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Category: COVID-19

CaroMont Health Continues 'Responsible Restart' for Procedures and Appointments

GASTONIA, NC – Following a brief pause in non-time sensitive and non-emergent procedures due to the early ripples of COVID-19, CaroMont Health today announced all elective procedures and surgeries will resume on Monday, May 18. Additionally, all CaroMont Health medical offices are actively rescheduling appointments that may have been postponed, including sick visits, well checks and annual physicals. While COVID-19 remains a concern across the country, the health system is taking steps to ensure strict safety protocols are in place in all facilities and clinics.

“Our restart of services and procedures has been guided by what is best for the care and safety of patients, medical and nursing staff, and employees,” said Dr. Todd Davis, Chief Medical Officer for CaroMont Health. “Since COVID-19 became a concern in our community, patients who required urgent and emergent procedures have received treatment, and we have been working to implement appropriate safety protocols in anticipation of restarting all procedures. We have been slightly more conservative than other health systems in our phasing, but we felt it was important to take a very measured approach that allowed members of our medical staff to guide the process.”

Hospital and Outpatient Procedures and Surgeries

Using guidance from the American College of Surgeons, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CaroMont Health has utilized a phased approach to responsibly restarting procedures at CaroMont Regional Medical Center and CaroMont Specialty Surgery. This phasing has not only helped prioritize patients whose procedures may have been postponed over the last 30 days, but it has ensured the implementation of critical safety protocols, including pre-procedure COVID-19 testing and adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), to protect patients and healthcare staff.

The rescheduling of endoscopy procedures, at the hospital and at CaroMont Endoscopy Center, and imaging services at all CaroMont Imaging locations in Gastonia and Belmont, have also resumed.

Medical Offices

CaroMont Health’s network of more than 50 primary and specialty care offices has also started rescheduling appointments and accepting new appointments in all offices. Virtual visits and telehealth options continue to be available and encouraged for new and existing patients. Patients may contact their doctor’s office to book new appointments and reschedule postponed appointments. Patients who suspect that they have or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or have symptoms of the virus (fever, cough, shortness of breath) should continue to call the office or urgent care location prior to going in.

“Virtual visits have been very popular during this time, and we expect those will remain a convenient and preferable option for many patients” explained Dr. Costa Andreou, Executive Vice President for CaroMont Medical Group. “However, there are certain circumstances where being seen by your physician or provider inside the clinic is critical for your health and even your peace of mind. We want our patients to feel safe and comfortable when they are inside our clinics, so we have implemented extensive safety measures to limit contact with others and ensure surfaces are cleaned and sanitized.”

New Safety Measures

Patients being seen in any CaroMont Health facility can expect to experience new safety measures including health and temperature screening prior to entering the building, occupancy limitations in lobbies and waiting areas, and the requirement that all patients and visitors wear masks or face coverings. Likewise, all CaroMont Health employees and medical staff are required to complete daily health and temperature screening and wear masks, regardless of their role. Visitor restrictions remain in place at all CaroMont Health locations and facilities.

“COVID-19 will likely continue to be a public health concern for many, many months,” said Dr. Davis. “We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our approach as necessary to ensure patients get the care they need in the safest possible environment.”