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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Latest COVID-19 Variant Creates Serious Issues for Health Care Systems and Patients

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Broderick Rhyant, M.D., chief physician executive,

Eskenazi Health Center Forest Manor

The new and highly contagious coronavirus variant named Omicron has recently sent COVID-19 positive tests soaring around the world and hospitals are overflowing with coronavirus patients like never before.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Omicron has been detected in most states and territories and is rapidly increasing the proportion of COVID-19 cases it is causing.

As the number of COVID-19 cases has increased, many of us have learned that it’s become much more difficult these days to get tested for COVID-19. Unless you are ill, we advise you to explore the many testing options that are available to you at other locations aside from the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital. To find a testing location near you, please visit Coronavirus.IN.gov. To order four free COVID tests per household, visit: Www.Covidtest.gov 

Despite the overwhelming challenges health care systems are currently faced with, it’s very important to not delay seeking care for conditions including but not limited to high blood pressure and diabetes, and for mental health care needs.

Options exist to connect with your provider, including using applications like Eskenazi Health MyChart, where online you can request medication refills, schedule appointments, view all other patient medical data, and medication instructions and summaries from previous appointments.

To set up an Eskenazi Health MyChart account, please visit MyChart.EskenaziHealth.edu on a computer, tablet or smartphone, and click “Sign Up Now” in the “New User?” section.
For assistance with MyChart, please call 317.880.2273.

Patients with active Eskenazi Health MyChart accounts can securely send messages with their care teams and get support for medical questions and other health care needs that do not require an appointment.

The COVID-19 vaccine (or booster when appropriate) along with practicing other safety measures, remain of utmost importance and the most effective way to combat this terrible virus mainly because people who are vaccinated have milder symptoms and do not require hospitalization or to be seen by a medical provider.

It is also critically important to receive the booster vaccine for the best protection and to reduce your risk of sickness and hospitalization. The booster can be received if your last Pfizer or Moderna shot was more than five months ago, or your Johnson & Johnson shot was more than two months ago. Receiving the booster shot is recommended even if you have had the COVID-19 infection.

For patients with upcoming appointments, please be advised that visitation restrictions are in place and you should plan to arrive to your appointment independently (by yourself). Please make arrangements for childcare if needed.

Pediatric patients and those requiring assistance will be permitted to have someone attend their appointment with them. This includes some vulnerable patient populations (e.g., patients with dementia, Down syndrome, autism, hearing impairment, etc.).

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