Coronavirus (COVID-19) Precautions
Concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19)
The health and safety of our patients and our staff is our highest priority at Austin Gastroenterology. Following the guidance from public health authorities and State and local Orders for public safety to limit the spread of COVID-19, and in addition to our own standards for maintaining a safe environment, we have implemented multiple precautionary measures in our offices until the situation has stabilized.
What We are Doing to Protect Our Clinical Environment from COVID-19 Exposure
As the number of documented cases of Coronavirus continues to rise, we are committed to doing everything we can to continue providing quality care to our patients while taking every precaution to limit the exposure of our patients and staff to COVID-19. In doing so, we are implementing the following measures in our offices for the time being:
- We are now offering Telehealth Visits. for both new and established patients. You can request your Telehealth Visit online, or call your AG office to schedule.
- We are asking patients scheduled to come into our office who have a cough, difficulty breathing, fever of 99.6 or higher, or who have been in contact with someone with any of these symptoms for the past two weeks, to call us to reschedule their appointments until COVID-19 tests have been widely distributed throughout the Central Texas area.
- We are actively reaching out to patients to cancel all non-urgent appointments and procedures. Our staff will reach out to these patients again at a later date to reschedule.
- We are screening every patient, visitor, physician, and staff member for symptoms related to COVID-19 (including temperature) prior to entering our facilities.
- We are restricting caregiver and family member access into our offices. For your safety and ours, we ask that all caregivers and family members wait in their cars during patient appointments or procedures.
If you have not heard from Austin Gastro about canceling your existing appointment, and you are unsure if you should come into our office as scheduled, please call your AG office to inquire. A listing of our offices and contact info can be found here.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Others
COVID-19 has reached ort community. We all have a role to play in limiting the spread of Coronavirus, to protect ourselves from becoming sick, and to keep our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed to the point of not being able to care for patients in need critical care. Most people who become infected with Coronavirus experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:
- If you feel unwell, STAY HOME.
- Avoid close contact with any people who are sick.
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water for 20 seconds. Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain at least 6 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
- If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus.
- Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.
For Patients at Higher Risk
Many of our patients have conditions which may compromise their immune systems, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or patients undergoing cancer treatment. These conditions make them even more susceptible and vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. Patients with weakened immunity should call ahead of their scheduled appointments to inquire as to whether their medical appointments should be rescheduled and to discuss medication refills.
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation has posted Patient Guidance with information on deciding when to stay home, and other important information from credible sources for patient at higher risk.
As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Texas continues to grow, Austin Gastro is committed to protecting the health and safety of our patients and their families, our physicians, our colleagues and staff. We believe that the measures we are taking in our offices will keep our environment safe to continue caring for our patients. We will continuously monitor the situation and keep this page updated for you.
“The entire staff was pleasant, professional and efficient. I was so nervous and everyone, from the check-in staff to nurses and techs to the anesthesiologist and finally Dr Reddy simply made the whole experience so comfortable. Highly recommend these fine folks.”Read Testimonials