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COVID-19 Update and FAQ's, July 2020

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Everyone at RACI has been healthy and well, which is great news, but we want to make sure that our patients stay healthy as well!  We feel confident that we are doing our very best to keep everyone safe and would like to remind you of the aggressive steps we are taking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our offices.

Every member of RACI staff takes a health and temperature check. Anyone who exhibits symptoms consistent with the virus is asked to stay home and self-quarantine.

In accordance with CDC and AAO guidelines, we have implemented these steps: COVID-19 patient screening prior to appointments, temperature monitoring, installation of face shields for our slit lamps, thorough decontamination of commonly touched surfaces, and pre and post cleaning of exam rooms.  We encourage everyone who enters our facilities to wear a mask.

All of our patients will appreciate our new appointment scheduling methods!  We have increased efficiency, reduced overall wait times, and are now able to move patients through our clinic as quickly as possible.  We have also made changes to our waiting rooms to allow for social distancing and have removed magazines and coffee stations for your protection.

While RACI is taking these precautions, we need YOUR help to ensure the safest environment possible by following these guidelines:

  • Wear a face covering of some type – mask, bandana, scarf, or anything that covers your nose and mouth, to help protect our doctors, staff and other patients.
  • Attend your appointment alone, unless medically necessary.
  • Have accompanying family members wait outside or in their vehicles – we’ll be happy to call them upon completion of your appointment.

We are privileged to serve you and will continue to provide the highest level of quality retinal care and communication around COVID-19.  We are all in this together!

Please call any of our offices with questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Retina Associates of Cleveland

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions about RACI and COVID-19 Prevention

Are masks required in RACI offices?
  • RACI staff members are required to wear a mask.  Patients are strongly encouraged to wear a mask, although we are not mandating them as some patients may have medical reasons for not wearing one.  All patients are screened for COVID symptoms.
How often is exam room equipment cleaned?
  • Our staff members are wiping down commonly touched exam room surfaces in between each and every patient.  You may not see them wiping down, as this is done as soon as each patient leaves the room to allow drying time between patients.
What is RACI doing to protect patients from COVID-19?
  • Thorough screening of all patients who enter the clinic for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure to someone with COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis.  Screening is also done prior to appointment day via reminder calls, texts, and emails.
  • Requiring masks for all RACI staff members and strongly encouraging all patients to wear a mask or face covering over their nose and mouth.  Masks are available at our reception desks for those who do not have one.
  • Limiting the number of visitors. Family members or drivers are not allowed to wait inside our office or accompany a patient to their exam unless the patient requires special assistance.  We are happy to call them when patients are finished with their exam.
  • Increasing the frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces including door handles, chairs, etc.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 
  • COVID-19 symptoms include:
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest tightness
    • Sore throat
    • Stuffy nose or runny nose
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • New onset of diarrhea
    • Muscle aches and pains
What should RACI patients do if they have symptoms?
  • If you have an upcoming appointment scheduled and have one or more COVID-19 symptoms, please call our office before coming to your appointment.  We would be happy to reschedule your appointment for a later date when you are feeling well.
Does RACI offer telehealth appointments?
  • Our physician assistants are accepting telehealth appointments for established RACI patients.  If you have questions about the urgency of your next visit, or if you are experiencing changes to your vision and are unsure when to schedule your next appointment with your RACI retina specialist, a telehealth appointment can be scheduled by calling our Beachwood office at 216-831-5700.
What can I do to keep myself, my family and friends safe and healthy before my upcoming RACI appointment?
  • The most important steps to take:
    • Avoid going to gatherings with large numbers of people; heed social distancing guidelines.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Wear a cloth face covering when you are out in public and cannot practice social distancing.
    • Wear a cloth face covering before you enter a healthcare setting, including RACI offices.
    • Practice good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.