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Doctor Visits During COVID-19: Should I Reschedule?

Doctor Visits During COVID-19: Should I Reschedule?

As the number of COVID-19 cases grow across the state and stay-at-home orders remain in place, many of us are questioning which trips outside of the house are absolutely essential, and that may include an upcoming doctor’s appointment. So how important is that doctor’s appointment scheduled for later this month?

It’s important to look at the reason for your visit. If it’s just a routine visit and not for anything urgent, call your doctor and ask if it’s OK to reschedule the appointment to a later date or if a telehealth visit is an option. Telehealth is a great way to connect physicians with their patients. Over the last few weeks, telehealth has taken off across health systems to help evaluate whether a patient needs to be tested for COVID-19 and to reduce the number of people coming into waiting rooms and into contact with one another.

Those who are elderly, undergoing cancer treatment, or who have other health issues (especially immune issues) are at a greater risk for COVID-19-related complications. If you are in one of these higher risk groups, touch base with your healthcare providers to make an individualized plan for continuing treatment before canceling any appointments. Your physician may decide that telehealth visits are a safer option for you.

For prescription refills, talk to your doctor about refilling medication for an additional month until it is safer to come in. This can usually be done through the patient portal or by asking your provider’s office to send it electronically to your pharmacy.

As always, if you do begin to feel under-the-weather, give your doctor a call. Based on your health and symptoms, your provider will help you determine whether to come in or not.

And if you start to develop symptoms of COVID-19, like fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, be sure to call your doctor immediately. Don’t just show up at their office, an urgent care center, or emergency room. Since COVID-19 symptoms are often like those of the common cold or flu, your doctor will want to learn as much as possible in advance in order to determine how to best handle your case.