Dear Spectrum Health patients,
Most of you have no doubt read or heard about the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The situation is changing daily and we’re relying on local and global public health experts to guide how best to support our patients and our team during this challenging time. We’re taking this issue very seriously at Spectrum Health and wanted to update you with some important information:
-If you have flu-like symptoms (fever >38 degrees, cough, muscle aches), especially if you have recently travelled to a zone of heightened risk (Western Europe, China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, United States) or been in close contact with someone who has, we advise that you call our office and we will have extra staff dedicated to triaging patients to seek testing at a local Urgent Primary Care Clinic since they’re properly set up to process possible COVID-19 cases. We have very limited viral swabs in our office so in rare instances, we may advise you to come into Spectrum. We are balancing the benefit of testing with the risk of spread to our staff and other patients in the office.
-DO NOT book an appointment online if you have flu-like symptoms. Please call the office and we will advise you further.
-DO NOT go to a local emergency room if you have flu-like symptoms. This is the most dangerous place to go since you may bring the virus to very sick people.
-DO NOT go on any cruises anywhere in the world until notified otherwise by our national public health officials.
-AVOID travel to zones of heightened risk until further notice. As the situation is evolving, please not that if you do choose to travel, be aware that recommendations may change quickly and you may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
-Finally, please know that this is a very busy time for the clinic: Consider rescheduling any non-urgent or unnecessary appointments and avoid calling the office for non-urgent concerns (i.e. checking test results, etc.). Also, if you would prefer to have your appointment as a phone consult instead of coming into the office, please notify our staff and we can most likely accommodate.
For further information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we suggest the following website: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel)
There is a lot of misinformation online that can cause unnecessary anxiety/panic. Only rely on trusted news sources.
In a situation like this, we all have to be vigilant about how our health may affect others. Your health care team at Spectrum Health thanks you for your cooperation, understanding and patience during this challenging time.