Tuesday, March 24, 2020
To our Patients:
We would like to update you on the ways we are continuing to ‘do our part’ at Minnesota Women’s Care to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We all might be feeling like life is temporarily on hold, but here at MNWC we’re adjusting and adapting to keep our patients and our employees healthy and safe. After all – you’re the reason we’re here!
While face-to-face provider appointments are best, we understand that we need to limit time spent together right now. We have implemented TeleVisits – telehealth video visits – and are excited at how easy and effective they can be. If you have an upcoming visit that you’d prefer to do via video, or if you just feel like you need an appointment in general, call and ask. Our phone number is 651-600-3035. We can accommodate many visit types with TeleVisits. Of course, there are some things that must involve a face-to-face visit, and sometimes we’ll decide during a video visit that you really should be seen for further evaluation. But no worries! We’ll figure it out as we go.
Rest assured that if you prefer to be seen, or if it is recommended that you to come to our office for a visit, we are employing some temporary measures to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- We are limiting visitors. If you are a GYN patient (not pregnant), we request that you DO NOT bring a visitor. If you are pregnant, you are permitted to bring ONE essential support person. Please do not bring children to appointments.
- All patients will be questioned regarding symptoms of COVID-19 and exposure risk at a kiosk outside the waiting room. If you have had a temperature over 100.4 or cough, please call us and reschedule appointment to 72 hours after fever subsides (without the use of fever-reducing medication, or 7 days after the onset of symptoms, whichever is longer. TeleVisit (telehealth video visits) are available.
- Travel. Please tell us if you have traveled outside Minnesota or Wisconsin in the past 14 days. Additionally, patients who have been to any European or Asian country and those who have attended a cruise will have to reschedule their appointments for 14 days from the day of return to the country. Again, you are invited to call for a Telehealth Virtual Visit instead.
- Please do not come to our office if you are experiencing any of the following:
- A temperature over 100.4 or cold symptoms
- You have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you are wondering about your respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath)
- AND/OR if someone you have been in contact with traveled internationally in the last 14 days
Again, if you have experienced any of these, DO NOT come to our office. Instead we would like to offer these alternatives.
#1: Visit oncare.org
If you are worried you have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you are wondering about your respiratory symptoms, visit this website: oncare.org. It will ask you questions and help decide if you need to be tested.
#2: Contact your primary care provider
#3: Self Quarantine if symptoms are mild.
Stay home and isolate from household contacts for 7 days after illness onset, or 72 hours after resolution of fever (without taking fever-reducing medications), and improvement of respiratory symptoms, whichever is longer. If you develop worsening symptoms or shortness of breath, you should call or message your healthcare provider or visit OnCare.org for consultation and determination of next steps.
It's important for us to be able to provide the care you need. Here's how you can help:
- Staying home when sick is fundamental to “stop the spread”. If you have a fever, runny nose, cough, or sneeze, please stay home; just give us a call and we will gladly help you reschedule your appointment. Remember, TeleVisit video visits are available.
- Before leaving home, wash your hands. As a matter of fact, wash them often. It’s one of the simplest and most effective things you can do! Wash thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds (the amount of time to recite the alphabet or sing Happy Birthday). Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Upon arrival, please use hand sanitizer from our prevention station.
- Cover your nose and mouth with your inner elbow or sleeve and not your hand when in the waiting room or exam room and you feel a cough or sneeze coming on.
- Dispose of used tissues promptly in the garbage cans.
Here’s what we are doing:
- All employees with fever, cough, or acute respiratory symptoms are allowed to stay home.
- All toys, magazines, and other objects that are handled have been removed from the waiting rooms.
- We have always used strict cleaning procedures. During this time, we are enhancing our room sanitizing procedures even further and are implementing more frequent deep cleans from our cleaning company.
- We are staying abreast of Minnesota Department of Health and CDC recommendations daily.
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Additional info if you are pregnant or breastfeeding:
Very little is known about coronavirus COVID-19, particularly related to its effect on pregnant women and infants. Like with many viral illnesses (like influenza), it is believed that pregnant women may be at higher risk of severe illness compared to the general population. This is because of changes to the body and immune system during pregnancy that make women more susceptible to viral respiratory infections. Pregnant women should take the usual preventive actions to avoid infection – such as washing hands often and avoiding people who are sick.
For more information, please visit the CDC website here:
We will continue to update our recommendations as more information becomes available about COVID-19 in our community.