Health Maintenance in the Time of COVID-19

Tuesday August 11, 2020

Maintaining health for you and your loved ones is always important, but decisions about healthcare in the time of COVID-19 can be confusing and even a little scary.  For example: Should I keep my non-emergent dental appointment?  What about my mammogram? Should my kids get their regular vaccines? Is this the perfect excuse to delay the dreaded colonoscopy?

Ultimately, these decisions are personal, as each of us needs to consider risk vs. benefit.  If you are not sure, please consult your Primary Care Provider.  (On a positive note, if you have no underlying health conditions, you may want to take advantage of this time, because this climate is very efficient for screenings—there are fewer numbers of patients, very little wait time for appointments and procedures conducted to limit time!)

The need for preventative health screenings relies heavily on your age, family history, and medical conditions.  Preventive tests can catch problems early and cut costs. Are you due for a screening? Recommendations vary among different groups, so it’s best to talk with your primary care provider before undergoing any test, but these are some general guidelines.

At UNC Health, we’re constantly monitoring and adjusting to make sure we are safely and effectively providing the care you need.

  • Appointments are available! – Delaying care can lead to otherwise avoidable complications or worsening conditions. Our providers are seeing patients both virtually and in-person to make sure you continue to receive the care you need as safely as possible. 
  • Telehealth has arrived– We’re using video visits along with other virtual options to offer high-quality care without you needing to leave home
  • If necessary, in-person appointments are still available– We’re continuing certain in-person visits when needed, and taking measures to protect patients and staff during these visits.

In general, the CDC and NIH recommend maintaining normal, regular vaccine schedules for both children and adults.  In addition, these health screenings are still recommended for adults:

**Sources: The American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association, The National Cholesterol Education Program, The National Osteoporosis Foundation, The American Diabetes Association, The Skin Cancer Foundation