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Nursing instructor: Knowing medical history helps COVID-19 screening

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Like most health care professionals, Monique Gary, an instructor in the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, has repeatedly advocated for measures such as frequent hand washing and social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak.

She’s adding another bit of advice to help stem the spread of COVID-19. “More than ever, it’s important for people to familiarize themselves with their medical histories, and to know which medications they are taking.”

It’s an observation she made recently while volunteering during drive-thru coronavirus screenings at the Cajundome. Gary is one of several faculty members from the college who have donated time and expertise since the screenings began about two weeks ago.

Gary was among a group of health care professionals who asked visitors questions to determine if they were eligible for testing.

“I was surprised at some of the basic things people didn’t know about themselves,” she said.

Medical histories help health care professionals make determinations about potential underlying conditions that might necessitate testing. “If someone is on medication for hypertension, for example, they might have a history of cardiac problems,” Gary explained.

Testing at the site is limited to people who are experiencing a temperature above 100.4 degrees or acute respiratory illness symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath. Others eligible for testing include the elderly and people with health conditions or compromised immune systems.

The drive-thru screenings are held daily from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the Cajundome, 444 Cajundome Blvd.

Call 311 to determine if you meet screening criteria. More information is available at the Lafayette Consolidated Government website

Graphic credit: University of Louisiana at Lafayette

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