As students across Washington County headed back to classrooms this week, and many families prepare to travel ahead of the Labor Day holiday season, local health providers are again sharing information to help reduce the spread of viral illnesses this fall.
“We are noticing a slow uptick of COVID cases in the region, like most other states in the country. Although the symptoms do not warrant hospitalization, we recommend an abundance of caution,” explained Meritus Health President and CEO, Maulik Joshi, Dr.P.H. “We definitely want to do our part to prevent COVID from becoming a fall trend. While the current numbers are not cause for alarm, we know we are headed into a season that usually brings an increase in viral illness. We want our neighbors to be cautious and take preventative measures, like washing their hands and staying home when experiencing symptoms of viral illness,” he added.
Joshi said Meritus will look to guidance expected to be released by the CDC in September regarding COVID boosters and who is recommended to receive them, and that the health system will base vaccine availability from there.
Joshi said that September and October are the months the CDC recommends most people receive a flu shot, but with all vaccinations, Meritus encourages patients speak about their specific health needs with a trusted physician.
“We have learned over the past three years that access to information can be just as important as access to care,” Joshi said. “We encourage the community to speak with their physician about their health risks to create a plan for vaccination, boosters and staying well this viral illness season. Meritus is here for our community, and those who might not have a primary care physician are welcome to use our services to get connected to health information and care,” he added.
He also noted community members without a primary care physician, or who need to speak with a healthcare provider quickly, are welcome to use Meritus Health’s virtual option, MeritusNow. Patients do not need an account or a password, and can log in via MeritusHealth.com/Now, and select an appointment time to get started.