Practice News: COVID-19

Wow, what a week! We are still waiting on the election results, and COVID-19 is on the rise. This time, it’s hit us a little closer to home – our lead midwife, Gina, and her family have contracted COVID-19 and are currently quarantined in their home while they recover.

First, we want to let you know that, so far, Gina and her family are doing pretty well. The positive tests started popping up in their home about a week and a half ago, and as of today, all but one person in their house has tested positive. Though they certainly have felt very ill, their symptoms have been manageable so far. We are optimistic that the virus will run its course through the household, and that everyone will make a swift and full recovery.

In order for Gina and her family to recover fully, it is vital that everyone is allowed to rest and heal. To that end, we sent a bulletin out to our clients last weekend, letting them know that Nedra and Julia would be covering the practice, including virtual visits and emails, during the time that Gina is healing. Of course, three babies decided to make their appearance this week (how do they always know when the most exciting time to be born is?), so Nedra and Julia were kept on their toes. They are both looking forward to a (hopefully) more relaxed second week of Gina being out of commission. 😉

Gina anticipates being back to work on November 16, which is well after the current recommendation of waiting until 10 days after onset of symptoms. The safety of our clients is of utmost importance to us, so we feel most comfortable giving a healthy margin here. Of course, there is the possibility that Gina won’t feel well enough to return on that date, in which case, we’ll continue to adapt the schedule to reflect whatever the current reality is.

We are so grateful and touched by the outpouring of support by our clients, past and present, as well as the community in general. Thank you, especially, to everyone who has brought a meal to Gina’s family – this has been so helpful, and has allowed them to separate the sick family members from the well ones by not having to prepare meals in a communal space.

Here is what we have learned during this tiny glimpse into how COVID works – it is, indeed, super contagious! Despite intense measures to avoid spreading it around their house, it spread anyway. It is apparent that people are very contagious before they show symptoms, as most of the exposures probably occurred before anyone knew they were sick. This insight, along with the evidence that COVID cases are growing fast in our state and nationwide – it is estimated, as of this date, that one person out of every 100 is positive in Colorado – has prompted us to give a quick overview of the measures our practice has taken to keep our clients and staff safe:

  • We require appropriate masks during visits – this means a medical mask, or a multi-layered, tight-weave, cloth mask, that fully covers the nose and mouth
  • We sanitize all touched surfaces between each visit
  • We ask that children stay home during this time (even though we love to see them!), as they tend to touch many surfaces, and sanitization becomes more challenging
  • We ask that people who attend your birth, who are not members of your household, mask for the birth (our clients, their partners and children do not need to mask)
  • We have added the extra measure that we will ask people who travel to switch to virtual visits for two weeks after they return from their trip
  • We offer and encourage a mix of virtual and in-person visits to reduce everyone’s exposure
  • Of course, we ask anyone who is sick or who has been exposed to anyone who is sick to inform us, and opt for a virtual visit
  • If we are sick or have been exposed, we will take measures to ensure you are not exposed to us

Luckily, Gina’s exposure to COVID-19 occurred days after her last contact with our office or clients, so we didn’t have a concern about that this time. But, the reality is that any of us can be asymptomatic and contagious at any time, so it is important to prevent virus transmission at all times by masking, washing hands, and social distancing.

Again, thank you all for your love, support, and efforts to keep each other safe as we all try to navigate this bizarre new reality of living in a pandemic. We appreciate you! And we’re so looking forward to life returning to “normal” (whatever that will mean), someday soon.