Doctor who returned to hometown of Warrenton to open medical clinic talks about coronvirus crisis

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WARRENTON, N.C. (WNCN) — We first met Dr. Demaura Russell in February when she came back to her hometown of Warrenton to open New Hope Regional Medical Clinic.

She’s one of only a few doctors in Warren County where there is also no hospital.

CBS 17’s Russ Bowen checked back in with Dr. Russell Monday to see how her practice is doing since the global outbreak of coronavirus.

RELATED: Warren County native returns home to be 1 of few physicians in town

“Well the main thing that we have changed is that patients who are symptomatic from upper respiratory illness with things such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, we’re now asking them to call our office prior to coming in for an evaluation so we can direct them as to how we need to best triage and evaluate them,” Dr. Russell said via Zoom video conferencing.

As of March 23, Warren County has had no confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Bowen asked if someone calls with symptoms that are emblematic of coronavirus or COVID-19, what’s the next protocol?

“Self-isolating for a minimum of seven days and if they are symptomatic with fever cough shortness of breath we’re asking them to self isolate for a minimum of seven days plus 72 hours past the time that they are no longer having a fever without medicine to reduce the fever,” Dr. Russell replied.

 But, if those symptoms become more severe that’s when Dr. Russell says they have to get treatment.

Bowne then asked if the patient would visit Dr. Russell or go over to Vance County to the hospital.  

“Well, the way that we are doing it here because we don’t have the resources in the county to help those patients if they’re having moderately severe or severe symptoms we’re going to ask them to go to the emergency room. And I can’t speak for my counterparts but I think just because we don’t have a hospital nearby that’s the safest management for the patient,” said Dr. Russell.

New Hope does have a few tests that Dr. Russell obtained from a private lab and she says she can get more of them if needed.

Bowen asked about Dr. Russell’s supply of facemasks and gloves.

“We are doing OK just because we have not encountered the numbers that others as far as needing to screen for this. I can say that some of my counterparts that I’ve been in contact with are in desperate need of supplies,” Dr. Russell said.

“What’s your message for folks who live out in the community who are very nervous,” asked Bowen.

Dr. Russell replied: “Try not to be fearful do the things that are asked of you. Wash your hands stay away from sick people stay as home as much as possible and if we can do these things I think we will flatten the curve.”

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