Preventing the Spread of Illness
As you are aware, there is an emerging public health threat related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), additionally, it is also flu and respiratory disease season. We are taking necessary precautions to prevent the spread of these viruses and encouraging everyone to take action to stay healthy. While we are all changing our daily routines during this global health crisis, we want to let you know that our doors are still open, and will remain open unless we are told otherwise by our governmental leaders.
We have considered the question of whether or not to stay open from an ethical perspective. The question pertains to whether or not we, as private practice business owners, are contributing to the rise of the infection curve, versus supporting the flattening of it, by remaining open to see our patients.
We want to share that a memorandum was issued on March 19, 2020 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security which states:
“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”
The guidance goes on to further define the “essential infrastructure workers” to include “physical and occupational therapists and assistants”. Their advice to our industry is to strive to stay open and treat the patient population during this pandemic. Therefore, we believe that it is our duty to try to meet this guidance and continue to care for our patients’ physical and occupational therapy needs during this time of crisis.
Since our clinics and its staff are included in the specific definition of “essential” healthcare businesses that should strive to stay open and care for patients, we intend to do just that. We are able to practice within the recommended CDC guidelines and we are following local government mandates. We are here to assist in keeping people healthy; physical and occupational therapists are essential in flattening the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. We play a key role in keeping people we can help out of physician offices and hospitals. This will not only free up the medical teams to treat those impacted by COVID-19, but also limit the exposure of those seeking care for treatment that a physical or occupational therapist can provide. For those patients who do not need surgery at this time, or if surgery has been delayed, we are here and ready to help get you better.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
Here are the steps we are taking to help to prevent infection and the spread of the virus.
- All employees are screened daily for COVID-19. Staff with respiratory symptoms return home and do not return to work until well.
- After each patient encounter, we are washing our hands with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- We are routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces such as; mats, treatment tables, exercise equipment, computer keyboard and mouse, pens, phones, light switches, door handles, faucets, etc.
How you can help us maintain a safe environment for yourself and our patients.
- Please take a minute to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when you first walk inside.
- It is allergies season. When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- If you have symptoms of any respiratory infection with no fever (e.g., cough, runny nose) please call ahead to reschedule your appointment or a telehealth visit, if appropriate.
- If you have a fever, please refrain from coming to the clinic until you have been fever-free for 3 days.
More information about the coronavirus can be found on the CDC’s website. If you have any questions or would like to speak with us directly, please don’t hesitate to call any of our locations.
Many of our locations are now offering a Telehealth option for patients who are not able to make it in the clinic. More information about Online Physical Therapy Sessions.