LANSING, Mich. — As the world works together to fight the spread of COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus, health systems across the country are taking steps to keep their patients, caregivers, and community safe.
Harold Hess of St. Johns saw the care process firsthand when he recently took steps that culminated in being tested for COVID-19 at McLaren Greater Lansing.
“In late February, I went to a convention in Chicago, and people were coming in and out of O’Hare Airport,” said Hess. “There was an exposure there shortly after I started getting sick, so I thought I should call my doctor.”
Hess contacted the Clinton County health department and was directed to reach out to his primary care physician to discuss his symptoms. That course of action is exactly what the Centers for Disease Control and state officials are asking people to follow instead of going to an emergency room at a hospital to seek testing. Health care providers only test people who fit criteria for COVID-19, including signs, symptoms, and risk.
Hess was then directed by his doctor to go to McLaren Greater Lansing’s emergency room because of the specific symptoms he reported. McLaren’s staff asked that Hess call before he arrive, which follows the protocols set for treatment of those patients who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
“When I got to the hospital, a nurse came out with a mask for me and escorted me in,” said Hess. “She gave me instructions and took down my information and medical history.”
Naturally, Hess had questions about COVID-19, and he says his nurse and physician were there to educate him through the entire process. “I had a very pleasant visit,” said Hess. “My nurse showed her kindness and caring and was very upfront about everything.”
McLaren Greater Lansing’s team followed the proper precautions while treating Hess, including the use of recommended protective equipment, but he said he could still tell they were friendly and smiling even though they were wearing masks.
Hess recently learned he tested negative for COVID-19, but he is still glad that he took the proper steps to get tested. His advice for anyone concerned about COVID-19 exposure is to trust in the people who are providing care. “Relax, and put your faith in the health care workers,” said Hess.
If you feel that you have symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, please call your family physician or call the Michigan COVID-19 hotline at (888) 535-6136.
McLaren Health Care offers McLarenNow, a telehealth app that can connect you with a doctor via live video on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. The convenient service is currently $29 per visit and can be used as a first step for talking with a physician about COVID-19 symptoms. Visit mclarenow.org for more information.
For updates on COVID-19, including ways you can help keep yourself safe and fight the spread of the virus, please visit mclaren.org/coronavirus.
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