COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

 

Fall 2021 Update:

Last Spring, we were hoping that by this time we’d be closer to “business as usual” but unfortunately we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. So we are writing to you with a status update on the situation in our community and how we are continuing to respond.

 

This Delta variant, which is more adept at spreading from person to person, has led to surges in infection and accounts for 99.6% of current cases in St. Joseph County. Additionally, 80% of Indiana’s current cases are in people less than 60 years old and 63% are occurring in individuals between the ages of 20-59.

 

We serve a community of largely reproductive-age women, including pregnant women.  Pregnancy is known to be one of the high risk categories associated with significant risk of hospitalization and death related to COVID infection, as well as increased risk of miscarriage. 

 

The leading OB/GYN organizations unequivocally backed vaccination in late July. At the end of September, the CDC issued an urgent health advisory strongly recommending vaccination due to the spike in cases among pregnant women at the time, including more than 22,000 hospitalized cases and 161 deaths.  Early last month, the UK urged pregnant women to get vaccinated when data showed that nearly 1 in 5 COVID-19 patients who are critically ill are pregnant women who have not been vaccinated.

 

While we do hope that as many people will get vaccinated as possible, the reality is that moving forward, some people will get vaccinated and some won’t. Moreover, every time the virus replicates itself (i.e. infects a new individual) there is a risk of mutation and the emergence of a new variant of concern.

 

So we continue to have the grave responsibility of keeping our team and all patients who come through our doors as safe as possible.

 

That being said, please review our current safety requirements for in-office appointments below.

Sincerely,

 

Drs. Uthman & Susan Cavallo

 

What to Do When Coming Into the Office for Your Appointment:

Updated: 11/15/21

In preparation for your appointment, please follow the instructions below:

 

1. Please stay home and call the office if you meet ANY of the following criteria…

 

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19

  • Are currently undergoing testing for COVID-19

  • Have experienced the following symptoms within the past 14 days:

 

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Feeling feverish or Fever of 100°F or higher (check your temperature before your appointment if at all possible)

  • Chills

  • Repeated shaking with chills

  • Muscle aches

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

 

  • Have been exposed to someone who meets any of the above criteria within the past 14 days (even if that person was not experiencing symptoms at the time of your exposure)

Call the office (574-273-3880) and we will consult your PHA provider for next steps and give you a call back as soon as possible.

2. Who can come with you to your appointment?

 

  • No children are allowed to accompany you to your appointment UNLESS they are non-mobile infants in a carrier or stroller. (This means that they are also not allowed to wait for you in our lobby.)

  • We are now allowing one adult support person to accompany you as long as they are

    • Wearing a facial covering and

    • Pass the stay-at-home criteria mentioned above.

    • Please Note: If your support person meets any of our stay-at-home criteria, you will have to reschedule your appointment because that indicates that you have potential COVID exposure.

3. Masks:

Everyone entering the building must wear a mask or alternative facial covering that covers both the nose and the mouth. (Exception: infants.)

  • NOT PERMITTED: Masks or facial coverings that are loosely woven, knitted/crocheted, see-through are not permitted. Gaiters and face shields are also not permitted.

  • If your mask/facial covering does not meet these criteria, we will give you a surgical mask to wear instead.

 

For information from the Center for Disease Control regarding facial coverings, click here.

4. Arrival & Online Check-In Process: Immediately upon arrival to the parking lot, you are required to stay in your car and follow the link in your appointment reminder to check-in online. We will contact you when it’s time to come inside.*

 

STEP 1: Immediately upon arriving to our parking lot, submit the Appointment Arrival Form.

  • This is how we determine whether or not you have arrived for your appointment.

 

  • The time this form is submitted indicates your arrival time.

 

  • Please be advised that if this form is submitted after your scheduled appointment time, you will be considered late and we may have to reschedule your appointment per our Late Arrival Policy.

 

STEP 2: Remain in your car and you will receive a phone call or a text when it’s time to come into the office for your appointment.

 

  • Note: If your Arrival Form indicates that you or a person accompanying you has had possible COVID exposure (per above criteria), we will have to consult your provider before determining appropriate next steps for you.

 

*Note: You should receive three text or email reminders containing a link to the Appointment Arrival Form 1-week, 24-hours, and 2 hours prior to your appointment, but you can also return to this webpage and check-in using the link above.

*     *     *

COVID-19 Hotlines & Resources:

 

When calling one of the following hotlines, callers will speak with a health care professional who will answer questions related to symptoms. Based on answers given, they will give callers appropriate next steps.

 

  • Beacon Health System: 855-523-2225

 

  • St. Joseph Hospital: 574-335-8560

 

  • South Bend Clinic: 574-307-6870

 

 

COVID-19 Testing: Governor Holcomb has worked hard to make COVID testing much more widely available. Click here for testing site locations and information:

  • Click on the county where you want to be tested and several options will appear.

  • Eligibility criteria vary by site and can be found listed when you click on each site.

  • We have noted that "MVU South Bend Nat'l Guard TEST" is a site where anyone can get tested free of charge without a doctor’s order, even if they have no symptoms.

For accurate, up-to-date information about the COVID-19 pandemic, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you are sick, click the button below to see what the experts at the Center for Disease Control recommend.