Advice for patients regarding appointments at medical clinics
For immediate release – March 17, 2020
St. John’s, NL – The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association advises the public that many physician clinics and offices, outside of hospitals, remain open and are handling appointments.
Physician offices that close, change their hours, or switch appointments to telephone or video calls will advise you prior to your appointment. Many clinics are using increased screening protocols for patient appointments. Some clinics may also require patients to wait in their vehicles prior to their medical appointments. If you are uncertain whether your doctor’s office is open or your appointment has changed, please call your doctor’s office to confirm. Do not assume your appointment is cancelled. Physician offices will also practice social distancing and heightened cleaning in their waiting rooms and examining rooms. Please look for signs and follow instructions from physicians and their staff in order to ensure the best protection of fellow patients and staff.
If you are concerned that you may have COVID-19 or if you have fever and/or symptoms of respiratory infection such as a new or worsening cough or difficulty breathing, do not go to a physician’s office. Please stay home, self-isolate and phone 811, the province’s Healthline. Public Health will be advised and follow up. You may also visit www.811healthline.ca to use the self-assessment tool to help determine whether you should be tested for COVID-19. If you are severely ill and require emergency medical attention call 911. Notify 911 of your potential exposure to COVID-19.
Some family practice clinics may also have websites or social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter that patients may follow for timely updates.