A Message from ExercisAbilites – September 2020
As the concerns about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) intensify, we thought it would be helpful to share what ExercisAbilities is or has been doing to make your therapy appointment as safe as possible.
The first step we took was to educate our workforce using validated resources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), and the US Department of Health.
The second step we took was to evaluate our ability to continue to provide services without increasing exposure risks to you and our staff. As part of that process, we developed a screening tool utilizing CDC guidelines and have made a list of questions that we will ask to ascertain the exposure risk. These are the questions:
- Have you traveled to any other country, state, or area with high COVID-19 incidents within the past 30 days?
- Have you had any contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, with any person(s) under investigation for COVID-19 or anyone with flu-like symptoms:
|Fever or chills||Cough||Congestion or runny nose|
|Shortness of breath||Fatigue||Diarrhea|
|Difficulty breathing||Headache||Nausea or vomiting|
|New loss of taste or smell||Sore throat||Muscle or body aches|
The exposure could be to spouses, partners, family members, friends, work colleagues, social group members, fellow students, church members or any other person(s) or groups where there could have personal contact (within 6 feet for 15 consecutive minutes without a filtering face mask/respirator).
- Have you had any worrisome symptoms (see above) in the past 14 days? If positive for symptoms we are asking that you, contact your physician or local/state Department of Public Health for guidance. We will ask you also to attest to your symptomology or lack of it. We will be asking you and all other patients to call the clinic prior to arriving if there are any flu/virus-like symptoms.
The third step we took was to intensify our housekeeping & infection control procedures to assure that we have minimized contact with anything or areas that could harbor harmful bacteria or viruses. In doing so we are asking all individuals who enter our clinic to:
- Complete the Patient Coronavisus-19 Questionnaire at the initial visit and to confirm ‘no changes’ since the completion of the Questionnaire at each entry to the facility
- Apply our hand-sanitizer prior to completing paperwork, signing-in for the appointment, taking a seat in our reception area, or starting treatment
- Practice good hand hygiene (frequent handwashing) as well as good cough and sneeze etiquette i.e. cover mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and deposit the tissue in a trash can, immediately. Because the CDC does not recognize the “cough in arm/elbow technique” as effective in blocking respiratory droplet transmission this will only be used in lieu of coughing into one’s hands. Thorough handwashing and sanitizing should be used with either technique.
- Apply our hand-sanitizer when departing the clinic
- Wear a mask at all times unless medically exempted and Do not remove your mask prior to exiting our clinic
- Advise care-givers to wait in their car so our reception area can maintain social distancing (6’ spread between individuals)
The fourth step we have taken was to reconfigure our gym and reception areas to permit greater physical separation of patients.
The fifth step we have taken was to adapt our schedule to accommodate our immunologically compromised patients including but not limited to the frail or elderly.
The sixth step we have taken is to give our patients access to us via telehealth services, as deemed appropriate and permitted by state and federal law.
The final step we have taken is to continually educate our workforce and our patient community regarding the COVID-19. We will consistently employ measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19 according to the CDC (and other credible authorities) recommendations and will keep you informed of any changes in protocols.
Melanie Brennan, PT, DPT, CEO