Office Virus Prevention Guidelines

Published on June 17, 2020Author: Mik Griffin

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

COVID19 Patient Information Update for MERSI Eye Center and OIUF

Under Governor Baker’s Phase 2 reopening guidelines for Massachusetts, medical practices are now able to provide all care, including routine appointments.  MERSI has remained open throughout the pandemic, treating our essential patients with great success. 

We have implemented the following prevention guidelines so you can feel comfortable and safe resuming your care at MERSI:

  1. All patients are screened by telephone prior to their appointments to determine if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (e.g. fever, loss of taste/smell, cough, shortness of breath, etc.), if they have recently traveled outside the state, or if they have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19.  Anyone answering yes is not allowed to come for an appointment until they have been cleared by their primary care provider.
  2.  No one is allowed to accompany patients to appointments unless medically necessary or age appropriate.
  3. All patients and staff are required to wear a face mask/covering while in MERSI.
  4. Patients are asked to disinfect their hands or gloves and all handheld devices upon entry into MERSI.  Hand sanitizer is readily available for use throughout the office.  Staff disinfect their hands before and after each patient visit. 
  5. Reception rooms are set up for social distancing.
  6.  Magazines,  coffee, and other refreshments have been removed from the reception room.
  7. Exam rooms, testing rooms, and reception rooms are disinfected after each patient visit.

We continue the recommendations for those of you on immunomodulatory therapy:

We recommend you always be vigilant about practicing universal precautions to prevent getting ill (see below). The flu is a concern each year, which is why we recommend and encourage you to get the flu shot. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a viral infection like the flu, but caused by a different virus. The coronavirus causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, loss of taste and smell, and in more severe cases, pneumonia.  The new coronavirus like the flu spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

Practices to Protect Yourself:

  1. We encourage universal precautions, which one should practice always to avoid the flu, cold, or other illnesses in addition to the Coronavirus.
    1. 20-30 second handwashing, use hand sanitizer if no soap after touching surfaces and always before eating
    2. disinfect surfaces you will need to touch including your work space
    3. avoid touching door knobs or handles, elevator buttons, shopping carts, etc with hands. Use instead for example a wipe, paper towel, shirt sleeve, glove, or on elevator button your knuckle instead of finger tip
    4. do not eat food with hands
    5. avoid touching your face, mouth, and nose with hands
    6. wear a mask when in public spaces
    7. continue to avoid unnecessary air travel
  • The CDC provides great guidelines on their website. Please visit www.cdc.gov

Of note, If you develop any illness, infection, or fever of 99 degrees F or > or if you have been exposed to a high risk person for Covid 19 or Flu; please notify your doctor immediately and hold your immunosuppressive therapy medication immediately. Specifically, if you have a fever of 101° Fahrenheit (38.3° Celsius), with or without chills, call your doctor immediately. If you cannot reach your doctor, go to an emergency room.

In general, when you are healthy your risk for contracting an illness lessens so we recommend 8 hours of sleep, good hydration (8-10 glasses of noncaffeinated fluid a day), a multivitamin daily, and exercise if possible 3 times a week. We also recommend smoking cessation if applicable to you.

Mersi Providers and Nursing Staff

****As a reminder if you are sick or have returned from travel or been exposed to someone from who had traveled or is high-risk for contracting the Covid 19 virus to reschedule your appointments.***

  • Educational Audio

    Click here to listen to
     Uveitis and Steroid-Sparing Therapy

    Presented by C. Stephen Foster, MD, FACS, FACR

    Audio-Digest Ophthalmology Volume 56, Issue 15

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