News

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS

In light of the recent Coronavirus cases in Rhode Island, we want to assure you that Medical Associates of RI, Inc. is here to care for you. Patients who have NOT had recent contact with someone who has tested positive for the Coronavirus, have NOT recently traveled internationally, or do NOT have symptoms including fever greater than 100.4, cough or shortness of breath should keep their scheduled appointments at their primary care provider’s office.  Our offices are open and able to provide care for all of your needs.    

With guidance from the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, we are taking steps to make sure our offices remain a safe place for every patient and to reduce your risk of being exposed to Coronavirus.

We have a separate respiratory care center building to treat patients with upper respiratory symptoms and/or  possible Covid-19 infection.

If you need a same day sick visit, call your primary care provider’s office first; please do not walk into a Medical Associates of RI, Inc. office OR our walk-in facility at our Bristol location without calling first. All patients who need a sick appointment will be asked:

  • Have you had close contact with someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus?
  • Have you recently traveled internationally?
  • Do you have symptoms including fever (greater than 100.4), cough or shortness of breath?
Patients with a low suspicion of Coronavirus exposure will be booked for a same-day sick appointment at our office or walk-in. Patients with who answer yes to the above questions will be referred to the Respiratory Care Center. We ask that all patients wear a face mask and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer upon entering our offices.   

At this time we are NOT recommending antibody testing to see if someone was exposed to COVID-19 because:

  1. There is presently no entirely accurate test for COVID-19 antibodies.  There are many tests out there, but they have not been verified as accurate.

  2. Even if you do test positive for antibodies, we do not know if that means you will be immune to (protected from) coronavirus in the future.

  3. Even if we find out that antibodies do protect you from further disease, we do not know how long it will protect you.

  4. The concern is that people who test positive for antibodies will feel that they are immune from getting the disease and will not socially isolate or protect themselves.  The information may give a false sense of security.  Until these issues are resolved, we are not recommending antibody testing.

If you have questions about the Coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus .

There are important things that you can do to prevent the spread of viruses.
The Department of Health recommends:
  • Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same.
  • Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gel.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Flu and coronavirus are spread through coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands. Cover your coughs and sneezes to prevent others from getting sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
  • Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.
  • Stay home if you are ill.  Don't return to work until you have not had a fever without taking medications for at least 24 hours.
  • Face masks are needed for people who are coughing or sick. You do not need to wear a face mask to prevent yourself from getting an infection
Thank you for trusting us with your healthcare.

Sincerely,
Medical Associates of RI, Inc.