New Letter from Your DOHC Coronavirus Task Force
November 18, 2020
Update: COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
Dear Valued Desert Oasis Healthcare Member:
We have collectively experienced many changes to our lives and the way we maintain our health since our last update in June. At that time, we were quickly adapting DOHC services as COVID-19 cases in the greater Coachella Valley and High Desert communities were surging. Together – by using masks, social distancing, washing hands frequently and limiting unnecessary travel – we brought that trend down. At this writing, just under 16,000 residents of our community have tested positive and unfortunately nearly 360 people have died. The rate of positives, like in most parts of the country, is moving upwards. The DOHC COVID-19 Taskforce wants to provide you important information to continue to reverse and stabilize infections.
- The use of facemasks, social distancing, frequent handwashing and limiting unnecessary travel continues to be the most effective means to prevent continued spread of the COVID- 19 virus. This fact is based in science and where implemented and maintained, the incidence of virus spread goes down.
- COVID-19 testing. Desert Oasis Healthcare has been providing drive up, outside testing services since the beginning of the pandemic. We utilize the most current rapid testing and the most accurate testing available. All people who test positive or who are at high risk of being exposed are monitored virtually to ensure they stay safe, treat symptoms, and can access higher levels of care if needed. Testing is available 7 days a week at Palm Springs and Indio sites for all DOHC members.
- Virtual Visits have been widely implemented throughout Desert Oasis Healthcare. DOHC has successfully provided tens of thousands of virtual visits with patients to see their primary doctor, specialists, pharmacist, annual Wellness visits, dietician, as part of home health care and really for almost all levels of outpatient care. For patients that do not have internet or the experience using video devices – we even have team members that will bring the technology to where you are so that you can have a healthcare visit with your provider. Virtual Visits keep you and the healthcare team safe and on target with monitoring your health.
- Drive Thru flu shots. Receiving the 2020 flu shot is strongly recommended this year, not only to reduce the risk of a serious influenza outbreak, but also as a prevention measure to reduce the potential dual burden on the healthcare system of influenza and COVID-19. Thank you to the thousands of you who have heeded this recommendation and have already gotten your flu shot. Several special Drive Thru Flu Clinics are located throughout the community for your easy access. You do not have to get out of your car and it just takes a few minutes. If you still need your flu shot, please come to one of our sites between 8-4 M-F or visit one of our four Immediate Care sites 7 days a week. No appointment is necessary.
- Vaccines. As we have all learned in the past few days, 2 potential COVID-19 vaccines are showing promise and likely on track for use in the community in the next several months. DOHC is participating with Federal, State and County officials to be ready for the administration of vaccines when we reach that phase. Here is what we know: the initial availability of vaccine will be prioritized for healthcare workers, front line emergency professionals, and then to the highest risk populations. We are preparing our system to build the infrastructure to handle and administer these vaccines safely, following preliminary federal guidelines that are now available, and as both the vaccines are approved for use and in quantities that will allow us to actually provide them to our members. All of this is evolving rapidly. It will be critical for us to stay in communication with you as this proceeds. We will use mailers, our mydohc.com website, and texts messages to keep you informed.
- This is important: Even as vaccines begin to be available and given to the community, we all must continue to use safe practices: masks, social distance and frequent hand washing.
- Your Questions. Patient Helpline. Whether you need assistance during the day or at night, we have trained professionals available to help you. Contact your doctor’s office or, if you are in a special program, contact that representative to address your question. Additionally, you can call our HELPLINE 760-969-6555 24-7. This team will be able to get you the help you need. We have a special team of nurses and providers to address more complicated COVID-19 issues. If you need help or have a question, don’t hesitate to ask.
- Planning Safe Holidays. We share your disappointment that COVID-19 rates are not lower as we enter the holiday season. According to the CDC - the reality is that getting together in large groups or for holiday celebrations is not wise or recommended. Weddings, funerals, family get togethers, indoor eating, and other similar events are proving to be drivers of the recent upswings in new COVID-19 cases. State and local recommendations now include 14 day self-quarantine if we do travel out of state or to events that include seeing groups of people. We strongly encourage that our members find a balance of enjoying the holidays in safe, socially distanced and cautious settings. Thanksgiving 2020 cannot be the super spreader event that prompts wider shut downs of the following queue of holidays in December and the New Year.
We will continue to be committed to the health and safety of our members, staff, and the community. Thank you for your help in these efforts.
Remember, should you have any questions, please contact DOHC or visit our website for information at MyDOHC.com.
Additional trusted resources: