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Open letter from health care providers

To the Journal editor:

Dear citizens of Marquette and the surrounding area,

We are writing this letter as medical professionals concerned for the safety of our patients, staff, and local community in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Changes are already occurring in our community, and we know that it is not a matter of if, but rather when, this virus will significantly impact our area.

The symptoms of coronavirus include fever, dry cough, muscle aches, and shortness of breath. If you develop these symptoms, please call your primary care doctor, the Marquette County Information line at (906) 475-9977, or the State of Michigan call-in line at (888) 535-6136, for current guidance.

Coronavirus can also be spread before you develop symptoms. For this reason, we ask that you take measures now to limit the spread of the virus, and protect our community.

Stay home, avoid contact with others, and wash hands often. The data clearly shows that earlier intervention can save lives and lessen the overall impact, both on our health care system and our economy.

We understand that many patients will require healthcare unrelated to the virus during this time, and we care deeply about your safety.

This is a rapidly evolving and challenging situation, which may require medical providers to limit visits to urgent care, and reschedule routine appointments.

We must utilize resources judiciously to combat this pandemic, and minimize the opportunities for viral spread in the health care system.

Many appointments and procedures may be postponed, and we appreciate your understanding in this difficult time.

We as health care providers will put the needs and safety of our patients first, and do our best to provide care to our community during this challenging time.

Again, we emphasize people should stay home and avoid potential exposure to the virus.

We recommend this for the health and well-being of yourself, your family, your friends, and your community.

We must act together, and we must act now.

Sincerely,

NELSON WINKLER, MD; Ophthalmology; Marquette

SEAN ROONEY, MD, PhD; Ophthalmology; Marquette

THOMAS HUFFMAN, MD; Internal Medicine; Marquette

ALICE FECKO, MD; Ophthalmology; Marquette

NEIL R WINKLER, MD; Ophthalmology; Marquette

JOHN BARTLETT, MD; Internal Medicine and Pediatrics; Marquette

MATTHEW SONGER MD, MBA; Orthopedic Spine Surgeon; Marquette

ZACHARY LEONARD, MD; Orthopedic Surgery; Marquette

ANDREW SWENTIK, MD; Orthopedic Surgery; Marquette

KATHERINE PETRIN, MD; General Surgery; Marquette

JOHN G KUBLIN, MD; Ophthalmology; Marquette

NATHAN TAYLOR, MD; Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery; Marquette

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