IMPORTANT PATIENT UPDATE – WHAT ABOUT MASKS?

Hello to all of our patients at Green Apple Health Care. This is another update on the improvements we have been working on to serve our patients better. 

In this update we will be clarifying the requirement for masks and the patient screening we are required to do before and when patients arrive at the clinic. 

In order to re-open on May 6th, the government of Alberta required certain screening measures and the implementation of new procedures. When we reopened, we sent those requirements in our announcement that we were able to re-open to our patients. This is simply a reminder and update. 

As a reminder, we have to screen our patients before and when they come into the office. We also have to provide sanitizer, sanitize between patients, maintain 2m physical distancing or wear masks. 

We can see patients for any appointments like consultations or treatments in-office since we were able to reopen on May 6th, and we really love seeing our patients in person. We have certain restrictions in place as we have to do prescreening. A link to our screening questionnaires is on the new reminder emails, so please fill it in if your appointment is in person. We ask the same questions when you arrive, and we will take your temperature with our contactless digital thermometers. Dr. Nowazek will be wearing a mask, as will most of our staff. 

The questions we are required to ask are:

  1. Have you travelled outside of the country in the past 14 days?
  2. Do you have any symptoms of COVID19 or worsening of symptoms of allergies?
  3. Have you been in direct contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID19? 

These questions are designed to determine the risk potential of your coming into the clinic. If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, we may not be able to see you in person.

The most frequently asked question from our patients lately has been about masks. Until August 1st the staff and doctors at the clinic were the only ones required to wear masks; our patients were not required to wear masks until now. As of August 1, 2020, the municipal government of Edmonton has made it a requirement that everyone wear masks in public indoor places including all businesses in Edmonton. That means that as of now, everyone is supposed to wear a mask when they come in to the clinic. 

There are possible exemptions including:

  • Children under two
  • Those who are unable to place, use, or remove a face covering without assistance
  • Those with mental or physical concerns or limitations, or any other protected ground under the Alberta Human Rights Act that prevent them from wearing a face covering
  • Eating or drinking while seated in designated spaces or as part of a religious or spiritual ceremony (you are still supposed to wear it in a Church, just not while receiving something by mouth like communion). 
  • Engaging in water activities or physical exercise
  • Providing assistance or care to someone with a disability who would be hindered if the caregiver is wearing a face covering
  • Engaging in services that require removal of the face covering (e.g., having a passport photo taken or dental work, or personal care services involving the face)

There are certain places that are exempt from the mask wearing requirements:

  • schools
  • health care facilities (please note we do not know if this includes health clinics like Green Apple Health Care, we are checking into this)
  • hospitals
  • child care facilities
  • employee-only spaces where physical barriers have been installed between the employee and patrons
  • condominium/apartment indoor shared spaces are not considered accessible to the public and are therefore exempt

The city of Edmonton has also said that we still need to maintain 2m physical distancing and even if we can maintain 2m physical distancing, masks are still required. They have also stated that enforcement is not up to the business or its staff:

“It’s up to your business to decide if you wish to enforce mask wearing in your premises. As part of the community effort we encourage you to help educate on the requirement for masks if you choose. You and your employees are not expected to enforce the bylaw​ or to have negative interactions with customers. If a customer becomes confrontational, call 911. Proof is not required if someone claims an exemption. Business owners may also sell or provide masks to customers if they choose.”

With this information now available for review on the City of Edmonton’s mask requirement webpage, we have taken the position at Green Apple Health Care that we are required to ask our patients who come to the clinic in person to wear a mask. 

We will not deny service to anyone who forgets their mask or claims an exemption (as per above, proof is not required, we will simply note you have claimed an exemption in your file), and if a patient wants a mask, we have masks for sale for $1 (while supplies last). 

We have found that the majority of the increased safety measures have not been intrusive, and we are making sure that patients are inconvenienced as little as possible. We work hard to maintain patient care standards and safety for everyone. 

We are making improvements to serve you better and are really excited about what we will have to offer starting in September.

We are open and available to provide all appointment types and treatments for our patients. All current patients can book repeat consultations, micro-vitamin injections, IV treatments and regenerative injections with ONLINE BOOKING or by calling our office. And now we have secure video consultation permanently available for any patient who would like it and it’s also available via ONLINE BOOKING

We are also developing new exciting treatment options that we hope to have available in the fall starting in September. Stay tuned for more information about that.

We really want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this time. Thank you all for being patients of Green Apple Health Care. Our aim is to serve you better, and we strive to go above and beyond your expectations to do everything we can to improve your health.

More updates will be coming soon!

Yours in Health,

Dr. Michael Nowazek, BSc, ND

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