COVID-19 Update: Fertility care continues for unaffected patients 19 March 2020
As the news about novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, it is very reasonable to consider whether this is the right time to be embarking on fertility treatment.
Many of the long-term effects of COVID-19 are still not clear. The number of pregnant women who have contracted COVID-19 and have subsequently delivered is small. The results are reassuring, including no evidence of mother-to-baby transmission during pregnancy. Currently available evidence does not suggest serious consequences for young children or women in pregnancy. However, as the situation is still emerging, these results require cautious optimism.
At the time of writing, our advice is that unaffected and low risk patients going through assisted reproduction (such as IVF) will not be at any higher risk of complications than anyone else in the population.
Clearly, if a woman or her family acquire COVID-19 or are exposed to it, the situation changes. It is important to discuss this with your fertility specialist. If you have to withdraw from fertility treatment because of an actual or suspected COVID-19 exposure before the egg collection, NO out of pocket costs will be charged by Virtus Fertility Centre.
What are we doing to protect your safety when you visit Virtus Fertility Centre?
We are asking anyone who falls into the following categories, not to come into the clinic and seek further medical advice. If in doubt, please talk to our staff. We are here to help.
- Active flu like symptoms
- Recent direct contact with proven COVID-19 case
- Recent return from overseas travel
We’re ensuring our teams maintain high hygiene standards, following all infection control protocols including: hand sanitisation before and after contact with our patients; following cough etiquette by maintaining the 1.5 metre rule of distance, except when carrying out an essential medical procedure (such as taking blood); and washing down all surfaces between patients with disinfectants.
Our staff will be avoiding direct physical contact with patients such as handshakes. We do appreciate how hard this is, not to be able to have the warmth of physical support when you are going through the emotional journey of IVF but it is important for your safety.
For safety reasons, we have closed our breakfast bar and withdrawn the magazines from our waiting rooms. If any patient or visitor presents as unwell, with fever, or with flu-like symptoms, they will be provided with a face mask, hand sanitiser and moved away from other patients.
We request that patients entering our facilities be accompanied by or picked up by only one adult to minimise risk to other patients and staff.
If you are unwell please don’t come in to the clinic, but call us on 6460 4555 and we will guide you how to manage your care.
We are here to support you during your fertility care. Please continue to visit our website for the most up to date advice before you attend the clinic.
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person. Good hygiene can prevent infection.
Symptoms of coronavirus
It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of coronavirus to appear.
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a fever (temperature above normal); cough; shortness of breath; breathing difficulties.
- If you have these symptoms; or have travelled overseas in the last 2 weeks and/or been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 2 weeks or is suspected of having COVID -19 you may be at risk.
Here are some steps to protect yourself from COVID-19
Clean your hands regularly
- after coughing or sneezing
- after toilet use
- before eating
- before and after preparing food
- if you are in contact with a sick person, especially those with respiratory symptoms
- if your hands are dirty
Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and dispose of the tissue appropriately and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Importantly – stay at home if you’re feeling unwell and call the clinic.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
- Avoid shaking hands, hugging or kissing upon greeting colleagues, friends or family.
Anyone who knows they have been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days and has symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, fever) should:
- isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room, with a phone,
- call their GP, or emergency department.
Close contact is defined as requiring:
- greater than 15 minutes face-to-face contact in any setting with a confirmed case in the period extending from 24 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed case, or
- sharing of a closed space with a confirmed case for a prolonged period (e.g. more than 2 hours) in the period extending from 24 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed case.
When you may need to be tested for coronavirus
If your doctor thinks that you need a test for coronavirus, they will tell you where the test will be done. They will also tell you when to expect your results.
How coronavirus is spread?
Coronavirus is spread in sneeze or cough droplets. You could get the virus if you:
- come into close contact with someone who has the virus and is coughing or sneezing; or
- touch surfaces that someone who has the virus has coughed or sneezed on.