Letter to our patients: COVID-19
During this challenging time of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, we at Greater Seacoast Community Health are making some temporary changes to keep our patients, staff and community safer. Please read on to learn what to do if you are feeling ill and what to expect when you call or visit us.
Before you come to the health center
The coronavirus spreads very easily. So, please call us before you come in for an appointment or standby care if you have any of these symptoms or risk factors:
- Cough AND a fever of 100.4 or higher
- OR have shortness of breath
- OR have been someplace where the coronavirus is widespread in the past two weeks
- OR have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
Calling ahead will allow us to plan for your arrival and evaluation in a safe and private way. When you call, we will ask you about your symptoms and exposure. If it seems unlikely that you have COVID-19, we will schedule your appointment as usual. If we think you may have COVID-19 we will work with you on a plan for your care and possible testing.
When you come for an appointment
- Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time so we can ask you a few questions about symptoms and travel and exposure risks. (At Families First and Goodwin, this screening will happen in tents outside our entrances.)
- Please don’t bring others with you unless you really need to.
- If you take the COAST Trolley to Families First, ask the driver to let you off at the new stop right outside Families First.
For patients over age 50 who have a chronic illness
If you are scheduled for a routine wellness check, you may be getting a call from one of our nurses or providers to check in on you and ensure that your medical needs are being met during this time when “social isolation” is recommended. We will talk with you about options for rescheduling your appointment time as well.
Effective Thursday, March 19th, Goodwin Community Health and Families First will no longer have evening or weekend hours. Our operating hours are now Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. As always, you can call us anytime, 24/7, to be connected with a nurse.
What’s happening with our other services?
Still being offered, but with changes:
- Dental Care: We are now offering emergency care only. If you have an appointment for non-urgent care, we will call you to reschedule it.
- Mobile health care (vans): We are still holding these clinics (except at St. Vincent de Paul in Exeter on Wednesdays). This could change, so please call 603-766-9220 to check before coming to a clinic. Please call that same number before coming to the clinic if you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing. (Note: There is no dental care offered at these clinics.)
Being offered by phone, video or online.
- Home visits: Call your home visitor to schedule a phone visit: 603-422-8209.
- SOS Recovery Services: While the centers are closed, we’ll have phone coverage, telephone recovery support services, virtual on-on-one recovery coaching, and virtual meetings and supports. Call 603-841-2350 or visit https://sosrco.org/virtualmeetings/ You can also access daily online recovery-support meetings offered through Unity Recovery here.
- WIC and CSFP: Call 603-332-4358 for information.
Not being offered right now:
- Parenting classes, playgroups and family group programs. Ask to join our new, private Facebook group to help parents connect: Facebook.com/groups/GSCHParents
- Child care during appointments at Families First.
If you have questions about our services
- Families First: 603-422-8208
- Goodwin Community Health: 603-749-2346
- Lilac City Pediatrics: 603-335-4522
Reliable sources of info about COVID-19
- Centers for Disease Control
- NH Department of Health and Human Services
- Strafford County Public Health Network website, Twitter and Facebook
With best wishes for your good health,
Joann Buonomano, MD Janet Laatsch
Chief Medical Officer Chief Executive Officer