Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 Image

Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The novel coronavirus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19, has infected some people in the United States. However, most of those cases have been associated with travel to at-risk areas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is very high. At this time, however, most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus as it is NOT currently spreading widely in the United States.

  • For most of the American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.
  • People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated, though still relatively low risk of exposure.
  • Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure.

CDC has developed guidance to help in the risk assessment and management of people with potential exposures to COVID-19.

Coronaviruses usually cause an upper respiratory tract illness like the common cold. Patients with this new coronavirus have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath according to the CDC. There is no specific treatment for coronavirus. Most infected people will recover on their own.

It’s still cold and flu season, and the same practices that stop the spread of these common illnesses are recommended:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol hand sanitizers are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick (except to get medical care). Keep sick children home from school.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you use a tissue, wash your hands afterward.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you or a family member has traveled recently, or if you think you may have been exposed to the virus and have symptoms of respiratory illness, you should call our

Urgent Care: 661-949-3512

or 24 Hour Nurse Advice Line: 800-424-2273

NOTICE: High Desert Medical Group on recommendation from the Department of Managed Health Care will waive the costs of medical testing and treatment related to COVID-19 for our MediCal and Commercial members.

Masks: The CDC does not currently recommend the use of masks among the general public. Only health care professionals caring for COVID-19 patients, people who are sick with COVID-19, or in some cases people caring for patients who are sick with COVID-19 need precautions like a face mask to help limit their risk of spreading COVID-19. Due to a growing global shortage, we can provide masks only to members and patients who have symptoms when they come to our facilities. This helps us ensure that we have masks for the patients and staff members who need them.

For more information, please visit the CDC website for the latest coronavirus information.