Information About COVID-19 & Vaccination
New Information Below
When will I be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Summit?
All Summit locations (including our Express Clinics) currently offer the vaccination, which is available for all individuals 12 years of age and older. For details about vaccine locations and availability, reach out to your Summit provider.
Please check the Summit Facebook page or website for the latest updates, or contact your local health department for more information.
What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses were identified in 1950s and generally cause symptoms similar to most viral illness including the cold and flu (cough, fever, and/or body aches). This is very similar to most viral illnesses including flu and the common cold.
COVID-19 is a new coronavirus. Because this virus is new, testing has been limited; there are no vaccines and no medicines designed specifically to treat it.
Am I at risk for COVID-19?
Patients who may be at higher risk include older patients and those with chronic conditions such as lung disease, heart disease and diabetes.
What are the symptoms?
Fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, and body aches.
We are seeing a significant number of patients with these symptoms due to cold, flu, and allergy in East Tennessee. If you are feeling ill, it is still much more likely to be a cold or the flu rather than COVID-19. As with the flu, most people who get COVID-19 will only experience mild viral symptoms and will experience a complete recovery.
What should I do if I am experiencing symptoms?
As your health care partner, your safety is our top priority. If you are in severe respiratory distress, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room. You should not visit the emergency room for minor symptoms or to seek testing. You will have a long wait and expose yourself to other potential infections.
If you have a fever, cough, and other symptoms of respiratory infection, call your Summit Medical Group primary care physician. Our team can help direct you to the appropriate site of care based on your symptoms and medical history (such as recent international travel or exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19). If you are directed to an office, urgent care, or emergency room, please immediately notify the staff of your possible illness upon arrival.
Can COVID-19 be treated?
Since it is a virus, COVID-19 cannot be treated with antibiotics. Mild infections are treated in the same way as the common cold or flu with over-the-counter medications to relieve the symptoms of cough, congestion, and fever.
Can I come in and be tested for COVID-19?
You may be evaluated and tested for COVID-19 at any of our Summit locations. Some of our locations, including all 4 of our Summit Express Clinics, have the COVID19 rapid molecular test. However, supplies are limited so we may not have them every day. In addition, these tests are recommended for people with symptoms and are less accurate for asymptomatic (without symptoms) patients. Your physician may choose to send the COVID19 testing to a regional lab, with results generally available in 1-3 days.
What should I do to avoid infection?
It is believed COVD-19 spreads via respiratory droplets such as from a cough or sneeze, so you should use the same prevention methods as you would to avoid a cold or the flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home from school, work and social engagements when you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
I have a regularly scheduled appointment with my doctor. Should I come?
Regular wellness visits and appointments for chronic care treatment are important for your health and should not be avoided. Summit Medical Group is taking every precaution to protect our patients and staff from exposure to COVID-19, including isolating patients with symptoms to prevent exposures.
If you have a scheduled appointment and are having fever, cough and other symptoms of respiratory infection, call the office where you have an appointment to ensure you get care in the appropriate location. We will help direct you to the appropriate site of care based on your symptoms.
Telehealth appointments also are available for current and new patients. To learn more about this option for virtual video or phone appointment with a provider, click here or discuss directly with your physician's office.
Should I wear a mask to my doctor's appointment?
All patients and visitors are required to wear a mask when visiting any Summit Medical Group facility. To help conserve medical masks, please bring a mask from home to wear. Thank you for helping to protect the health and safety of our patients and employees.
Where can I get more information?
Don't rely on secondhand information or social media for updates. Refer to reliable health information sites such as those listed below.
Tennessee Department of Health: Public hotline: 1-877-857-2945
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
American Academy of Pediatrics:
Click the links below for PDF files for COVID-19 information from the Centers for Disease Control:
- - CDC COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions - PDF Document
- - CDC What to do if you are infected with COVID-19 - PDF Document