Update: Monday, March 30, 2020
It feels like a month since I wrote to you last but it has literally only been a week. Yet again, much has changed. More businesses have shutdown, more people have lost their jobs and as of last night, we are now only allowed to be in public as a group of two (except for families living in the same household). What hasn’t changed is the increasing concern that many of you have for your own health or for those you care about. We have fielded numerous calls and emails, and will continue to do so if your concerns remain.
Health services remain OPEN.
However, changes have already been instituted with some of our services:
- Our remedial massage service will be closed indefinitely. It was considered a non-essential service as of last Thursday 26th of March which our massage therapists were happy to abide by in a hope to reduce any risk of transmission.
- Our supervised group exercise sessions will also close indefinitely as of today. Under the current circumstances, we feel one-on-one sessions would be more appropriate under the social distancing guidelines.
In order to keep supporting you especially when many of us are forced to stay in the confines of our homes, Telehealth is really the best option. Find out more here about how this may work for you.
We also appreciate that many of you are probably not being as active as you would normally be. This is concerning for us considering we see many of you for joint, muscle and tendon issues on top of the other health concerns you present with. Though the coronavirus outbreak is a significant issue, inactivity in the mid to long-term can be extremely detrimental. We also know how good being active is for your mental health. To help a little, our wonderful team of EPs have launched daily exercise sessions over the internet through Facebook Live so you can keep exercising or at least be reminded that we still want to keep you active.
Best way to stay up to date is to like our page here. If you can, the team will see you at 12pm each weekday on Facebook.
We are also piloting supervised virtual group exercise sessions for those who need more targeted help. Please stay as active as possible. All our practitioners demand it.
If a practitioner does need to see you physically in the clinic, they will let you know. Please note the following guidelines and alterations if you do have to come in.
COVID-19 Guidelines when coming into the clinic
1. IF YOU HAVE FEVER, COUGH or ANY FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS, PLEASE RESCHEDULE. If you need, visit healthdirect.gov.au, call 1800 022 222 or contact your GP.
2. Expect the following as the new standards with respect to social distancing, hygiene and cleaning practices:
a. We have limited the number of patients coming to the clinic as we attempt to transition as many people as possible to telehealth.
b. If you do come in, the chairs in our waiting room have been spread out.
c. Please stay outdoors and come in for your appointment just before it begins.
d. Come ALONE for your appointment or if really needed only have one other person with you.
e. If timing allows, please do not bring any children. We understand how hard this may be.
f. If the practitioner is running late, we will tell you to wait outdoors, in your car or on our balcony(Parramatta), verandah (Chatswood) and call you once the practitioner is ready.
g. Note that our practitioners in close contact scenarios may wear a mask, safety glasses and/or gloves.
h. Note that our practitioners will attempt to open and close the consult room doors for you to reduce the need for you to touch door handles. Feel free to request this to be done.
i. Tape has been placed on the floor at the reception counter so you can practise safe social distancing.
j. Feel free to use the spray bottles with disinfectant solution to clean surfaces you are about to touch or sit on. Otherwise, hand sanitisers are all around our clinics.
k. Continue to practise social distancing wherever you are. Keep 1.5 metres apart from people.
l. Continue to maintain good hand hygiene by cleaning your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol based hand rub:
Before entering an area used by other people
After using the bathroom
After coughing or sneezing
Before & after eating food
m. Practise good cough/sneeze etiquette by keeping away from other people, using disposable tissues or clothing (eg. Into your elbow), disposing of the tissues and cleaning your hands afterwards
3. Our in-house reception hours are now from 8.30am to 5pm. When you do arrive outside of these times for an appointment, please ring the doorbell and someone will let you in.
There has been so many changes in the past three weeks. It truly has been an emotional rollercoaster. Our entire team at BJC Health are grateful for your continued support. Our promise is to continue to provide you rheumatic disease care to the best of our ability despite these trying conditions. For the moment, please stay at home and social distance like you’ve never done before but at the same time, please stay connected.