By Kathy Chouteau
Contra Costa Health and Kaiser Permanente have teamed up on a public health education campaign to inform community members about self-care recovery tips and remote treatment options for common illnesses via a new webpage. The cooperative effort comes as the triple threat of COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)—also known as a “tridemic”—stubbornly rages on.
Amid the tridemic, emergency rooms and hospital beds are a hot commodity, so Contra Costa Health and Kaiser Permanente have partnered to create a webpage in English and Spanish sharing “how people can recover from illnesses and access care from the comfort of their homes,” according to the health care providers.
Community members with more urgent health concerns are encouraged to call an advice nurse or doctor’s office for help and/or virtual appointments by phone or video. Contra Costa Health Plan members and those without health care coverage can call the advice nurse at (877) 661-6230. Kaiser Permanente members can call the advice nurse at (866) 454-8855. Both health providers strongly suggest people only contact 911 if they truly require emergency care, as hospitals and ambulances are frequently engaged during the winter virus season.
Dr. Sharon Mowat, pediatrician and physician-in-chief for the Kaiser Permanente Diablo Service Area, said that they are partnering with Contra Costa Health to “bolster our efforts to disseminate critical health tips to our members and many others throughout the community.” She added that by helping people recover from home, “we can also lessen the extremely long wait times that people are seeing
in the overcrowded doctors’ offices and emergency rooms throughout our community.”
Some of the health recommendations suggested on the cooperative website include staying home when sick, getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids and separating from others to avoid spreading illnesses, according to the health providers. The health providers also suggest community members stock up their medicine cabinets with remedies like over-the-counter cold/flu medicines for reducing fever/pain, saline spray or drops, cough syrups/lozenges and COVID-19 home tests.
Dr. Sofe’ Mekuria, deputy health officer for Contra Costa Health, said that most people who get sick can safely recover from home. “We want people to know the home care options available to them and know how to prepare themselves so they can recover quickly and safely if they get sick.”
Along with the helpful webpage, the health providers said a communications toolkit is also available for local schools, businesses and community organizations to share with their communities.
Click here for the health providers’ webpage to find out more info about recovering when sick.