Covid-19 Update & Safety Protocols

**Updated 2/25/21

Dear Dutton Family Care Patients,

We have always been a patient-centered practice with a focus on putting our patients first. As a result, we must take any and all precautions necessary to ensure the safety of our patients, and our staff, during the coronavirus pandemic. As of 1/15/21, all of our employees have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Please continue reading for updates on our office procedures:

COVID-19 Vaccination

**Due to state-wide shortages, COVID-19 vaccine scheduling at the MelroseWakefield Hospital vaccination clinic is temporarily paused. We do not know when scheduling will re-start, so please continue to check our website for more information.

**Patients who are aged 65+ OR patients with 2+ certain medical conditions are now eligible to receive the vaccine and should visit www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine or call 211 to schedule an appointment at a state-run vaccine site.

Dutton Family Care has NOT yet received the COVID-19 vaccine to distribute to the general public. Please click here to read more about the governor’s timeline and to see when you will be eligible to receive the vaccine. Please be patient, as we are receiving new information every day and we have no exact date or timeline of when or if we will be able to begin distributing the vaccine at our office. There is NO list for vaccination at our practice, as we must adhere to the governor’s prioritization schedule. We will update the website with more information as we receive it. If you are able to receive the vaccine elsewhere, do not wait for us. Everyone should get vaccinated as soon as they can.

Appointments

Our office is currently operating on a limited schedule: Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm for telemedicine and some in-office appointments. Our providers prefer telemedicine visits to limit exposure and are trained to handle most issues via video chat. In-office appointments may be scheduled if the provider deems it absolutely necessary, or if the patient does not have telemedicine capabilities. Please call the office to schedule appointments.

In-office Visits

If you are visiting our office for an appointment during the COVID-19 pandemic, please adhere to the following protocol:

  • You MUST be pre-screened for COVID-19 before entering our office. This involves answering a questionnaire over their phone when we confirm your appointment. If you are experiencing ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 (respiratory symptoms, cough, fever, chills, body aches, GI complaints, fatigue, etc.) you will not be permitted into the office and you must do a telemedicine appointment.
  • Please attend your appointment alone unless it is absolutely necessary that you bring a guardian/companion.
  • Masks are required at all times unless a provider or medical assistant asks you to remove it.
  • When you arrive for your visit, please come up to the door and knock and we will permit you to wait in the waiting room. We will ensure that you do not come in contact with other patients during your visit.
  • If you are a healthcare worker and you may come in contact with COVID-19 patients at your workplace, you will not be permitted into the office and you must do a telemedicine appointment.
  • After your visit, you will be directed to leave. If you need to schedule any follow up appointments or physicals, you will need to call the office to do so.

What to do if you suspect you have or have been exposed to COVID-19

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (respiratory symptoms, cough, fever, chills, body aches, GI complaints, fatigue) call the office to set up a telemedicine appointment with one of the providers. The provider will determine if you are eligible for testing and will order one if necessary. If the provider orders you a test, it will be a drive-thru test at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Medford.

If you suspect that you have been exposed to COVID-19, call the office to set up a telemedicine appointment with one of the providers. The provider will determine if any testing is needed.

If you need COVID-19 testing for travel, school, or return-to-work purposes, please call a pharmacy or urgent care. Due to the limited number of tests, we are only permitted to send patients for testing through the MelroseWakefield Hospital System if the patient is experiencing symptoms or has been exposed.

In the meantime, please be sure to isolate yourself from friends, family, and coworkers until a provider directs you otherwise.

As always, thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented time.

Dutton Family Care Associates