To all of our Valued Patients,
Depending on where you live, many areas of the United States have issued a “stay at home” or “shelter in place” order. For most of us it’s the first time we’ve experienced something like this so what does this actually mean?
It means that all but essential services and businesses are being required to close. Gas stations, grocery stores, and critical industries will remain open. People were urged not to hoard items from grocery stores as there is no food shortage. Takeout and delivery restaurant orders will still be permitted. Those businesses permitted to remain in operation must practice social distancing. Residents will still be permitted to make trips in order to get groceries and other essential tasks, including those for work functions. People can still go outside in order to exercise and get fresh air so long as they maintain a safe distance from others.
During this time Empower Physical Therapy will remain open. This includes Empower Physical Therapy locations in Arizona, CoasTherapy locations in California, Affiliated Therapy Services in Louisiana, and Orthopedic Physical Therapy and Amistad Physical Therapy in Texas.
Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy are considered “Essential Businesses” and will continue to operate during a Shelter in Place Order. Please know that a memorandum was issued on March 19, 2020 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security which states: “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.” The guidance goes on to further define the “essential infrastructure workers” to include “physical and occupational therapists and assistants”. Their advice to our industry is to strive to stay open and treat the patient population during this pandemic. Therefore, we believe that it is our duty to try to meet this guidance and continue to care for our patients’ physical and occupational therapy needs during this time of crisis.
Since our clinic and its staff are included in the specific definition of “essential” healthcare businesses that should strive to stay open and care for patients, we intend to do just that. We are able to practice within the recommended CDC guidelines and we are following local government mandates. We are here to assist in keeping people healthy; physical and occupational therapists are essential in flattening the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. We play a key role in keeping as many people as we can out of emergency rooms, physician offices, and hospitals. This will not only free up the medical teams to treat those impacted by COVID-19, but also limit the exposure of those seeking care for treatment that a physical or occupational therapist can provide. For those patients who do not need surgery at this time, or if surgery has been delayed, we are here and ready to help get you better. The CDC has listed Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy clinics as low risk facilities due to the ability to prevent close contact by limiting each person in the facility to at minimum a 6-foot distance to each other.
Here are the steps we are taking to help to prevent infection and the limit spread of the virus.
During this time, we are asking for Patients to help us in maintaining a safe environment.
Thank you for allowing us to continue to help you return to your normal level of function and for helping to keep our facilities safe for all who are in attendance.