Local doctor urging residents to take virus seriously

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The Family First Health Care staff consists of Dr. Kirsten Kim and Dr. Delicia Haynes (front). In the back are Gina Carlisle, Miriam Penaloza and Shantel McNeil.
COURTESY OF FAMILY FIRST HEALTH CARE

BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

When her employees complained of fever and cough after international travel, Dr. Delicia Haynes quickly contacted the Florida Department of Health.

However, since they hadn’t traveled to countries such as China, Iran, South Korea, Italy or Spain, they didn’t require coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.

Haynes instructed her staff to self-quarantine for 14 days and secured five test kits, which all came back negative from a private lab. She also secured protective equipment including N-95 masks.

One of the few

Haynes is the founder and CEO of Family First Health Center in Daytona Beach. She runs the practice with her medical business partner, Dr. Kirsten Kim.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Haynes says her staff is providing valuable information to patients and has given drive-through coronavirus testing.

“We want to avoid panic. We are one of the few, if, any places providing drive-through testing. The problem is only a few are doing drive-through testing. You can only go to the health department, hospital or a few private offices,” she told the Daytona Times.

In full gear

In order to be tested at Family First Health Care, a person must be a member.

“Unfortunately, yes you must be enrolled with us. You can pull up and drive through our site. We come out in full protective gear and do a swap which goes through the nose and back of the throat. We send it off to a lab and we get it back within four days. We’ll soon get it back sooner,” she shared.

To assist other health care agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic, Haynes is considering extending tele-medicine services to non-members with mild symptoms (fever and cough) to make sure the area emergency rooms remain available for patients with more severe symptoms including shortness of breath.

‘It is very serious’

It’s detrimental that the public take this coronavirus pandemic seriously.

Haynes stressed, “It is very serious. This virus is very contagious. Eighty percent of those who become affected will recover. They may get minor symptoms like fever and cough. It’s the other 20 percent that get severe systems, which is respiratory problems and pain. We hope to decrease those numbers as well as save lives.”

There are also plenty of myths associated with coronavirus.

“I don’t watch TV or the news much but I hear that people are saying that you can kill the virus by drinking rubbing alcohol and bleach. That’s dangerous and can kill you alone. You should never drink bleach or rubbing alcohol period,” Haynes emphasized.

‘Wash your hands’

She also touted washing hands regularly and practicing social distancing.

Haynes stressed, “Touching your face, eyes and nose introduces the virus into your system. You must wash your hands. It can stay on surfaces for certain periods of time. Social isolation is the key to not spreading it to another person.”

The coronavirus doesn’t seem to have an end in sight, but health care professionals are working diligently and around the clock to contain it.

Haynes noted, “This will go on definitely through May. I see it being seasonal like the flu and likely re-emerging. Hopefully by then, we will have some type of vaccine as well as better screening, testing and prevention methods.”

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