What a whirlwind the last two weeks have been. I must say, at this time, I am very thankful to be living in rural Manitoba and an introverted homebody at heart. I absolutely understand the anxiety and stress this may cause. I also understand the inconvenience and frustration this disruption in our lives causes as well. Let us do our best to hold onto compassion for the full spectrum.
The recommendations and precautions put forth by our Public Health authorities seem to be changing by the hour and we are doing our best to keep up. If you stop here and do not read another word of this blog, this is the current recommended take home message:
- If you have traveled outside of Canada within the last 14 days, please call (204)523-4613 to reschedule your eye exam. Self isolation and careful social distancing is recommended for 14 days.
- If you currently have a fever, runny nose, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, or not feeling well, please call (204)523-4613 to reschedule your eye exam. If you are concerned that your symptoms are consistent with coronavirus, call Health Links to assist you.
- If you are within the criteria above and are currently experiencing an eye emergency and need to be seen, we will provide you with a mask and gloves at the front desk and see you as quickly as possible.
Our Optometric Association sent out a great review of the current situation and precautions we can take in our clinics. There are currently a total of 7 cases (4 lab confirmed and 3 presumptive positive) in Manitoba. These cases have been associated with international travel. Currently, there has not been communal spread of coronavirus in Manitoba.
As a healthcare practice, we obviously have routine and daily disinfecting processes that we will continue to implement. During this time, we will also be taking additional precautionary measures to protect our community. Here is what we are doing at Killarney Optometric Centre to help protect our community while continuing to provide primary eye care:
- Disposable disinfectant wipes will be used to wipe all counters, waiting room furniture, telephones, door knobs, sinks, toilets, and all touchable services several times throughout the day.
- All testing equipment and exam room devices will continue to be disinfected between each patient as is currently done.
- We will be asking each patient to use hand sanitizer at check in. There are also sinks and hand sanitizer stations in all the exam rooms that can be used as well.
- We will be asking each patient to use the hand sanitizer station that is set up in the frame room before looking at frames and after. Every frame that is tried on will be cleansed with disinfecting cleanser after it has been in contact with a patient.
- Any staff member or Optometrist that becomes ill with coronavirus symptoms or has been out of the country will be out of the office for 14 days as in holding with the current guidelines.
- We have removed all toys, books, and magazines from our waiting room.
- We will not be shaking your hand. A wave of the hand will have to do for now...or maybe an ankle tap or elbow bump. It turns out there are a number of creative ways to greet one another.
As we move forward, I personally will be prayerfully considering the challenges this pandemic is causing, not only for health of individuals but for the health of our community. I find myself counting my blessings, again, for where I reside in this world and will do my best to let the other stressors and anxieties be washed away...easier said than done.
We apologize for any inconvenience and trust that your and our diligence will aid the community at this time. We are confident that we can still provide excellent care while taking appropriate precautions.
Dr. Candace DeCock