At Ability Rehabilitation, your health is our top priority. As many of you may be aware, there is an emerging public health threat related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Additionally, it is also flu and respiratory disease season. We are taking necessary precautions to prevent the spread of these viruses and encouraging everyone to take actions to stay healthy. While we are all changing our daily routines during this global health crisis, we want to let you know that our doors are still open, and will remain open unless we are told otherwise by our governmental leaders. We have considered the question of whether or not to stay open from an ethical perspective. The question pertains to whether or not we, as private practice business owners, are contributing to the rise of the infection curve, versus supporting the flattening of it, by remaining open to see our patients.
We want to share that a memorandum was issued on March 19, 2020 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security which states:
“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”
The guidance goes on to further define the “essential infrastructure workers” to include “physical and occupational therapists and assistants”. Their advice to our industry is to strive to stay open and treat the patient population during this pandemic. Therefore, we believe that it is our duty to try to meet this guidance and continue to care for our patients’ physical and occupational therapy needs during this time of crisis.
Since our clinic and its staff are included in the specific definition of “essential” healthcare businesses that should strive to stay open and care for patients, we intend to do just that. We are able to practice within the recommended CDC guidelines and we are following local government mandates. We are here to assist in keeping people healthy; physical and occupational therapists are essential in flattening the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. We play a key role in keeping people we can help out of physician offices and hospitals. This will not only free up the medical teams to treat those impacted by COVID-19, but also limit the exposure of those seeking care for treatment that a physical or occupational therapist can provide. For those patients who do not need surgery at this time, or if surgery has been delayed, we are here and ready to help get you better.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
Here are the steps we are taking to help to prevent infection and the spread of the virus:
- All employees are screened daily for COVID-19. Staff with respiratory symptoms return home and do not return to work until well.
- After each patient encounter, we are washing our hands with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- We are also washing our hands after every time we cough or sneeze.
- We are routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces such as; mats, treatment tables, exercise equipment, computer keyboard and mice, pens, phones, light switches, door handles, faucets, etc.
During this time we are asking for help maintaining a safe environment.
- Please take a minute to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when you first walk inside.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- If you have symptoms of any respiratory infection (e.g., cough, runny nose) please call ahead to reschedule your appointment or a telehealth visit, if appropriate.
- If you have a fever, please refrain from coming to the clinic until you have been fever-free for 3 days.
At Ability Rehabilitation, our top priority is the health of our patients and staff. In this uncertain time, we want you to know we have taken extreme precautions to ensure a safe place for your rehabilitation needs including:
- Taken measures to reduce the number of occupants in the clinic at a given time
- Sanitizing equipment after each use
- Enforcing strict hygiene requirements from the moment anyone enters the door to the moment they leave
- Screening all patients that have traveled domestically and internationally as well as screening for any current illnesses that could influence the public
- Remaining in constant communication with our corporate office
- Given regular updates on the ever-changing requirements for public safety issued by the CDC
All of our 24 locations will remain open, providing care in all of the areas including Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Pelvic Health Therapy, and Lymphedema.
As always, we appreciate the support you have given us in the past and thank you for trusting us with your care.
This will come to an end and we will be stronger, but until then we need to provide the compassion and courtesy to each other in order to get past this. If there is anything that you need from us please do not hesitate to reach out to your Ability Rehabilitation clinic.
Thank you and stay safe!