to determine if they are at risk (travel, exposure, etc.) before they are being tested
- UNMC now has specific intake procedures for testing. You first call ahead to discuss if you need to be tested. Then you call in the parking lot when you arrive. Someone meets you and takes you to a secure location to be tested. That way people with it are not walking in areas open to general public or other hospital patients.
- At this point, hospitals are preparing very quickly but still doing most normal activities but they expect to soon start delaying routine appointments and elective surgeries to free up resources
How do I limit exposure?
There are specific measures you can take to help protect yourself and your loved ones from coronavirus.
Use the same precautions that you would for the flu or cold:
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly
- Avoid shaking hands
- Cover your cough
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you feel sick
If you’re sick or think you may have come in contact with someone who is sick, try not to panic. Chances are you have the flu or a common cold. However, because symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu can be similar, here are some specific precautions worth taking:
- Stay home
- Monitor your symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing)
- Have an online visit using the telehealth session option.
- Having an online session can reduce the chance of contracting and/or spreading illness.
Contact your medical healthcare provider before going to a clinic or hospital if you meet the following criteria:
- Symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath
- Travel to countries with coronavirus alerts within 14 days of onset of symptoms
- Contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 within 14 days of onset of systems.