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COVID-19 UPDATES

WE ARE OPEN… but are only seeing one patient in the office at a time. 

Emerging thinking now is that, unfortunately, the new coronavirus is going to be around for a long time–it’s probably going to be many months or even a year or two before we have an affordable, widely available treatment or vaccine. So if we want to keep treating other conditions, we are going to have to figure out how to screen and treat breast cancer and other diseases safely in spite of/in addition to COVID-19.  Following the guidelines from the Society of Breast Imaging, we will be seeing a limited number of screening and diagnostic patients each day,

OUR EXTRA SAFETY MEASURES

The safety of our patients and staff is our top priority.  Here are some of the measures we have in place:

– One patient at a time.  We only allow one patient at a time at the office.  And we ask that any visitors wait in the car.

– Call from the car. When patients arrive, they are asked to wait in their car and call us to be sure we have completed disinfecting the office and are ready for them to come in.

– Wear masks. All patients are asked to either bring a respirator-type face mask of their own (if they have one) or we will provide a disposable surgical mask for them to wear.  Staff also wear masks.

– Check temperatures and history.  We check the temperature of all staff and patients when they enter Bay Radiology.  We also have a questionnaire to check for risk of exposure to the coronavirus.  Please call us to reschedule your appointment at no charge if you have any symptoms or other reason to believe you could have been exposed to the coronavirus in the preceding two weeks.

– Very limited staff.  We currently have only three staff coming into the office: our two technologists Karrie and Sherritta and Dr. Amodei.  This minimizes the number of staff that patients are exposed to and vice versa.

– Short visits.  As before, mammogram images are reviewed as they are acquired and if needed ultrasound is performed the same day by Dr. Amodei.  Immediately after a discussion of results, patients can dress and leave the facility.  To maintain distance and shorten visits, in most cases we are currently suspending our practice of reviewing images with patients.  If longer conversations are needed, these are generally performed over the phone with the patient in the safety of their car or home.

 – Disinfect!!!  We are trying to minimized the number of things patients touch.  And we thoroughly disinfect the entire office (doors, counters, waiting room chairs, dressing room, etc.) with medical grade disinfectants after each patient leaves.

– HEPA filters in every room.  While coronavirus on its own is only 0.125 microns in size, most of the virus is thought to be traveling through the air in respiratory droplets, which would be trapped by our HEPA filters.  Masks should prevent most of these droplets from every making it into the air but the filters are here as another layer of protection.

 

STAY SAFE!!  Continue practicing social distancing, wash your hands, and try not to touch your face.  If you have to be out in public, wear a mask.  Treat all things that come into your house (mail, delivered packages and groceries) as potentially contaminated; although the risk is currently thought to be low, it’s probably best to wash your hands after touching these items.   Here are a few helpful resources:

How to wash your hands properly.  In addition to what’s shown in this video, be sure to wash your wrists!  click here to watch

The CDC now recommends that everyone wear a mask if you have to be out in public: Read more here

How to wear a mask properly: read instructions here

CDC’s suggestions re: how to make a new-sew simple homemade mask:  read instructions here

A simple pattern for a sewn mask: click here to watch

A word about filters: a cloth mask with a filter might provide better protection, as long as the filter is safe!   Some whole house HVAC filters contain fiberglass which is NOT something you want to inhale.  Other brands claim to be safe and have even put tutorials online such as the one here.  But please be careful about what you use; there is a lot we still don’t know.

Food safety in the era of COVID-19: JAMA article for patients here

WISHING YOU GOOD HEALTH!