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Health facilities screening patients for COVID-19 prior to appointments

Posted at 1:18 AM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 01:18:49-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Health Care providers are now screening patients for COVID-19. This includes appointments with eye doctors, physical therapists and other services.

At Grand Rapids Ophthalmology, patients are getting a call prior their appoinment. They are also getting screened at the door.

Patients are asked if they have had any exposure or any symptoms. Patients and staff are also wearing masks during the appointment.

"We realized that we had to abide by the government rules and also CDC, and we began seeing only urgent patients," Amy Dunleavy, Director of Clinical Operations at Grand Rapids Ophthalmology.

Seating in the waiting room are spaced out 6 feet apart. Employees are going so far as to ask patients to wait in their cars, if they won't be seen for an extended period of time.

Besides reducing operating hours, Grand Rapids Ophthalmology has closed all but one of their 11 clinics. The only one up and running is located off of the Beltline in Grand Rapids, where urgent patients only are being seen.

"I think [patients] are not surprised," said Dunleavy. "I think they're grateful that we're following the precautions right up to the t."

Erin Jammer went to her physical therapy appointment, located inside of the same building as Grand Rapids Ophthalmology in Ionia.

"When I walked in, all they did was they took my temperature and asked me three simple questions," said Jammer. "It makes me feel really good that they're screening me because I might just think it's the flu or I'm a little under the weather because of my MS. So if I do walk into places and they want to screen me, I'm more than willing to let them."