Last Updated 04/01/20 12:00 pm
As we work through this national health crisis, please be patient and open-minded about the temporary measures we have adopted. They are truly temporary! We are not eager to inconvenience anyone, but we feel compelled to put our patient and staff safety at the forefront. If you have COVID-19 symptoms or you are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, call the UNC helpline at 888-850-2684 before visiting our office, an urgent care location, hospital, or emergency room. Also, the North Carolina COVID-19 information hotline is 866-462-3821, and is for questions about the virus and for testing locations. In general, if you are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath, we request you call the office to postpone your appointment.
Our Arbor ObGyn patients must be comfortable visiting our office and know that we follow strict sterilization safeguards and standards. The health of our patients, visitors, and staff is the utmost priority. By taking precautionary measures, it is our goal to maintain the patient’s safety while providing the highest level of care. Some examples are:
- Our care spaces and waiting rooms are regularly sanitized for your protection.
- All staff members have their temperature screened each workday.
- A renewed emphasis on hand sanitation for our staff and visitors.
- All patients (and visitors) will be screened in our triage area with a thermometer. Consider taking your temperature at home too, before you come to our office.
- We have eliminated unnecessary traffic through our office by halting visits from drug representatives, vendors, and catering.
In an effort to help our community slow the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Arbor Obstetrics & Gynecology has made the following changes:
- We are suspending all appointments for routine annual exams and other wellness visits.
- We will continue to see all of our pregnant patients, and gynecologic patients with acute needs.
- We will continue to see contraceptive procedural appointments, such as IUD placements.
- Elective surgical cases (office-based and hospital) will be canceled; you will be notified.
- Woman’s Health Alliance Mammography has stopped providing routine screening mammograms. If you get your mammogram at another facility, check with them on scheduling policy.
- Contact our office by phone before your appointment if you are feeling ill, have a fever, or have been exposed to a viral illness.
- In general, our patients are now RESTRICTED from bringing an extras person(s) with them to their appointment. This is to reduce the likelihood of unrecognized coronavirus carriers from infecting our staff and other patients, as well as allowing for more physical distancing. Patients arriving with additional persons will be asked to have them wait in their vehicle, or outside the office building. Patients arriving with children will be asked to reschedule. As an exception, you may bring one healthy guest for your first prenatal appointment, and to your anatomy-ultrasound appointment. We will also allow a guest if serving as an interpreter or if you are working though a serious health issue that requires it. Please call our office to confirm if a guest will be permitted.
- We do not provide masks to our healthy patients. Although it is not medically necessary, you are certainly permitted to wear your own mask. If you see your Arbor ObGyn team members wearing masks, it is only to mitigate the quarantine consequences that would follow in the event of exposure to a Covid-19 positive patient. Be assured that if any member of our team is ill, they will not be in our office caring for you!
- In lieu of face-to-face visits, TeleMedicine appointments are available for established Arbor patients that still would like to consult about a medical matter with their provider by phone. You can select an appointment time, and our staff and providers will contact you by phone at that time. Your health insurance and co-pays will be billed for that appointment at the customary contracted TeleMedicine rate.
- Cancelled appointments will be given priority when our schedule restrictions are lifted! During this time of uncertainty, we are also lifting all appointment cancellation fees. We are also making it easier for patients whose care has been postponed to obtain needed prescription medication refills: if there are no changes to your medication, simply ask your pharmacy to send us a 90 DAY refill request, and we will gladly take care of that for you.
UNC REX Healthcare (Hospital)
- Rex Hospital falls under the guidance of UNC Health. Their policies mirror those of UNC Health. Duke Health and WakeMed are also implementing similar precautionary measures.
- Gynecologic Surgery patients: All elective surgeries have been canceled by Rex, for the foreseeable future. An ‘elective’ surgery is one which could be delayed three months without serious consequence to the patients health.
- Pregnant Patients: The Women’s Center is open and fully staffed for deliveries and postpartum care, and has coronavirus mitigation measures in place. Keep in mid that guest restrictions are evolving. As of 04/02/2020, only ONE SUPPORT PERSON (spouse, partner, douala, etc.) may accompany a laboring mother, and that person will be the only guest permitted throughout your hospitalization (that is, not rotating one-at-a-time). That guest is also to stay at Rex for the entire hospitalization. That guest may NOT go to their car, run errands, etc. (The only exception is when you have an unexpected hospital admission, the guest may leave one time to get your luggage). You can view UNC Rex’s up-to-date full visitor policy on their website.
FOR PREGNANT HEALTHCARE WORKERS
- Our current guidance for pregnant women who are also healthcare workers does not mandate removal from the workplace. Please let us know If you would like us to formalize a letter to your employer with following guidelines.
- Adherence to recommended infection prevention and control practices is an important part of protecting all HCP in healthcare settings. Be sure your employer knows you are pregnant before you provide any direct patient care to a person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. When possible, and depending on staffing, management should consider limiting your exposure to these patients. This is especially true if you perform procedures with a higher chance of coming into contact with a patient’s respiratory droplets (such as intubation).
- If you do provide care to a patient with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, be sure to follow the Standard, Contact, and Airborne Precautions for all healthcare workers, as outlined by CDC. If you are pregnant and you cared for a patient with COVID-19 without all the recommended precautions in place (for example, no PPE), contact your employer immediately to let them know. Depending on the type of care you are involved in and current staffing needs, your employer may ask you to self-isolate (stay at home) for a period of time, or to monitor yourself for symptoms (such as fever) while continuing to report to work.