Dear NFMN patients,
The past few weeks, have been trying for everyone. COVID-19 has been rapidly spreading. Efforts to reduce its impact are underway and are changing every day. This letter outlines the steps we are taking to provide safe, on-going care, and provides advice on how to protect yourself and those close to you. Note especially the steps to take if you develop symptoms that could suggest COVID-19.
We are not seeing any patients with respiratory symptoms including cough, sore throat, fever and/or runny nose. Patients with these symptoms who would like to speak to their doctor should call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a phone or video consult.
Many of you have already experienced our clinics response. All in office appointments will be cancelled effective immediately, with the exception of well baby visits for routine immunization. We will transition existing appointments to phone or video consults.
We are following recommendations to modify the frequency of prenatal visits and your provider will update you. A specific appointment that your doctor feels is essential will be kept but may be changed to a different time. We will have 2 physicians in the office to accommodate these appointments. Despite not being in the office we are checking messages and emails everyday and will get back to as quickly as possible. Please understand that we are receiving numerous calls and emails. We are responding in priority of urgency.
Please note that when you arrive to the clinic the door will be locked, call or knock when you arrive and we will let you in safely. In keeping with social distancing practices, only the person with an appointment will be allowed into the office. Of course for well baby visits one adult will be permitted in. However, if you or your baby have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, aches, or are unsure what to do please call before coming.
WHAT TO DO IN TERMS OF YOUR OVERALL HEALTH AND PROTECTION
First, remain calm. We know it is not always easy but if we are calm and follow basic principles of hygiene and social distancing we will all be better off. Second, be informed. We are all being inundated with multiple reports from multiple sources and it can be overwhelming. Please consider turning to the recommendations coming from the Ministry and Public Health. Lastly, if uncertain, contact us. We will do our best to answer your questions or direct you to where they can be best answered.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID-19 OR ARE CONCERNED ABOUT SYMPTOMS THAT COULD BE COVID-19
Stay at home. Do not come to the office. Do not go to the Emergency department or a COVID-19 assessment centre.
These recommendations are in keeping with the Ministry’s guidelines and are intended to limit potential exposure and spread of COVID-19.
Do the COVID Self Assessment Screening Tool
This can be accessed at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/#q0
Contact Public Health of Telehealth Ontario
The best thing to do if you are particularly concerned is to call your local Public Health Unit (in Toronto the number is 416-338-7600) or Telehealth (1-866-797-0000).
IF YOU HAVE SIGNIFICANT RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS, SHORTNESS OF BREATH, OR CHEST PAIN, YOU SHOULD GO TO THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT.
We appreciate your commitment to our office and the trust you have in your care providers. We will continue to update things as they evolve. We will get through this together.
The Staff and Physicians of New Family Medicine Network