Latest Update on COVID-19
Last updated, November 23, 2020
The recent coronavirus developments have been a whirlwind for our community and our country at large. As we adapt to the changes within Spira Care, we know many of you are also feeling the direct impact at work, home, school and in your neighborhood. We want you to know we are here for you; to provide access to high-quality care while also minimizing the risk of exposing healthy individuals to the virus.
We are adapting to this rapidly evolving situation as quickly as possible and we hope Spira Care can be a source of security and comfort throughout this crisis. Below are some helpful guidelines. Please call us, 913-29-SPIRA (77472), if you have medical or behavioral health care needs and questions. We are here to help, and we will get through this together.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT YOUR HEALTH OR AREN’T FEELING WELL
- have a question about a care need unrelated to COVID-19 (newborn vaccine schedule, emergency room follow-up, wellness visit, preventive care, etc.)
- have an acute/urgent care need outside of COVID-19 symptoms (abdominal pain, gout, etc.)
- have respiratory symptoms (cough, nasal congestion or fever)
- are concerned you may be ill with COVID-19
- are unsure of exposure and are worried about yourself or a dependent
- believe you may have been exposed to the virus
Call our office at 913-29-SPIRA (77472) to speak with a nurse so we can determine the most appropriate next steps and prepare for your arrival should you need to come into a Spira Care Center. You should not come to a Spira Care Center without first speaking to a nurse. We have a variety of ways to see and take care of members during this time. Give us a call to discuss your care need and options.
COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases (for example, SARS is a coronavirus). This novel (or new) coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a strain that has not been previously identified in humans. You may see “coronavirus” and “COVID-19” used interchangeably in news reports.
- Check the CDC website for up-to-date information.
- Visit the CDC Travel page for travel-related updates.
- It is important to wear a mask to keep yourself and others safe. Spira Care physician Dr. Marla McLaughlin teamed up with Comeback KC to explain why. Watch to learn more.
- Cover your mouth.
- Wash your hands.
- Disinfect surfaces you use (kitchen and bathroom counters, tables, drawers, etc.).
- Monitor your and your family's symptoms. If anything changes, call 913-29-SPIRA (77472) to speak to a triage nurse.
According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19 (only one symptom is needed to be considered symptomatic).
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms. Visit the CDC website for updates.
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (mild or severe) call 913-29-SPIRA (77472) to speak with a triage nurse. We have a dedicated team to assist members with their COVID-19 care needs and questions. The nurse will talk with you about your symptoms and discuss next steps including a telehealth appointment with a provider and/or testing options.
If you fall into one of the categories listed below, call 913-29-SPIRA (77472) to speak with a triage nurse. We have a dedicated team to assist members with their COVID-19 care needs and questions. The nurse will talk with you about your symptoms and discuss next steps including a telehealth appointment with a provider and testing options. If the provider determines testing is necessary, they will work with you on appropriate testing options at the Care Center (drive-up, in-person, pick-up).
COVID-19 tests are covered by Blue KC with no cost share if your healthcare provider orders the test. Learn more here.
- You are symptomatic (showing symptoms) and high risk
- You are symptomatic (showing symptoms) and not high risk
- You are asymptomatic (not showing symptoms) with known or suspected COVID-19 exposure
We do not conduct testing if you are asymptomatic (not showing symptoms) with no known or suspected exposure.
Testing accuracy is also important to consider. COVID-19 testing results are not 100 percent accurate. Therefore, we are aligned with the CDC recommendation to return to normal day activities based on symptoms instead of using test results only to guide your treatment plan. You should stay home until three things have happened: 1) at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared; 2) you have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications and; 3) all symptoms have improved.
COVID-19 tests are covered by Blue KC with no cost share if your healthcare provider orders the test. Learn more here.
Ask your provider when talking about your symptoms and testing options.
Refer to the COVID-19 Advice for Caregivers guide to learn more.
There are multiple tests available. Your provider will determine which test will work best for you based on your symptoms and need.
Information is changing by the hour and science is evolving daily to bring us a better understanding of the behavior of this virus, how we can most effectively test for it and react to the results of those tests. Here is a helpful breakdown of current terms and information related to COVID-19 testing: Diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is intended to identify current infection in individuals and is performed when a person has signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or when a person is asymptomatic but has recent known or suspected exposure to COVID-19. Diagnostic tests are medically necessary to guide clinical decision-making for individuals. Current diagnostic tests are PCR tests or antigen tests—find more information about testing types in the question below on this page.
Public health screening for COVID-19 is intended to identify infected people who are not showing symptoms and don’t know or think they’ve been exposed to COVID-19. Public health screenings are performed to identify people who may be contagious so that measures can be taken to prevent further transmission. Scientists are still studying which type of COVID-19 test is most appropriate as a public health screening. Public health departments are charged with making this decision for their respective communities.
- Find more information from the CDC.
- Learn more about public health testing in our area in the question below on this page.
The positivity rate is increasingly being used as a marker to guide community decisions like school openings. The positivity rate is defined as the percentage of COVID-19 tests performed that are positive in each population. Many public health experts believe that our communities should aim for a positivity rate of 5 percent in order to consider resuming “normal” activity. The positivity rate gives us an idea of how well we are controlling the spread of the virus AND how many people are being tested.
Testing accuracy is also important to consider. COVID-19 testing results are not 100 percent accurate and there are many false negative test results—meaning you may get a negative result when you do, in fact, have COVID-19. False negative test results are especially common with antigen testing, though this testing option is increasingly being used by healthcare providers because of its results can be determined more quickly. To make matters even more complicated, the accuracy of COVID-19 test results is impacted by when in the course of a person’s illness or exposure the test is performed—for example, PCR tests appear to be most accurate 5-7 days after exposure.
Symptoms may help guide your doctor’s recommendations more than test results due to questions of testing accuracy. For example, when flu season arrives each year and patients show key symptoms of influenza, medical providers are likely to treat the illness as the flu, regardless of the results of the flu test—the same is true with COVID-19.
Testing capacity is something we continue to focus on as well. At any given time, our communities have different capacity to conduct an appropriate number of diagnostic and public health screening tests to properly manage the pandemic. In an ideal scenario, testing would be available for all members of a community on a regular basis, offering the ability to identify those who should isolate from others to prevent transmission of the virus. In the absence of an ideal testing scenario, the importance of social distancing and wearing masks cannot be over-emphasized.
Some local public health departments offer COVID-19 testing to their residents whether or not they are showing COVID-19 symptoms. Check with your county health officials to learn more about public health testing they may be current offering. Follow these links to find additional information about what specific counties and areas around Kansas City are doing:
Remember COVID-19 testing does not change the treatment plan.
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms (like fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell) you should stay home and separate yourself from others in your house.
- If you think you are sick or think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call Spira Care and talk with our dedicated team to field your COVID-19 questions.
- If you are sick and need an appointment, please call to talk with our dedicated team to answer your COVID-19 questions. We will work with you to schedule an appointment and prepare for your arrival.
- We recommend that anyone who has symptoms, regardless of testing, not return to normal day activities and stay home until three things have happened: 1) at least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared; 2) you have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications and; 3) all symptoms have improved.
COVID-19 test results are not 100 percent accurate and there are many false negative test results—meaning you may get a negative result when you do, in fact, have COVID-19. Therefore it is important that you visit with your provider about if you should isolate or quarantine based on your test result and symptoms.
Isolation is reserved for people who are ill. Isolation separates sick people with a contagious illness from people who are healthy.
Quarantine is reserved for people who have been exposed but who are not ill. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
You must be seen by a Spira Care provider (in-person, virtual visit) to inquire about a provider note, however it is up to the provider on if a note is needed and is not guaranteed.
You must be seen by a Spira Care provider (in-person, virtual visit) to inquire about a provider note. The provider would have to confirm an underlying condition and it is up to the provider on if a note is needed and is not guaranteed.
At Spira Care: At Spira Care our Care Teams have a variety of ways to see members with care needs (both medical and behavioral health) during this time and we are here to help you – we ask that you call 913-29-SPIRA (77472), so we can discuss appropriate care and appointment options (in-person, phone or video visits).
Blue KC Virtual Care: You can also access a video (face-to-face) visit right from your smartphone, tablet or computer with a virtual care doctor who is trained to evaluate for COVID-19. Both urgent care visits and behavioral health therapy visits provided in the Blue KC Virtual Care app are at no cost until January 20, 2021. Download the app on the Apple App Store and Google Play or go to www.BlueKCVirtualCare.com. With increased use of virtual care, please understand the wait time may be longer.
In-Network Virtual Care: In addition, until January 20, 2021, you (Spira Care and Spira Care HSA Eligible members) can see in-network providers, at no cost for virtual (face-to-face), telephone, email or text visits for medical services or behavioral health therapy. Cost sharing, such as deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance, still applies to physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.
Cost sharing, such as deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance, still applies to physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.
We know the COVID-19 situation changes rapidly. We continually update this page as it relates to Spira Care and changes to our operating procedures, what to do if you feel sick and more. Please check back regularly.
Blue KC COVID-19 Update
Step-by-step for virtual care, FAQs, cost for COVID-19 testing, medication refills and more.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The latest updates, resources for our community and more.