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Local Doctor’s Take on Routine Health and Chronic Disease Management During COVID-19

Monday, April 27, 2020

Contact: Emily Weatherly

By Dr. Cody Walthall, Parkside Family Practice

This is Dr. Cody Walthall, board certified Family Medicine physician, sub specializing in Obstetrics at Parkside Family Practice in Cuero, part of the Cuero Health family of clinics. I would like to give a brief recap about me before we proceed with today's topic of routine health and chronic disease management during the coronavirus pandemic. I offer a full spectrum medical services including prenatal care, vaginal and C-section deliveries, select gynecological procedures, women's health, pediatrics, hospital medicine, geriatrics, colonoscopies, EGD and vasectomies to name some highlights. My wife and I are originally from the Crossroads area, and we intend on retiring here. I currently practice at Parkside Family Clinic owned and operated by Cuero Regional Hospital. I am credentialed for medical surgical care, labor and delivery privileges and proud to serve this area.

As you all know, we are currently in the middle of a pandemic with Coronavirus/COVID-19/SARS-2-CoV (all synonymous terms). According to “CDC.gov”, as of April 16, 2020, total US confirmed cases 632,548, total deaths 31,071. The public is currently advised to continue hand washing, social distancing and face masks are recommended in the public and in healthcare facilities. Over 80% of patients that test positive for COVID will have mild symptoms or remain asymptomatic. Less than 20% of patients will have more severe symptoms that may require hospitalization. Patients with the most risks are greater than 65 years of age and/or patient's with certain chronic diseases such as lung disease, heart disease, immune-compromised to name a few.

The statistics and risk factors should not impede patients from seeking medical care. Uncontrolled chronic diseases will make one more at risk of negative outcomes and severe symptoms than controlled chronic diseases. This is why it is highly recommended patients with chronic diseases, as well as those with concerns for new disease processes or any other medical issues such as medication refills and prenatal care, should continue to seek routine medical care during this time.

How’s Cuero Regional Hospital helping to prevent the transmission of the virus while allowing patients to still obtain medical care? All of the Cuero Regional Hospital clinics have instituted protocols when patients or visitors are entering our facility. As soon as any patient enters the building, they immediately put a mask on before screening. Then, the patient is immediately screened with a questionnaire asking history of fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc. If the patient fails the screening questions, the patient is immediately placed in one of our isolation screening rooms until further testing and doctor evaluation; completely kept away from other non-sick patients that could be in the waiting room.

If patient's answer is negative to all screening questions, they will be seated in the waiting room were all chairs or spaced approximately 6 ft. apart from each other. This protocol has made it extremely unlikely to contract or transmit the virus. We instilled this protocol to make it safer patients with chronic diseases, new medical concerns, prenatal care, and pediatric care needs to still seek safe medical advice. For patients that do not need to have a face-to-face encounter, we are also offering provider phone visits. You can easily get medication refills and have simple illnesses evaluated over the phone without ever having to come face to face. Similar protocols are in place at the Cuero Emergency Room. So, please don’t let your health, your baby’s health, that chest pain or facial droop ride out at home because of the coronavirus fear. Please seek medical care via face to face or at least a phone call; we are prepared to keep you healthy and safe. Thanks.
- Dr. Cody Walthall M.D, Family Medicine/Obstetrics, Parkside Family Clinic

For more information and the latest updates from Cuero Health, please visit www.cuerohospital.org
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