CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO ACCESS A GOOGLE DOCUMENT WITH OUR MOST UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION (UPDATED 11/13/2020): 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1orAWtAowD8AJked_h89f4CjVWJSxy8eQAk4UELqkfLg/edit?usp=sharing

General Information:

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 COVID-19.

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

Download the Pennsylvania COVID Alert App by clicking here.

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

Please visit the Commonweath of PA website for specific instructions about businesses, travel, schools, etc. 

New Guidelines (11/18/2020):

Progress of COVID-19 Vaccine and Medications

  • How does the vaccine work?
    • Both Moderna's and Pfizer's vaccine use a new and relatively untested vaccine technology that employs genetic material called messenger RNA or mRNA. The mRNA encodes for a piece of the coronavirus's spike protein-- the structure it uses to attach to cells it attacks.  When injected into people, it causes some cells to produce little pieces of this spike protein, which the immune system recognizes and develops antibodies and immune cells to attack. So when a vaccinated person is exposed to the real virus, the immune system is already primed to neutralize it quickly.  (From article on cnn.com)
  • How many shots are needed?
    • Nearly all COVID-19 vaccines being studied in the United States require two shots. The first shot starts building protection, but everyone has to come back a few weeks later for the second one to get the most protection the vaccine can offer.
  • What is Operation Warp Speed?
    • Operation Warp Speed is a partnership among components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense to help develop, make, and distribute millions of vaccine doses for COVID-19 as quickly as possible while ensuring that the vaccines are safe and that they work. Learn more about Operation Warp Speed by clicking here.
  • How do we know if COVID-19 vaccines are safe?
    • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews all safety data from clinical trials and an authorizes emergency vaccine use only when the expected benefits outweigh potential risks.
  • What are the side effects of the vaccine?
    • Most people do not have serious problems after being vaccinated. We will understand more about mild side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine before we start to use it. However, your arm may be sore, red, or warm to the touch. These symptoms usually go away on their own within a week. Some people report getting a headache or fever when getting a vaccine. These side effects are a sign that your immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. It is working and building up protection to disease
  • For more information, please visit the CDC's COVID-19 vaccine FAQ page.
  • How is COVID-19 treated outside the hospital?
    • Most people can recover at home without any medication.  Ample rest and lots of fluids will help the healing process.
    • The US Senate will convene on 11/19/2020 to discuss other treatment options for the outpatient setting.  You can watch the proceedings here.

Flu Shots are strongly recommended

  • To schedule yours, CLICK HERE.
    • (we'd be happy to administer the vaccine in the parking lot)

Our Practice Policy (updated 11/18/2020):

  • Online scheduling for our practice has resumed.  Please visit familymattersdpc.com/portal for your scheduling needs.  

  • Patients with any respiratory symptoms, fever, exposure to a COVID19 positive patient, 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 may be seen in the office.  If the patient prefers, E-visits and phone calls will continue to be offered.

  • All patients over age 3 must wear a mask in our office.

  • We encourage adult patients not to bring anyone else to their appointments if at all possible.  For pediatric visits, we are asking that only one parent and no siblings accompany the patient if at all possible.

  • We do not have the ability to test for COVID-19 at FMDPC, but we would be happy to provide prescriptions or other guidance for COVID-19 testing based on your particular circumstances.

  • The CDC has a Coronavirus Symptom Checker, which is a brief online quiz.

  • If you suspect that you may have COVID-19 or have respiratory symptoms and are unsure what to do, please contact us first.  

COVID-19 Testing Resources​​​​​​​

  • Do you need to be tested?
    • Please see the google document at the top of this page.  If you still have questions, please call the office or email your doctor.
  • Nasal swab testing
    • Allegheny County Health Department offers free testing.  Find more information at this website: https://allegheny.curativeinc.com/welcome

    • UPMC testing facility on the South Side (more info here).  This is the nasopharyngeal swab test.  Patients MUST have a referral from a physician and will be assigned an appointment time.  No walk-ins accepted.   

    • Quest and Giant Eagle have partnered to make covid testing more accessible.  Physician order is required.  Once we have placed the order, patients can schedule an appointment at www.myquestcovidtest.com.  They are promising results in 48 hours.  Giant Eagle test sites include Wexford, Gibsonia, Bethel Park, Robinson, and McMurray.

    • Connected Health in Wexford is offering the nasopharyngeal swab test.  You do not need a physician referral.  The cost is $50.00.  Call 724-933-4305 to schedule.  Click here for more information.

    • AHN has 7 drive-through test sites around Western PA: Wexford, Bethel Park, North Shore, Monroeville, Natrona Heights, Braddock, and Erie.  This is the nasopharyngeal swab test.  Referrals are no longer accepted from independent physicians, so you'd have to schedule a telehealth appointment.  While the covid test may be free, you will be charged for the telehealth visit.

    • CVS and Rite Aid have self-swab tests (either nose or mouth).  These give less accurate results as compared to the nasopharyngeal swab.

    • At home nasal swab test: Pixel by LabCorp.  Their website reports that this test has no upfront costs and can either be billed to insurance or covered by federal funds for self-pay patients.

    • At home saliva test: Vault.  Their website states that this test costs $150. 

    • We DO NOT RECOMMEND Butler Health System for covid testing.  One of our patients was charged over $1,000 for the test.

  • Antibody tests
    • These tests are fingerprick tests and are only used to determine past infection but cannot tell us whether you have an active infection

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.]

Trusted 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.

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 or via their website here (be sure to click the COVID-19 box and your message will be directed to the Epidemiology department).