As we enter the winter months, healthcare professionals are concerned regarding the spread of COVID-19, as well as the influenza virus. It is possible that an individual could become infected with the flu and the COVID virus at the same time. For that reason, the Centers for Disease Control is urging all Americans to get a flu vaccination, which greatly reduces the risk of contracting the influenza.
Unfortunately, no vaccine has been approved yet for COVID, and even when it is, it will likely take months for individuals across the nation to receive it. In the meantime, Associated Audiologists has implemented COVID-19 screening procedures and precautions to protect patients and staff, and which follow recommendations from our state agencies and the Centers for Disease Control.
Here are the steps we are taking, and that we ask our patients to comply with:
We use infrared thermometers to check each patient’s and staff member’s temperature before admitting them to the clinic. These thermometers are the best way to screen a person’s surface temperature without coming in contact with them. They reduce the risk of cross-contamination, minimize the risk of spreading disease, are easy to clean and disinfect, and quickly read the individual’s temperature.
A normal body temperature falls within a range of measurements from 97oF to 99o. Anyone with a temperature of 100o or higher will not be admitted to the clinic.
Infrared thermometers are designed to read surface temperatures by picking up the natural infrared wavelengths the body emits. Our thermometers do not send infrared light, lasers, or radiation into the body.
Health Screening Questionnaire
In addition to checking your temperature, everyone is asked a series of health screening questions designed to determine if you may have the virus or have been exposed to the virus. These include questions like have you been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for the virus in the past 14 days, or have you had any COVID-19 symptoms (cough, fever, etc.) not related to a pre-existing condition?
We require all patients and staff to wear masks or cloth face coverings at all times when in the clinic. Many scientific studies have confirmed that COVID-19 is spread via respiratory droplets. Wearing a mask significantly reduces the risk of virus transmission. If you have difficulty understanding speech when others are wearing a mask, please let our staff know as we have clear view masks available for our staff to use. These are also available for purchase if you would like one for your family or significant others. If you wear hearing aids, we may be able to make an adjustment to them that could improve speech understanding.
In most cases, it is not necessary for patients to wear gloves during their examination. Staff do wear gloves when warranted and follow recommended handwashing and hygiene practices to keep you safe.
We vigorously clean and sanitize all surfaces patients come in contact with. We have hand sanitizer available for patient use.
Stay 6 Feet Apart
Research shows that staying at least 6 feet away from others also reduces the risk of spreading the virus. We make every effort to keep a safe distance during your appointments. However, in order to perform your hearing evaluation and fit hearing aids, we must be inches away from you. We will be wearing a medical-grade mask that provides the necessary protection. While in our reception and check-out areas, we ask that you stay at least 6 feet away from other patients and guests.
For more information about the procedures and precautions we have been taking during the pandemic, visit www.hearingyourbest.com. Schedule an appointment with a doctoral-level audiologist.