As the weather is getting warmer and the day time is getting longer, people can be outdoors more. We expect there will be fewer sick visits in the spring and summer due to respiratory infections, which are more likely to spread in confined quarters indoors. We have therefore decided to shorten our office hours for the summer by 1 hour. Our office will close at 6 PM, Monday through Friday, starting this week of 5/9/2022. Saturday office hours will be unchanged at 9 AM-1 PM, while on Sundays the office will remain closed. Our physicians will continue to be available by phone through our answering service after the office is closed for the day. We believe this change in office hours will only be temporary, and we may resume our usual office hours in the Fall, when we expect more sick visits again. We will keep you informed with another newsletter at that time.
In the past month we did see an increase in the number of patients testing positive for COVID. This increase in the COVID cases may be contributed by the easing of masking requirement at schools and other public places such as shopping centers, grocery stores, airport and train/bus stations. I want to remind everyone that our office is a medical facility and we still have a policy that requires all visitors, including children > 3 years of age, to keep the mask on, covering both nose and mouth. All visitors still need to be screened negative for symptoms of COVID (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea) before they are allowed to come through the front door of the office. Any patient/visitor who has any of the symptoms will come in through the back door and will exit through the back door after the visit. This policy is intended to protect everyone in the office, especially those who have an underlying medical condition that increases the chances for a more serious illness from COVID.
Those who are not vaccinated against COVID are also more likely to have a serious illness than those who have been vaccinated. We do recommend COVID vaccine for those who are eligible. We had stopped giving COVID vaccine after about 500 doses were given because we would be wasting unused vaccines in storage due to insufficient demand. Moderna and Pfizer have submitted their vaccines for approval by FDA for emergency use authorization (EUA) in children 6 months -4 years of age. FDA will make a decision by June. Please let us know if you are interested in having your child in that age group get the vaccine.