Can we do antibody testing at VMC?
updated 4-26: Lab Corp is starting to offer antibody testing for the novel corona virus. We are looking at the medical literature and recommendations from the CDC and AK department of Health and Human services ( DHSS) and the current guidelines do NOT support wide spread testing yet. If you still desire testing we recommend you review this with your medical provider in the office or through a telemedicine appointment.
From the CDC website: FDA has authorized EUAs for both molecular and serological tests for COVID-19. Molecular tests are used to diagnose the presence of SARS-CoV-2 infections. In contrast, serological tests can detect IgG, IgA, and IgM antibodies from an immune response to SARS-CoV-2.
Results from serology testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infections or to inform infection status. Negative results from serology testing do not rule out SARS-CoV-2 infections, particularly for those individuals who have been exposed to the virus and are still within the estimated incubation period. Until the performance characteristics of serologic tests have been evaluated, it is possible that positive results from such testing may be due to past or present infections with a coronavirus other than SARS-CoV-2.
Is Valley Medical Care Open?
Yes, we are still open but our hours may be shortened so check on our website for the most UTD information. For after-hours urgent medical questions, you can also reach us through our Answering Service at 907-796-8913.
Please visit our page concerning office procedures during COVD-19 to lean more.
What is Valley Medical Care Doing to Keep Us Safe?
- In order to maintain everyone’s safety, we have separated our entrances. We are meeting our pregnant patients, pediatric patients, chemotherapy patients, and anyone considered immunocompromised or high risk for COVID-19 at separate entrances and ask that you call us upon your arrival to the clinic.
- Everyone who enters our building will be screened at the door with a temperature and certain questions to determine their COVID-19 risk status.
- If you have a fever, new onset cough, shortness of breath, any exposure to a known positive COVID-19 case, or you just feel unwell, we ask that you not come to the office but instead call us to determine appropriate next steps.
- For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask that no visitors accompany patients for their visits unless necessary for physical support or communication needs. Partners of our OB patients, we also ask that you not come to visits until this high risk of COVID-19 transmission is past us. Parents, we ask that you not bring your children to your own visits. This is a very difficult thing for us to ask—we take our commitment to family support very seriously as family practice providers. It is, however, for your family’s safety that we ask this. We are happy to find ways to include partners/families in your care whenever possible. For our pregnant patients, we encourage you to sign up for Bartlett Beginning’s Childbirth and Pregnancy classes which are being held on-line.
- For anyone with respiratory symptoms concerning for COVID-19 who warrants testing or needs a physical exam, we are seeing these patients outside of our office. We are asking these patients to park in our back lot and call the office when they arrive for further instructions. We are asking patients to park in our front (closer to the road) lot for all other appointments.
- If you have disabilities that make accessing health care difficult, please let us know so we can make a plan to continue your care and keep you safe. For patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, COVID-19 precautions may mean that you will be unable to read lips of masked health care providers, or bring a support person with you to sign or communicate. Please check out this resource from the Hearing Loss Association of America for tips on how to communicate with health care providers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnBZlJ39ESQ. Let us know immediately if you are not able to understand our staff, and we will work with you to make sure we can communicate.
Is it Safe to Go Outside of My Home?
In keeping with the Alaska state mandate, we recommend people practice social distancing and stay home unless necessary. We are here to ensure you stay healthy and will continue caring for your physical and mental well-being in these difficult times.
Please download this document from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services to learn more.
When Should I Be Tested?
Please visit the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services website for symptoms and testing information.
When Am I Contagious?
Download this document from the Alaska Division of Public Health to learn what to do. If you are sick or caring for someone, please reference this webpage from the CDC. If you have been tested, please refer to this document.
When Do I Need to Go to the Hospital?
We are here to help you monitor your symptoms. Call us if your condition is worsening so we can evaluate and help you take appropriate next steps.
If you have the following: difficulty breathing, are unable to stay hydrated, or confusion then you should seek a higher level of care immediately. Bartlett Hospital is asking the community to call them before arriving so they may screen and guide you. If you need to be admitted, a VMC provider will be on call to admit you to the hospital and help plan for follow up.
Can I Get My Meds Refilled?
We are still here to make sure there is no interruption in your regular care. We are experiencing many questions and we appreciate your patience.
Before calling our office, please contact your pharmacy to see if you have any automatic refills on file. This will save you time, and you will get your medications faster.
Some local pharmacies have adjusted their hours so please check with them for the most up to date information. They may have the ability to do curbside pick up. Also some pharmacies have the ability to send you a text when your prescription is ready for pick up, so please opt in for your convenience.
Please wear a face mask when you come to Valley Medical
Per Alaska Health recommendations we recommend that all Alaskans wear a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.