To Our Valued Patients and Families,
At this point in the COVID Pandemic, when everyone is sick and tired of the rules and restrictions, we feel it may be necessary to clarify or reiterate our policy on using face masks while in the office. Put simply, masks are required of everyone over the age of three years, excepting only rare cases of severe disability that require alternative arrangements for care in advance. This policy applies to staff and patients, vaccinated and unvaccinated. It has not changed in the last year (see previous posts) and we, sadly, do not foresee it changing in the near future.
While we do recognize these matters have been the subject of debate in some quarters, we believe it is a critical part of our strategy to protect both patients and staff during this challenging time. (Mask Guidance) It is our responsibility to provide the safest environment we can for everyone in our office and we expect everyone to follow our policy while in the office, whether they agree with it or not. We will not knowingly see families in our office who are not masked during this time and, for the protection of everyone else in the facility, we will regretfully be forced to discharge families from the practice who are unable or unwilling to wear masks after they have entered the office.
This policy is part of a broader interconnected strategy to keep people safe while they are here. The waiting room remains closed. While we do less telemedicine work now than in earlier periods of the pandemic, some visits are still partly done by phone and some are done out of doors to limit exposure. We have improved our ventilation and added HEPA filtration throughout the office. Extra attention is being paid to cleaning and hand hygiene. And, of course, vaccination. But none of these interventions are adequate by themselves. Each backs up the other in light of predictable failure rates to create a safe office environment. Masks are a critical part of that strategy. We are proud so say we have had no known cases of COVID-19 transmission in the office and we will do our best to maintain that success as we enter this next phase.
We understand that this policy will not please everyone and we will sadly try to understand if some families feel they need to find their care elsewhere as a result, but we feel it is important for us to be very clear at this time. Masks really are required at the office.
Pediatric Medicine of Wallingford