How to schedule a visit with a doctor amidst coronavirus pandemic

Ask the Expert

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – If you are a current patient at Bon Secours St. Francis and need to see a doctor for any reason, physicians are now asking you to first call your doctor’s office.

Based on your symptoms, you’ll be recommended for a virtual visit with your doctor via phone or video, or, if necessary, an in-person visit.

“If it is more severe or significant the patient will be directed to one of urgent care centers,” family practitioner and regional medical director Dr. Steve Newman said. “If the problem is more emergent, they’ll be directed to the emergency department.”

For a video virtual visit, you’ll get a text from your doctor’s office with a link. To begin the virtual visit, patients need to click the link, make sure to enable camera access on your phone, and follow prompts to join the visit.

As of this Monday, Dr. Newman says he is treating most of his patients virtually.

“A myriad of problems can be handled virtually, and by doing that we’re keeping people out of the office, we’re keeping people socially distant from each other,” he said.

These virtual visits allow doctors to safely screen for the coronavirus.

“Most everyone who has COVID-19 has mild symptoms, and they don’t need to go to a health care facility… they need to quarantine for 14 days.” he said.

Due to a limited testing supply, Dr. Newman says there are certain criteria to determine if a patient needs to be seen in person for testing or further care.

“[This is] based on their age, whether or not they are immune-compromised, whether or not they have other chronic conditions that make them at higher risk for complications from COVID-19,” he explained.

If you are not a current patient at Bon Secours St. Francis, but are either showing symptoms of COVID-19 or were exposed to someone who tested positive, you can download the Bon Secours 24/7 app and receive a free COVID-19 virtual visit from your smart phone using the code “CARE2020.”

To submit questions you have about the coronavirus or any other health topics, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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