Safe Reopening After Covid-19 Peak
We will reopen our office and sleep and EEG labs for on-site patient care effective May 18, 2020, while following Covid-19 mitigation and preventive procedures. Patients must wear a mask covering their nose, mouth and chin. They must come alone. One companion is allowed for children, and patients with disability, cognitive impairment, or language difficulty.
We closed our offices and testing areas on March 23, 2020 in response to the Covid-19 crisis at that time. At that time, new Covid-19 cases were rising rapidly in SE Michigan, the Governor had ordered that all non-essential procedures be cancelled and had issued a stringent stay-at-home order. Hospitals anticipated they would run out of ICU beds and ventilators. We anticipated Covid-19 cases and deaths would rise rapidly. Beaumont Health had begun closing most of its ambulatory services. There was no clear guidance on mitigation procedures. Things looked grim.
Progress in the State of Michigan
The State of Michigan shows a steady decline in new cases in Region 2 North (Oakland, Macomb and St Clair counties), to below 200 every day since April 23, below 100 every day since May 2. Beaumont Health announced on May 2, 2020, that new Covid-19 cases have been falling for 14 days. It has begun to close re-purposed ICU beds. It is concerned about the backlog of cancelled procedures. It announced it is opening its services, including ambulatory services. It is performing screening mammograms. There is clearer guidance on mitigation procedures, from various authorities including the CDC, WHO, AASM, Beaumont Health, and others. On May 3, Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Khaldun, strongly encouraged Michigan physicians to resume services that are important for patient health and well-being, while adopting procedures to ensure staff and patient safety. Of course, the health care industry realizes that there may be a second wave sometime in the future. We may then have to restrict services again then.
We have carefully considered mitigation procedures and created appropriate policies to ensure patient and staff safety. We also have a backlog of cancelled cases, as well as new patients who have been calling over the past six weeks. Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening disorder. Central disorders of hypersomnolence may lead to potentially fatal accidents. Now that there are grounds for optimism with respect to Covid-19. Community transmission is way down. Hospital resources are no longer stretched thin. Therefore, it is time to take care of our patients’ essential health care needs.
We will implement mitigation and preventive policies to mitigate risk of Covid-19 transmission within the Sleep and Attention Disorders Institute. They are for the good of each patient and staff member, as well as those around the patient or staff member.