COVID-19: FAQs

Updated: 6/04/2020 9:20 a.m.

We understand that members of our community are concerned about the risk of exposure to the 2019 novel coronavirus, the virus responsible for COVID-19.

TPMG has a robust COVID-19 preparedness plan and is ready to respond to our patient’s needs in collaboration with our local health agencies and CDC guidance.

At this time, we do not know enough about transmission dynamics and are being very conservative in our preventive measures. As always, please follow standard hygiene practices to prevent illness, such as handwashing, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth and opt for verbal salutations instead of hugs or handshakes.

Below are FAQ’s with valuable information.  We will continue to post updates as new information becomes available.

Patient Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What do I do if I have a scheduled appointment?
Please call your healthcare providers’ office for instructions or email your provider via the patient portal.  Some offices have limited their hours, and some have gone to conducting appointments only via telemedicine.  The staff will give you the appropriate directions. If the office keeps your in-person appointment, you may be asked to wait in your car until the office calls you and lets you know that you are ready to be seen.
Is After Hours Care remaining open?
Unfortunately, we have had to close After Hours Care Clinic in Newport News for in-person visits for the foreseeable future.  This decision was not made lightly, but concerns for the employees and patients during this difficult time made it necessary.

After Hours Care Clinic will, however, begin offering same-evening virtual telemedicine appointments on Monday – Friday, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., starting Monday, April 13, 2020. For more information, click here.

What do I do if have any cold or flu symptoms?
Please call your primary care office for instructions.  Some offices have limited their hours, and some have gone to conducting appointments only via telemedicine.  The staff will give you the appropriate directions.
What are the most common symptoms for COVID-19?
Symptoms include:

– Fever
– Cough
– Muscle Pain
– Shortness of Breath
– Sore Throat
– Chills
– Repeated Shaking with Chills
– Headache
– New Loss of Taste or Smell

This is not an inclusive list and you may experience some symptoms and not others.

If you are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19), please CALL your Primary Care Provider (PCP). Your Primary Care Provider and the staff will work with you to determine your next steps. Your doctor has a protocol to work with the local health department to determine testing and additional care.

Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing:

– Trouble breathing
– Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
– New confusion or inability to arouse
– Bluish lips or face

For more information on symptoms of Coronavirus, visit the CDC website here.

What is the average incubation period?
According to the CDC, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. The average incubation period is 5.2 days, and 95% of people are symptomatic after 12 days.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19. Examples are:

  • Working from home instead of at the office
  • Closing schools or switching to online classes
  • Visiting loved ones by electronic devices instead of in-person
  • Canceling or postponing conferences and large meetings
Who is most at risk of contracting COVID-19?
Older adults are most at risk, and the risk increases with the age of the person.

Additionally, those with severe chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease are at a higher risk.

Where can I get more information about COVID-19?
Visit the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 site for more information and other frequently asked questions.  The latest updates and other resources from the CDC can also be found here.
How do I get tested?
Your first step is to call your primary care provider.  The office will instruct you on where to go for testing. It may be at your physician’s office or another testing center.
What do I do if I need a prescription refill?
If you are registered in the MyTPMG.com portal, please send your provider an email request for a refill.  If you are not registered, please call the office for instructions.
I am pregnant. Will I keep my scheduled appointments?
We plan to reach out to expectant mothers to see if a virtual telemedicine visit is possible or whether we still wish to see you in the office.  Depending on your risk factors, your appointment may also be canceled and rescheduled.  Please message your physician through the patient portal or call your physician’s office if you have any questions.
Is it safe to see my provider in the office?
Many of our offices still have face-to-face visits available. If you need an appointment, please call, and the office staff will provide details on how best to move forward to see your healthcare provider. The stay at home order by Governor Northam does not restrict you from receiving care in your providers office.

All of our offices have implemented safety policies and procedures to protect you and our staff.

  • Parking Lot Waiting Rooms. Patients with cough, fever, flu-like symptoms, or those concerned they were exposed to or experiencing symptoms of COVID – 19 are seen in their cars.
  • Cleaning. We are continuously disinfecting our offices, exam rooms, and all surface areas.
  • We are adhering to all CDC guidelines relating to PPE.

For more information about in-person office visits and the safety precautions being taken by TPMG offices, click here.

In response to the current COVID-19 situation, we ask that all patients come to TPMG offices in a mask if you have one available.

Will telemedicine or virtual visits be possible?
At this time, more than 160 TPMG providers have access to telemedicine.

Please message your provider through the patient portal or call the office to see if your provider can schedule a virtual visit with you.

Will mammograms be rescheduled?
TPMG Imaging and Breast Centers in Newport News, Hampton and Williamsburg have resumed screening mammograms. Contact any of the three locations to schedule. In response to the current COVID-19 situation, we ask that all patients come to TPMG offices in a mask if you have one available.
How long will I be out of work if I test positive for COVID-19?
This is determined on a case by case basis in discussion with your physician and your local health department.
What is self-quarantine?
People who have been exposed to the new coronavirus and who are at risk for coming down with COVID-19 should practice self-quarantine. Health experts recommend that self-quarantine lasts 14 days. Two weeks provides enough time to know whether or not they will become ill and be contagious to other people.
Does the CDC recommend the use of face masks to prevent COVID-19?
The CDC continues to update their recommendations on wearing face masks and face cloths. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the CDC website.

If you do not have a commercial face mask, directions to make your own can be found here.

In response to the current COVID-19 situation, we ask that all patients come to TPMG offices in a mask if you have one available.

Does TPMG offer payment plans?
Yes, we do.  Please call and speak to our billing office, and we would be happy to set up a plan for you.  757-232-8777.
Can my household pets get COVID-19?
The CDC is continuing to monitor and investigate novel coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in humans and animals. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the CDC website.

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