SCV health leaders discuss coping during isolation, testing amid COVID-19 outbreak

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Four local health leaders from across the Santa Clarita Valley offered tips on how to stay creative and healthy, and avoid anxiety as the community remains under a statewide directive to stay home due to the novel coronavirus. 

Their advice came via a tele-town hall hosted by Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, on Friday afternoon, when the public had a chance to listen in and submit questions. 

Speakers included Patrick Moody, spokesman for Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital; Dr. Chris Raigosa, a physician with Kaiser Permanente’s Santa Clarita medical offices; Larry Schallert, assistant director for College of the Canyons’ Student Health Center; and Monica Dedhia, program manager for the Child and Family Center. 

From what to do in isolation to how to know if one should get tested for COVID-19, here are some tips health experts discussed: 

Coping mechanisms to help during isolation

Keeping a distance from friends and family or the daily routine can take a toll on someone’s life. During these times, Dedhia highlighted the importance of staying in touch with one’s own support systems, “whether it be through a room chat, FaceTiming or anything that we can do to maintain those connections.” 

At the same time, Schallert recommended that it is important to disconnect from screens and social media and focus on honing in on one’s creativity. That could mean creating music if you’re a musician or journaling if you enjoy writing, for example. 

If you feel sick, at what point should you go seek medical attention? 

If you feel sick, presenting COVID-19 signs such as coughing, fever and shortness of breath, it’s important to reach out to your health care provider to ensure “you’re doing all the right things,” said Raigosa. 

Moody reiterated that should someone need medical attention not related to the coronavirus, “We want people to know that it’s safe to come to the emergency department. We are screening patients before they come here.” 

Smith said she plans to host additional tele-town halls. 

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