…Very SOON! Trust me, I cannot wait to get back into the office to start taking care of patients while working alongside my team. When folks state the term, “unprecedented,” I could not agree more! This has certainly been an unprecedented time for me. I do not ever recall, in the history of my 17 year career, where I stepped away from patient care for more than 2 weeks and we’re now going on 6! When we eventually reopen the doors it will be just short of two months that I decided to cease operations and close the office. That said, I believe it was the right thing to do. I’ll be the first to admit that early on I didn’t really take this to be a serious issue much less turn into a pandemic. I’ve been very fortunate to not know or have any of my family affected with COVID-19 and my deepest sympathies go out to those that have had a different experience. I’ve always prided myself on making sound decisions based off of science and evidence I have relied on the guidance from authorities that subscribed to the same principles. As I kept my pulse on the unfolding of the COVID-19 in America and around the world I started to feel uncomfortable with the direction and momentum of the virus. Ultimately it was the recommendation of the CDC and Governor Abbott’s mandate that influenced my decision to cease operations on March 24th.
As I prepare to reopen the office on May 18th I am still keeping a pulse on the virus. I truly believe that now is not the time to let up. As much as I do not want to say it, if we do not closely watch and monitor our actions, we are headed for a second wave. I am taking every precaution I know for our office to help minimize that risk. With that, here is what we have planned for our reopening and why it is taking so long.
First off, I am in the process of reassembling my team. Due to the financial strain on the office closing, all our of team was furloughed with the promise that they would have their jobs back when we reopened. They will all be screened before each work shift and have all be properly screened thus far as for potential exposure to COVID-19. We will have an orientation and deep cleaning of the office on May 18th and 19th before we go live with patient care on the 20th.
Secondly, as I mentioned previously we are going to do our part in mitigating a possible second wave. Yes, we have PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in place, sanitizing protocols, even some examination protocols will change but we are also going to be spacing the patient schedule out as well. This means I will not be able to see the same number of patients as I used to. This is an effort to a.) continue social distancing and b.) properly sanitize between patient interaction. I ask your patience with us on this. We have two months worth of backlogged office visits to get through along with the current patients that are due up for their annual examinations.
Lastly, as I have always been dedicated to caring for patients, I am doing the same for you during this time of reopening. I am making sure that we have every “t” crossed and every “i” dotted. I am sure that there will be some that do not agree with these measures. I do not think any of our measures are extreme–just appropriate. I believe strongly in the actions I am directing my team to take. These actions are to give you a peaceful, comfortable and a safe environment to visit. Until now, I have been able to navigate COVID-19 with my team, my family and myself safely and successfully. I intend to do the same moving forward until, whenever, we get in the clear.
I can’t wait to see you soon!