Coronavirus update 3/18/2020
These are difficult and challenging times and we would like to reach out to you to and reassure you that we are taking every step we can to protect you – and our entire community – during the COVID-19 outbreak.
We will continue to update you on changes to our practice in response to the presence of COVID-19 in our communities and to remind you again how you can protect yourself and loved ones. The situation continues to evolve day to day and at times hour to hour, and we are committed to keeping you up to date with the information that we have available.
In order to adhere to current recommendations regarding social distancing, starting this week we will be modifying our office schedule to accommodate only pregnant women and urgent gynecologic appointments. We are trying to minimize exposure in our waiting rooms by decreasing the number of patients in the office.
- All patients are asked to come to your appointment unaccompanied, including partners and children. Please have them wait in the car if they have accompanied you to the office.
- We will make every effort to expedite getting you into an exam room without needing to sit in the waiting room.
- You will hear from our office in the coming days to reschedule all non-urgent and routine health maintenance or follow-up appointments.
- If you have an urgent or time-sensitive issue, one of our physicians or medical assistants will speak with you to determine whether your care can be handled over the phone. If you need to be seen in the office, we will see you.
In addition, the hospital has requested that we reschedule all non-emergent operative procedures at this time. If you have an upcoming scheduled surgery, we will be in touch to discuss the particulars of your situation.
If you are pregnant, we know that you are concerned about the impact on your pregnancy and want to reiterate that at this time we are not aware of any specific concerns regarding infection with COVID19 in pregnancy. In fact, early data suggests that pregnant women are not affected more severely than non-pregnant women.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever (> 100.4F) or one or more of the following symptoms: cough, difficulty breathing / shortness of breath, and/or gastrointestinal symptoms.
- If you currently have symptoms of the coronavirus and are not pregnant, please call your primary care physician to determine if you need emergent evaluation. If pregnant, contact our office.
- Do not come to the office if you believe you have COVID-19 or any of the above mentioned symptoms.
- If you may have been exposed to a person with proven or suspected COVID-19 and have an urgent gynecologic issue, please do not come to the office without calling first.
We strongly recommend that our patients practice social distancing while the virus continues to exhibit community spread. This is a virus spread through respiratory droplets. There are simple things you can do to significantly reduce your risk of infection:
- Wash your hands with soap and water regularly and effectively, for at least 20 seconds
- Cover cough and sneezes
- Avoid unnecessary social interaction – work from home if possible. No play dates, parties, visiting friends/family.
- Avoid unnecessary travel, even locally
- Do not share food. Cook your own meals if possible.
- Do not travel on public transportation if it can be avoided
- Stay home if you are sick or were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and contact your physician for direction regarding testing.
- Disinfect your work space and other public areas where you spend time
What we do – or don’t do – over the next week will have a massive impact on the local and perhaps national trajectory of coronavirus. Social distancing feels extreme, but we need to create distance between family units and between individuals in order to slow the transmission of this virus. The symptoms of coronavirus take 4-5 days to manifest themselves. Someone who comes over looking well can transmit the virus.
This is a time to take care of yourself and your family.
- Exercise, take walks/ hikes/ runs outside. When you go outside try to maintain at least six feet between you and non-family members. Getting outside is important during this unusual time. Fortunately, the weather is improving – try to go outside every day if you are able.
- Focus on relaxation techniques: meditation, yoga, stretching at home.
- What we really need is “physical distancing.” Stay connected with family, friends, and neighbors through phone, video, group chats and social media. Stay positive and supportive of each other. Unfollow people and mute groups whose posts you find particularly unsettling.
- Create a daily routine for your selves and family members especially children.
- Slow down. Anxiety has been rampant in our society for far longer than COVID-19 has been present. Forced downtime can be a gift – reset and reconnect with your passions. Show yourself grace.
- Remember: this too shall pass.
Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Craig Huttler, MD FACOG
Maria Asis, MD, FACOG
Beth Maloy, MD, FACOG
Sean Flaherty, MD, PhD, FACOG
Ami Acharya, MD, MPH, FACOG
Kristen Aversa, MD, FACOG