URGENT Message Regarding COVID-19 and Clinic Changes
As you are no doubt aware, the situation regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is changing rapidly. We encourage you to visit Public Health websites for the most up to date information. We are actively monitoring the situation and taking measures to help reduce the spread of the virus. Many governments and health organizations are promoting measures called “social distancing” to help. Social distancing involves limiting opportunities where viruses can spread between people. Some examples of social distancing include working from home when possible, avoiding non-essential trips in the community, and limiting/cancelling group gatherings. By doing so, this may save lives by preventing our health system from being overwhelmed by a large surge in demand, so the people who do get really sick from the virus can access the health care resources when required.
As such, in order to help contain the virus and keep our patients and staff safe, we are immediately implementing the following measures:
- Unless you are advised otherwise, ALL currently booked appointments will be changed to a telephone appointment. Your physician will call you at the time of your appointment instead. (Please note that our call may show up as “COFMA” or “No Caller ID” on your phone).
- We will be postponing non-urgent medical appointments (for example: check-ups, wart treatments). Visits that are more urgent and require an in-person visit will still be available.
- If you are sick with mild symptoms that you can reasonably manage at home, please try to stay at home. If your employer requests a sick note, please send them this letter from Ottawa Public Health: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/resources/Corona/COVID19-Sick-Note-updated-v2-2020-03-14.pdf
In order to help prevent the spread of the virus and protect others, we’ll need your help too.
Before you come to the clinic:
- If your appointment is not urgent, think about re-scheduling it until the situation improves. If you need to be seen or are uncertain, please call us.
- If you have respiratory symptoms (like a cough, fever, or difficulty breathing) DO NOT COME TO THE CLINIC BEFORE CALLING US.
- If you think you may have COVID-19, please be aware that we are NOT currently equipped to test for COVID-19 at our clinic. Instead, see the latest recommendations at www.ottawapublichealth.ca/coronavirus for instructions on how or when to get testing. You can call our office (613-760-3700) though if you are uncertain. The Ottawa Public Health website listed above is the best way to quickly find up to date information. It contains instructions on how/when/where to get testing, how to self-isolate, and has information about workplaces (including suggestions on what to do about “sick notes”).
- If you are sick with mild symptoms (cough, runny nose, sore throat), stay at home. Follow the self-isolation guidelines from Public Health.
At the clinic:
- You will be questioned when you check-in. If you use the self-check in kiosk, make sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and afterwards. If you are checking in at the front desk please show your health card to our reception staff through the front window, they do not need to swipe or handle it.
- You will be given a surgical mask if you need one. However, due to limited supply we will not be able to give extras.
- Try and stay 2m (6ft) away from other people and avoid touching surfaces.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands.
- Practice social distancing: it may be our best chance at minimizing the overall impact of this virus. See the following link for instructions on how to do so: www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/self-isolation-instructions-for-novel-coronavirus-covid-19
- We recommend avoiding all non-essential travel outside of Canada. (See here for travel advisories from the Public Health Agency of Canada: www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice).
- Please be aware that if you’re returning from travel outside of Canada, Ottawa Public Health has recommended that ALL travelers self-isolate for 14 days
For more information about COVID-19 click on the links below:
- Ottawa Public Health: www.ottawapublichealth.ca/coronavirus
- Ontario Ministry of Health Coronavirus info page: www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus
- Public Health Agency of Canada: www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
We continue to monitor information and recommendations from Ottawa Public Health and will adjust our practices accordingly.
Thank you for your patience and understanding in these challenging times.