COVID-19: Updates to Our Visitor Policy
We receive a lot of questions about our visitor policy and if we have plans to allow visitors. At this time, we continue taking extra precautions to provide the safest environment possible for our patients and staff and require that patients come alone to their visits. This includes no children, including infants.
We want to provide a bit of context about WHY we have our visitor restriction in place to help our patients better understand our decision making process. We are an independent clinic and are not a part of a large health system. Our doctors have admitting privileges at the hospitals, but it’s important to understand the distinction that we are a small, independent practice and that we make decisions that are in the best interest of all of our patients and the safety of our employees.
For our patients that would like to have a visitor with them during appointments, we understand that this is a difficult time, but unfortunately we have made no changes to our visitor policy yet. Many patients have appointments every day that under normal circumstances they would like for their partners to attend. This includes first time parents and patients having important ultrasounds performed. This phrase is overused, but these are unprecedented times, and some personal modifications and sacrifices are required for public health, which is true for all of us in all of the activities we do every day. As official restrictions loosen on a state level, we will continue to see increased COVID19 spread, with increased rates of infection, hospitalization, and death. The death toll in Minnesota is approximately 6 times that noted in an average flu season. There have been cases of spread elsewhere even with the appropriate use of PPE, and we as a medical field are still trying to figure out best practices for management of this difficult virus and its sequelae. For the safety of all of our staff, patients, particularly pregnant women, for whom we still cannot be sure of the specific risks related to the virus – we are continuing with our strict no visitor policy at this time.
We would also like to provide additional context about our current state of our patient appointments. On June 1st, we resumed seeing all of our patients back in office – including annual exams, preventative care, routine screenings, fertility treatments, etc and we have a backlog of patients that we are seeing in our office that have had their care delayed for ~30-75 days. Because of this, we anticipate a higher volume of patients coming through our doors. Because of this, we anticipate more patients in the waiting rooms. We are seeing our patients in office, but also needing to maintain social distancing. Having a partner or visitor attend visits increases the amount of individuals coming through our doors, and we need to weigh allowing visitors with our current overall patient volume in order to see our patients that had to delay care, but also to best follow social distancing guidelines. We have patients coming to our clinic that have, to various degrees, not left their houses since March. In limiting the amount of visitors to our clinic, we are trying to respect and care for all Women that come through our doors. As soon as we feel we are moving back into a regular schedule where we can regulate the lobby, we can allow visitors.
We will update all of our patients should any changes occur as the pandemic picture evolves in Minnesota. It is our ultimate goal to be the safest clinic for your appointment.