While many non-essential and elective healthcare services have been postponed as a result of novel coronavirus, those with illness and injury should continue to seek appropriate medical care during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While emergency care should never be delayed for life-threatening conditions, urgent care and virtual care options may be appropriate for less acute conditions. Navicent Health offers the following guidelines to help central Georgians make wise healthcare decisions during COVID-19.
When life-threatening illness and injury occur, seek medical care immediately by reporting to the nearest emergency center or by calling 911. Delaying care can lead to adverse effects, including debilitating handicaps, longer recovery times, or even loss of life. Emergency care is necessary for conditions including but not limited to, the following life-threatening situations:
- Blurred vision or sudden vision loss
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Fainting or passing out
- Head injuries
- Heart attack
- Severe bleeding
Navicent Health emergency centers and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are taking extra precautions to minimize exposure to COVID-19, including screening patients upon arrival and immediately isolating those with COVID-19 symptoms, limiting visitors, requiring all individuals on campuses to wear procedural masks, and taking extra measures to sanitize waiting areas, care areas and ambulances.
Navicent Health offers emergency care at locations throughout central Georgia, including:
- Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health (888 Pine Street, Macon)
- The Medical Center, Navicent Health (770 Pine Street, Macon)
- Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health (1960 Hwy 247 Connector, Byron)
- Navicent Health Baldwin (821 North Cobb Street, Milledgeville)
- Monroe County Hospital, Navicent Health Partner (88 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Forsyth)
- Putnam General Hospital, Navicent Health Partner (101 Greensboro Rd., Eatonton)
Emergent vs. Urgent
Not all illnesses and injuries are life-threatening, and an emergency center is not the only option for care. Urgent care centers are more appropriate for minor health concerns. Urgent care centers are designed to provide immediate, non-emergency treatment for conditions including, but not limited to, the following:
- Allergic reactions that are not life threatening
- Animal bites
- Broken bones
- Coughs, colds and sore throats
- Ear infections
- Mild asthma
- Rashes and skin irritations
Navicent Health offers three urgent care centers in Macon – on Gray Highway, Riverside Drive and Zebulon Road – where patients are usually treated and discharged much quicker than at an emergency center. Navicent Health urgent care centers are also taking extra precautions to minimize exposure to COVID-19, including screening patients upon arrival and immediately isolating those with COVID-19 symptoms, limiting visitors, requiring all individuals on campuses to wear procedural masks, and taking extra measures to sanitize both waiting and care areas.
Patients seeking urgent care may use Express Visit, an online self-scheduling tool that allows the patient to check in for an estimated treatment time. Visit www.navicenthealth.org/online-scheduling.html to use Express Visit.
Virtual Care Options
Navicent Health routinely treats communicable diseases and is adept at taking proper precautions to prevent their spread in emergency and urgent care centers. With that in mind, we understand some people may feel uncertain about visiting a healthcare facility due to COVID-19.
Navicent Health now offers Virtual Visit, a secure option allowing patients to connect directly to board-certified doctors 24 hours a day, seven days a week using a mobile device or computer. Virtual Visit is designed as an on-demand service, with no need to make an appointment. Those in need of care can connect with a doctor through Virtual Visit by visiting https://www.navicenthealth.org/virtual-visit.html .
Virtual Visit is appropriate for conditions that would typically be treated in an urgent care center or doctor’s office and should not be used for life-threatening emergency conditions. In the event of an emergency, always call 911 or visit an emergency center.
About Navicent Health
Navicent Health, the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia, is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Providing more than 1,000 beds and offering care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region, Navicent Health provides care for healthcare consumers’ through an academic medical center; community, pediatric and rehabilitation hospitals; urgent care centers; physician practices; diagnostic centers; home health; hospice and palliative care; and a life plan community. Navicent Health is dedicated enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally-recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. For more information, please visit www.navicenthealth.org.