Special to the Journal
As is the case throughout Massachusetts, the number of COVID-19 cases in Lynn and surrounding communities have risen sharply over the past week and is expected to rise through at least the middle of April. As everyday life is on hold, the focus on health and well-being has never been greater.
North Shore Medical Center and Lynn Community Health Center, in collaboration with the City of Lynn, are in daily communication and closely coordinating our community’s response to COVID-19. Both institutions are preparing to meet increased demand for both inpatient and goal of minimizing the number of patients who need hospitalization.
Members of the public have an important role to play in making sure our hospitals and health centers do not get overwhelmed:
• Continue to follow the key CDC recommendations for staying healthy: wash your hands frequently, avoid close contact with those who are sick, stay home when you are sick, cover your coughs and sneezes, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
• Follow the Governor’s advisory to stay at home for all but essential business, and practice social distancing when out and about. This has already helped us slow down the progress of the disease in our state and community.
• When you are sick, call your doctor’s office immediately—do not come into a healthcare facility, including an urgent care, health center or emergency room, unless you are instructed to do so. There are many ways your doctor can help you through telephone or video. If you do need to see a doctor, you will be given special instructions about how to do so. This approach will help keep you and your loved ones, as well as healthcare staff, from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.
• Please DO NOT go to the Emergency Department unless you are experiencing severe distress for a life-threating emergency, such as stroke, heart attack or major traumatic injury. Please help us conserve hospital beds for those most in need.
“The health center continues to provide access to primary care and behavioral health services during this crisis,” said Dr. Geoff Pechinsky, Chief Medical Officer. “We do this safely by using telephone encounters whenever possible and treating those with COVID-19 symptoms in a separate location from other necessary in-person visits. We urge patients to keep in touch with their medical and behavioral health providers through phone calls and MyChart messages. If we can manage your needs here at the health center the hospital will have more capacity to take care of the sickest patients.”
“We are grateful to the entire Lynn community for doing their part to limit the impact of the Coronavirus,” says David J. Roberts, M.D., President of North Shore Medical Center. “Through careful collaboration with the City,the health center and Lynn-based providers, as well as adherence to strict social distancing and hygiene recommendations, everyone can make a difference in this effort.”
For resources and information about COVID-19 please visit the City of Lynn Health Department website or the Lynn Community Health Center COVID-19 resource page.