Prairie du Chien, WI – As Covid-19 cases in the area trend upward again, local healthcare providers are faced with managing a surge in sick patients. According to Emergency Department providers at Crossing Rivers Health, this influx of Covid patients impacts their ability to care for people who come in with other serious health concerns.
Varying levels of symptoms and testing requirements can make it confusing to determine where to go for any Covid-related health concern. Most individuals experiencing mild or moderate Covid-19 symptoms are encouraged to visit their primary care provider at a clinic. Additionally, if a Covid test is required to return to school or work after an exposure, a call to a primary care provider is a recommended first step.
People who are experiencing moderate-to-severe Covid-19 symptoms, including shortness of breath, dizziness, or fever that cannot be controlled are advised to contact the Emergency Department. This is true for any concern where a delay in care may significantly impact your health. Dial 9-1-1 or go to the Emergency Department if you think your life is in danger.
“We’re here to take care of people in the emergency room and urgent care,” says Heidi Kirschbaum, Emergency Department Clinical Services Director. “If you just want testing, are feeling well and don’t have a lot of other medical concerns, I would encourage you to look for other resources for testing; that helps reserve the beds and the staff for the sickest patients.” Generally, one in five sick people visit the Emergency Department for care that they could have received from a primary care provider.
For unvaccined people, a negative Covid test may be required for travel, concerts, or other recreation activities. In these situations, people are advised to contact their local pharmacy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reassures that Covid-19 vaccines are effective at protecting people from getting sick. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been shown to be about 95% effective in preventing Covid-19. Each of these vaccines requires two doses to deliver that level of protection.
“If you’re on the fence about whether to get vaccinated or not, sit down with your provider,” says Matt Snitker, Doctor of Nursing Practice at Crossing Rivers Health Clinic.
At this time, the CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune symptoms receive an additional dose, or booster, of mRNA Covid-19 vaccine. Crossing Rivers Health Clinic has these available to those who qualify. To learn more about Covid-19 vaccines and boosters, visit crossingrivers.org/covid-19-info/ .