With quarantine protocols in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, it can be tough to get out of the house, and leaving home has taken on a new weight of seriousness. While you should limit any non-essential trips outside of your home, it’s important that you maintain your regular checkup schedule. Checkups are vital for your personal health and can impact community health, which is incredibly vulnerable during the pandemic.

Call Ahead

When scheduling your checkup, talk to the receptionist about the Covid-19 protocols they have in place and weigh their procedures against your own comfort levels. Physicians are taking the coronavirus pandemic very seriously and most will have rigorous protocols in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in their office. However, if you feel that the protocols in place aren’t up to your standards, then consider finding a physician whose in-office precautions make you more comfortable.

Take Regular Covid-19 Precautions

When venturing out into any place, it’s important to wear your mask and diligently wash or sanitize your hands after touching shared surfaces. A lot of physician’s offices and care facilities are providing masks for anyone entering the building, so call ahead and inquire about the necessity of bringing your own mask. But the safest option is to be prepared and bring your own mask and sanitizer to the appointment. 

Request Virtual Patient Paperwork

Paperwork is a near certainty of any doctor’s visit and can take anywhere from 5-minutes to half an hour, depending upon the physician and the reason for the visit. When you’re scheduling your appointment, request digital versions of any of the patient forms that you need  to complete prior to seeing your physician. Most doctor’s offices and care facilities offer secure patient processing systems, which allow people to digitally fill out their paperwork. By filling out paperwork digitally, you can minimize contact and save yourself time that you would otherwise spend in a waiting room with other people.

Use Your Vehicle as the Waiting Room

As the Covid-19 pandemic affects operations everywhere, a lot of patient care facilities are allowing more flexibility in their normal intake procedures. One popular adjustment is letting patients wait to see their physician in their vehicle, instead of packing into a busy waiting room and being exposed to other patients. When scheduling your appointment, ask if this option is available. Waiting in your car is a great way to reduce the number of people you encounter during your visit and greatly reduces your odds of contracting Covid-19.

Consider a Virtual Checkup

Telemedicine and telehealth visits have greatly increased during the pandemic as people seek to limit their physical interactions with others. When scheduling your appointment, ask your physician if this is an option. Depending on the nature of your visit, your doctor may request to see you in person.

Talk to Your Physician about Covid-19

During your checkup, talk to your doctor about Covid-19 and how it has affected you. A checkup is a perfect opportunity to discuss any additional risks you may face due to underlying health issues. It’s also a great time to pressure-check your Covid-19 protocols. Your doctor will be able to help you understand why protocols are in place and provide you with unbiased advice on how to remain healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Stay Home if You Feel Sick

Right now, most care facilities are questioning patients about their recent health before allowing them to visit the doctor’s office. If you are sick or have felt sick over the last couple of weeks, then push your doctor’s visit to a later date and consider getting tested for Covid-19. Be honest about your health with your physician when booking your appointment and ask about getting tested for Covid-19, if necessary. By rescheduling your appointment to a later date, you can help keep our community safe by not exposing others to your illness.