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COVID-19 Update and Measures Taken

March 19, 2020 8:07 am | Published by

Dear patients,

Update: As of April 6, 2020 our clinic will be operating on minimum staff. Dr. Ramirez has been deployed with his U.S. Army medical reserve unit to the East Coast to assist in supporting a field hospital. The staff will still be available to answer questions, refill prescriptions and for now, schedule appointments for June and beyond.

As of March 19, 2020, our center remains open and we are proceeding with our upcoming IVF cycles as planned. We are closely monitoring the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local health agencies for the latest developments related to COVID-19 and following the guidance of government and public health officials. We recognize that the COVID-19 virus has required all of us to be more mindful as we go through our regular activities. Please be assured that we are utilizing these health and safety recommendations within our clinic. We are screening our patients and keeping within the guidelines issued by the state and local health departments.

At this time, Dr. Ramirez is doing telephone consults as well as in person consultations and exams. We are staggering all our patient appointments, seeing them one at a time. Like other clinics, we are asking our patients to wait in their cars if there is a patient ahead of them in the waiting room. We ask that you do not bring additional family members with you to your in person appointment. Our staff is disinfecting all surfaces daily and our disinfectants are hospital grade therefore highly effective.

In an effort to protect our patients and staff from risk of exposure we ask that patients who meet the following criteria delay non-essential appointments or call ahead to discuss options with the clinic.

PATIENTS WHO MEET THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA ARE ASKED TO DELAY NON-ESSENTIAL APPOINTMENTS
  1. Recent travel to China, Iran, Europe, Japan or South Korea. If you have traveled to a country listed as an Alert level 2 or 3 by the CDC or to a state that has issued an Emergency or Disaster Declaration within the last month.
  2. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms including fever (100.4 or greater), cough or shortness of breath. You should seek medical advice from your primary care physician if you have these symptoms.
  3. If you have had direct contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

Please see the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.

Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, we advise patients who have high likelihood of having COVID-19 (fever and/or cough, shortness of breath, and either exposure within 6 feet of a confirmed COVID-19 patient and within 14 days of onset of symptoms, or a positive COVID-19 test result), including those planning to use oocyte donors, sperm donors, or gestational carriers, should strive to avoid a pregnancy. If these patients are undergoing active infertility treatment, we suggest that they consider freezing all oocytes or embryos and avoid an embryo transfer until they are disease-free. Please note this recommendation does not necessarily apply when there solely is a suspicion of COVID-19, because symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to other more common forms of respiratory illnesses.

We also taking into consideration these recent recommendations from ASRM:

  1. Strongly consider postponing  all embryo transfers, whether fresh or frozen.
  2. Continue to care for patients who are currently ‘in-cycle’ or who require urgent stimulation and cryopreservation.
  3. Suspend elective surgeries and non-urgent diagnostic procedures.
  4. Minimize in-person interactions and increase utilization of telehealth.

If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to call or email us. We will exercise appropriate diligence in safeguarding your health in the coming weeks and sincerely hope that this emergency will pass without negatively disrupting any of our lives.

Thank you.

Edward Ramirez, M.D.

ejrmd@montereybayivf.com

 

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