To Patients of Alpine Vision Clinic Re: COVID-19/Coronavirus
Given the recent information from the CDC, and following the actions of our governor, we feel compelled to begin to institute a more “Strict” set of standards with regard to our interactions with our patients.
Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, and extending (for now) until the end of April 2020, we will follow the protocols below to reduce the potential spread of this virus and to aid in the efforts to “flatten the curve” in regards to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. For more information on flattening the curve refer to the following link: https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/wellness-prevention/flattening-curve-for-covid-19-what-does-it-mean-and-how-can-you-help.
We have always had a careful hygienic protocol in our office (using disposable items whenever available, hand disinfection prior to seeing every patient, etc.), but we will be taking additional precautions that go “above and beyond” our normal processes. Please note that items in bold will be things we will be asking our patients to do to aid us in reducing the risk of COVID-19.
- We are asking that all patients who exhibit any flu-like symptoms (fever, aching, chills, persistent cough, sneezing, respiratory distress) to reschedule their appointments for at least two weeks in the future. This is especially important for patients 60 or older.
- We will be contacting all patients the day before their appointment to confirm the appointment, and we will ask if they are certain they have been free from any fever, chills, or other flu-like symptoms in the past week. If they are not certain, or if they have been experiencing any flu-like symptoms they will be rescheduled for at least two weeks in the future.
- We will be asking all patients to use hand sanitizer provided by Alpine Vision Clinic when they arrive at the office.
- We will not see any patient who arrives and presents with flu-like symptoms, and they will be rescheduled for at least two weeks in the future. Any person accompanying a patient with flu-like symptoms will be asked to leave the office.
- We will reschedule all non-critical business-related vendor representatives to a later date.
- Any office staff member who exhibits flu-like symptoms will be asked to stay home until they have totally recovered from their illness. This may require rescheduling patients in the event that multiple staff members or the doctor are unavailable to see patients.
- We will ask all patients who present with red and/or watery-sticky eyes to stay outside the office and call the office at (360-653-3305) to notify us of their arrival. We will contact those patients when we are ready to see them and immediately escort them to an examination room.
- If a patient requires urgent eye care, and they do feel ill, the doctor scheduled to see them will decide if they shall be seen at the Emergency Department, should be rescheduled, or be seen and treated as in #7 above. If the ill patient is seen, the examination room they are treated in will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected immediately following the conclusion of their treatment.
- We will enforce a no food or drink of any kind to be brought into the office by patients. While food and drink do not appear to be a significant transmission problem with COVID-19, eating and drinking involve a “hand-to-mouth” movement that may contribute to a touch-then-infect scenario.
It is our hope that these days of uncertainty will pass soon. We at Alpine Vision Clinic feel it our duty to do all we can to protect ourselves and our patients during this health crisis. We have instituted various cleaning and disinfection measures within our office to protect our staff and patients, and we ask all who come to our office to practice good hygiene habits, have patience with the above protocols, and exhibit compassion during this trying time. While it is not time to panic, it is time to be prudent and do all we can in reducing the severity and impact of this disease as we proceed cautiously and wisely.
Philip T. Williams, O.D. and Staff