MARCH 16th COVID 19 Update: Read below to learn about how we are prioritizing our patient and staff safety. We are closely monitoring the situation and our protocols will be updated using the latest guidance from CDC and public health authorities.
Dear Feminist Women’s Health Center Community,
We know you are concerned about the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a reproductive healthcare provider doing work through a reproductive justice lens, we want to assure you that we are taking this seriously and care deeply about the community we serve. The risk to the general public remains low; at the same time, we are taking special precautions to ensure our patients’ health and safety during this time.
Please do not postpone needed healthcare, especially abortion services, as delaying abortion care increases risks and costs. Please remember that our priority remains to ensure reproductive health care access to all who need it without judgement. We always want to simultaneously consider the health and well-being of our staff and patients and the potential delay of critical reproductive health care, like abortion.
If there is anything preventing you from making and keeping an appointment, please call 404-728-7900 and speak to one of our staff.
All of our abortion care appointments will be kept. Please call our staff for any concerns relating to STI testing, follow up appointments for prescriptions, and contraception. We will provide remote care whenever possible. We are taking these steps to ensure all patient and staff safety in accordance with updated guidelines from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the National Abortion Federation and we are actively monitoring this dynamic situation.
To ensure our patient’s health and safety from COVID-19, we have implemented additional protocols.
Patients and guests are initially screened for recent travel and symptoms when making an appointment over the phone, and again when they arrive at our facility, before entering the building. Staff and volunteers are being screened and monitored to help maintain the safest possible environment for everyone. We are posting signs with proper handwashing instructions and increasing our infection control protocols to limit the transmission of illness in our clinic spaces.
We are doing all we can to help keep our employees and patients safe and healthy.
There is a lot of false information being shared on social media and in some news. Here are fact-based guidelines for what you need to know, and what you can do:
What are the Symptoms of Coronavirus?
- Commonly reported symptoms include fever, cough or shortness of breath.
- Most people with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms. People who are at most risk for severe illness are those who have other health conditions, including chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system.
What Should I do if I Feel Sick?
- Stay home and call a doctor if you have cold or flu symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, fever or sore throat.
- If you do not feel better in 24-48 hours, seek care from your primary care doctor.
- If you need help getting medical care, call 311.
- Health care providers are not obligated to inquire into or report to federal immigration authorities about a patient’s immigration status. Receiving health care is not a public benefit identified by the public charge test.
How Can I Protect Myself and Others from Coronavirus?
- Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when sneezing or coughing, or cough into the crook of your arm. Do not use your hands.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Do not shake hands. Instead wave or elbow bump.
- Monitor your heath more closely than usual for cold or flu symptoms.
- Get the flu shot. The best prevention against the flu is vaccination. Flu is still widespread and active in Georgia – it’s not too late to get a flu shot. The flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it will help prevent the flu which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.
How can I address the potential for stigma and discrimination related to the spread of COVID-19?
- Coronavirus doesn’t recognize race, nationality, or ethnicity. Coronavirus (COVID-19) started in Wuhan, China. Having Chinese ancestry –– or any other ancestry –– does not make a person more vulnerable to this illness.
- Wearing a mask does not mean a person is ill. People wear masks for a variety of reasons, including to avoid pollen and air pollution and for cultural and social reasons. We should not judge someone for wearing a mask or assume they are sick. Many communities are already living with impacted immune systems and/or disabilities.
- Speak up if you hear, see, or read discriminatory comments. Correct false information and remind the person that prejudiced language and actions make us all less safe.
- Show compassion and support for those most closely impacted. Listen to, acknowledge and, with permission, share the stories of people experiencing stigma, along with a message that oppression is not acceptable in our community. Supplies, accessibility, and convenience in healthcare should not be a privilege.
We know things may feel uncertain and scary right now. But please know that we are all doing the best we can to care for ourselves and each other as we learn more. Feminist Women’s Health Care is committed to our vision of reproductive justice for all, including the human right to health and well being.
Kwajelyn J. Jackson