COVID-19 Precautions (Updated May 2020)

March 16, 2020

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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
  • Have a fever
  • 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 open Insight Medical Imaging locations will have signs posted outside each facility, reiterating the above conditions. We ask that all clinic visitors read the signage and adhere to the guidelines. For a list of open clinics, hours, and available services, click here.

Non-symptomatic patients, symptomatic patients, and patients with chronic conditions or long-standing symptoms will be accepted at all of our clinics unless a fever is present. 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 the three questions above and also conduct a temperature check on you with a non-touch infrared thermometer. At this time, you may be asked to wear a mask, or, if feverish, asked to rebook your exam.

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, only the patient will be allowed in the exam room. 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.

Medical/Non-Medical Masks

As stated by Alberta Health Services, masks are very important for specific situations. When someone is sick, wearing a mask helps prevent the transmission of illnesses to other people.

During this time, Insight staff will be donning a mask during all patient interactions. Patients with chronic conditions or symptoms will be masked, while non-symptomatic patients will not be.

Moving Forward

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:

  • fever
  • cough
  • 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?
Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. Disposable face masks can only be used once.

Medical masks (N95, surgical, or procedure masks) must be kept for health care workers and people providing direct care to COVID-19 patients.

Non-medical masks (cloth or homemade) cover your mouth and nose to prevent respiratory droplets from contaminating other people or surfaces. They should only be used in addition to other protective steps, are not proven to protect the person wearing it but may help protect others, and must be worn and taken on/off properly as the outside can become contaminated.

The WHO advises the rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and misuse of masks. The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from people who are coughing or sneezing. 

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.

The COVID-19 test is only for people who currently have symptoms of the virus. The test does not show if you were infected in the past and are no longer symptomatic.

You can complete the self-assessment by clicking here: https://bit.ly/3czWhmx

What should I do if I have COVID-19?
Stay home and call Health Link 811 for advice.
If you are not seriously ill, do not go to a physician’s office, a health care facility or a lab without consulting with Health Link first.
Call 911 if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention and 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

  1. World Health Organization (WHO): Coronaviruses (COVID-19) Q&A
  2. Government of Canada: COVID-19 Updates, Travel Advice, Symptoms, & More
  3. Alberta Health Services: Novel Coronavirus Updates, Latest News & Info For Albertans
  4. Health Link 24/7: Contact Info

References

  1. 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
  2. World Health Organization. (2020). Q&A on Coronavirus (COVID-19). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
2020-05-27T10:18:09-06:00