Governor Newsom’s Stay at Home declaration last night was very unsettling, but a necessary measure to contain and ultimately control the spread of the coronavirus. It has also created confusion as to what is and what is not allowable for the public to do.
We are relieved to say we have Great News! Yesterday, the Governor, CDC (Center for Disease Control), the Department of Homeland Security officially recognized physical therapists an essential critical infrastructure worker. Toward that end, the Homeland Security memorandum stated:
“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.”
You can read the entire memorandum by clicking here:
We understand that even with this designation, there is still a concern, especially for seniors and those with underlying health conditions, in regards to leaving your home, even if it is just to come to our clinic and go back. As stated in our email on Monday (see below) we are taking every precaution possible to ensure your health and the health of our staff. We take this very seriously and follow established public health guidelines.
In addition to these measures, we will be taking the temperature of every patient and person that enters our clinic. As always, if you feel sick or have been around someone that has been sick or suspected of being sick, we ask that you stay home. All cancellation fees will be waived.
If you have any questions please feel free to call either office as we are happy to discuss your specific situation and needs.
As this is a fluid situation we will be posting updates on our Website and Facebook.
We appreciate your understanding. We are here to help you.
At Progressive Physical Therapy, we take our patients’ health and safety very seriously. You may have some growing concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), especially in light of the recent statements from Governor Newsom. The good news is that our clinics are considered a low risk of exposure.
In regards to seniors, the Governor clearly stated that his request for those over 65 years of age to self-quarantine was advisory and voluntary. He made the point that the businesses he has asked to close such as bars and nightclubs are “non-essential.” Medically indicated physical therapy is not in the category of “non-essential” services.
It is up to the patient who may be over 65, with the guidance of their physical therapist, to decide if a therapy visit is “non-essential.” If the patient (and PT) deems the visit essential he/she is exercising the prerogative to receive the healthcare they need.
Currently, government officials trust the skill and expertise of medically-licensed health professionals including PTs to make the right call, especially with seniors who may have other underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk for infection. In fact, we have already called many to have this discussion, take necessary precautions, and make adjustments or alternative plans, if necessary.
We understand the seriousness and changing nature of this health situation. We will be waiving all cancellation fees.
To reassure our patients, our practice is taking the following steps to address patient and staff safety during the Coronavirus outbreak:
- We are screening new patients on the phone by:
- Asking if they have been in one of the risk zones in the past 30 days or have been in close contact with someone who has been in those areas and were sick. Zones include China, Italy, Iran, South Korea.
- If so and no symptoms, we ask they stay home for 14 days from tlieil lastexposure and then call back.
- If so with symptoms, we tell them to contact the doctor and not come in untilcleared.
- Asking if they are sick, have a fever or cough
- If so, have they seen a doctor and been cleared as non-contagious.
- If not, we ask that they stay home until clea1’ed by doctor until symptoms aregone.
- We are asking all existing patients who come into the office these same questions.
- We are advising patients who answer yes to questions above to see theirdoctor and reschedule appointments.
- We have placed signs in the office reminding people to wash hands and not touch their face with unwashed hands.
- We already maintain a clean environment, but we have increased our cleaningfrequency to take extra precautions.
- We offer patients wipes and hand sanitizer.
- We wash hands before and after contact with any patient.
- We have increased sanitizing equipment and surfaces patients contact throughout the day.
- We are keeping patients separate from each other as much as possible.
- We have reviewed and updated our Safety and Health policies and practices with guidance from the CDC, OSHA, and our local health departments.
- We have reminded all staff members to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing.
- We are telling our sick staff members to stay home and any staff members who are illwill be sent home.
We will provide updates as the situation warrants.
We are committed to making our clinics a safe and healthy environment for all. Let us know if you have questions! If you are concerned for any reason or have any questions, please call our office and speak with your therapist (or leave a message so your therapist can call you back).