Coronavirus - What You Should Know

3/18/20 - Dear PFP patients and family:

Please stay safe out there. We are reaching out to you so that you can be aware, informed, and prepared.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) remains a fluid situation, now close to home, and we want to acknowledge the concern that affects and impacts all of us.

Our priority is the health and safety of our patients and employees. To stay on top of all the developments, PFP leadership meets daily and has been actively planning for several weeks.

After the recent news of the patients in the Austin community with presumptive positive tests, we quickly moved into our next stage of planning that includes the following:

  • As of Monday, 3/16 we have opened a Pop Up acute care clinic to allow us to separate our sick patient visits and well visits into different offices. It is still safe to keep your normal routine and well appointments with our office.
  • Preparing to offer telemedicine options; and
  • Continuing to prepare and train our clinical staff to ensure a safe environment.

Your health is always our priority. Our relationship is a partnership and during these unprecedented circumstances we need to envision what it feels like to be in each other’s shoes. Our doctors and staff are also looking for childcare, thinking about their parents, and doing everything they can so they can show up everyday to be on the front lines to care for our communities throughout Austin.

As you can imagine, we are experiencing longer than normal call volumes as well as increased patient walk ins and portal messages. We apologize for any delays in communication you may experience in the coming weeks. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this very busy and challenging time. While you may experience delays, we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We are in this together and can all play a part in keeping each other—our loved ones, friends, and communities—healthy and safe.

In good health,

Kevin Spencer, MD
CEO, Premier Family Physicians

Coronavirus is a family of viruses that range in severity from the common cold to more severe respiratory infections. Symptoms range in severity based on your personal health factors. Symptoms include cough, fever, shortness of breath, body aches and fatigue. Keep in mind that many viruses that are currently circulating have the same list of symptoms (i.e. flu!).

How is it spread?

  • The most likely transmission is person-to-person through close contact with respiratory droplets (in other words a cough or sneeze). The virus can also live on surfaces for days, which means if you touch a door knob, grocery basket, etc and then touch your face then you are infected. The incubation period from exposure to illness is 2-14 days.

Who is at risk?

  • The great majority of people will have a mild respiratory illness. Those at highest risk are the elderly and people with underlying chronic illness. We are NOT hearing of pediatric deaths thus far.

When will we start seeing it in our community?

  • We can’t be certain but we have seen estimates suggesting that it could be widespread by early April. There will NOT be a vaccine or treatment available this year.

What should you do to prepare? First - don’t panic! Remember that for most people, this is going to be a mild illness!

  • The best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands and avoid touching your face. Wipe down surfaces when possible at the grocery store, restaurants, etc. Limit exposure to crowded places if possible. Have a bottle of hand sanitizer in the car and at the door and be sure everyone is clean when coming into the house. If you or your child have asthma, ensure that they are taking their preventative medications as prescribed. Eat healthy and get a good night's sleep!

What will PFP do to keep you safe?

  • We will keep you updated with information as we learn ourselves. Things are changing daily at this point. We will be diligent about sanitizing the office and providing masks (as available!) if our community becomes affected. We will remove all toys, books etc. to minimize transmission through touch (so feel free to bring some entertainment with you for appointments!). We will designate exam rooms for healthy patients to avoid exposure if possible.

We will be hopeful that this virus can be contained but certainly want to be prepared. Please call us with any questions or symptoms.

Go to top