COVID-19 Precautions (Updated December 2020)
March 16, 2020
COVID-19 Safety Precautions at Insight
With direction given by the Alberta Chief Medical Officer, and to ensure the safety of our patients and employees, we have initiated specific safety precautions at all Insight Medical Imaging locations.
To help maintain the health of our facilities, we ask that patients who meet any of the following criteria rebook their appointment immediately:
- Been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
- Travelled outside the country within the last 14 days
Appointments can be rescheduled by calling our Central Booking department at 780-669-2222.
Exceptions may be made for essential workers required to travel for work including truck drivers, import/export personnel, police, air travel personnel, etc. For a complete list of essential services, click here.
All Insight Medical Imaging locations have signs posted outside each facility, reiterating the above conditions. We ask that all clinic visitors read the signage and adhere to the guidelines.
Non-symptomatic patients, symptomatic patients, and patients with chronic conditions or long-standing symptoms will be accepted at all of our clinics. This includes chronic cough, allergies, sinusitis, COPD, asthma, hypertension, etc. We just ask that you please mention this condition at the time of booking.
When you enter any of our clinics, an Insight employee wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE) will greet you. This PPE equipment includes gloves, goggles, masks, and a gown. They will ask you our screening questions, and if you do not have a mask, one will be provided to you.
We are also ensuring to abide by proper social/physical distancing requirements by having visual markers on the floor of all clinics for when patients are waiting to be checked in, as well as having all chairs in the waiting room appropriately spaced out.
Due to social distancing, and directives from AHS, only the patient will be allowed in the exam room for all appointments, including obstetric ultrasounds. Additionally, due to enhanced provincial guidelines, visitors are now restricted. When possible, we ask that visitors please wait in their cars, or elsewhere, until the patient is done their exam. Exceptions may be made in cases where a child is the patient or support individuals are needed to assist the patient.
Additionally, in order to keep a clean work environment for everyone inside our facility, all exam rooms will be sanitized between each patient, and high touch surfaces in common areas will be cleaned in 30-minute/1-hour intervals.
Masks Required For All Exams
As stated by Alberta Health Services, masks are very important for specific situations. When someone is sick, wearing a mask may help prevent the transmission of illness to other people. During this time, Insight staff will be wearing a mask during all patient interactions, and all patients and visitors will be required to also wear a mask.
Only non-medical masks, cloth masks, and approved medical masks will be accepted while patients are within our facilities. If patients arrive without one or with any other facial covering, a mask will be provided for them at triage. Failure to comply may result in a refusal of service.
As per AHS guidelines, Insight will no longer be permitting masks with exhalation valves. Patients must either wear a procedure mask we provide or wear a procedure mask on top of their mask with exhalation valves.
Exceptions to this policy are outlined below:
- Patients with documentation from a physician (M.D. or D.O.) that exempts them from wearing a mask
- Available at triage will be children’s sized masks to increase masking compliance
- Consider other means of shielding if masking is not an option (i.e. a towel for them to cough into, cuddling their parent, using a blanket/stuffed animal, etc.)
In addition to social distancing and hand hygiene practices, this precaution can help in decreasing the spread of COVID-19.
Wait In Car Policy
To further ensure the safety of all staff, patients, and visitors to our clinics, once you have checked in for your exam you may be asked to wait in your car until we are ready to take you into the exam room.
As our clinics have a maximum patient capacity in the waiting rooms, this is being implemented in an effort to comply with social distancing requirements.
After checking in, patients will be asked to wait in their car, if our waiting room is at capacity, and will be alerted via text or phone call when it is time for their appointment. At that time, we ask that patients please proceed to the clinic in a timely manner.
Note: Please do not respond to the automated text as this may inadvertently cancel your exam.
The safety of our employees and our patients is our top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. As this is an ever-changing matter, we have a dedicated team in place monitoring recommendations made by appropriate organizations. Our team has been following recommendations from Alberta Health Services (AHS), World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR), the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) and Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer.
As the situation progresses, our standards and requirements are subject to change based on updates from the government and the health organizations listed above.
However, one standard that will not change is our dedication to patient care. We will continue to work with our patients, referring physicians, and fellow employees throughout this challenging time. We promise to continue to work hard so that all exams are done with the utmost care and compassion while results are provided in a timely and accurate manner.
If you have any questions or concerns about your appointment, please contact Central Booking at 780-669-2222. For more information about the virus, resources, and frequently asked questions, please see below.
FAQ’s Provided by AHS & the WHO
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that may cause respiratory illness in people ranging from the common cold to more severe pneumonias. These viruses are zoonotic and can be transmitted between animals and humans.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the new strain of the coronavirus not previously identified in humans. The outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms for COVID-19 are similar to those for influenza or other respiratory illnesses. The most common symptoms include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Most people (about 80%) recover from this disease without needing special treatment. However, it can cause serious illness. Those who are older, and those with other medical problems are more likely to develop serious illness, which can include difficulty breathing or pneumonia. There is a risk of death in severe cases. While we are still learning about how COVID-19 affects people, older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.
How is COVID-19 spread from person-to-person?
COVID-19 is believed to be spread mainly by coughing, sneezing or direct contact with a sick person or with surfaces they have recently touched.
Should I wear a mask to protect myself?
Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives; the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection against COVID-19.
Here are the basics of how to wear a mask:
- Clean your hands before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off.
- Make sure it covers both your nose, mouth, and chin.
Who should be assessed for COVID-19?
People who develop a fever and/or cough or difficulty breathing should be assessed for COVID-19 if, within 14 days before symptoms began, they meet any of the following criteria:
- Traveled anywhere outside of Canada.
- Had close contact* with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19.
- Had laboratory exposure to biological material (e.g. primary clinical specimens, virus culture isolates) known to contain COVID-19 virus.
- Had close contact* with a person with acute respiratory illness who has traveled anywhere outside of Canada within the last 14 days before their illness.
*Close Contact* is defined as a person who:
- Provided care for the individual, including healthcare workers, family members or other caregivers, or who had other similar close physical contact with the person without consistent and appropriate use of personal protective equipment
- Lived with or otherwise had prolonged close contact (within 2 meters) with the person while the person was infectious
- Had direct contact with infectious bodily fluids of the person (e.g. was coughed or sneezed on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.
Alberta Health Services has released the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to help in determining whether you need to be tested for the virus. You can complete this assessment for yourself or on behalf of someone else if they are not able to.
You can complete the self-assessment by clicking here: https://bit.ly/3czWhmx
What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?
- If you have returned from travel outside of Canada or have been in close contact with a known case you MUST self-isolate for 14 days following your return/exposure and monitor yourself for symptoms.
- If you have symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat, or runny nose, you MUST self-isolate for 10 days after the onset of symptoms and until your symptoms have resolved (whichever is longer).
- Complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment to determine if you should receive testing for COVID-19. As of October 14, 2020, drop-in testing is no longer available.
- If you are quarantined because you recently came back from outside the country, or you are a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, you must remain on your own property. Under no circumstance should you leave your property during the 14 days of self-isolation.
- Most of Alberta’s family physicians are continuing to provide services during COVID-19.
- Patients should continue to consult with their family physician for non-urgent health concerns, including care for chronic conditions and any new health concerns unrelated to COVID-19.
- Please call your physician’s office before attending in-person to determine whether in-person or virtual care is the best option. If you do not have a family doctor, please visit AlbertaFindADoctor.ca.
- If your symptoms worsen, have concerns about your health or questions about COVID-19, call 811.
- Call 911 if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention. Inform them that you may have COVID-19.
What does self-isolation mean?
Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. This means all situations where you may come in contact with others, such as social gatherings, work, school, child care, athletic events, university, faith-based gatherings, healthcare facilities, grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls, and all public gatherings.
- You should (where possible) not use public transportation, including buses, taxis, or ride-sharing.
- As much as possible, you should limit contact with people other than the family members/companions who you traveled with.
- You should avoid having visitors to your home, but it is okay for friends, family, or delivery drivers to drop off food.
- You can also use delivery or pick up services for errands such as grocery shopping.
- Avoid sharing household items such as dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, pillows, or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water, place in the dishwasher for cleaning, or wash in the washing machine.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water and regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched and shared surfaces such as doorknobs and counters.
- If you need to leave your home for an urgent errand, such as picking up essential medication, as a precaution to reduce the risk of spread, you should wear a surgical mask while you are out.
- During this time, it is important that you monitor your health for symptoms like fever or cough and call Health Link 811 if you have any concerns.
How is COVID-19 treated?
Although there are no specific medications for COVID-19 at this time, the Alberta health care system is able to provide effective care for people who develop a serious COVID-19 illness.
Are there vaccines to prevent COVID-19?
Not yet. Much research is currently underway to develop a vaccine, but it could take some time before a vaccine is developed and approved for use in Canada.
Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating COVID-19?
No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses; they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.
Who is most at risk of becoming very sick with COVID-19?
Although most people who develop COVID-19 will experience mild illness, some individuals are more likely to become seriously ill. Older adults and people with medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease appear to be at higher risk of becoming very sick.
Additional COVID-19 Resources and Information
- World Health Organization (WHO): Coronaviruses (COVID-19) Q&A
- Government of Canada: COVID-19 Updates, Travel Advice, Symptoms, & More
- Alberta Health Services: Novel Coronavirus Updates, Latest News & Info For Albertans
- Health Link 24/7: Contact Info
- AHS Emergency Coordination Centre. (2020). Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs for the public. Retrieved from https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/ppih/if-ppih-ncov-2019-public-faq.pdf
- World Health Organization. (2020). Q&A on Coronavirus (COVID-19). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses