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Covid-19 Response

To our valued patients:

In order to continue providing compassionate care to you, our office has taken measures to help protect you and our providers.  Please review the following items before coming in for an appointment.

  • Please contact us before coming into the office if you answer yes to any of these questions.

    • If you have traveled to a high risk area within the past 14 days

    • Have you had close contact (within 6 feet) to a laboratory confirmed COVID-19 within 14 days of symptom onset?

    • Do you have a fever or a recent history of a fever? (100.4 F or above/38 C or above) and/or acute respiratory illness - new or worsening cold like symptoms, flu like illness, new or worsening cough or shortness of breath?

  • As of June 1 - Visitor Policy Change: If you are coming in for an OB sono, you may bring 1 support person.  This visitor will need to be healthy and have no positive pre-screening indicators. *For all other appointments, we are not allowing patients to bring visitors (spouses, children, etc.) with them. 

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please see the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) link for the most up to date information on COVID-19: ACOG - Pregnant or Breastfeeding 

  • Please wear a mask to your apointment.   

  • For more questions regarding your general gynecological health and COVID-19, please go to ACOG - Gynecological Health

  • We have heightened our cleaning protocols with the following: 

    • We are wiping down door handles, sinks, etc.

    • Sanitizing the waiting room between each patient

    • Spacing patient appointments for minimal traffic

    • Continuing our daily practice of always cleaning each exam room after every patient.

 

We wanted to share some thoughts as many questions are coming into our office about COVID-19.  We are staying up to date on the daily advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and know that recommendations change.

 

As many of us know, COVID-19 seems to be largely affecting the immunocompromised and elderly. At this time, the true concern for most communities is overwhelming a limited healthcare system with adverse effects from COVID-19. This graphic about protective measures was very helpful for our understanding. It shows that by taking protective measures individually and as a community, the number of COVID-19 cases should not exceed the capacity of the healthcare system.

 

 

So what are these protective measures?

Washing your hands, cleaning all communal surfaces, and avoiding sick contacts by self-isolating as much as possible. Specifically, you should avoid large/community events for the next few weeks until we better understand the rate of spread and self-quarantine with any symptoms. As far as building immunity, we know that healthy diet, exercise, adequate sleep, and stress reduction are our best bets. By performing these protective measures, we can do our part to aid the most vulnerable in our community and slow the spread of COVID-19.

 

We are working alongside the recommendations of IDPH, CDC, and the healthcare systems within our community (both OSF and Advocate Bromenn) in an effort to reduce the burden on our healthcare system.  Our goal is to limit the stress on our community’s system. For example, if operating rooms, ICUs, and ERs are filled with COVID-19 patients, what could happen for emergencies like appendicitis or motor vehicle accidents if there are no rooms for these patients in hospitals? Remember that one sick patient exposes 5-10 healthcare workers, who are not only at-risk health-wise, but also need to self-quarantine.

 

Currently, if you have a fever and/or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing), you are considered symptomatic.  As per CDC recommendations,

“...mildly ill patients are encouraged to stay home and contact their healthcare provider by phone for guidance about clinical management. Patients who have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, should seek care immediately. Older patients and individuals who have underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their primary care providers early in the course of even mild illness.”

For more information, please visit the CDC “What You Should Know” webpage.

 

For our pregnant and breastfeeding mothers (from the CDC’s recommendations): 

There is not currently information from published scientific reports about susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. Pregnant women experience immunologic and physiologic changes which might make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. There is no evidence that children are more susceptible to COVID-19. In fact, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported from China have occurred in adults. Infections in children have been reported, including infants. There is an ongoing investigation to determine more about this outbreak. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.

 

Much is unknown about how COVID-19 is spread, but likely it is similar to influenza (flu) by person-to-person spread (via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes). In limited studies on women with COVID-19 and another coronavirus infection, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV), the virus has not been detected in breast milk; however, we do not know whether mothers with COVID-19 can transmit the virus via breast milk. We do know that breastmilk contains antibodies that the mother has made to any virus she is exposed to, which is helpful to breastfeeding infants. For more information, please visit the CDC’s page for Pregnant Women and Children.

 

During this uncertain time, we are available for your questions and concerns. Our desire is to provide exceptional, compassionate healthcare that ministers the love of Christ. Amid times of worry from all around, use your love and care for one another to drive out fear, as scripture explains, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18).”

 

We do not fear, for we know the peace of Christ lives within us, as Jesus taught us, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27).” During this time of fear, love one another and take good care to love (especially) those within your household!

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Rachel Dalton and Dr. Jared Zotz