The safety and well-being of our patients, our staff and their families are and will always be the most important priority and concern for all of us at EVOLV. For that reason, I am sending this important message out to everyone in order to clarify our position and our plan at EVOLV which will be based on proven science and the recommendations from those most knowledgeable in the research on the COVID -19 (Corona) virus issues as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
We care deeply about the safety of our patients and staff. As we continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation with the COVID-19 virus both locally and nationally, I think it’s important to emphasize what is known and has been communicated by experts in infectious disease regarding the COVID-19 virus:
– Since the coronavirus was first reported in late December 2019 in China, it has spread to nearly every country including the United States. As of this date, there has only been one confirmed case in the Northwest Ohio area but that number will likely increase.
– The symptoms in the vast majority (80-85%) of the confirmed cases are typically mild to moderate respiratory features including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The deaths reported were mostly in elderly or compromised patients such as smokers with obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetics, obese individuals or other significant health limitations. Fortunately, younger children and infants so far have had the least severe symptoms but still may be carriers of the virus.
– There have been more than 30 million people in the U.S. sickened with the flu this season compared to only several thousand confirmed cases with coronavirus, although that number will obviously increase. The estimated mortality of the coronavirus is higher (1-2%) than the flu (0.1-0.2%) but again most deaths were reported in elderly or significantly compromised individuals, not in healthy adults.
– According to the director of the World Health Organization (WHO), the COVID-19 virus does not spread as efficiently as the flu virus but generally, people will get sicker from the coronavirus. This is likely because, unlike the flu, the COVID-19 virus is new and the general population has not had previous exposure and has little to no effective built up immunity yet. There is no medication or vaccine currently available for coronavirus infection but there are promising clinical studies in progress.
– The coronavirus spreads primarily by respiratory droplets from an infected person sneezing or coughing or touching their nose and mouth with their hands. The virus does NOT seem to spread from the airborne transmission so it is usually NOT spread by simply breathing near an infected person, but rather by direct contact of surfaces with the contaminated virus. For that reason, the CDC has stated that EFFICIENT HAND WASHING is the most effective precaution against the coronavirus. Wearing a mask is likely only effective for those infected with the virus who are actively sneezing and coughing.
Based on the above and other published recommendations from the CDC and WHO, in addition to our usual sanitation protocols, EVOLV AESTHETICS will be taking the following additional precautions to provide a safe, confident and hygienic work environment for our patients and staff:
– Additional and regular disinfection of high traffic and all patient treatment or contact areas including reception, treatment rooms, equipment, work areas, restrooms, etc.
– Hand wash stations and high-efficiency sanitizers at office entry and all areas of contact with staff and patients.
– Maintaining a consistent hand washing policy for all staff and patients before and after any contact.
– Instead of handshaking, ‘elbow bumps’ or closed hand greetings will be encouraged.
– Mandating that any staff member or patient exhibiting any signs or symptoms of a respiratory or similar illness stay home until issues are resolved.
– Providing high-efficiency commercial-grade air purifiers in reception and common work and treatment areas.
– Reducing all elective staff business-related travel and meetings until new guidelines are developed.
– Working with our vendors and suppliers to ensure we have adequate disinfectants, cleaning products, sanitizers, and personal protective supplies to ensure a safe and sanitary work environment for all patients and staff.
– We anticipate that there will be disruptions in the surgery and treatment schedule due to supply shortages or changes in Surgery Center policies beyond our control. I can assure you that we will work tirelessly until every patient is rescheduled or taken care of to the best of our abilities.
During this challenging time, we will continue to do as much as possible to reduce risk and provide a safe and secure environment at EVOLV for all of our patients and employees. We will also share and communicate with everyone the most accurate and clinically proven facts and recommendations from trusted and validated sources. As the situation with the COVID-19 virus progresses, we will also continue to update everyone and implement the policies and procedures that are in the best interest of patient and staff safety. We believe that the additional precautions described above will reduce the risk for everyone and allow us to continue to treat our patients with optimal safety and outcomes.
These are unprecedented times and events are changing rapidly. As Americans, we have faced and overcome serious challenges in the past and will certainly experience other crises in the future. But I also believe that we are resilient and strong enough in this country to face and overcome any challenge, at any time.
At EVOLV we work every day to earn the trust and respect the safety of each and every patient who places their care in our hands. We understand that many people are afraid and may feel a sense of panic and fear about the impact and many potential changes resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. It is understandable with so much emotional and unending comments and opinions on the news, internet, and social media.
But we will not be intimidated or pushed to overreact to panic and fear and hysteria. We will continue to do our job, to be dedicated to protecting the safety and well-being of our patients and staff, to react sensibly to the science and the facts and to believe in the same fundamentals as always. That is our promise to our patients and ourselves.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me or any of our EVOLV AESTHETICS professional staff at any time.
Thank you for your time, support and understanding.
Frank Barone MD FACS