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Coronavirus Health And Safety Measures At NOH/OMG

May 7, 2020

The uncertainty of the past couple of months is finally giving way to hope — Hope that you’re on the way to getting back to the life you’re used to living and the healthcare you deserve. 

As our offices start welcoming more in-person patient visits, you can expect to walk into a facility that is safe. We've all heard about washing our hands, not touching our faces and wearing masks. We wanted to let you know about the other things the staff at North Ohio Heart/Ohio Medical Group is doing to protect your health.

Let’s take a look at some of the precautionary measures we are taking to keep our offices protected, some of which you may be able to use at home. 

Uniforms and clothing

There are a lot of "unknowns" with this virus. Some studies are showing that the virus can live for a couple of days on clothing and shoes. We are advising our staff that any clothing worn in the office should be changed as soon as possible when any staff member arrives home. 

Since we’re not sure what we’re being exposed to on any given day, it's best to be safe and start with clean clothes when going to work and then again when encountering those you live with. We’re even asking them to consider removing their shoes before entering their homes. 

You’ll arrive at our office knowing that the uniforms and clothing of the staff are fresh every single day.

Hard surfaces:  

Viruses can live on hard surfaces for days. This includes items such as:

  • Keyboards
  • Countertops
  • Doorknobs
  • Cell phones 
  • Medical equipment

We are asking our staff to clean all of these items frequently. We will ensure that every staff member has access to the cleaning supplies they need. 

There is hand sanitizer at the kiosk station and it should be used by the patient prior to using and after using.  In addition, we are cleaning the kiosks throughout the day when we do our periodic cleaning of door knobs, handles, counter tops and chairs.  We have also ordered stylus' that are due to be shipped to us May 12th.  Once those are in stock we will have a basket of clean stylus' and will sanitize them after each use.

For home use, if you’re having difficulty obtaining cleaning supplies, household bleach is an effective cleaning agent and may be easier to locate in stores.  The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following solutions: 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water, or, 4 Tablespoons of bleach per quart of water.

Masking:  

Most of our staff members are now wearing cloth masks daily.  

We are following the CDC’s recommendations for cloth mask use, construction and cleaning.  

They include:

  • Mask should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to the shape

We’re also reminding everyone on staff that masking is NOT a substitute for social distancing.

Social Distancing:  

When possible, all staff members will maintain the recommended 6-foot distance from others. This includes:

  • Patients
  • Co-workers
  • Physicians  

We’re advising them to keep all close interactions as brief as possible. And when possible, our staff will conduct patient interviews before you arrive at the office. If this is not possible, interviews will not be held in small exam rooms.  

The staff is also being asked to be aware of social distancing during lunchtime, too.

Gloves

Our staff is being asked to wash their hands before they put on their protective gloves.  After a pair of gloves have been used, whether to clean or tend to a patient, the gloves will be removed immediately.  Hands should, again, be washed thoroughly for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Personal hygiene and office habits can make the difference between staying safe or becoming ill.  By remaining vigilant both inside and outside of the office, you can be sure the office setting you’re stepping into is as safe as possible. And if you’re still unsure about coming in, you can always schedule a telehealth visit. 

The steps we’re taking to contain the coronavirus are similar to the tactics you can use to stop the spread of other illnesses, like influenza. Our guide “ How to Get Rid of The Flu” provides additional virus-stopping tips. 

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