Our Commitment During COVID-19
Patient Update - March 8, 2021
A Note from our Director of Patient Experience
Last week, the Governor of Texas announced he was lifting masking requirements and capacity restrictions for businesses in Texas. This news came as a surprise to most and we wanted to let you know how we plan to approach these changes.
As of now, we will not lift the masking requirements that we put in place when COVID started in 2020, nor will we change the screening policies that we currently operate under. There is nothing we want more than to fully return to normal, but we must prioritize the health and safety of our patients, staff and physicians.
We will continue to follow the recommendations from the CDC and continue to require masks, temperature checks, and social distancing for patients and staff at all Austin Retina locations.
We will communicate with you clearly if we make a decision to change our policies and we appreciate your support.
On a related note, all of our physicians and many of our clinical staff have been fully vaccinated. As COVID vaccines become more available, we are encouraging our staff to get the vaccine in order to protect themselves, their loved ones, and our patients. As always, if you have additional questions or concerns, please email me directly: [email protected]
Patient Update - March 4, 2021
Austin Retina Patients,
Although there is no longer a statewide mask order effective Tuesday, March 10, 2021, Austin Retina along with the CDC and Texas Medical Board, believe it is important that masks be worn until more Texans have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. All employees, patients, and guests entering our offices will be required to wear masks at all Austin Retina locations and we will continue to temperature check, and socially distance where possible. As an essential service provider during the pandemic, we remain focused on the health and safety of our patients and our staff and look forward to seeing you soon.
Patient Update - September 25, 2020
We are hopeful that with the overall decrease in COVID-19 cases and the rapid vaccine progress, that as a country, we are on the downhill side of this pandemic. At the same time, we know that COVID-19 is still very daunting and want to assure you that we have not lessened our safety protocols and will continue to screen everyone who enters our facilities. While we aim to maintain social distancing, we kindly ask that you check-in for your appointment no more than five minutes before your scheduled appointment time and refrain from bringing any companions with you unless medically necessary. With many postponed appointments at the beginning of the pandemic now coming into fruition, we ask for your grace and patience with our staff and your physician as we work to get everyone seen in a timely manner. Thank you for trusting us with your vision and please know, we are committed to delivering excellent retina care, so rest assured, you will be treated with the upmost respect and dignity.
Patient Update - July 28, 2020
Austin Retina Patients,
We hope that you and your families continue to stay well and safe during these unprecedented times. As we continue to learn about COVID-19 and adjust accordingly, we are happy to announce we are back to treating patients at all offices and look forward to seeing you again very soon!
Because we place a priority on your health, as well as the health of our staff, physicians, and other patients, Austin Retina would like to remind all patients to remain home if you are experiencing any of the following COVID 19-related symptoms. We will either reschedule your in-person appointment or convert it to a telehealth appointment by phone, mobile device or computer:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose (non-allergy related)
- Nausea or vomiting
Office Visit Protocols
To ensure that your visit to our offices is safe, Austin Retina continues to take the following precautions:
Regular monitoring and screening of staff for symptoms of COVID-19, including daily, onsite temperature measurement of both staff and patients. Anyone with a temperature above 99.7 will not be permitted to enter our offices. Additionally, we are disinfecting all common areas and exam rooms throughout the day. We kindly ask that you please be transparent about your recent personal or household exposures, pre-existing conditions, and overall state of well-being.
Distancing of 6 feet or more between individuals, except when close contact with providers is required to prepare a patient for a procedure or conduct a physical exam. Austin Retina clinics and office spaces have been redesigned to accommodate social distancing. If our patient-designated office areas become too crowded, patients will be advised to wait in their cars until their appointment time.
All Austin Retina employees, patients and visitors must wear a protective face mask at all times and adhere to proper hand hygiene. Only patients needing help with mobility should bring a companion to their visit.
Austin Retina will continue to communicate clearly as we establish together a "new normal" in a post-COVID world. Thank you in advance for your cooperation, support, and efforts to help keep our clinics clean and safe.
Patient Update - March 16, 2020
Dear Austin Retina patients and family,
We hope this communication finds you safe in the comfort of your home enjoying those you love during the current COVID-19 pandemic. To those who have loved ones affected by this pandemic, we hold you and yours in our thoughts. The potential spread of the virus reminds us how connected we are to one another. Those connections will hopefully inspire each of us to be our better selves during this trying time. We, at Austin Retina, are laser focused on continuing our delivery of compassionate and friendly care.
This communication is to reassure you that we are taking recommended precautions to make our office environment safe for you on your visit. We have initiated several directives that will serve to reduce your risks. From rescheduling some patients to changing our protocols, we are proactively preparing.
We consider our delivery of healthcare a collaboration between you and the Austin Retina Team. To that end we appreciate your patience during this unprecedented time. Our staff is busy making changes in the way we work to reduce everyone’s risk of exposure.
As a result of the state of emergency, you might be receiving a telephone call from our office to reschedule a visit or to discuss your current visual symptoms to determine when you should be seen. Furthermore, the procedures at check in may be a little different as well. The staff may be wearing masks to protect everyone from passing germs among other safe guards.
We are constantly monitoring the COVID-19 guidelines and will be making changes as we deem appropriate to ensure your timely care. If need be, you might be receiving messages from our leadership team regarding new strategies to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your vision remains of paramount importance to us so rest assured, we will continue to deliver excellence in retina care through this crisis.
On behalf of the doctors of Austin Retina, we remain at your service,
Jose Agustin Martinez, M.D.
Stephanie Collins Mangham, MBA
Chief Operating Officer