Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

Coronavirus Covid-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ

Last updated July 2020

Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, all locations are able to test for COVID19. We have both rapid antigen testing and PCR testing options available

Yes, our rapid antigen testing provides results in about 20 minutes

Yes! It is encouraged

At this time we are not accepting appointments for COVID testing based on the influx of testing. Walk ins for testing are available at all locations

No referral is needed

PCR or molecular testing is available. These are sent out to a third party lab and results are available in 3-5 days typically. These are not the same at the rapid tests available on site.

Yes, we can draw blood and send out to Quest for antibody testing.

Yes, almost all insurances are covering testing at 100%. This includes antigen, PCR, and antibody testing.

The out of pocket expense for rapid testing without insurance is $195.

Yes, as of right now insurance is not limiting the number of times you can be tested

No, we are not offering televisits related to initial covid testing. Walk ins are welcome!

We can test anyone over the age of 2.
 

Start Off With A Healthy New Year

man and woman jogging outside for new years resolution

Start Off With A Healthy New Year

man and woman jogging outside for new years resolution

Being more healthy and active is a common New Year’s resolution for most. I’m sure you have even made it yours once or twice. But how long does this resolution actually last? Are you taking the proper steps to make sure your resolution doesn’t fall short?

A quick and easy visit to your primary care doctor should be on the top of your “To Do” list, so you know where you stand when it comes to your health. During your visit, you’ll be able to find out what you are doing right, and what you can improve on, so you are able to start off 2020 in good spirits. We would like to share with you some tips on how to keep on the path to improved health this upcoming new year.

Eating Healthy

This may seem like the most obvious option, but it’s pretty hard for most people to stick to eating healthy meals each day. When attempting to slim down, 80% of your results are going to come from what you make in the kitchen. When creating a healthier eating structure, your body will begin to transform. It will be able to process food more efficiently, as well as increase your energy levels.

Exercising Regularly

Getting in the habit of exercising regularly whether its as little as 30 minutes a day or 3 hours is extremely beneficial to becoming a more healthy human being. If you are just starting out, you can go on a 30 minute to an hour walk every day in order to get your heart rate up and improve blood flow throughout your body. If you are skeptical about working out because you’re not sure where to start, find a trainer at your nearest gym! 

Getting a good Nights Sleep

It’s essential to get a quality nights rest on a regular basis. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night is just as important as your diet and exercise regime. Getting a consistent good nights is known to reduce stress, maintain a healthy weight, builds a stronger immune system, and is also a mood booster! It is important to get into the habit of a structured sleeping cycle because it will benefit you throughout your day to day life. You will have more of a clear mind in order to perform tasks in an efficient manner.

Having a Positive Attitude  

What if you were told that you would be able to change your life based off of how you perceive daily experiences? The power of positive thinking has been proven to create happiness in people’s day to day life. Having a positive attitude or outlook on your life, forcing you to adopt an optimistic mindset. Once this is done, you will naturally look at the world in ways that you could have never imagined. You will be more motivated, driven, and substantially happier overall. By focusing on positive thoughts, you will find that your days will begin to improve which will let you become more productive and have more energy than in the past.

Scheduling an Annual Physical 

One of the most important aspects of starting off the new year strong in your quest to become healthier is to visit your primary care physician in order to get a physical. It’s extremely important to regularly receive physicals in order to be sure that everything is functioning properly.

Physicals are a good thing to do annually and could be done at the beginning of each year in order to insure your improving health. When at your next physical, some questions you may ask are as follows:

  • How does my weight compared to the average goal of a healthy weight for my age/gender?
  • Are my current habits affecting my health in a negative way?
  • Is my diet creating bad habits for other aspects of my life such as exercise and sleep?

Visit DOCS Urgent Care in the New Year

Did you know that DOCS Urgent Care has primary care physicians? When you’re ready to schedule your annual physical in the new year, you can come to one of our Urgent Cares in Connecticut to be seen. We can discuss your physical health and any concerns you may have. 

 

Staying Safe & Healthy During Thanksgiving

Staying Safe & Healthy During Thanksgiving

Staying Safe & Healthy During Thanksgiving

Staying Safe & Healthy During Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year again. No not Christmas, yet, but Thanksgiving. The time to meet up with family and friends to celebrate with a grand turkey feast, and perhaps catch a football game. During your time of celebration the last thing you want is for the holiday to be ruined thanks to food poisoning, the flu, or some other hazard. Luckily, we’ve got some safety tips to help you avoid trouble and enjoy your Thanksgiving week.

Keep Clean

Wash Your Hands: Make sure you and your guests keep your hands clean.This might be a pretty obvious tip but it’s important, especially if you’re the one preparing food. Dirty hands can be a major source of germs and other contagions, including the infamous flu.

Clean Surfaces and Utensils: It’s not just your hands that should be clean. Dirty utensils and surfaces can also ruin your turkey dinner and help to spread disease.

Avoid Cross Contamination: One major reason you want to clean your hands and utensils is to avoid cross contamination between raw and cooked meat. Raw meat can contain various germs that could give your guests a stomachache, or even food poisoning.

Use your own Glasses: Thanksgiving is a time of sharing, but there are some things you still want to be keep to yourself. Consider labelling plastic cups with sharpies and glasses with stickers or charms in order to avoid spreading germs in addition to the usual cheer.

Cook Carefully

Keep an Eye on your Meal: With family around, especially young children, it can be easy to get distracted. Make sure you don’t let yourself get too distracted in order to avoid a potential fire hazard.

Buy Your Turkey with Caution: If the turkey is the star of your show then don’t risk it gobbling up your health. Avoid fresh, stuffed turkeys and instead try to buy a turkey 1-2 days before cooking. Make sure to store it properly in the fridge, or freezer if you got it earlier.

Defrost Correctly: If you thaw your turkey in the fridge be aware that you will need about a day for every 4-5lbs. If you’re planning to thaw it by submerging it in water then make sure the water is cold and expect each 1lb to take about a half hour. Don’t forget to change the water every hour! Finally, when microwaving make sure to use a microwave-safe pan, remove packaging, and carefully follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Cook Immediately and Check Temperatures: Don’t leave your turkey waiting after thawing. Make sure to cook it immediately and do not slow cook or partially cook the turkey. Remember, undercooked meat can be very hazardous, make sure to cook the turkey at 165°F or more and check with a thermometer.

Don’t Carve Too Fast: No one likes waiting, especially with mouth watering smells coming from the kitchen. Nonetheless, you should wait 20 minutes to let the juices settle before carving the turkey.

Store Leftovers Carefully

Refrigerate and Eat Promptly: No matter how big the appetites or the family, there always seems to be leftovers. Make sure to refrigerate these leftovers right away, within two hours, of the meal being served. Don’t let them get lost in your fridge later as leftovers are most safe to eat within three days of being cooked.

Remember to Reheat: When it’s time make sure to reheat the leftovers that need it to 165°F. Don’t forget to boil the gravy too!

Eat with Caution

Avoid Choking Hazards: Make sure to keep choking hazards out of the hands of children and pets. Be especially careful of turkey bones, which are prone to breaking. It’s best to keep most foods out of the reach of pets and to feed them before guests arrive.

Choking: With all the excitement of the day it is possible that someone could choke. Call 911 immediately if someone can’t breath or speak. To try to stop choking you can give 5 sharp blows to the back or, if that is unsuccessful, attempt the Heimlich maneuver, place your hands around their abdomen and give five quick upward thrusts.

Our last and final tip? Have fun! The holidays are a great time to unwind and relax, don’t let holiday stresses get to you. Keep our safety tips in mind and enjoy a safe and relaxing holiday!

Trick-or-Treat Tips for a Safe Halloween

Halloween Family

Trick-or-Treat Tips for a Safe Halloween

Halloween Family

Halloween is such an exciting time of year for kids, they get to stay up past their bedtimes, dress up as their favorite superhero or Disney princess and indulge on candy. Parents need to make sure throughout this exciting event that their kids stay visible, follow the rules of the road, and don’t eat anything strange from the candy bag. Read the following tips to ensure this Halloween doesn’t literally turn into a scary one.

Before you take your little ghosts and goblins out for Halloween, read these safety tips:

Keep it Bright

Darker costumes obviously make it harder to spot your child in a crowd so make sure you dress your child up in costumes that are bright colored, making them more visible to you as it gets dark outside. If your child’s costume is dark, make sure to add reflective accessories or light your kids up with glow sticks.

Face Paint Instead of Face-masks

Face-masks can be a great touch to a costume for a more realistic look, but they are dangerous as they can obstruct vision. Face paint is a much better option, but just make sure to try it out first making sure your child doesn’t have a reaction to the make up. Remember to completely wash it off before tucking them into bed!

Travel in a Group

Older kids should always travel together as a group, and make sure that it’s a neighborhood that has been approved by all the parents. Check-ins by phone should happen regularly and make sure that you have set a curfew for them to be home by.

Safely Approach Homes

Only go up to homes that are well lit with a porch light, outdoor lights, or Halloween decorations. Make sure to enforce the rule to never enter a home or a car for a treat candy.

Follow the Rules of the Road

Make sure to only cross the roads where there are established crosswalks and to always hold your child’s hand when crossing the road. If you are out driving that night be sure to drive slowly through residential areas as there will be small children running around from house to house.

Check the Candy

Before you let your children dig into their pile of candy dump it all out on a table and check each piece, discarding any candy that looks like it has been opened already or any homemade or repackaged candy.

Cold vs. Flu: Ways You Can Spot the Difference

Woman Blowing Her Nose On Couch

Cold vs. Flu: Ways You Can Spot the Difference

Woman Blowing Her Nose On Couch

Is it a cold or flu?

There are so many ways to describe your physical symptoms when you are sick to the doctor. Coughing, sneezing, shivering, hacking, wheezy dry cough, runny nose, and many more. While these all seem like ways to describe the common cold, it is important to spot the different signs between a cold and the seasonal flu.

Symptoms of Seasonal Flu

Influenza or also known as the common “flu” often hits fast and takes you by surprise. The flu begins with a sudden fever including other symptoms like chills, muscle aches, headaches, and tiredness. The important thing to understand is that with the flu you feel lousy and you feel lousy FAST. If you experience any of the fast symptoms included with a flu, contact your doctor right away to begin treatment as the flu can be dangerous if not treated properly and quickly.

Symptoms of Common Cold

The common cold, on the other hand, usually starts gradually and lasts much longer. It is important to understand that symptoms with a cold often creep up on you and can last anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Colds will rarely come with a significant fever, while the flu never fails with a fever of 100 degrees or higher for at least a few days.

This is a helpful chart that shows the difference in symptoms between the flu and cold:

Signs and Symptoms

Influenza

Common Cold

Onset

Sudden

Gradual

Fever

Temperature of 100 degrees and above for 3-4 days

Temperature less than 100 degrees

Cough

Dry, sometimes severe

Hacking

Headache

Prominent 

Rare

Muscle pain

Usual, often and severe

Uncommon or usually mild

Tiredness & weakness

Lasting about 2-3 weeks

Very mild and brief

Extreme exhaustion

Early & prominent

Never

Chest discomfort

Common

Uncommon or mild

Stuffy nose

Sometimes

Typical

Sneezing

Sometimes

Typical

Sore Throat

Sometimes

Common 

Treatment Options for the Flu

Antiviral medications such as Tamiflu and Relenza are used to best treat cases of the flu which require a prescription and a treatment plan. These medications fight the flu by keeping the viruses from reproducing in your body and work best when started within 48 hours of your first symptoms.

At DOCS Urgent Care a variety of our convenient locations in Connecticut offer flu immunizations. Feel free to walk into one of our clinics today for a fast, wait-free way to get your flu shot. Find our more information about flu shots here.

What to Look for in a Primary Care Physician

What to Look for In a Primary Care Physician

There are many benefits to having a primary care provider including better patient-to-provider communication, referrals to other specialty doctors and management to chronic diseases. But, how do you go about choosing a primary care provider? 

The relationship you have with your primary care provider is one of the most important because this physician will learn your medical history, your medications, your possible health conditions, lifestyle and what treatment you prefer. To help you make the right choice when it comes to your health, we’ve listed out some of the top qualities and resources to look for in your PCP.  


Tips on How to Find Your Primary Care Provider 

 

Find Out If the Doctor is In Your “Network”

Many health plans have negotiated discounted rates for specific doctors or hospitals that are in your area. You’ll pay less out of pocket for a doctor that is in your “network.” The best way to find out what doctors are in your network is to call your insurance company to verify. You can do so by calling the 1-800 number on the back of your insurance card. 

At all 16 of our DOCS Urgent Care locations in Connecticut, we accept all major insurances. If you would like to confirm that we accept your insurance, please find your nearest DOCS location and call to verify.

Have Your Needs In Mind 

Every person has unique health needs that will often change as we get older. It’s important to find a primary care provider that you trust with your health conditions (or for your children). Start off by asking your doctor what they specialize in. Some specialize in pediatrics, while others might have a special interest in sports medicine. If you struggle with multiple complex medical issues or if you are an older individual, you’ll benefit more from seeing a geriatrician who specializes in the care of older patients. 

Consider the Location 

For some, quality healthcare has no distance too far. For others, you may value having local, convenient care right in your town. You’ll also want to also consider office hours – what days and times is the doctor available? Do they only visit one location or can you see them at other offices? 

At DOCS Urgent Care, we know that our patients want quality care in the most convenient locations. That’s why we have 16 different locations all across Fairfield, New Haven, and Hartford counties. We want to make sure that our patients don’t have to travel long distances to receive the care they deserve. All of our locations have compassionate doctors and nurses who are more than excited about offering primary care services to all of our patients. We also offer our services 365 days a year because we understand that things happen and walk-in care is an efficient way to assure that you’re seen the same day. 

Visit the Doctor 

Even if you go off referrals, you’ll get a more accurate reading of your potential doctor by visiting them for a wellness check-up. Make sure that during your visit, you feel comfortable with both the office, the nurses and the doctor. You should be able to talk confidently with your doctor and know that you can rely on them for your healthcare management. 

To know if you like the atmosphere in the doctor’s office, make note of a few different things. How is the demeanor of the people who answer the phones? Are the office assistants and nurses friendly? What is the wait like? There are many different factors that can conclude if you will enjoy making this your primary care location. 

Start Receiving Quality Care Today

At DOCS Urgent Care (throughout Connecticut), we offer both urgent care services and primary care services. Whether you need a general check-up, physical, or require a PCP that can help manage your chronic condition, we are here for you. We can offer you the same services as a primary care physician without the wait times or inconvenient schedules. Our doctors are trained and experienced in providing care for infants, adolescents, young adults and seniors. To start receiving care from DOCS, find out which location is closest to you!

Treating Fall Allergies

Fall Allergy Patient

Battling Fall Allergies?

Fall Allergy Patient

Treating Fall Allergies

Fall allergies are extremely common and can be detrimental to an individual’s everyday life. The symptoms that arise from allergies tend to interfere with one’s daily functions such as sleep and concentration. In order to effectively treat these fall allergies, we must understand what fall allergies really are and why they create such discomfort. Before treating yourself, it is important to understand your body and how it reacts to certain allergens or environmental triggers.

Symptoms of Common Fall Allergies

Allergens such as mold, pollen, animal hair, and dust can trigger fall allergies and cause moderate to severe symptoms. Common symptoms or signs of an allergic attack include sneezing, congestion, runny nose, itchy throat, and headaches. When allergens invade your body, your immune system responds by releasing a surge of chemicals, including histamine, in order to flush them out of your system.

Questions to Reflect On

These are some helpful questions to ask yourself so you can distinguish your triggers and treat your fall allergies accordingly:

  • What symptoms occur?
  • Does being outdoors or indoors trigger your symptoms more?
  • What where you doing that triggered these symptoms?
    (I.e: cleaning, petting animals, smoking cigarettes, etc)
  • What relieves you of your symptoms?
  • What treatments have you tried that work?
  • What treatments have you tried that are ineffective or exacerbate allergic flare ups?

    By reflecting on these questions, you will better equip yourself with the knowledge to treat your fall allergies and take preventative actions.

Treatment Options for Fall Allergies

Depending on your personal experience with fall allergies, there are various ways to treat this discomfort. If the symptoms you are experiencing are severe, it is best to seek medical help at Docs Urgent Care or other healthcare facilities. A medical professional will evaluate your medical/medication history to determine what treatment is most effective for you.
Some control measures to consider are:

  • Buy a dehumidifier
  • Check pollen levels
  • Remove pollen from furniture and clothing
  • Wear protective clothing/allergen-free clothing
  • Keep pets off personal items & bed

    These helpful fall allergy tips can help provide needed relief. Take the time to experiment with these control measures and determine what alleviates your symptoms. If self-treatment is an appropriate option for you, it’s still recommended to see a professional in order to prevent contraindications and drug interactions.

Taking Action 

If you suffer with fall allergies and are seeking a personal treatment plan, schedule an appointment today at DOCS Urgent Care. We have 15 different Urgent Care locations in Connecticut that offer allergy testing, treatment services, and preventative methods. These clinics are run by allergists and healthcare professionals who ensure the highest standard of patient care. We accept most major insurances too!

Preparing for the Upcoming Allergy Season

women with allergies in blue shirt laying in white bed blowing nose

Preparing for the Upcoming Allergy Season

women with allergies in blue shirt laying in white bed blowing nose

One of the blessings of the winter season is that seasonal allergies are almost nonexistent (although let’s not forget how it dries our skin. The beginning of spring is typically known for the introduction of sneezing and itchy eyes, but the spring allergy season can actually begin as early as February. We have some steps for you to smoothly transition into the upcoming months without being blindsided by allergies!

Consult with DOCS Urgent Care of Fairfield for Allergy Testing

Here at DOCS Urgent Care we offer allergy testing at our Connecticut locations such as Fairfield, North Haven, New Milford, and Bethel.

How is the Testing Done?

The allergy testing process is relatively simple and painless. Small amounts of common allergens are carefully pricked onto the skin surface of the back or forearm of the patient. After a few short minutes, the irritable allergens will become itchy and noticeably red. This is the basis of determining a positive or negative association to common allergens.

Start Medication Early to Prepare

It’s often beneficial to begin taking allergy medication prior to allergy season and not waiting until the first sign of symptoms. This gives you a time period and allows you to determine which medicine works best for your body and specific allergies. It also gives a transition period for your body to get used to the symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, etc.

Long-Term Solution

At DOCS Urgent Care in Fairfield and other locations, we offer allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy. While over-the-counter medicine is short-term and fast-acting, immunotherapy is more of a long-term solution with a higher ceiling for effectiveness. It works by injecting the patient with a small dose of the allergen throughout the course of years. It stimulates the immune system without causing a severe allergic reaction and builds up a tolerance to it over time, which in turn, reduces or entirely prevents the allergy attacks.

Allergy-Proof your Home

It might seem obvious to keep the windows in your home shut during allergy season, but this is one of the main reasons people suffer from allergies. On top of that, closing your windows also doubles as a security precaution, so there’s no reason not to!

The Washing Machine is your Friend

Excess allergens such as pollen and dandruff are attracted to the interwoven fabric of our clothing and sheets. Washing your clothes and sheets regularly can remove these allergens and make for a much happier lifestyle. Try washing your sheets once a week and if symptoms pursue, even more often!

Avoid Peak Allergen Times

For those of us who are allergic to dogs and cats, we often keep them in our living quarters and make a sacrifice for the companionship and affection they provide. Pollen on the other hand, doesn’t provide the same qualities, so why expose yourself to it when you don’t have to? Pollen levels are highest between the hours of 5:00AM and 10:00AM, so try to avoid significant time outdoors during those parameters.

Weather Plays a Large Role

Warm, dry, and windy weather is often the cause of an increase in seasonal allergies. The best time to be outside is after a rainstorm in the afternoon because the air is wet and not riddled with pollen.

If you have any questions about our services please contact us at 203-617-0319, and if you find yourself with an urgent health issue, please visit one of our urgent care centers located in Fairfield and throughout Connecticut.