COVID-19 Appointment Information and Procedure Updates
Get the latest updates for all appointments and procedures.
In anticipation of your upcoming visit to the Johns Hopkins Division of Rheumatology, we wanted you to be aware of how we are managing the risk of coronavirus spread and provide you with relevant information.
According to CDC guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html), if you currently have fever, cough, or other lower respiratory symptoms AND have travelled within the past 28 days to China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, or Iran AND/OR have traveled to an area in the United States with confirmed ongoing community transmission AND/OR close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, then it would be advisable to immediately contact your primary healthcare provider for screening and treatment guidance as well as postpone your visit with the Johns Hopkins Division of Rheumatology.
For those with an upcoming appointment who do not answer affirmatively to the above, when you present to the front desk of our clinic, you will be asked a series of questions related to viral symptoms (fever, cough, or other lower respiratory systems) as well as recent travel within and outside of the United States.
As of March 10th, 2020, the guidance from the American College of Rheumatology (https://www.rheumatology.org/announcements) for patients with rheumatic disease is:
- At this point, American College of Rheumatology does not recommend holding or discontinuing medications for rheumatic diseases, including prednisone, DMARDs or biologics.
- But if you are ill, with cough/fever or you have been exposed to another person who is diagnosed with COVID-19, we recommend stopping the immunosuppressive medications and getting immediate medical attention, including testing for COVID-19. This is similar to our current practice with any concern for infection, while you are taking an immunosuppressive medication.
- It would be wise to keep ample stocks (e.g., one-month supply) of necessary medications on hand in case they are prevented from refilling prescriptions in a timely manner.
The CDC recommends the following everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
If there are additional questions regarding your appointment, please feel free to call our office at 410-550-2044.