Letter to Patients


Dear Patients of Midtown Health and Wellness Clinic,

Thank you for your patience, understanding and cooperation with us over the last two weeks during these difficult times. Our clinic is working hard daily to try and adapt to the new demands and evolving COVID-19 situation to provide our patients with the best care possible within the constraints of the system.

We will continue to provide updates through email, on our voicemail and on our website:
http://www.midtownhwc.ca.

Hours of Operation: We are adjusting hours to encourage social distancing for our staff and for protocols as guidelines change. Please listen to our voicemail re: most up to date information. Please understand that time to respond to non urgent messages and blood work may be delayed. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU MAY RECEIVE CALLS FROM BLOCKED NUMBERS AS BOTH OUR FRONT OFFICE STAFF AND DOCTORS MAY BE USING OUR CELL PHONES. PLEASE ANSWER THESE CALLS.

Contacting Us: We continue to experience extremely high volumes of calls. We are trying our best to triage the calls to ensure patient safety and that we are responding in a timely manner.

Phone Lines: As many of you may have noticed, the cell phone lines have been a problem to access over the last week. A busy signal is what we encounter making it difficult to return calls to patients. Please make sure that your voicemail box is cleared to ensure that we can leave messages.

Prescription Renewals: If you are running low on your medication, please have your pharmacy fax us with a medication request. If you cannot reach the pharmacy, then please leave a message on our voicemail outlining which medications you require.

Walk Ins: As per WHO and Public Health guidance, we are strongly encouraging social distancing. DO NOT DROP BY THE CLINIC without calling before and discussing with staff. We have closed the waiting room area. This is for the safety of our staff, our patients and our community.

Doctors Notes: As per the Ontario Government, they have waived the requirement for doctors' notes for absence due to COVID.

Appointments: To keep you safe, no in-clinic appointments will be booked without an initial phone assessment. The doctors are providing consultations on the telephone for assessments and management advice. Calls will often say 'No Caller ID' or 'Private', so please answer for these calls as we are working remotely and often need to use our cell phones. After this assessment, the doctor may schedule an online virtual or in-person assessment. There will be dedicated times for well baby checks/child immunizations/prenatals as guidelines change. We will not be providing a number of non-essential clinical or administrative services at this time and can be booked with our receptionist team at a later date.

** Social Distancing Reminder:**
The precautions being put in place across our communities are critical. While COVID-19 does not likely pose a direct risk to most patients individually, if we all practice 'social distancing' we can help to 'flatten the curve' and minimize the extent to which our most vulnerable will be affected and reduce how much the health care system will be overburdened. These next few weeks are of vital importance to help protect our community. We are in this together!

COVID19 ASSESSMENTS
If you have a fever, cough, sore throat or recent travel in the last 14 days, we will be unable to see you in the clinic at this time. We are unable to do COVID19 testing in our office due to an ongoing lack of personal protective equipment. All testing is being done through the designated assessment centres and hospitals. We hope that this will change as the supply chain for protective gear opens. Please access public health's website for self assessment and/or call our clinic for advice.

If a sick patient comes into our office and subsequently tests positive for COVID-19, our clinic would be exposed and need to shut down for 14 days. We are striving to avoid this situation so we can remain available to our patients throughout the pandemic.




RESOURCES


  1. General Suggestions for Office Management/Phone Consultations
    ● make sure we have an updated address and phone number
    ● ensure that your voicemail mailbox is CLEAR so that we can leave messages if necessary
    ● have your PHARMACY FAX NUMBER available
    ● be prepared to answer our call at the scheduled time - due to high call volume, it is difficult to reschedule phone consultations
    ● please be aware that we are trying to work remotely - please answer calls that display NO CALLER ID and/or BLOCKED caller and ensure that your phone is set up to accept blocked calls

  2. Mental Health resources
    ● CAMH COVID site https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19
    ● Greenspace Mental Health https://www.greenspacehealth.ca
    ● Mood Gym https://moodgym.com.au/
    ● Canadian Mental Health Association COVID Response https://cmha.ca/news/covid-19-and-mental-health


  3. Public Health COVID website:
    https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/diseases-and-conditions/infectious-diseases/respiratory-diseases/novel-coronavirus/public-resource

  4. COVID Self Assessment Tool: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/#q0

  5. Self Assessment Centre Locations: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-health-advice/covid-19-assessment-centres/

  6. Other Resources
  7. Other Recommendations
    ● Zinc lozenges at the earliest onset of symptoms have been shown to reduce viral infection duration.
    ● Nausea: Gravol (oral or suppositories) is the simplest solution and still readily available.
    ● Hydration: Broth (contains some additional nutrients) and low sugar 'sports drinks' which can be watered down. Equally effective to make a rehydration remedy at home: 6 teaspoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 liter of water.
    ● Humidify for coughs
    ● Nasal congestion: Nasal irrigation with either a saline irrigation device (such as the Netipot)
    ● Tamiflu, which has been used to help reduce the impact of influenza infections in the past, has been shown to be ineffective against this virus and is not recommended.
    ● Combination of Zithromax/Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) combination that is getting some attention on the internet as possibly helping with the COVID-19 infection. There is no good evidence to support this claim.

In solidarity,
The Midtown Health and Wellness Clinic