The coronavirus pandemic turned the world upside down in many regards, not least of which is healthcare. Back in the early stages of COVID-19, many people chose to put off non-essential healthcare checkups and appointments, opting for either telemedicine visits with care providers or waiting until things felt safer to visit doctor’s offices. If you’ve reached the point where you or a family member has decided it’s time for a doctor’s visit – whether for a routine medical appointment or to address a non-COVID related illness – there are things you can do to stay safe at a doctor’s appointment.
To safely access non-emergency and routine medical care during the pandemic, patients can take the following steps to reduce risk:
- Be aware of individual office protocol. You may be asked to wait in your car until your appointment time and adhere to a temperature check upon check-in.
- If possible, complete necessary paperwork ahead of the appointment. This may limit your time in waiting room and reduces the amount of items you touch during your visit.
- Be prepared with an appropriate face covering. According to the CDC, this should be a cotton cloth covering that covers both the nose and mouth.
- Be aware of social distancing guidelines and follow the guidance of signage inside all buildings. Stay at least 6 feet apart from other patients.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use hand sanitizer if water and soap aren’t available. Sanitize hands before and after your appointment, and after you touch anything in the office or waiting room (including doorknobs, pens and elevator buttons).
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible
If you’re unsure if you should go see your doctor in person, you can always call his or her office and discuss your options and recommended course of action. These are strange times we’re living in, and we’re all doing our best to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and healthy. If you have any questions about how to stay safe at a doctor’s appointment, we’re here to help.
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