Going anywhere during a global pandemic is anxiety-inducing, especially for people who are at higher risk of developing serious, life-threatening symptoms if they contract COVID-19. Fortunately, there are many different things that you can do to protect yourself and others from getting the virus. There are steps you can take during public outings, at home, and even at healthcare offices. Most are accommodating at-risk patients in Lincoln Park. Continue reading and your dentist will address five common concerns of at risk-patients.
Who is High Risk?
Anyone can get COVID-19, however there are certain people who are at higher risk of developing life-threatening symptoms if they catch the virus. The following people are considered high-risk patients:
- Adults over the age of 65
- Older adults who are living in nursing homes
- Individuals who have weakened immune systems
- People who are obese
- Anyone who has lung conditions
- People with chronic liver or kidney disease
- Those with heart disease or diabetes
How Can At-Risk Patients Stay Safe?
Because there is no vaccine, there is no way to be 100% protected from COVID-19. But by taking these measures, you are greatly reducing your chances of becoming ill with the virus:
- Stay home as much as possible
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently for at least 20 seconds
- Don’t touch your face
- Practice social distancing
- Avoid touching surfaces during public outings
- Wear a cloth face covering
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
How Do At-Risk People Get Essential Items?
Even though it’s extremely important for at-risk patients to stay home as much as possible, you must have a way to get your essential items. There are several options when it comes to getting groceries, medications, and supplies.
Many pharmacies are able to deliver prescriptions directly to your home. If your pharmacy does not offer this, use the drive thru. This way you avoid contact with others that could pose potential risk.
For groceries and other supplies, look into contactless delivery options. For an extra charge or using a grocery delivery app, you can have your essentials brought directly to you. If you must go inside, try to buy enough to last you at least a week. Look out for store hours that are dedicated to high risk customers. Wear a cloth face covering, follow social distancing guidelines, and wipe down cart handles. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get home.
Should You Still Go to Your Doctor’s Appointments?
Certain appointments, like regular check-ups, can be postponed till a later date. Some appointments, like follow-ups, can be done virtually. If you need to see your doctor in person, give them a call beforehand. They can tell you about the steps they are taking to keep at-risk patients safe from COVID-19.
What Do You Do If You or a Household Member Develop COVID-19 Symptoms?
- Contact your healthcare provider. He or she will be able to give you the best advice regarding your situation.
- Ensure the person who is sick has a caregiver.
- Reserve a separate bedroom for the person who is ill to recover. This should be away from others in the household.
- Take precautions like regularly disinfecting surfaces and covering coughs and sneezes.
- Set up basic rules in your home so the person who is sick can get food and other necessities without making direct contact with anyone else.
- Do not share silverware, towels, or other amenities with the person who is sick.
As uncertain as things feel now, by taking these precautions, we will get through the pandemic together. Look out for at-risk patient hours at your dentist in Lincoln Park and keep up with daily habits like wearing a face covering and washing your hands frequently. Knowing that you are staying safe will give you peace of mind.
About the Author
Dr. Samir K. Rana practices at Comprehensive Dental in Lincoln Park. He is a member of a variety of professional associations including the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the New Jersey Dental Association, and the Passaic County Dental Society. He and his team are taking 30 additional steps, including hours dedicated to mature and medically concerned patients. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (973) 633-5666.