Last updated: Mar 27, 2020
Coronaviruses were first identified in the 1950s and generally cause mild upper respiratory illness characterized by cough, fever, and/or body aches. This is very similar to most viral illnesses including flu and the common cold.
The current situation involves a new, or “novel,” coronavirus and the illness it causes is called COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019). Because this virus is new, testing has been limited; there are no vaccines and no medicines designed specifically to treat it.
The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully known. As the pandemic expands, the risk of exposure will increase, and all persons are at risk for getting infected. Older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, seem to be at higher risk of more serious illness due to COVID-19.
Everyone should be maximizing “social distancing” to slow down the spread of COVID-19, as the disease is now in the community and can be spread by people who may not have symptoms. Here are things you can do to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the community:
- Stay home unless it is necessary to go to work, purchase necessary items, help someone who needs support, or seek medical care.
- Do not visit friends, gather in groups or otherwise socialize in person. Use virtual technologies to stay connected.
Fever, cough/shortness of breath and body aches are the most common symptoms.
Because it is still cold and flu season, and allergy season is starting, our urgent cares continue to see a significant number of patients with these symptoms. As with the flu, most people who get coronavirus experience fever, cough, muscle pain or weakness, and fatigue, and will have a complete recovery.
Since it is a virus, the coronavirus cannot be treated with antibiotics. Mild infections are treated in the same way as the common cold or flu with medications to relieve the symptoms of cough, congestion, and fever.
If you are in respiratory distress, please call 911. If you have a fever, cough, and other symptoms of a respiratory infection, please visit your closest CityMD location. As a precaution, wear a mask if possible and limit exposure to others. Please immediately notify the staff of your possible illness upon arrival. For patients who want to speak to a doctor immediately, we offer telemedicine service by downloading the CityMD app or you can visit citymd.com/virtualcare.
For those patients who are experiencing fever, shortness of breath, persistent cough and body aches, we are here to examine and evaluate you. If we are able to rule out seasonal flu, we may recommend a coronavirus test.
Testing supplies are very limited across the nation. Patients experiencing mild cold/flu symptoms or are among the “worried well” and would like to be tested for peace of mind cannot be tested at this time. While you may have a compelling personal reason to ask for a test, our providers are administering tests based on strict clinical criteria. Instead of visiting CityMD under these circumstances, we strongly encourage you to take the following steps to get healthy and protect your family and loved ones:
- Consider a telemedicine visit through our CityMD app or citymd.com/virtualcare
- Stay Home
- Isolate Yourself. Really – don’t go out.
- Treat with over-the-counter medicines*
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Wash your hands well with soap and water and avoid touching your face
- Continue with this regimen until you feel healthy
Our CityMD locations are staffed by some of best, most dedicated teams in healthcare. They’re coming to work every day committed to caring with kindness. We hope you will help us support these teams by not coming into a CityMD location seeking a COVID-19/coronavirus test unless you are exhibiting the symptoms and are truly sick.
There is currently no scientific evidence suggesting that use of ibuprofen can worsen COVID-19. This concern is hypothetical. The World Health Organization (WHO) has made no recommendation against the use of ibuprofen. If you are taking prescription ibuprofen, it is safe to continue taking it for your condition as prescribed by your provider. It is also safe to take either over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen at recommended doses for short-term use to relieve pain and reduce fever. Discuss with your providers about long-term use of either medication.
Please stay aware and take proper precautions. The coronavirus spreads via respiratory droplets such as from a cough or sneeze, so you should be using the same prevention methods as you would to avoid a cold or the flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
In order to preserve our ability to staff our sites with the dedicated doctors and teams you rely on from CityMD, we are proactively closing certain locations temporarily to allow us to adjust staffing at other CityMD locations to continue to provide the care you and your families need.
Check this link for the latest Temporary CityMD Location Closures.
We take this situation very seriously and have been preparing for potential cases for weeks. For us that means reinforcing our protocols, using appropriate supplies and devising rapid-response contingency plans. At CityMD locations, all staff are trained on the appropriate care for patients with flu-like symptoms and are wearing masks and using protective equipment when appropriate. We are following CDC and DOH guidelines to limit the spread of the virus including how we isolate patients with symptoms and how we disinfect rooms between patients.
NJ Department of Health:
24-hour public hotline: 1-800-222-1222
NJ COVID-19 Information Hub:
A COVID-19 website is available at covid19.nj.gov
NY Department of Health:
Coronavirus Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: