Updates from Shields on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Updated April 20, 2020
Shields Health Care is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus).
For the latest information on COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, visit the Massachusetts Department of Health website. Additional information is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
PATIENT, PROVIDER & VISITOR INFORMATION
For the safety of all, the following policies are in effect at all locations throughout our network:
- Pre-screening all patients prior to scheduling. Our customer care representatives are pre-screening ALL patients prior to scheduling their appointment. If they show symptoms of COVID-19 plus have traveled to the restricted countries and/or states or have had exposure to the virus, they will not be scheduled. Additionally, we discourage patients from bringing non-essential visitors with them to their appointment. If someone is required to accompany a patient, we are screening them, following the same guidelines, and limiting support to one individual. Please note that some of our hospital locations will not allow visitors or people to accompany patients to their appointment at all. Upon arriving for their appointment, patients and visitors will be screened again to evaluate their risk, and rescheduled, if needed, based upon the same criteria.
- Guests, visitors and accompanying support for patients. At this time, we are not allowing patients to bring non-essential visitors with them to their appointment. If someone is required to accompany a patient, we are screening them, following the same guidelines, and limiting support to one individual. Please note that some of our hospital locations will not allow visitors or people to accompany patients to their appointment at all. Upon arriving for their appointment, will be screened again to evaluate their risk, and rescheduled, if needed, based upon the criteria.
- Onsite at our centers. Onsite, all staff who have contact with patients are required to wear masks. We enforce proper hand washing and social distancing and have placed tape on the floor, 6 feet way from the desk to help guide patients on where to stand. We are spacing appointments out to take additional caution and asking patients to avoid our waiting areas.
- Scheduling & rescheduling of appointments for COVID-19 risk. We are currently not scheduling routine appointments for patients who have symptoms of COVID-19. If you were not displaying symptoms at the time of scheduling, but since began prior to your appointment, please do NOT come to our center. Please call 1-800-258-4674 to reschedule your appointment.
- Postponing and rescheduling all MR Arthrogram services. In accordance with state requirements we are suspending all outpatient non-urgent MR Arthrograms until May 30, 2020. If you need to reschedule your arthrogram as a result of this policy or schedule one for the future, our customer care representatives will help schedule your procedure after this date.
- Robust cleaning protocols. Our cleaning policies and processes are always thorough and meticulous. After each patient, our equipment, our technology and the entire room is cleaned until disinfected. Through investments in preparedness, we’ve ensured our staff is trained on the protocols related to infectious disease and that the appropriate cleaning equipment and supplies are readily available across our network. We are closely following the guidelines of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) in preparing for management of this illness.
- Customer care scheduling hours. Our hours-of-operation are Monday – Friday, 7a -7:30pm; Saturday, 7:30a – 4pm
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF & OTHERS
- If you have symptoms of corona virus, call your doctor. Based on your symptoms, your doctor’s office will ask a series of questions about your health, travel and close contacts. To prevent further spread of infection, DO NOT go directly to your doctor’s office, urgent care or emergency centers – contact your doctor by phone first. See CDC guidelines [PDF] for more information.
- Take simple, preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. These include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Follow the CDC recommended guidelines for prevention.
- Stay informed and up-to-date. For up-to-date information about the COVID-19 coronavirus, visit the CDC at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.