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I am concerned about the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases that we are hearing about. Is it safe to schedule a medical appointment? What about going shopping or returning to my job? What precautions should I take to avoid infection?

You are wise to be concerned about your safety as well as the safety of others. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the two most important things you can do to protect yourself are wearing a face mask and abiding by social-distancing guidelines whenever you leave home.

At Accordia Health, we are offering in-office and telehealth appointments. Everyone in our office, including patients, wears a face mask and we follow sanitization procedures recommended by the CDC. If you would feel more comfortable talking to a professional from home, we can schedule your appointment via telehealth, too.

Decisions like going shopping and returning to work or school will vary from person to person. If you in a high-risk group — a senior citizen, for example, or someone with a compromised immune system — experts say you probably are safest at home. Regardless of your age or health status, however, when you are in public it’s important to avoid crowds, wear a face mask and wash your hands frequently. Make sure the stores you frequent and the places where you dine, work, worship or otherwise interact with people are following CDC guidelines, too. None of us can afford to let our guard down.