Dear patients and visitors of Burke Family Practice,
We are sorry to announce this but there has been a sharp increase of Covid positive cases reported in our area, and we are bringing back our mask usage mandate. It is unclear what the fall/winter will bring with Covid and the flu season is right around the corner, so this may be in effect indefinitely for now.
*EFFECTIVE Wednesday, September 6th, 2023, all patients and visitors to the practice must wear a mask while they are on the premises and during your visit.*
As PPE supplies are in high demand and can add a great expense to the practice, we are not always at liberty to provide you with a mask, so please come prepared.
Your safety, and the safety of our Providers and staff, is our first priority; therefore we feel it is best practice to require that all visitors to the practice wear a surgical grade, or KN95 mask at all times while you are in the office. We also ask that you come to your visit on your own, or if you require assistance, we ask that you inform us in advance so we are prepared. Visitors who accompany you will either be required to come into the exam room with you, or wait in their car while you are seen as we try to avoid overcrowding our waiting room.
Our staff schedule very carefully, and screen all patients prior to making their appointments. We remind everyone that if you are sick with flu-like or upper respiratory and cold-like symptoms on the days leading up to your appointment, or are exposed to Covid, to please inform us in advance. Despite our recent attempts at this, patients continue to arrive to Waiting Room 1 (our well exam room) with symptoms, and end up testing positive for Covid while in the office. They were not wearing their mask in Waiting Room 1, or in the hallways, or in the exam room, and have therefore exposed the office – and all of these areas need to be disinfected properly throughout the day. This is highly unsafe and we would appreciate you cooperation in our continued initiatives to keep all of our patients (many of whom are elderly and immunocompromised) and our staff and Providers from being directly exposed to viral illnesses, most especially Covid. One case of Covid could easily spread throughout the office, and then lead to catastrophic staff shortages, and subsequent closure of the office for an extended period of time, and we wouldn’t be able to effectively help all of the patients in the practice with their medical care.
If you inform us that you are having symptoms, we have ways to care for you as safely as we can. If you wake up with symptoms and test yourself for Covid and it is negative, you may be testing too soon, and therefore can have a false sense of security. You could possibly infect others by going out (or to work) while contagious. Let us help you navigate the complexities of diagnosing what your illness might be! We offer Virtual Visits for those patients who are early on in their symptoms. We still offer drive up testing if a provider feels this is appropriate. But just know that at anytime a provider wishes you to be seen in the office, we have a dedicated Sick Waiting Room that we built during the Pandemic. We utilize this as safely as we can, but it still does not make us completely equipped to handle an overflow of Covid positive patients.
We thank you for your continued patience while we continue to navigate our complex healthcare system since the Pandemic began in 2020. We encourage patients to wear your mask when going out in the public, but also now mandate this inside of our office.