Alert Test

Learn how CHI St. Joseph Health is responding to COVID-19. Read More.

Caregiver and Visitor Policy Update. Learn More.

Is It Safe to Schedule an In-Person Doctor’s Appointment?

Is It Safe to Schedule an In-Person Doctor’s Appointment?

May 18, 2020

Because the situation surrounding COVID-19 is constantly evolving, some information may not be up to date. Stay informed by following information from your local officials and by visiting the CDC website.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have slowed down our busy lives, but that doesn’t mean your medical needs should be put on hold. As Texas reopens and COVID-19 cases plateau, you may be wondering if it’s time for that checkup and whether it’s safe to visit a clinic in person. You can rest assured we’re following best practices and protocols for the safety of our patients and staff.

What are my options for an appointment?

Our clinics are open to take care of your healthcare needs, whether in person or remotely. We continue to offer televisits as a convenient option for our patients in addition to in-person visits. Some appointments may require an in-person physical exam for your physician to properly evaluate and diagnose your condition.

Call your doctor to determine which option is right for your next visit. You can also ask whether your appointment can be conducted via phone call if you don’t have access to a communication device with video.

Should I postpone my appointment for a future date?

Staying on top of your health has never been more important. Whether it’s an acute health concern, a chronic condition, or a routine checkup, check in with your doctor today, especially if you’ve been waiting to seek care. If you need to see a physician or advanced practice provider to address your healthcare needs, don’t wait until it progresses or becomes an emergency.

Can I bring someone with me to an in-person appointment?

To protect our patients, staff, and community, we are working to limit the number of people in our waiting rooms or completely eliminate the need for a waiting room to comply with social distancing guidelines. We have a limited visitor policy in place with a few exceptions, such as a pediatric patient or one who may need help due to mobility issues. We currently ask that no children accompany parents to their appointments and appreciate your understanding during this time.

Should I wear a mask to my in-person appointment?

Following the guidelines set forth by the state government, we ask that you wear a mask when you come for the visit; a cloth mask is perfectly fine. Our staff is being screened daily and will also be masked inside our offices.

Will I be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival?

We are screening all patients for symptoms when they arrive for their appointments. Screening may include having your temperature taken before you enter the clinic and going through a symptom checker. Please allow a little extra time for this process.

If you have any signs of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days, please call us prior to your appointment to determine whether you should reschedule.

Is the clinic taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

As we navigate through the changes of COVID-19, the health and well-being of every patient, staff member, physician, and advanced practice provider is our highest priority. We are adhering to best practices and guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and we’re taking the following safety precautions:

  • Frequent sanitizing. We are routinely sanitizing common areas throughout the day and extensively cleaning exam rooms and equipment between each patient.
  • Social distancing. We are adjusting appointment schedules to limit patient-to-patient interaction, implementing visitor restrictions to limit the number of people entering our facility, and have social distancing signage in our clinics as a reminder to keep a safe distance.
  • Screening and masking. All of our clinical teams you interact with will be wearing masks and have been screened prior to coming into the office.

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, call your doctor rather than scheduling an in-person appointment. CHI St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network offers a variety of specialty care in addition to primary care. Find a doctor near you to begin your journey to better health.