I am reaching out because I know this is a confusing and anxiety provoking time for many people. As you are likely aware, Nebraska residents have tested positive for COVID-19 (the illness caused by the novel Coronavirus) and I expect more cases to be identified as testing availability expands over the coming days to weeks. As of earlier today there are a total of 35 presumptive and confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state. Most of the these patients will do very well and will not require hospital level of care.

As your natural health provider, I am committed to staying up to date on developments and changes, so that I can provide you with the most accurate and timely information possible.  I am routinely reviewing updates from the Nebraska Department of Public Health and the CDC. If you have questions or concerns, I strongly urge you to visit and utilize these resources. I do not recommend you get your information from social media.

This is not a time to panic, but we do all need to institute some changes in our day to day lives to try to slow the spread of the virus. Yes, it may be inconvenient, but it is necessary. We may not be able to prevent a large portion of the population from getting this infection, and the majority of people who are infected will do just fine. However, it is very important that we slow the spread so that huge numbers of people are not infected at the same time, which would overwhelm our hospitals’ ability to care for the segment of people who need hospital level care due to severe illness. I ask that everyone practice “social-distancing” and avoid non-essential large gatherings or unnecessary travel, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face and stay home if you have a fever or cough. I also encourage you to use Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, Elderberry (Immunoberry) and Vitamin A to strengthen your immune system. Please ask me for specific recommendations and dosing. All can be purchased through my Fullscript online natural dispensary. This is the best way for us to ensure that there will be adequate health care resources for folks who do get very ill from the virus.

At Abundant Life Family Chiropractic I am fully committed to caring for my patients in the most evidence-based, safest capacity possible. I want to make sure that you know how I plan to serve you as COVID-19 spreads through our community, so I’ve put together the following information to explain what you can expect from me over the next few weeks to months.

As of today, March 21, I am asking those with respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, wheezing) and/or fever to first call or text the office (402-858-6130).  DO NOT walk-in to the office without first calling. If you walk-in you are potentially putting myself and other patients at risk unnecessarily.  I will reach out to you for more information and determine the best way and place to evaluate you.  If you have a regularly scheduled visit for a routine, non-urgent issue and you want to cancel in light of current events, please call or text the office and I will reschedule you. Many issues can be handled over the phone, so I can always arrange a phone-visit or video consult. In addition, no patients will be given an appointment without providing a brief reason for the visit. This helps us from being surprised by someone’s symptoms. Please do not “back-door” me and say you are coming in for a benign reason when really you have respiratory symptoms that should be handled as stated above. When in doubt, call or text the office and I will triage you appropriately.

The key points of the triage system I have put in place to keep everyone safe are as follows:

•    If you have mild, isolated, upper respiratory symptoms (runny nose, nasal congestion, post-nasal drip, sore throat), but NO fever or cough, and have NOT been in close contact (within 6ft for at least 15 minutes) with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, nor recently returned from travel to a high transmission country (China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan) or the Northwest US, we will recommend home care and that you not come in for an in-person visit.  You are always welcome to schedule a phone or video consult with me to talk through things.

•    If you have lower respiratory symptoms (deep cough or shortness of breath) and/or fever I will recommend a telephone visit to ascertain if an in-person visit is warranted.

•    If I determine that you need an in-person visit, the visit will occur in your vehicle in the parking lot of my office so as to prevent potential spread and exposure to others in the office. While this is not how we usually do things, it’s the most effective way to prevent the spread in the clinic.

•    If you have severe symptoms, I will likely refer you directly to a hospital.

•    Currently, I have the COVID-19 test kits in my office. I will continue to work with the Nebraska Department of Health and the CDC to determine who needs testing.  I will not be recommending testing for just anyone with symptoms of respiratory infection; I will make this decision on a case-by-case basis using sound medical evidence as my clinical judgement.

I cannot be more explicit than this: if I come into contact with someone who is symptomatic and positive for COVID-19, I may be required to be in quarantine for 14 days. As I have a private practice, this may lead to a situation where I will have to close for all in-person interactions for up to (and potentially longer than) a 14-day period.  If this were to occur, I would attempt to still offer telephone triage and telehealth visits.

I am taking an abundance of caution by putting these guidelines in place to prevent the spread of this illness to the most vulnerable around us.  I appreciate your understanding, patience, and effort to keep everyone in the community healthy as we all see our routines upended a bit by this virus.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions or reach out.

Brian Wehling, DC

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