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Is It Safe to Schedule an In-Person Doctor’s Appointment?

Is It Safe to Schedule an In-Person Doctor’s Appointment?

Sep 29, 2020

Because the situation surrounding COVID-19 is constantly evolving, some information may not be up to date. Stay informed by following information from your local officials and by visiting the CDC website.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have slowed down our busy lives, but that doesn’t mean your medical needs should be put on hold. But you may be wondering whether it’s safe to visit a clinic in person. You can rest assured we’re following best practices and protocols for the safety of our patients and staff.

What are my options for an appointment?

Our clinics are open to take care of your healthcare needs, whether in person or remotely. We continue to offer televisits as a convenient option for our patients in addition to in-person visits. Some appointments may require an in-person physical exam for your physician to properly evaluate and diagnose your condition.

Call your doctor to determine which option is right for your next visit. You can also ask whether your appointment can be conducted via phone call if you don’t have access to a communication device with video.

Should I postpone my appointment for a future date?

Staying on top of your health has never been more important. Whether it’s an acute health concern, a chronic condition, or a routine checkup, check in with your doctor today, especially if you’ve been waiting to seek care. If you need to see a physician or advanced practice provider to address your healthcare needs, don’t wait until it progresses or becomes an emergency.

Can I bring someone with me to an in-person appointment?

To protect our patients, staff, and community, we are working to limit the number of people in our waiting rooms or completely eliminate the need for a waiting room to comply with social distancing guidelines. We have a limited visitor policy in place with a few exceptions, such as a pediatric patient or one who may need help due to mobility issues. We currently ask that no children accompany parents to their appointments and appreciate your understanding during this time.

Should I wear a mask to my in-person appointment?

Following the guidelines set forth by the state government, we ask that you wear a mask when you come for the visit; a cloth mask is perfectly fine. Our staff is being screened daily and will also be masked inside our offices.

Will I be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival?

We are screening all patients for symptoms when they arrive for their appointments. Screening may include having your temperature taken before you enter the clinic and going through a symptom checker. Please allow a little extra time for this process.

If you have any signs of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days, please call us prior to your appointment to determine whether you should reschedule.

Is the clinic taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Our emergency centers, hospitals, and clinics are open to serve the entire community. We understand you may have concerns about visiting a hospital if you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms. You can trust we are following the guidance of our clinical leaders and have precautions in place to ensure our facilities are safe. This is how we’re doing it:

  • Cleaning all our facilities to an enhanced extent
  • Limiting the number of visitors
  • Requiring masks for all patients and staff
  • Screening everyone entering our care sites
  • Enforcing social distancing inside
  • Requiring COVID-19 testing prior to procedures

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, call your doctor rather than scheduling an in-person appointment. CHI St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network offers a variety of specialty care in addition to primary care. Find a doctor near you to begin your journey to better health.