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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
Your doctors are closely following the outbreak of COVID-19 (also known as Coronavirus) as it has progressed. This virus has proven to be quite infectious and the number of cases is expanding rapidly. To date there is no specific treatment for the virus and no vaccine is available.
In order to continue providing essential care to our patients during the COVID-19 outbreak, Northeast Digestive Health medical providers are seeing many patients via telemedicine. We want to make sure that we keep you fully informed of the benefits of this service. We also want to make sure you are aware of possible risks associated with in-office visits. If you and/or your doctor decide that an in-office visit is the best, most appropriate type of care for you, we will ask you to sign a consent form agreeing to this. To that end, we have uploaded this consent form to our website. Please print this form, sign and date, and bring with you to your appointment.
Additionally, at this time in our endoscopy centers many scheduled procedures will go on as originally planned. However, you may receive a call to reschedule should we feel your procedure can be postponed or we need to make changes due to COVID-19 or other unforeseen events.
For the safety of others and your own:
- Should you have fever and/or respiratory symptoms, please reschedule your appointment or procedure.
- Visitors are not allowed for clinic visits unless it is medically necessary.
- We are following social distancing guidelines. Once you are checked in, you may be asked to wait in your car until your appointment time. This will limit overcrowding in waiting areas.
- Drivers for endoscopy procedures will be asked to wait in their cars.
- We are also limiting vendor access to our clinics.
The following patients have a higher risk for serious illness if they were to be infected with the COVID-19 virus (please note this list is not exhaustive, and there may be other reasons for higher risk):
- Older Adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and chronic kidney disease
- People with certain underlying diseases that decrease their immune system (including cancer, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, end stage liver disease, post liver or kidney transplant, Common Variable Immunodeficiency, Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis)
- People on medications that suppress the immune system (including Steroids, Prednisone, Biologic therapy, Remicade, Humira, Simponi, Cimzia, Entyvio, Stelara, Xeljanz, 6-MP, Imuran, Azathioprine, Methotrexate, Chemotherapy agents and anti-rejection medications)
If you have a higher risk for severe illness, we strongly recommend that you take the following preventive measures:
1. Avoid travel to any country identified as Level 3 or Level 2 (“High Risk”) by the CDC for the disease (See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html for current status of each country).
2. Avoid contact with anyone who has travelled to a high risk country in the last 28 days. This especially includes close family members, who should avoid travel to those areas as well.
3. Avoid cruises and non-essential air travel, even within the United States. Especially try to avoid travel to states reporting large outbreaks (e.g. Washington State, California, & New York). This situation changes daily so please stay up to date on affected areas.
4. Avoid crowds and large gatherings. This includes sporting events, concerts, theater, movies, and shopping malls.
5. Ensure you have adequate supplies and food in case you have to be in isolation/quarantine. It is especially important that you have an adequate supply of any necessary medications.
6. If you must go out in public, try to keep a 6-foot distance between yourself and others, and wash your hands frequently and use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if available (at least 60% alcohol). Do not touch your face or feed yourself until you have washed your hands thoroughly.
7. Avoid public transportation and ride-sharing (Uber, Lyft, etc.).
We will continue to closely monitor this outbreak and follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Northeast Digestive Health Center