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COVID-19 Q&A

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At Athens Orthopedic Clinic, there is nothing more important than the health and well-being of our patients, employees and community. During this time of uneasiness as coronavirus impacts our daily lives, we want to assure you that we remain committed to providing the high quality and compassionate care you have come to expect from your providers at AOC. We are here for you.We know you have questions and we hope the following will answer your questions as well as provide peace of mind. These Q&As will be updated regularly as the situation changes and new questions surface.

If you have a question that is not answered below, please do not hesitate to call us at 706-549-1663.

IS ATHENS ORTHOPEDIC CLINIC OPEN AND SEEING PATIENTS?

Yes, we are open; however, all AOC Clinics and Outpatient Surgery Centers are operating on a condensed schedule and/or closing specific satellite offices temporarily. Despite modified schedules, AOC providers and their teams remain accessible to patients. Our call center WILL continue to operate normal business hours M-Th (8:00 am-5:00pm), Fridays (8:00am-2:00 pm)

IS ATHENS ORTHOPEDIC CLINIC URGENT CARE OPEN?

Yes, all Urgent Care locations (Athens, Loganville, Snellville) remain open until 5:30 pm during the weekdays. Urgent Care Athens (125 King Avenue) is open on the weekends from 10:00 am-12:00 pm unless patient volume deems it necessary to remain open longer

IS IT SAFE FOR ME TO KEEP MY APPOINTMENT? WHAT IS ATHENS ORTHOPEDIC CLINIC DOING TO HELP?

In accordance with CDC guidelines, AOC is following best practices to provide you and our employees with a safe environment.
• Increased cleaning our offices, waiting and exam rooms. We will be paying close attention to areas that are touched frequently, such as doorknobs.
• Making hand sanitizer stations available.
• We are following strict hand washing protocols for all employees.
• Preemptive patient screening, temperature checks will be taken for anyone entering our clinics and surgery centers - all patients, visitors, employees, and providers. If someone has a temperature of 99.4°F or 37°C or higher (*CDC guidelines), he or she will be asked to leave and call to reschedule.
• Providing patients with options to wait in cars rather than in our lobby areas
• Any AOC providers or employee who meet any of the CDC exposure guidelines will be required to follow the CDC guidelines for testing and quarantine.
• As appropriate, AOC has made arrangements for non-clinic staff to work from home as our way to help limit exposure and slow the spread of the virus.
• We are limiting travel and face-to-face meetings for all employees.
Effective Monday, April 6, 2020, in compliance with new CDC recommendations that all people in the U.S. wear a cloth face covering in public settings, AOC personnel in all facilities are required to wear a face covering, In turn, we ask that all patients also wear a face covering to their appointment. To learn more about face coverings including how to make your own, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

WHAT DOES AOC DO IF A PROVIDER OR EMPLOYEE HAS A COVID-19 EXPOSURE?

AOC follows CDC guidelines for assessment of risk, monitoring, and work restriction decisions for Healthcare personnel with potential exposure to COVID-19.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html

DO I NEED TO WEAR A MASK WHEN I COME TO MY APPOINTMENT IF I'M NOT SICK?

Yes. As of  April 3, 2020, the CDC recommends everyone cover their mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others in public. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

I’M NOT FEELING WELL. SHOULD I STILL COME FOR MY APPOINTMENT?

If you’re not feeling well, we strongly encourage you to reschedule your appointment. However, if your orthopedic situation is urgent, please call us in advance so we may be prepared. For non-urgent appointments, rescheduling plays a significant role in helping to slow the spread of any virus whether it is Coronavirus or the flu. Most important, if you reschedule, you WILL NOT be charged a missed visit fee.

IS IT OKAY TO BRING SOMEONE WITH ME TO MY APPOINTMENT?

To keep everyone safe and protected, we are working to minimize the number of people coming into our Clinics and Outpatient Surgery Centers. During this pandemic, we ask that your significant other wait in their vehicle during your appointment unless their physical presence is essential. For example, this does not apply to the parent of a minor patient, or those needing a translator.

MY PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR CONSIDERS ME TO BE HIGH-RISK PATIENT, BUT I DON’T FEEL SICK. SHOULD I RESCHEDULE?

First and most important, if your orthopedic situation is urgent, please call us in advance so we may prepare and provide the appropriate guidance. Your well-being is our priority. However, the CDC recommends rescheduling your appointment if you meet one of the following criteria:
• You have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) or have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms
• You know you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has been exposed
• You have recently traveled to China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy or any country in Europe including Britain, Ireland and Scotland or have been in close contact with someone who has traveled there
You are a high-risk patient* (*defined by CDC as older adults - 60 years or older - or if you have chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes or lung disease)
• Please reschedule your appointment and remember, you WILL NOT be charged a missed visit fee.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF THERE IS A CHANGE TO MY CARE SCHEDULE – CONSULTATION APPOINTMENT, SURGERY, FOLLOW-UP OR PHYSICAL THERAPY?

We want you to feel confident knowing AOC will be proactive in all communications related to your care or care schedule; however, you are always welcome to call us if you have any questions. In addition, we will continue to update our Website, Facebook and Instagram in order to bring you the most current and up to date information available.

SOME OF MY OTHER DOCTORS ARE OFFERING TELEMEDICINE VISITS. IS THIS SOMETHING AVAILABLE TO ME FOR MY ORTHOPEDIC CARE?

AOC does offer telemedicine. Visits most appropriate for a telemedicine visit could include post-operative follow-up visits, visits to review MRI and CT results, and visits to check progress or response to a treatment. Telemedicine involves the use of electronic communications such as a computer or phone. Early feedback from patients and AOC providers regarding their telemedicine experience has been very positive. For more information on telemedicine, including frequently asked questions, click here.

HOW DO I REQUEST A TELEMEDICINE APPOINTMENT?

You can request a telemedicine appointment the same way you would request an in-person appointment, call our office or click www.athensorthopedicclinic.com/request-an-appointment and check the “TeleHealth” box when asked “which type of patient visit would you prefer?”