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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Novant Health will resume some non-time sensitive and non-emergent surgeries and procedures beginning Monday, May 4. Additionally, clinics will reinstate appointments that were previously delayed by phasing in visits starting with pediatric well checks, chronic disease and acute issue visits. These appointments paused March 18 in response to increasing cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading in our communities and the need to protect our patients and team members.
While virtual care options will continue and are encouraged to be used as much as possible, the announcement today ensures patients who had their care delayed can resume their treatment, including many surgical procedures. Patients need to take care of their health, and in line with national trends, Novant Health has seen a worrisome decline in patients seeking care for emergent conditions, including heart attack and stroke.
“Since the onset of the coronavirus in our communities, some of our patients have delayed seeking care out of an abundance of caution,” said Carl Armato, president and CEO of Novant Health. “Putting off care indefinitely is simply not good for our patients – and in some cases, deadly. We urge our community to seek the care they need. At the advice of our physicians, and on behalf of our patients who need care, we have thoughtfully decided to resume some of these services. The number of patients receiving care for COVID-19 within our facilities has stabilized, and our team stands ready to care for the community.”
Novant Health will prioritize rescheduling patients with delayed and postponed appointments and procedures. Patients who fall into this category will receive communication from their healthcare provider with additional information and may receive a call as early as April 23.
Novant Health facilities will add enhanced safety measures, including patient and team member screenings, required masking of patient-facing team members, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes.
Novant Health has also taken measures to ensure physical distancing and address clinical safety concerns, which may include lowering the number of patients in the clinic at once, workflows to reduce use of waiting rooms, and even some care delivery within the confines of your vehicle. Visitor restrictions will remain in place.
Also, the health system’s universal masking policy remains in effect with team members wearing surgical and N95 masks, as clinically indicated, while optimizing PPE conservation efforts. Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance, we recommend all patients come to their appointments with a cloth mask or face covering. Patients without a mask will be provided one upon entering our facilities. Novant Health is also advocating universal masking for the public as we transition to our new normal.
For more information about Novant Health’s response to COVID-19, please visit NovantHealth.org/coronavirus.