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During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Skip the Home Improvement Projects and Extreme Sports

March 23, 2020
by Lisa Lattanza

The past week has been stressful for the community, families, physicians and healthcare workers. We are all trying to stay well and keep safe. Kids are out of school and home unexpectedly, people are learning to work remotely for the first time, and we’re all being asked to practice social distancing. 

With extra time at home it might seem like a good time to start a home improvement project, take up a new sport, or clean the gutters. However, these things can be inherently dangerous.

As always, we want people to avoid injury and getting hurt, but especially in this time of crisis we ask everyone to be even more careful. Now is not the time to end up in the emergency room with a broken bone or worse if it can be avoided. We want to lessen the load on our emergency room doctors as well as keep you safe from exposure. 

However, we are still here to help you should you become injured and need orthopaedic care. We will do this in a safe environment at the Yale Orthopaedics Urgent Care Clinic at 800 Howard Street in New Haven. We have a team of specialists that can take care of all of your urgent orthopaedic needs. You can reach us for an urgent appointment at 1-877-YALEMDs. If you have a non-urgent orthopaedic problem we are here for that too and can help you with a telephone consultation or telehealth appointment.

We also want you to know that a week ago the Surgeon General and the American College of Surgeons recommended postponing all elective surgeries for at least four weeks which we have done. This helps in two ways: it promotes social distancing leading to less transmission of the virus but also helps to save vital and scarce protective equipment (masks, gowns, gloves and face shields) for our frontline healthcare workers. Rest assured that we will resume taking care of elective surgeries as soon as it is safe to do so.

We need to work as a team to keep everyone safe and beat this pandemic. We are here for you if you need us.

What can you do to help?

First, take care of yourself: This is a time to practice self-care to help combat stress and anxiety so make sure to get enough rest, eat nutritious meals, and get some light exercise everyday. It’s OK to be outside as long as you practice social distancing. We know that accidents and injuries do happen and if you do need medical attention, we are here to help our community whenever you need us.

 If you feel sick or hurt yourself, call the COVID-19 hotline set up by Yale New Haven Health (1-833-ASK-YNHH). They will be able to direct you to the appropriate physician and location. 

Because of the nationwide shortage of equipment, people can help with donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to their local hospital. Yale New Haven Hospital is in need of disposable head covers/caps, disposable gowns, disposable gloves, N95 respirator face masks, Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs), disposable face masks, face-shields/goggles, coveralls/scrubs, shoe-covers, disinfection wipes & liquids and general purpose hand cleansers. All items should be in original unopened packaging. The hospital asks that donors submit donation offers to the Yale New Haven Health System at DonationsPPE@ynhh.org with contact information for hospital staff to respond to.

 Donate blood: There is a shortage of blood products during a time like this, and doctors on the front line can always use the support. Visit redcross.org to find a blood donation center near you and to see if you are eligible to donate.

We are all in this together. 

Submitted by Matt O'Rourke on March 23, 2020