The Mayo Clinic Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research (CHECER) believes that accurate information is an important factor to optimal health and wellness. For the last 6 weeks, Mayo Clinic has been convening community members for weekly conference calls to understand community concerns and answer community questions as it relates to COVID-19. We know that sometimes (especially during a crisis) there can be information overload, so the weekly calls are aimed at providing consistent, up to date information that has been vetted by Mayo Clinic experts. The participants of the calls include members of Mayo Clinic Florida’s Community Research Advisory Board, as well as, staff from Mayo Clinic’s partner organizations. “The conference calls have been a great way to stay connected to community members and understand and address their specific concerns.”—Monica Albertie, Operations Manager, Mayo Clinic CHECER
In addition to the general community calls, Mayo Clinic has also convened 2 other community conference calls to understand and address the specific needs of the African American faith based community, as well as, the Hispanic/Latinx community. The faith-based calls are led by Mayo Clinic Family Medicine physician Dr. Floyd Willis and Mayo Clinic Chaplain Reverend Tanya James Foster. The Hispanic/Latinx calls are led by Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine physician Dr. Richard White and are focused on understanding the needs of Spanish speaking community members and providing accurate information about COVID-19 and community resources in Spanish language.
The meetings have helped Mayo Clinic identify needs in the community, determine where efforts can best be focused, and disseminate accurate up to date information throughout the entire community. To stay up to date on the information that has been disseminated, please follow Mayo Clinic’s social media platforms (https://www.facebook.com/JaxCHECER/).
Some of the most frequently asked questions include:
· When is it safe to return to the doctor/dentist? When is it safe to return to the rest of our normal activities?
Mayo Clinic resumed in person visits and elective surgeries. To find out if your personal physician or dentist is seeing patients please contact their office individually and ask what precautions they are taking to ensure your safety if you have an appointment scheduled. Phase one of reopening the state will began on Monday May 4th for North Florida:
– Schools remain distance learning
– Visits to senior living facilities are prohibited
– Restaurants may offer outdoor seating with six foot space between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity
– Retail operating at 25% of indoor capacity
– No change for bars, gyms
· When do we anticipate wide spread testing for people who have no symptoms? ( at Mayo and for Community)
Testing for asymptomatic patients is available through UF Health. Their testing schedule is available on the City of Jacksonville Website. Please keep in mind testing is limited to 150 per day and priority is being given to seniors and the underserved. Of note: due to the rapid testing results (12 hour turnaround) Mayo Clinic is processing many of the tests being done by other hospitals in the area such as Baptist and St. Vincent’s. Mayo Clinic Florida is processing the results and returning the results to community test sites to ensure patients get their results as expediently as possible
· More information that explains the corona virus versus COVID-19:
COVID-19 is only one type of virus in the family of corona viruses
· How long does the virus survive on surfaces?
The virus can survive between 24 and 72 hours on plastic surfaces. Be sure to wipe down areas that have high traffic such as counter tops. Clean fruits and vegetables before consuming
· When you are “positive”, what is the next step?
Seek medical attention immediately. If you don’t require hospitalization you should be in self-isolation. Designate a living space just for you, utensils and meals should be separate from other family members. If you think you’ve been exposed you should self-quarantine for 14 days
· What are some reliable resources?
Follow Jacksonville CHECER Facebook page, follow the CDC website, Florida Department of Health website
· Can people get sick from the nasal swab used for testing?
No. SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted from person-to-person by contact with infected respiratory droplets released with coughing, sneezing, or talking. Infection may be acquired by inhaling droplets or by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching eyes, mouth, or nose. (AskMayoExpert)
· Are grocery stores in under resourced areas being cleaned as thoroughly as those in other neighborhoods, or at all?
Although grocery stores are exempt from the crowd capacity limit in Executive Order 2020-03, many have elected to take extra precautionary measures to protect shoppers, such as marking 6’ distances at the checkout line and wiping down carts and baskets with a bleach solution. To report a business that is non-compliant citizens can call 904-630-2489 (option #4) or submit a report online at http://myjax.custhelp.com. Keep in mind however that your safety begins with you. To help protect yourself, grocery store workers, and other shoppers:
- Prepare a shopping list in advance.
- Wear a face covering or mask while you are in the store.
- Carry your own wipes, or use one provided by the store to wipe down the handles of the shopping cart or basket.
- Practice social distancing while shopping – keeping at least 6 feet between you, other shoppers, and store employees. Keep your hands away from your face.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds when you return home and again after you put away your groceries.
- There is no evidence of food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. However, if you wish, you can wipe down product packaging and allow it to air dry, as an extra precaution.(FDA)