When a new virus is circulating in the community, it is understandable that you might be more nervous than usual if you begin to experience symptoms of a respiratory illness. Know that the majority of people infected with Coronavirus COVID-19 do just fine. Even with COVID-19 having been detected in the Boston area, most people with cold and flu symptoms (including fever, runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat and cough) do not need to see their doctor or need to be tested for COVID-19. Rest, fluids and over-the-counter medications for symptom control are usually all that is needed. For more detailed information about warning signs that should prompt a call or visit to the doctor for a respiratory infection, click here.
As the Governor and other public officials have advocated, “social distancing,” or minimizing the unnecessary interaction among people who might or might not be infected, is an important component. Moreover, it is equally important to conserve vital resources such as personal protective equipment. While the situation is dynamic and it is difficult to judge the timing or extent of impact, here at Tufts Medical Center, we are taking important steps to respond in what we believe is the most prudent manner.
As a means to achieve social distancing, one step we are taking is to begin progressively reducing the level of discretionary or elective clinical care at Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children. This will reduce the potential that patients or staff are incidentally infected. We continue to deliver all care required including inpatient, surgical, emergency, and ambulatory care. We will be reaching out to patients who can be rescheduled.
- If you have or would like to request an appointment for a later date, you are welcome to via our online request form. Note that the appointment date that is scheduled may have to be moved due to the changing situation with COVID-19. If it is an emergency, please call 911, your clinic or visit our emergency department.
Keeping with our effort of “social distancing,” we are taking the following additional actions:
- We have changed our visitor policy. For adult patients, no visitors are allowed at this time. For pediatric patients, one immediate family member is allowed. We are sorry for the inconvenience. Our priority is the safety of all patient and staff. Those volunteering or observing for educational purposes will be asked not to visit the Medical Center. Volunteers supporting patient care or our research mission will not be restricted. Vendors who are not supporting patient care or delivering supplies will be restricted. For students, please review with your departmental leadership.
- Access to the facility for patients and visitors will be restricted to only the Emergency Department entrance (830 Washington Street), and the Plaza Level entrance of Floating Hospital. Staff members should have badges ready to be inspected when reporting to work.