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South Mississippi's Largest Multi-Specialty Clinic

Hattiesburg Clinic

Unless you are accompanying a minor or you are an essential caregiver, no visitors are allowed at this time. Please wear a mask or face covering when entering the building. This is for the safety of our patients and staff.

Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus

Below are frequently asked questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) as it relates to our patients and community. The FAQs below are subject to change based on the receipt of more current information as the situation is changing rapidly across the U.S. and world. The information on this page is subject to modification, pending guidance from the WHO, CDC, and Mississippi Department of Health.

Rambod A. Rouhbakhsh, MD, Answers Your Questions with Local News, WDAM

Q: Are children less likely to spread COVID-19?

A: Children are just as likely to spread this disease as adults. Though they are less likely to get it, their interactions are more intense, resulting in a high likelihood of spread.

Q: What should I do if I have cold or flu symptoms?

A: If you must see your medical team and have active symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, or other respiratory symptoms including congestion or runny nose, please contact the office of your appointment before your appointment. Nurses will provide guidance.

Q: How do people catch this virus?

A: COVID-19 is transmitted primarily through respiratory droplets that are sneezed or coughed out. That is why it is recommended that people maintain a distance of six feet from one another.

Q: How long are patients contagious if they have COVID-19?

A: The virus is believed to have a maximum incubation period of 14 days.  This means that patients can be contagious even if they don’t have symptoms.

Q: If my family members/caregivers and I do not have a fever or respiratory symptoms, should we wear a mask in public? 

A: No, if you don’t have symptoms, there is no need to wear a mask, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Masks are intended to prevent patients who are showing symptoms from spreading disease to others.

Q: Is it safe to donate blood?

A: Yes. Exercise the same precautions that you would when going anywhere at this time. Blood donation centers are taking the necessary requisite steps to make sure you are safe. We absolutely need people to donate blood so please sign up today!

Q: If I had COVID-19 and have since recovered, can I donate blood?

A: Yes, there is no evidence that this virus is passed through blood.

Q:   The number of Coronavirus cases in Mississippi has increased significantly. Why is that? 

A: This could be due to the fact that we are testing more, or it could be that more people are getting infected. Per capita, Mississippi has the 12th highest coronavirus infection rate in the United States.

Q: With so many people going into quarantine at this time, won’t this prolong the duration and spread of COVID-19?

A: Yes, we actually want to prolong how long it takes for people to get the virus. The longer it takes for a person to get this illness, the less likely it is to be severe. Every time someone gets this virus, it changes the virus. Because COVID-19 cannot live on its own, it relies on the human host to change it and allow it to replicate. Prolonging the spread of COVID-19 gives the virus time to become a more mild illness.

Q: How will we know when this pandemic is over?

A: This is what the phrase “flattening the curve” refers to. Once the number of infections begin to decline, that indicates we are getting over this.

Q: Would a second round of the coronavirus be more impactful?

A: This depends on how we use our resources to identify those who have been exposed to this virus. This means testing, contact tracing, and quarantining. The hope is that we will have developed some degree of immunity by the fall, but the indicators currently point to a potential for resurgence.

Q: Are there any new symptoms associated with COVID-19 infections?

A: Other than the base symptoms, cough and fever, there have been cases of strokes and heart attacks in younger people who test positive for COVID-19.

Q: How can people cope with depression and anxiety due to COVID-19? 

A: The best technique to follow is to take care of your body, eat healthy, sleep properly, and find a release to help rejuvenate yourself. 

Q: Is it safe to have family gatherings? 

A: If possible, the safest thing to do is not to gather with others. The only way to mitigate the risks associated with gatherings is to wear a mask and properly social distance. 

Q: Are the number of cases in Mississippi beginning to plateau?

A: No. There are no signs of cases plateauing. Plateauing means that cases are staying at a steady state with little or no change. In Mississippi, the number of cases per capita is one of the highest. The overall goal is for cases to decline. 

Q: Are there any racial differences with regard to COVID-19? 

A:  Yes. African American adults have shown to be the highest demographic per capita for hospitalizations and in hospital deaths. In the state of Mississippi nearly 60% of infections are in African American adults. 

Q: Did the Stay-At-Home orders help? 

A:  Yes. A journal article published from JAMA recently showed information on an analysis of the effectiveness of the Stay-At-Home orders. The analysis was based on Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio and Virginia. The results showed that the Stay-at-home orders did have a positive effect. For example, the projected hospitalizations in Minnesota were 988 and the actual hospitalizations were 361. 

Q: How are asymptomatic symptoms correlated with cruise ships? 

A: We believe that a substantial portion of infection is from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic symptoms. A recent study published in the medical journal Thorax with a group of 128 reported that 81 percent of COVID-19 infected personnel on the cruise ship had no symptoms. From this information, the best technique when encountering others is to treat them as a potential carrier of COVID-19.

Q: Will there be a second wave and if so, will it be worse than the first wave? 

A:  In America, we have over 100,000 deaths and it is said that we will have over 70,000 -100,000 more deaths. The second wave will most likely be even more deadly with in addition to flu season coming up.

Q: What is herd immunity and does it work when there is no vaccine?

A: Herd immunity occurs when the infection rate is lower than 1. This is the amount of people an infected person will infect. At this time, we think this rate is 2 or 3 per person, meaning, every person who contracts COVID-19 spreads it to 2-3 people. The herd immunity is when more people are immune to contracting the illness than the people who are not immune. 

Q: Is there local trials for convalescent plasma at this time?

A: Yes, at Hattiesburg Clinic and Forest General Hospital we have a trial taking place now. We have a number of people who have received this, recovered, and donated their plasma. If anyone wants to contribute we highly advise them to go to the Cough & Fever Clinic for direction or contact Vitalant directly for more information. 

Q: Is there a significant raise in the number of cases for certain age groups in our area? 

A: We do not have the info for our area at this time but state wide, Mississippi, we have a significant number of cases between the ages 12-19 and 20-40. Nearly 50% of cases are under the age of 50 and around 10% of cases are under the age of 20. 

Q: How long can respiratory droplets last? Is it true that one minute of loud talking can generate enough droplets to linger for 8 minutes? 

A: Maybe, there was a study recently about this, but we are not completely sure about this information. We are sure that sneezing and coughing carry much more droplets. 

Q: Are scientists testing waste water to track the virus? 

A: It is known that Covid-19 particles get through the GI system. Testing the waste water gives a general idea of the amount of infection in the community. 

Q: Is it safe to engage in outdoor activities? 

A: Treat going outside the same as you would being inside. Most outdoor activities involve heavy breathing and sweating.  This increases the distance which respiratory droplets can be spread so we should increase our distance from one another accordingly. 

Q: Is Covid-19 the second highest death in the United States? 

A: Yes, coronavirus has become one of the highest causes of death in the United States. 

Q: Why don’t we shut down like this during Flu season.? 

A: COVID-19 is a much more severe disease that will kill many more people than the flu. There is no vaccine for this, which means everyone is susceptible. These deaths are also in addition to flu related deaths, which we have come to accept over the years.

Q: Can you catch  COVID-19 a second time after recovering from it? 

A: Maybe. We are working to figure this out. As people take antibody tests and get retested we will be monitoring reinfection rates.

Q: Will this eventually go away or is Covid-19 here to stay? 

A: This virus is not going to go away. We will be dealing with it far into the future.

Q: Are swimming pools safe? Can COVID-19 survive in swimming pools? 

A: We don’t know yet. It will likely be killed in a properly chlorinated pool. Going to a public pool is taking a pretty big risk. Swimming involves not just the water, but also spitting it out and aerosolizing it. Though the virus may not survive in the pool, there are many other ways of transferring it from one person to another.

Q: How are the health care systems handling the shortage of  PPE during procedures? 

A: Health care professionals ensure that they have sufficient PPE for the protection of patients and workers. In the event that they do not have the necessary PPE, those procedures are postponed to a later date when protective equipment will be available.

Q: Are there any new symptoms associated with COVID-19 infections?

A: Other than the base symptoms, cough and fever, there have been cases of strokes and heart attacks in younger people who test positive for COVID-19.

Q: What does COVID-19 stand for?

A: Coronavirus Disease 2019.

Q: What is the recovery time for people who contract COVID-19?

A: For less severe cases, the recovery time is around two weeks. For more severe cases, recovery time could be as long as 6 weeks.

Q: How can I tell the difference between a regular cough and a cough caused by COVID-19?

A: Coughs vary from person to person. If you can tell that your cough is different from your normal cold cough, you should get tested. The coughing caused by COVID-19 is usually a dry, bothersome one.

Q: Why do we care about COVID-19 so much? Isn’t the flu more deadly?

A: We care about COVID-19 because it is a more severe illness than the flu and it spreads rapidly. People can get more sick from this, and because the majority of people will have mild symptoms, they can potentially pass it on to others without knowing that they are ill. COVID-19 has about a 0.6% mortality rate compared to the flu which is 0.1%. So, six times more people will die from this illness than from seasonal flu.

Q:  What is the difference between the 2009 pandemic, H1N1, and COVID-19?

A:  Previously, with H1N1 and other pandemics, those illnesses were severe enough that everyone who contracted them was hospitalized and quarantined. COVID-19, however can be passed by those who are showing no symptoms and it can become very severe for those with compromised immune systems. Covid19 shows the same rate of infection as H1N1 or possibly even higher.

Q: How can you tell the difference between COVID-19, the flu, and allergies?

A: The symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are very similar and this makes it very hard to tell the difference between the two. The only way to tell is by testing. Allergies, on the other hand, tend to be less severe.

Q: Are there enough testing supplies and masks for patients?

A: Hattiesburg Clinic is in contact with the Mississippi State Department of Health and commercial laboratories investigating the process of making our own tests. We have plenty of masks and personal protective equipment as of now, but we need to pace ourselves because supplies are in short supply nationwide. We are screening patients prior to entry to ensure that those who need them are receiving them.

Q:    Do we have enough hospital beds for the people who get sick from COVID-19? 

A:  We do right now. We’ve increased the capacity by delaying elective and non-urgent procedures, so we actually have more beds open now than we did before this outbreak.

Q: Is there a blood shortage right now?

A: Yes, there is a blood shortage currently and because of that there is a national call for doctors to perform only necessary procedures.

Q: Are our state and local officials doing enough to protect us?

A: The hope is that people will receive the messages being issued by our state and local officials about this disease and voluntarily do as medical professionals ask without having to legislate these recommendations.

Q: Is this being blown out of proportion by our state and local officials?

A: No. We have learned from the states and countries that came before us that we need to act quickly. For every single case we diagnose there may be dozens more that we don’t know about. The more quickly we can establish these quarantine measures, the better.

Q: Are we going to see COVID-19 for the next 10-20 years?

A: Yes. But hopefully it will not be a virus that mutates as quickly as the flu and we can have one long-lasting immunity similar to measles.

Q: Should health care workers wear masks when at home with their families?

A: As long as health care workers have the appropriate PPE while in direct patient contact and practice safety measures at home, it should be fairly safe to be unmasked around family. It’s important for health care workers to remove shoes before entering the home, immediately put clothes in the washer and avoid excessive physical contact at this time.

Q: Should people delay family planning until this is over?

A: If possible, the safest thing to do is delay plans to become pregnant during this pandemic.

Q: Is the medication Remdesivir helpful for COVID-19? 

A: Remdesivir is only for hospital patients and is not a cure, but has proven to shorten the duration and severity of COVID-19. 

Q: Are state numbers rising because of more testing or community spread?

A: Both. Mississippi’s numbers are in the top 20 for cases per 100,000 and also the top 20 for testing. 

Q: Are masks insufficient? Do they really protect people from Covid-19? 

A: Covid-19 is spread mostly through respiratory droplets and cloth/woven masks will protect people from these droplets. Masks should be layered more for adequate protection. Furthermore, people should not touch their mask do to respiratory droplets may be caught on the mask and can easily be contagious when removing the mask. 

Q: What should people do in order to avoid catching COVID-19 now that places of business are returning to normal hours?

A: People should fend for themselves during this time and assume that everyone that they come into contact with is potentially contagious. 

Q: Should people be taking vitamins with zinc to help when leaving home? 

A: There is no evidence that any supplements help prevent coronavirus at this time. If you are going to take zinc supplements, only take it if you have potentially been exposed to the virus and do not take more than 50 milligrams per day, as there is a danger of overdosing.

Q: How can people properly clean their masks during this time? 

A: First remove your mask with gloves and wash it thoroughly and store in paper bags, so it can breathe, not ziplock bags. If you have a mask made out of cotton, you should wash it the same as you would wash any of your other cotton based materials. 

Q: What are some tips for people when places of business return to normal hours? 

A: It is important to maintain your “street smarts” during this time, meaning, just because a place is open does not mean it is completely free of disease and your chances of infection are not there. People should still wear masks and stay six feet apart. 

Q: Are people in large house-holds at a higher risk of contracting corona virus due to the shelter-in-place orders? 

A: Only if multiple people in the household are leaving the house. The more people who leave, the more the risk of exposure goes up. There is, however, nothing more inherently dangerous about having a large household as long as everyone is sheltering in place.

Q: How can residents safely check mail without catching or spreading Covid-19?

A: One way to kill the virus is by leaving your mail in the sun for a few hours. The ultraviolet radiation will destroy the virus. Also, when handling mail you should wear gloves, dispose of the packaging and wash hands in soap for 20 seconds.

Q: Should health care workers wear masks when at home with their families? 

A: As long as health care workers have the appropriate PPE while in direct patient contact and practice safety measures at home, it should be fairly safe to be unmasked around family. It’s important for health care workers to remove shoes before entering the home, immediately put clothes in the washer and avoid excessive physical contact at this time. 

Q: What are some tips for people in the Pine Belt to avoid catching this virus?

A: People in the Pine Belt should wear masks, wash their hands for 20 seconds, and cover their eyes if possible.

Q: Soap and water or hand sanitizer?

A: The gold standard is soap and water. Soap and water remove more germs and are more effective than hand sanitizer. You must wash well enough though. Singing happy birthday twice through or a 20-second wash is a good rule of thumb. 

Q: Should you wear a mask when you leave home?

A: Yes. We are very unlikely to spread this virus if we wash our hands and wear masks.

Q: Do other types of masks, other the N95 mask, provide significant protection against COVID-19?

A: Any protection is better than nothing at this time. Since, this virus is passed through respiratory droplets, the main focus is simply to have something covering your face.

Q: How do you properly remove your gloves and mask?

A: The best technique is to remove your gloves first, then remove your mask and, finally, wash your hands for 20 seconds.

Q: What is the safe way of handling the packaging of groceries?

A: Discard all of the outside packaging and wash your hands for 20 seconds.

Q: Is it safe to purchase take-out food during this pandemic?

A: There is no evidence that this spreads by food.

Q: What is most concerning about the recent spike in cases? What can we do better? 

A: We are mostly concerned with the attitudes of people in regards to social distancing. Social distancing is currently the most important factor that we can control in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Q: Should I have my extended family and friends over for dinners and gatherings during this quarantine?

A: Please don’t. Living with the household that you have is an acceptable risk level, but having friends and family over removes your isolation. It puts everyone at risk.

Q: Is there anything more that I should be doing to protect my family and myself?

A: The key to stopping the spread of this virus is to isolate yourselves as much as you can. Aside from going to the grocery store and vital services, we should be limiting our contact with others as much as possible. If everyone could stay indoors and not interact with other people for three weeks then this thing would be gone. Now, of course, there are situations in which we need to leave our homes for supplies and medical assistance, but the closer we can get to isolation the better off we will be.

Q: Is it even possible to protect the most vulnerable people in our community from this virus?

A: Yes, this is a public health war. All of us need to do our part to keep this virus from spreading. The more that it spreads, the more likely it becomes that the most vulnerable members of our community will be affected.

Q: Is there anything I can do to keep myself, my family and friends safe?

A: The most important steps to take are the same as for every cold and flu season:

    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
    • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
    • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
    • Avoid all non-essential travel including plane trips, and especially avoid embarking on cruise ships.
    • Plan how you will take care of sick family members. Make plans for childcare if you are sick or if your child is sick. Have a thermometer at home so you can check for fever if you or a loved one feels ill.
    • Try to get a few extra months’ worth of your prescription medications, if possible.

Stay informed – check cdc.gov regularly for new updates.

Q: Why is it taking so long to develop a vaccine?

A: Vaccines are one of the hardest things to get passed by the FDA. Testing a vaccine involves giving the virus to a healthy patient. That patient’s possibility of recovery must be very high in order to pass. As such, a lot of study is done on these vaccines before they are tested.

Q: What medications are prescribed to patients and can antibiotics help fight coronavirus?

A: Nothing is prescribed for this virus as of now and antibiotics do not help.

Q: How does the FDA’s approval of malaria drugs for the emergency use of fighting this pandemic affect Mississippians?

A: Studies have shown that drugs which are typically used to treat Malaria may be beneficial to COVID-19 patients. However, this does come with some risks and will, most likely, be saved for critically ill patients.

Q: Are plasma donations helping people who are infected with COVID-19?

A: Yes, everyone should donate blood. Also, people who have recovered from coronavirus should prioritize donating blood for the sake of others in order to pass on short-term antibodies.

Q: How can residents safely check mail without catching or spreading Covid-19?

A: One way to kill the virus is by leaving your mail in the sun for a few hours. The ultraviolet radiation will destroy the virus. Also, when handling mail you should wear gloves, dispose of the packaging and wash hands in soap for 20 seconds.

Q: Is COVID-19 attacking a specific demographic more than another?

A: Older people with health problems are known to be more at risk. Also, in the southern states, older people have worse symptoms when compared to people of the same age in other areas of the nation.

Q: Are people with disabilities at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19?

A: Depending on the disability, some people may be at higher risk. Those with disabilities affecting lung function and the immune system are more vulnerable.

Q: If my wife is expecting, can I be in the delivery room?

A: It depends on the policies of the individual hospital. Please check with your health care provider to see how these policies will impact you.

Q: Are expecting mothers more vulnerable to coronavirus?

A: There is no reliable information regarding whether or not expecting mothers are more vulnerable to this disease. Regardless, expecting mothers should be taking all recommended safety precautions.

Q: Should asthma patients use their nebulizers daily as a preventative measure to keep their lungs healthy? Would it make a difference in regards to the risk of getting COVID-19? 

A: First, it depends on what medication(s) you’re taking. There are two types of asthma medications. One is the rescue inhaler, albuterol, and the other is one that you’re supposed to take on a daily basis. If you’re given a medication that your physician has directed you to take daily, then you need to take it. In regards to your rescue inhaler, there is no evidence to suggest taking that on a regular basis is going to help prevent COVID-19 or even improve your asthma symptoms. In fact, there can be significant side effects taking that medication regularly. Don’t do anything beyond what your physician has asked you to do.  

Q: I have diabetes and a pacemaker. Am I considered “high risk?” 

A: Diabetes does put you at an increased risk. We believe because it is a chronic medical illness, it does sometimes affect your immune system. You can also be a high-risk person based on your age.

Q: Are cancer patients at greater risk of contracting COVID-19?

A: According to the CDC, patients with blood malignancies and other conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, and hypertension are at most risk, and patients who are in active treatment for any type of cancer are also at risk. Patients who are not in active treatment should also be cautious.

Q: Will more outbreaks happen in long term care facilities in the Pine Belt?

A: Most likely not. Long term care and health facilities are following guidelines and taking extra precautions to keep outbreaks from happening.

Q: What symptoms should parents be aware of with pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome? 

A: This is a systemic inflammatory illness that is known to be after COVID-19 infection. Almost every child that has been identified with this syndrome has had COVID-19 diagnosis retrospectively or prospectively; however, we also know that children get this inflammatory response from other viral infections as well. Symptoms dealing with systemic inflammatory illness are: nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pains, swelling in lymph nodes, rash, blood shot eyes, reddish colored lips or tongue, or just generally feeling tired. More severe symptoms may be pain or pressure in chest, bluish discolored face or lips, severe problems with breathing, and severe abdominal pain. For the more severe symptoms, we recommend you immediately get to the emergency room or call 911. 

Q: Do children get ill with this virus?

A: Every illness has a different kind of response. Children do not seem to be as severely impacted by COVID-19 and that could be due to a number of reasons. One theory is that kids don’t mount as strong of an immune response as adults do against this virus. Another theory is that since COVID-19 is a coronavirus, like many other cold viruses, and since children are so often exposed to colds, they may have some inherent immunity.

Q: Are there different symptoms for adults vs. children?

A: Children will typically have the same symptoms with this illness but to a far less severe extent when compared to adults.

Q: Can I bring children and family members/caregivers to my appointment(s)?

A: Please avoid bringing children under 12 who do not have an appointment to the clinic. While children appear to be less susceptible to COVID-19, we would like to limit their exposure and potential for them serving as transmitters of the virus.  We also ask that you bring only one additional person to your appointment(s).

Q: Why are we canceling school for children?

A: By isolating children at this time, we help to prevent the spread of this virus between children at school. If those children were exposed at school, they could then carry the virus with only very mild symptoms and spread it to older family members who could have a more severe reaction.

Q: How can parents, grandparents, and guardians explain to children what is happening, without scaring them?

A: The best way to explain this situation to children is to be truthful and tell them that we are decreasing the spread of an illness.

Q: When should I be tested for COVID-19?

A: Given the limitations in regard to testing supplies, people should be tested when they feel sick or when they have a fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Q: How long does it take for results to come back?

A: Generally, we can get COVID-19 test results back in 12 to 24 hours if they are sent to the Mississippi Department of Health.  Some patients’ tests may need to be sent to a different lab, and those can take a few days to come back.

Q: Can someone have COVID-19 and get a negative test result? 

A: Yes, it’s absolutely a possibility. This particular test is what’s called a PCR test, and those tend to be very, very accurate. However, there are multiple steps along the way where things could fall through and make the test less accurate. When this is all over, we’ll have a better sense of how good this test really is. Right now, we’re hopeful that the sensitivities are over 90% which would mean it’s a good test.

Q: Are clinics being overwhelmed by increased demand for COVID-19 testing?

A: No. The Cough & Fever Clinic has relied mostly on curbside testing and less on in-person appointments for testing.

Q: Is antibody testing available?

A: Yes, antibody testing is available at Hattiesburg Clinic. We ask that you go through your physician to order the test so that you will have a better idea of what to do with this information.  The big question is, “Does this immunity last and will it actually protect people?” We don’t have the answer to that question currently, but this test will let you know if you have already been exposed to the virus.

Q: Is it important to be tested for antibodies when dealing with COVID-19?

A: Yes. Though there may be a number of factors affecting immunity to this virus, being tested will let you know if you have been exposed to the virus in the past and the hope is that those immune antibodies will last several months at least.

Q: If someone is recovering from COVID-19 but they still have a cough, should they get antibody testing so they can return to work?

A: The requirements for going back to work are: 1) Time. The CDC has increased this from 7 to 10 days. 2) The loss of fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines, and 3) An improvement in symptoms.  This means that if you are still coughing actively and have had an antibody test that shows you may have immunity, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t infect others. To determine this, you need a nasal swab that will reveal whether or not you have the virus active in your system.

If a person still has a cough they should not use antibody testing as a passport to go back to work. 

Q: How can people get antibody testing?

A: It is available locally at Hattiesburg Clinic and Forest General will soon have it available online. For Hattiesburg Clinic patients, contact your primary care physician for information regarding antibody testing. 

Q: Is Hattiesburg Clinic testing patients for COVID-19?

A: Hattiesburg Clinic began testing patients and providers who exhibit COVID-19-related symptoms in February 2020. As noted above, all of our primary care locations and Immediate Care facilities have the ability to test for COVID-19. See Cough & Fever Clinic for more info about getting tested for COVID-19.

Q: How is Hattiesburg Clinic working to slow the spread of COVID-19?

A: Hattiesburg Clinic has implemented the following polices to safeguard our patients, community and staff against the potential spread of COVID-19:

    • Non-essential travel of all employees has been restricted.
    • We have implemented an option for our non-clinical employees to work from home.
    • Non-essential group meetings have been suspended, and pharmaceutical representatives, vendors, and meal delivery are suspended.
    • ALL physicians, advanced practice providers, employees, patients, visitors, and vendors will be screened for fever prior to entry of our Main Clinic and 28thplace location from 6 am – 6 pm.
    • Entrances to Main Clinic Building and 28thPlace have been reduced:
      • Only entrances available will be North (Urology Entrance) and South (Owl Drug Entrance) entrances at the main Clinic. No other entrances will be accessible.
      • 28thPlace will only have the main front entrance available (parking lot entrance).
      • Security will be stationed at all entrances
      • If anyone leaves the building, he/she will be screened each time he/she re-enters.

Q: With the spread of the Coronavirus, should I cancel my upcoming appointment?

A: Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) have recommended that non-essential, non-urgent meidcal appointments be postponed due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19. It is important that you communicate with your provider’s office for steps on how to proceed regarding your upcoming appointment. Our providers and staff are working to meet the individual needs of every patient. Additionally, it is important that patients take their medications as prescribed.

Q: Should I be worried about getting infected with COVID-19 at Hattiesburg Clinic?

A: Hattiesburg Clinic has extensive and thorough infection control procedures, and we will do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our community. We have protocols and systems in place to keep all patients, visitors and healthcare workers safe.

Q: Are patients screened for COVID-19 at their appointments?

A: Yes, when scheduling appointments, all patients are being screened for their travel, their contact with someone who has COVID, and for symptoms of respiratory illness. Every person who enters our clinics will go through screening.  If a patient has multiple appointments in a day, the patient will be screened only once; however, patients will have screening done each day they have an appointment. Please pay close attention to signs at the entrance of every building for additional information.

Q: Should I wear a mask in the clinic?

A: You should wear a mask in the clinic if directed to do so by staff.

Q: How is Hattiesburg Clinic working with the Mississippi State Department of Health to address this issue?

A: Hattiesburg Clinic is in constant contact with the Mississippi State Department of Health to facilitate the fastest and most efficient means of transporting tests to the MSDH Public Health Laboratory. Once delivered, the tests are processed at maximum capacity and the results are then sent back via a web portal.

Q: How are health care systems handling the shortage of PPE during procedures?

A: Health care professionals ensure that they have sufficient PPE for the protection of patients and workers. In the event that they do not have the necessary PPE, those procedures are postponed to a later date when protective equipment will be available.

Q: Does ibuprofen worsen the symptoms of COVID-19?

A: There was initially concern that ibuprofen could worsen the symptoms of COVID-19 because of the way that the virus attaches to the cells of the lung. However this recommendation has been reversed and it is believed ibuprofen is safe to use.

Q: There are new reports saying that a loss of taste and smell are now symptoms of COVID-19. Is this true?

A: Yes. A group of Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctors in England posted an unofficial report stating that the loss of taste and smell were strongly associated with patients who tested positive for COVID-19.

Q: Is there a specific temperature that can kill this virus?

A: We do not know at this point.

Thank you for trusting Hattiesburg Clinic with your care.

For additional questions about COVID-19, please contact your primary care provider or one of our various immediate care locations.

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