COVID-19 is here and most peoples’ lives have changed substantially in the past few weeks.
Given the experience of people in China, Italy, Iran and now the US, we can expect that this virus might spread very quickly and could likely make many, many people sick. Some people could get so sick that they need intensive care. Some might be so sick that they could die.
The Minor Illness & Injury Clinic is taking steps to help flatten the curve of the novel corona virus COVID-19. Flattening the curve = limiting the spread!
In a perfect world, The Minor Illness & Injury Clinic would be able to see ALL patients, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19. Unfortunately, this is not the case and the places best suited to manage patients who might have COVID-19, even if they have only minor or seemingly unrelated conditions, is the hospital. The reason for this is because the Urgent Cares and Emergency Rooms have the ability to keep patients who are at risk of infection from accidentally spreading disease to other patients who are vulnerable. They also have the ability to provide their staff with the necessary protective equipment to keep them safe from infection. At the present time, The Minor Illness & Injury Clinic does not have the resources to provide either of these measures.
Our best option for helping to flatten the curve at this time is to actively prevent the virus from entering our facility. To do this, we are actively screening patients for risk factors that might increase their likelihood of being infected with COVID-19. This screening process will help to ensure that our most at risk patients, namely the patients over 65 years of age and patients with chronic conditions, are not inadvertently exposed to this virus. It will also help to protect our healthcare system by ensuring that the ER physicians and nurses who work at The Minor Illness & Injury Clinic are not being put at increased risk of illness, which will allow them to provide life-saving front-line care when they are called upon to do so.
As a result, people who are deemed to be at higher risk for spreading the COVID-19 infection will be redirected to other centers, such as their local Emergency Room or Urgent Care. Others will be directed to remain at home and to contact Health Links to seek additional guidance. We recognize that this is not going to be welcome by everyone, but it is imperative that our clients answer these screening questions as honestly as possible or the entire system breaks down and the number of cases of COVID-19 will escalate quickly.
In the near future, we are hoping to be able to offer virtual visits to some of these patients, so as to allow them to remain at home. However, this is a work in progress and we are still working out the kinks in the system. An update will follow as soon as one become available.
For now, we wish all of you good health during these challenging time.