The COVID-19 strain of coronavirus has caused an outbreak of respiratory infections in most nations of the world. On the 11th of March 2020, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. More information about what defines a pandemic, what this means and the COVID-19 virus can be found on the NSW Department of Health website.
Symptoms of COVID-19 infection:
It is important that we are all aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 infection.
From the Department of Health website:
“Patients may have fever, cough, runny nose, shortness of breath and other symptoms. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress.”
This link contains more information on COVID-19, including statistics, symptoms and methods of avoiding spread of the infection.
Note that the symptoms of COVID-19/ Coronavirus are difficult to distinguish from a regular cold or flu.
Please call your doctor and seek their advice if you develop any of the symptoms listed above.
What COVID-19 means for us:
This infection is present in NSW. How infectious COVID-19 is, how rapidly it will spread and how dangerous it is, are not currently completely understood. Many people are naturally concerned about the virus and their risk of catching it and developing the infection. Unfortunately, testing for the virus is very difficult at this time. Only a few pathology centres are able to offer the test, and they are currently overwhelmed by demand, causing prolonged and impractical delays in getting results. We are also entering the normal cold and flu season, and the recent drop in temperatures means that we are all far more likely to catch the regular viruses of the autumn and winter seasons.
The commitment of our clinic:
Henrietta Chang and her staff are dedicated to high standards of infection control. That remains unchanged during this time, with the exception of the following additional precautions:
What we ask of you, our clients:
Please delay appointments if you have returned from overseas travel. Outbreaks are occurring worldwide, so restrictions on treatment following travel must apply to all countries. The recommended isolation time after your return is two weeks.
Please cancel your appointment if you develop any of the following symptoms: Fever, Cough, Runny nose, Shortness of breath.
Hand sanitiser is available in the waiting room. We ask that you use it on arrival and departure. Handwash is available if you prefer.
Do you have an underlying lung condition, are you receiving chemotherapy or do you have a low immune system? At this stage we suggest you delay appointments until we have a better understanding of the spread of this infection.
Our commitment to you:
We are calling everyone who has booked in with us to ask whether they have travelled internationally in the past 2 weeks or if they have any of the symptoms of viral infection. We will ask people who answer either question in the affirmative to delay their appointments.
None of my staff nor myself have travelled internationally in the past month, and any associated practitioners are abiding by the Australian Government Health recommendations and regulations.
Our staff and I are aware of symptoms of the virus and will not come to work should we develop these symptoms. This may cause delays to your treatment, and some of your appointments may need to be postponed. We apologise for any inconvenience and will give you as much notice as possible of changes to your booking.
Our hand hygiene practices are currently excellent. We wash our hands regularly and in accordance with the protocols described by Hand Hygiene Australia.
We will be wiping down our desk surfaces, door handles and chairs regularly throughout the day with neutral detergent wipes – between every patient whenever possible. And the Council has increased cleaning services in the Wigmore Arcade with regular desinfection wipes around the commonly exposed and touched areas (door handles, benches, chairs, bathrooms etc).
We will be wiping down our reception area between every visitor with neutral detergent wipes. This includes EFTPOS, pens, the mouse and computer keyboard. Please feel free to use your own pen if you prefer.
Minimise time in the waiting room. Try to arrive only a few minutes before your appointed time. We will do our best to call you to let you know if we are running late.
We are keeping up-to-date with releases issued by the Department of Health NSW in relation to COVID-19. We will act according to their directions.
It is possible that we may need to postpone all sessions if advised to do so by the Department of Health NSW. If this occurs, we will notify you as promptly as possible.
It is possible that we may need to close the clinic if advised to do so by the government and/or the Department of Health NSW, however, limited phone consults and on-line consults will still be available.
Please visit these pages and articles often, as I will be updating it regularly as new information comes to light.
Your understanding at this difficult and uncertain time is appreciated.
Do not hesitate to call the clinic on 0266 866 934 or Henrietta personally on 0422 842 710 if you have questions or concerns that you wish to discuss.
Henrietta Chang and the Alchimiste Team