Is It Safe to Go to the Doctor During the COVID-19 Crisis?
You’ve heard it before and know it to be true—these are unprecedented times that have changed the way Americans operate on a daily basis. The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted nearly every aspect of life, including how often people seek medical care. While it is important to be mindful of social distancing measures and avoid gathering in crowds, this does not mean you should skip routine medical screenings or delay finding treatment for symptoms that concern you.
Make Your Health a Priority
There are no absolutes when it comes to COVID-19—for example, a 75-year-old woman with diabetes may want to consider rescheduling her massage therapy appointments until she is able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. In many cases, however, there are ways to safely access specialty care and preventive health services. Many healthcare providers are now offering telemedicine services that allow patients to speak “face to face” with doctors from the safety of home via a smartphone, tablet or computer. Telemedicine isn’t appropriate for every patient, but several common medical concerns and general health questions can be addressed virtually.
Still, in-person treatment is often necessary. Hospitals and clinics throughout the country have taken great care to help ensure a safe environment for patients and staff alike. Visit any medical office and you’ll likely find socially distanced reception areas, mandatory masking, thorough sanitation protocols and ample amounts of hand sanitizer.
With this in mind, it’s important not to delay seeking treatment for disruptive symptoms, such as joint stiffness, painful urination, abdominal pain, sinus pressure and nausea. It’s particularly crucial to promptly speak with a doctor if you are experiencing potentially serious symptoms such as unusual heartbeats, shortness of breath, chest pains and high fever. You should also keep any routine cancer screenings or physicals you have on your schedule. In these cases and others, the risk of delaying medical care may be far greater than the risk of COVID-19.
You’re Safe With Us
At Tufts Medical Center Community Care, we’re taking every possible measure to keep patients and staff members safe at all of our locations throughout north suburban Boston. Here’s what you can expect when you visit us:
- Universal masking requirements
- Staggered appointment times
- Socially distant reception areas
- Daily employee symptom screening
- Pre-registration and pre-screening of patients by phone
- Cleaning and sanitization between appointments
We’re also pleased to offer telemedicine appointments with several of our behavioral health, primary care and specialist providers, as deemed appropriate by our clinicians. Give us a call to learn if you are a candidate for a virtual visit.
We’re Here to Help
If you have any questions about the steps we’re taking to keep our patients and staff members safe during the COVID-19 crisis, please don’t hesitate to contact Tufts Medical Center Community Care. We’ll be happy to address your concerns and help you make informed decisions about your medical care. In the event of a life-threatening emergency, call 911 immediately.