COVID-19 Update

COVID Vaccinations

The Madison Free Clinic is no longer offering COVID-19 testing, nor are we providing vaccinations. For up-to-date information, please visit the Rappahannock-Rapidan District of the Virginia Department of Health at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/rappahannock-rapidan/.

Vaccinations are available at the Madison Health Dept- Every Wednesday from 8-11 & 1-3. If you need assistance by phone, please call 540-308-6072.

For information about where to get tested for COVID-19, please visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-testing/.

We’re here to help!

The Madison County Department of Social Services (DSS) is the local agency that administers the benefits and service programs established by the Virginia Department of Social Services.

Madison DSS is the agency that County citizens should contact for information and application assistance for various programs, including: Child Care Assistance; Energy Assistance (fuel, crisis, cooling, weatherization); SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – food stamps); Medical Assistance (Medicaid or FAMIS) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

If you need assistance applying for any services that DSS provides, we’re here to help! Simply call the Free Clinic at 540-948-3667 during business hours to schedule an appointment with a volunteer right here in our office. You’ll receive confidential, one-on-one help, customized for your personal situation.

This service is free and open to all residents of Madison County. You do not need to be a Free Clinic patient to participate.

For more information about the services that are available to you, please visit https://www.commonhelp.virginia.gov/

Governor Northam Unveils Statewide COVID-19 Vaccine Pre-Registration System

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE · February 17, 2021

Office of the Governor
Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

Governor Northam Unveils Statewide COVID-19 Vaccine Pre-Registration System

~ Virginians can use vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA to pre-register for the vaccine and get clear, updated information ~

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today invited Virginians to pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine online at vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA. The Commonwealth’s new, centralized system allows individuals to easily pre-register for the free vaccine, confirm that they are on the waitlist, and learn more about Virginia’s vaccination program.

“Virginians have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, and these new tools will help them get answers, get pre-registered, and most importantly, get vaccinated,” said Governor Northam. “While our vaccine supply remains limited, we are doing everything we can to acquire more doses and put shots into the arms of eligible individuals in a safe, efficient, and equitable manner. I thank everyone for staying patient and continuing to follow public health guidance so we can mitigate the spread of this dangerous virus.”

Virginia’s new website and call center are designed to streamline vaccine pre-registration by bringing disparate processes from local health departments together under one unified system. Virginians who previously pre-registered for the vaccine through their local health district do not need to sign up again. Those who have already pre-registered have been automatically transferred to the centralized system, and their pre-registration status will not be affected. Data migration will continue throughout the week and it may take several days for everyone to appear in the new system.

Virginia is also launching a new call center for those who prefer to pre-register by phone. The call center is open seven days a week, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. It is staffed by 750 live operators who can answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and help people get pre-registered. The call center has English- and Spanish-speaking agents, as well as a call-back service in more than 100 other languages. TTY service is available to assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing. If wait times are long, Virginians can choose to get a callback and avoid having to stay on hold. Call volume is expected to be very high during the first week of operation.

To complete your pre-registration, you will be asked to provide some basic information to determine your eligibility. You will not be asked for your social security number or your immigration status. Anyone who pre-registers will receive a pre-registration confirmation and a reference code that can be used to verify that you are still on the waitlist. Individuals can also specify whether they prefer to be contacted by phone, text, or email.

Pre-registration gives Virginians the opportunity to get updates about vaccine availability and to make an appointment when vaccine supply allows—it does not provide immediate access to a vaccine. When you become eligible, you will receive instructions from your local health department on how to schedule an appointment.

More than 12 percent of Virginia’s population has now received at least one dose of the vaccine. Across the country, demand for the COVID-19 vaccine currently far exceeds supply, and it is expected to take several months to reach all individuals who want to be vaccinated. The Commonwealth is prioritizing individuals who are most at risk of contracting COVID-19 and those who work in certain critical industries, based on public health guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Virginians who qualify for Groups 1A and 1B are currently eligible for vaccinations. This includes health care personnel, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, people age 65 and older, frontline essential workers, those living and working in homeless shelters and correctional facilities, and individuals with underlying medical conditions or disabilities that increase their risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

For the latest information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Virginia, visit vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine.

Full Release

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COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

Underlying health and social inequities put many racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick, having more severe illness, and dying from COVID-19. Racial and ethnic minority groups are also unequally affected by unintended economic, social, and secondary health consequences of COVID-19 mitigation strategies such as social distancing.

“Health equity” means that everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Equitable opportunity includes equal access to and distribution of resources. When policies, programs, and systems that support health are equitable, poor health outcomes can be reduced, health disparities can be prevented, and the whole of society benefits.

Madison ranks 58th (out of 133) in the state for overall health outcomes, a situation compounded by lack of access to clinical care (including lack of access to telemedicine via high-speed Internet). Greene ranks 36th, Culpeper 42nd, and Orange 53rd, according to statistics provided by the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation.

The Madison Free Clinic is committed to providing quality healthcare to all uninsured residents of Madison County. You can determine your eligibility and apply online at https://madisonfreeclinic.org/patient-application/.

Communities, Schools, Workplaces, & Events

Click each link above to learn about underlying health and social inequities that put many racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick, having more severe illness, and dying from COVID-19. Racial and ethnic minority groups are also unequally affected by unintended economic, social, and secondary health consequences of COVID-19 mitigation strategies such as social distancing.

Should You Be Taking Vitamin D?

Vitamin D has been promoted as a cure-all. You may have seen headlines claiming that taking vitamin D can help prevent or even treat COVID-19, but there’s no solid science to support that yet. A paper recently published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health indicated that while everyone should strive to get enough of the vitamin, there’s still a dearth of research showing a beneficial effect on COVID-19.

“There’s no question that additional vitamin D is helpful if someone is low or deficient,” says F. Michael Gloth III, M.D., an associate professor in the division of geriatric medicine at Johns Hopkins University’s medical school. “But no trial has shown any benefit for giving vitamin D in any population that’s already getting enough.”

But there’s a connection between vitamin D levels and the risk of respiratory infections in general. The vitamin plays many roles throughout the body. “It supports a range of antiviral responses,” says Adrian Martineau, Ph.D., a clinical professor of respiratory infection and immunity at Queen Mary University of London. It boosts the ability of lung cells to fight bacteria and viruses, among other things, he says.

As always, please consult a healthcare professional before making major dietary changes.

Should You Be Taking Vitamin D?

Consumer Reports sifts through the evidence to help you decide if you should be taking vitamin D supplements, telling you what you should know about the risk of low levels, and who should be tested.

Why Diabetes + COVID-19 Is So Dangerous

Living with diabetes—a disease in which the body doesn’t properly process glucose, or sugar, from food—has always been complicated.

But the arrival of the coronavirus has multiplied those challenges. As a result, many of the estimated 34 million Americans with diabetes (about 1 in 10 people) and 88 million with prediabetes (about 1 in 3 adults) may now be fighting for their lives in more ways than one.

Testing for both COVID-19 and diabetes is available at no cost to Free Clinic Patients. Call us at 540-948-3667 to schedule an appointment.

Why Diabetes + COVID-19 Is So Dangerous

In this special report on diabetes + COVID-19, Consumer Reports says people with diabetes and those who are at risk for it are far more likely to experience severe complications if they become ill with the coronavirus.

The Truth About Prediabetes

Just over a third of American adults have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means their body does not respond normally to the hormone insulin.

Prediabetes hikes the risk of not only diabetes but also heart disease and stroke. Yet many people with pre­diabetes don’t know they have it, in part because it often has no obvious symptoms.

People younger than 45 who are overweight and have at least one other risk factor—such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, a family history of diabetes, or a sedentary lifestyle—should be screened, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and other medical organizations. If results are normal, retest every three years; for borderline high (prediabetes), every one to two years.

Madison Free Clinic patients are eligible for no-cost diabetes testing and treatment, including help with prescription medications if necessary. Simply call us at 540-948-3667 to request an appointment.

The Truth About Prediabetes

Consumer Reports reveals the truth about prediabetes, which hikes the risk of not only diabetes but also heart disease and stroke. Yet many people with pre­diabetes don’t know they have it.

Virginia Indoor Radon Program

Exposure to indoor radon, a colorless, odorless radioactive gas, is thought to be the second leading cause of lung cancer, and the leading cause of lung cancer among people who have never smoked.  Exposure to radon may contribute to 21,000 cases of lung cancer each year in the United States, including almost 700 cases per year in Virginia.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies radon risk areas as Zones 1, 2, or 3.  Virginia has 46 counties and 15 cities that are classified as Zone 1 (high risk), and 24 counties and 8 cities classified as Zone 2 (moderate risk).  Click here for a VA risk map.  Testing your home, workplace or other normally occupied area is the only way to know for sure if an indoor radon problem exists.  For more details about radon testing and mitigation, see this page:  Radon Testing & Mitigation Radon informational brochures and documents are available here: Radon Publications.

VDH is making a limited supply of short-term, do-it-yourself radon test kits available for only a $3 shipping fee.  NOTE: This offer is only available between the dates of September 1 and May 31. To order your $3 test kit click on this link.

NEW-VDH-Radon-Facts-for-Virginians-proof-2019

Financial Assistance for UVa Specialty Care and Hospitalization

The University of Virginia Health System (UVa) is an academic health care center associated with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The health system includes a medical center (with the main hospital, children’s hospital, and clinic network), school of medicine, school of nursing, and health sciences library. The health system provides inpatient and outpatient care and patient education and conducts medical research and education.

Most Madison Free Clinic patients qualify for UVa’s Financial Assistance for specialty and hospital care. We are happy to help with the paperwork, and will gladly fax your application and supporting documents to their office. Please feel free to call us at 540-948-3667 to schedule a time for us to help you with your application!

For more information…

Are You Eligible for Financial Assistance?| UVA Health

Every patient has unique financial needs. We look at many things when deciding how much aid you qualify for. If you need help paying your medical bills, our team will guide you through the financial aid process. We’ll work with you to provide as much help as possible.