Coronavirus is a respiratory illness, so it spreads through respiratory droplets and can be transmitted from someone carrying the illness who coughs or sneezes from 6 feet away, even if they aren’t showing symptoms. This makes it highly contagious. We want you to know that we are going above and beyond to keep our spaces clean and sanitary as we always do. It’s our top priority that our patients and staff stay safe and that our clinic remains open to provide a much-needed service. We apologize for any inconvenience that occurs during this time.
Steps We’re Taking At Austin Women’s Health Center
We have been doing everything we can to provide care to as many of our patients as possible, as safely as possible. In order to accomplish this, we have instituted the following changes:
- We screen for COVID-19 symptoms at the door.
- All staff and patients are required to wear face coverings or masks inside or outside of the clinic. Patients can wear surgical masks, handmade masks, bandanas, scarves, etc., as long as they cover their nose and mouth. We can provide a face covering if you do not have one. Please do not take off or pull down your mask while in the building.
- We are performing abdominal ultrasounds outside in a private space to reduce the transmission of the virus. We understand for some patients this may seem extreme. We do not have a backup Physician that can take over if our current Physician contracts COVID-19 therefore it is extremely important that we reduce the risk of transmission whenever possible.
- We limit the number of patients in the lobby to maintain a six-foot distance between patients. Sometimes patients may be asked to wait outside or in their car until space frees up.
- Some portions of your visit may be completed virtually or over the phone by staff that are off-site.
- All surfaces are disinfected frequently.
- We use electronic forms patients can complete on their computer or mobile device so they don’t have to touch our devices or supplies.
- We limit the number of staff on-site to reduce our exposure, and our patients’.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), symptoms can include:
- respiratory symptoms
- shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
When the case is more severe, coronavirus can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
COVID-19 Recommendations From Austin Women’s Health Center Based on the CDC
Because the virus is thought to spread between person-to-person, the CDC recommends the following:
- Wash your hands often! The CDC suggests washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds — especially if you’ve been in public or have coughed or sneezed. Practicing good hygiene is an effective way to prevent the spread of illness.
- If soap isn’t available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face! Especially your eyes, nose, and mouth (where the transmission can cause infection) with unwashed hands.
- Practice “social distancing”, or keep about six feet of distance between you and another person. This is especially important to prevent transmission to communities more at risk of getting sick.
- Because the transmission of the virus can spread through “respiratory droplets” from a cough or sneeze, it’s especially important to keep your distance from anyone exhibiting these symptoms.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and throw the tissue away, or cough into the inside of your elbow.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you’re sick, or anyone in your household is sick, stay home, unless it’s to get medical care. If you’re seeking healthcare while sick, you should wear a face inside any medical facility you visit in order to prevent the spread of illness to others.
- In order to preserve the availability of face masks, they should only be used by someone who is sick, or by a caregiver who is caring for a sick person that is unable to wear one themselves.
- Clean dirty surfaces, and clean and disinfect surfaces with an EPA disinfectant in your home daily. The CDC says this includes: tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Because COVID-19 can also transmit between humans and animals, the WHO recommends cooking meat and eggs thoroughly.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding during this unprecedented time!