04 May Re-opening Update
To Our Friends and Patients:
It has been 6 weeks since our governor banned all elective surgery and we closed the office, only seeing a few patients for suture/drain removal, etc. As I write this on Sunday, May 3, there have been 66,000 documented deaths from Covid 19, and many feel the death toll will be dramatically higher before a vaccine and/or effective treatment is available. This is a once in a century event, and nobody knows how or when it will end. In spite of initial guidelines from both the CDC and state that require 14 days after the plateau of new cases before reopening businesses, etc., our governor has to decided to re-open phases of business in stages, even though the data shows the plateau has not been reached.
Our current plans are to re-open for surgery and patient visits on Monday, May 18th, in hopes that we will be on the down slope of new cases. I am not aware of any other medical service that is more “elective” than cosmetic surgery. While there is no perfect answer, I feel cosmetic surgeons have an ethical responsibility to put, at highest priority, the safety of our patients, our staff and ourselves. When we re-open, there are multiple steps that are required of us. The state has requested that all patients having elective surgery be tested for Covid 19 at least 3 days prior to their procedure, and that they quarantine themselves from that point until their procedure. All patients will be asked a standard list of questions, and their temperature will be taken before they are taken to an exam room or procedure area. We will not be allowed to use the waiting room. Patients will not be allowed to bring family, friends or caretakers, and must be seen alone. Masks will be worn by both patients and staff, and social distancing will be maintained. To comply with these requirements, only one patient will be allowed to enter the facility at a time. After previous patient has been taken back to a treatment/procedure area. The next patient can enter. If there is overlap, we will ask some patients to remain in their vehicles and call them on their cell phones when they can come in. So there is no overlap, patients will exit from the side entrance. These are only a few of the requirements by the state, and we don’t know when they will be relaxed. To be certain, they are aggravating and imposing on all of us, and we look forward to a return to the “new normal”.
The health and safety of all of our patients and our staff are very important to us, and I want to assure you that we are taking this very seriously, and will take steps necessary to keep us all healthy. We have partial staff in the office during our regular hours to answer the phone, make appointments starting today. The week of May 11th will be spent deep cleaning and decontaminating the entire facility and orienting staff in the new steps outlined above.
Please call if you have questions or need additional information. 270-926-9033 or 800-820-4833
Be careful and stay healthy!
Gerald G. Edds, MD