COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new coronavirus not previously seen in humans.  An outbreak of respiratory illness caused by COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China in December of 2019 and has now spread to other countries including the U.S.  The U.S. now has the highest number of cases worldwide.

We have created this resource to provide up-to-date information about our practice policies as well as reliable sources of information about the virus and efforts to test, treat, and contain it.

Please visit the PA Dept of Health website for up-to-date reporting of cases in PA including a county-by-county breakdown.

Please visit the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource page for a global perspective.

 

Click Here for Financial Resources

 

Our Practice Policy (updated 04/05/2020):
  • We have temporarily suspended online scheduling and ask that all new or established patients call the office at 412-685-3373 to schedule an appointment.  

  • Patients with any respiratory symptoms, fever, or recent travel to affected countries are asked NOT to enter our office.  This policy will ensure the safety of our staff and vulnerable patient population.

  • All patients with respiratory symptoms will be offered a phone visit or E-visit with their regular doctor.

  • Patients with non-respiratory symptoms will be offered a phone or E-visit first (due to the shelter-in-place policy), but may be seen in the office on a case-by-case basis.

  • We do not have the ability to test for COVID-19 at FMDPC.

  • If you suspect that you may have COVID-19 or have respiratory symptoms and are unsure what to do, please contact us first.  It is not safe to simply show up at an ER (unless you have severe symptoms such as shortness of breath) because of potential exposure to COVID-19 or other infectious illnesses.

 

COVID-19 Testing Resources

  • Allegheny County Health Department testing center locator:

    • Call (412) 681-6669, option 2.‹

  • UPMC testing facility on the South Side (more info here).  They will be able to perform a maximum of 50 tests per day; therefore patients MUST have a referral from a physician and will be assigned an appointment time.  No walk-ins will be accepted.  

  • AHN has 4 drive-through test sites around Western PA: Wexford, Bethel Park, Monroeville, and Erie.  To be tested at these sites, patients MUST be evaluated by an AHN physician.  To do so, patients must create an account at mychart.ahn.org and request an E-visit.  E-visits cost $49 for uninsured patients and are covered by applicable insurance plans otherwise.  If given the “go-ahead” during the E-visit, patients must call the AHN Nurse Navigator line to get scheduled for testing, at (412) 687-7348, option 2.  It currently takes 7-10 days until results are reported.  This policy is evolving, and we will continue to update this information. 

  • Central Outreach Wellness Center has 2 test sites on the North Shore and in Aliquippa, and 1 in the Pittsburgh Zoo parking lot.  Patients can be tested here without a prescription from a physician, but will still be screened for symptoms to make sure a test is warranted, given the limited supply.  Patients are asked to bring photo ID and insurance card.  Uninsured patients will not be turned away.  For more information call 412-515-0000.

  • President Trump stated in a news conference on 03/13/2020 that several large retailers (Walmart, Walgreens, and Target) would be setting up COVID-19 testing sites in the parking lots, and that Google would be creating a website to help concerned individuals locate a testing site near them.  These plans, to our knowledge, have not yet been widely implemented.  We will continue to keep our patients updated as this unfolds nationally and locally.

 

Mental Health Resources

At a time when anxiety, depression, addiction, or other mental health symptoms are on the rise, many mental health-related services have had to close their doors due to social distancing.  We have compiled a list of resources that are available, either online or at a physical location.  [We do not endorse any particular resource listed here.]

  • Quartet Health (QuartetHealth.com)

    • Links patients with local psychiatrists and/or local or online therapists.  Can bill insurance or cash-pay.  Referral from PCP required.

    • As of 03/27/2020, Quartet now offers FREE online cognitive-behavioral therapy.  This requires a physician referral.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

  • Counseling & Wellness Center of Pgh (link for telehealth)

  • Talkspace (Talkspace.com)

  • Betterhealth (Betterhealth.com)

  • Alcoholics Anonymous online meetings in Pgh area (list of mtgs here)

  • Narcotics Anonymous regional helpline (412) 391-5247

  • Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis in Pennsylvania can text PA to 741741

  • Dr. Melina Spyridaki-Dodd is a local psychiatrist who is offering telehealth visits to new and established patients.  You can contact Dr. Dodd in any of the following ways:

    • Phone (412) 996-2165

    • Email DrDodd@PediatricPsychiatry.org

    • Website https://pediatricpsychiatry.org

 

FAQs on Coronavirus:

What is coronavirus? What are the symptoms?

Coronavirus disease 19, or COVID-19, is a respiratory virus that spreads from person to person. People in close proximity (within about six feet) can pass the virus by coughing or sneezing, during which the uninfected person comes in contact with infected respiratory droplets. COVID-19 may also spread through contact with infected surfaces.

The most common presentation has been a one week prodrome of muscle aches, fatigue, cough and low grade fevers (at least 100.4F), gradually leading to more severe trouble breathing in the second week of illness. It is an average of 8 days to develop shortness of breath and an average 9 days to onset of pneumonia/pneumonitis.

Please remember that the odds are low that a COVID19 infection will progress to the stage requiring hospitalization.

 

What is a pandemic?

COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, the term “pandemic” simply refers to a disease which has spread quickly and simultaneously over a large portion of the globe. The term carries no implications about the severity or curability of the condition.

 

Is there currently a vaccine for coronavirus?

There is currently no vaccine that protects against COVID-19.  However, as of Monday March 16th,  clinical trials have begun.  Read more here.

 

How can I protect myself from coronavirus?

You and your family’s best defense against COVID-19 is intensive hygiene, particularly hand-washing at every opportunity. It is essential to practice proper hand-washing techniques to fully protect yourself against germs.

While hand-washing with soap and water is the most effective method of killing germs, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol will significantly reduce the amount of germs you carry. Please note: hand sanitizer is not a sufficient replacement for soap and water, and you should always completely wash your hands when possible.

You can also protect yourself by cleaning and disinfecting your environment, as contact with infected surfaces may also spread COVID-19. Be a good citizen by treating public spaces and amenities as you would your home - use disinfectant wipes at your desk, keep surfaces clean, and sanitize your hands whenever you can.

Social distancing is important in helping us contain the virus on a larger scale.  Please stay home and avoid public places as much as possible.

 
If I have further questions about coronavirus, who can I speak to?

Residents of Allegheny County may contact the Allegheny County Health Department either by phone at 412-687-2243 or via their website here (be sure to click the COVID-19 box and your message will be directed to the Epidemiology department).   

 

Patient Resources:

At Family Matters Direct Primary Care, we want to educate our patients responsibly about coronavirus and prevent the spread of misinformation. Here is our list of verified resources patients can trust to provide accurate information about COVID-19.

 

Recommended Checklists:

 

Trusted Sources:

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC):

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO):

PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: 

ALLEGHENY COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT (ACHD)

  • Contact with questions about COVID-19 via this online form or by calling 412-687-2243.