New webpage offers tips, insights to help people understand when to reach out to doctors, hospitals
By Antonia Ehlers, PR & Media Relations, Kaiser Permanente Northern California
Battling the triple threat of COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) people of all ages are finding themselves sick as this “Tridemic” rages on. With emergency rooms and hospital beds filling up, Contra Costa Health and Kaiser Permanente have partnered to launch a public health education campaign to inform the community about simple self-care recovery tips and virtual treatment options for common illnesses.
“By partnering with Contra Costa Health, we bolster our efforts to disseminate critical health tips to our members and many others throughout the community,” said Dr. Sharon Mowat, pediatrician and physician-in-chief for the Kaiser Permanente Diablo Service Area. “If we can help people safely recover from the comfort of their homes, we can also lessen the extremely long wait times that people are seeing in the overcrowded doctors’ offices and emergency rooms throughout our community.”
The two organizations created a webpage in English (www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/get-care) and Spanish (www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/get-care-es), with information and resources about how people can recover from illnesses and access care from the comfort of their homes. If people have urgent or immediate concerns, they are encouraged to call an advice nurse or doctor’s office for guidance and virtual appointments by phone or video. Contra Costa Health Plan members and people who don’t have health coverage can call the advice nurse at (877) 661-6230. Kaiser Permanente members can call the advice nurse at (866) 454-8855.
Hospitals and ambulances are especially impacted during the winter virus season, so Contra Costa Health and Kaiser Permanente caution people to only call 911 or go to the hospital if their need for care is truly an emergency.
“The good news is most people who get sick can safely recover from home,” said Dr. Sofe’ Mekuria, deputy health officer for Contra Costa Health. “We want people to know the home care options available to them and know how to prepare themselves so they can recover quickly and safely if they get sick.”
Health recommendations include staying home when sick, getting lots of rest, drinking plenty of fluids and separating from others to avoid spreading illnesses. For peace of mind, people are encouraged to stock their medicine cabinets with items including over-the-counter cold/flu medicines to reduce fever and pain, saline spray or drops, cough syrups and lozenges, and COVID-19 home tests.
In addition to the webpage, a communications toolkit with digital graphics and handouts is also available for local schools, businesses and community organizations to share with their members.
To learn more about getting better when you’re sick, visit www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/get-care.