What to know before you go: tips on coronavirus safety at your doctor’s visit

Lots of things have been put on hold since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but when it comes to your health, it’s too important to put off seeing your doctor or finding a physician accepting new patients. Here’s what you need to know before you head in for your next appointment.

Some things have changed, but your care hasn’t.

If you haven’t been into a physician’s office lately, you’ll probably notice some things are a little different than you’re used to. The good news is, all the changes that have been made are there to keep you safe.

“Some things during your visit might take a little bit longer,” said Emily Smith, D.O., McLaren Medical Group Family Medicine physician. “The check-in and checkout processes are taking a few more minutes, as we are cleaning each room thoroughly between patients and paying extra attention to frequently touched areas.”

There are simple steps you can take to help everyone stay safe.

When you head in for your visit, Dr. Smith says to follow the same social distancing and hand hygiene guidelines you’re probably already used to. That includes washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer, keeping 6 feet of space between yourself and others, and wearing a mask or face covering.

“We know wearing a simple cotton face covering can decrease transmission of the virus,” said Dr. Smith.
“By wearing a face covering, you are protecting others around you, but it’s only effective when it covers both your nose and mouth.”

Your safety is the top priority.

McLaren is going above and beyond to protect patients and caregivers, including changing waiting rooms to allow for simpler social distancing and following updated CDC guidelines.

“We are all here to help keep you safe and healthy,” said Dr. Smith. “Please use us as a resource in your healthcare journey.”