By Tom Fontana, MSPT
Though there’s been a lot of attention to this new coronavirus due to the seriousness of its effects, since it is a coronavirus (just like the common cold) observing the same precautions and performing safe practices severely limits the risk of getting it from others or giving it to others.
What we’re doing:
We continue to perform most of our treatments in private one-on-one treatment rooms
We wipe down treatment tables after each patient visit using a commercial disinfectant that kills 99.99% of germs (including coronaviruses).
We wash our hands (see below) after each patient or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. (The sanitizers are available in each room, at the front desk and in the waiting area for patient use.)
We use disinfecting wipes that kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria after each use of gym equipment, including coronaviruses.
We have expanded seating in our waiting area so there can be more room between patients.
We recommend the use of surgical masks when appropriate. Current evidence suggests routine use of surgical masks is not likely effective in preventing healthy people from contracting the virus (other preventative strategies are what’s necessary—see below). However, if a staff person or patient is coughing or sneezing, the use of a mask may prevent other people from catching the bacteria or virus. If we are coughing or sneezing, we will wear a mask and if a patient is coughing or sneezing, we encourage him/her to ask to wear a mask or we may ask you to wear one.
We will make surgical gloves available for those who request them.
We offer Telemedicine physical therapy services for those who are either ill and don’t want to come in or who don’t feel comfortable traveling out.
What you can/should do:
- Cough or sneeze into an elbow or tissue. If you cough into your hand(s), wash or disinfect them quickly.
- Clean surfaces you touch often.
- Keep your hands out of your mouth, eyes, and nose.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick and stay home if you are ill.
- Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding, toothpaste and other household items if you are, or a member of your household is, sick.
- Wash hands THOROUGHLY with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. We know, “everyone knows how to wash their hands” but this may be just like “everyone knows the right way to pick something off of the floor” and yet we see errors all the time. Even infectious disease specialists can get lazy–make sure you include your wrists, BETWEEN YOUR FINGERS (not just washing the tops and bottoms of the fingers) and under your nails.
Go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (CDC.gov) for frequently asked questions about coronavirus that will constantly be updated as information becomes available.