In 2020, we experienced the onset of an unprecedented viral epidemic, Covid 19. A highly transmissible, debilitating, and occasionally fatal illness, Covid 19 has changed our society and our way of life. We have lost loved ones. A year and a half into this pandemic, Covid is still with us and is still wreaking havoc in various places of the country, filling hospitals with sick patients and disrupting our routines. Nor does it seem that this will soon be over – a fresh surge of infections due to an even more transmissible Delta variant is active and filling hospitals across the country. As time goes on, other versions of the virus may surface with even more dire characteristics as long as there are reservoirs of unvaccinated people to allow unchecked replication and mutation of the virus.
In April of 2020 we changed our office policies to reflect this threat to our patients and our ability to continue serving the public.
– All members of Michigan Vascular Access, PC have been fully vaccinated.
– The waiting room has been closed to most patients, except those arriving by transportation.
– Patients are asked to phone into the office when they arrive and are asked to stay in their cars until an exam room is available. When the room is available they are greeted at the door and brought directly to the exam room after a temperature check.
– Masks are required of all patients and family members whether vaccinated or not.
– Only one family member is allowed to accompany the patient into the office.
– Dependent children are not allowed in the exam rooms or waiting rooms.
– Social distancing is required and commingling is discouraged.
– Exam rooms are disinfected between patients.
In July of 2021 the appearance of the Delta variant of Covid 19 produced a fourth wave of illnesses and hospitalizations. The realization that Delta was much more infectious and could cause symptomatic and asymptomatic infections in vaccinated people has forced us to create more stringent requirements for admission to our office.
– As of August 1st, we are not accepting new patients who do not have proof of Covid vaccination.
– As of October 1st, established patients without proof of vaccination in hand or on file will not be seen in the office without a valid and verifiable negative Covid test performed in the last 48 hours. If there are urgent conditions requiring evaluation or treatment, the patient can be seen in Providence ER by arrangement with the office.
– Family members without proof of vaccination in hand or on file, or who cannot present proof of a negative Covid test within 48 hours will not be admitted to the office.
– It is the patient’s and family’s responsibility to provide verifiable proof of vaccination or a negative test (i.e., paper in hand) at the time of the visit.
We are still learning about Covid 19 and its variants. It is likely that the virus will change, and we will change how we react to it. We cannot afford to be forced out of business.