Thank you for all that you’re doing to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. We recognize the immense personal sacrifices that everyone has made during this time to respond to the pandemic. We miss seeing our team in the office each day, we miss seeing you, and we miss the opportunity to share in the highs (and lows) of supporting your fertility journey.
Fortunately, in Vancouver it seems that we are winning in our goal to flatten the curve. We greatly appreciate the support we received from so many of you regarding our decision to pause beginning new fertility treatment cycles, and today, we are happy to share that we will be re-initiating egg retrieval cycle starts beginning the first week in June. We plan to start slowly and will be prioritizing the most time sensitive cases first (egg retrievals for patients over age 38 or unique circumstances). Over the next few weeks, we will begin to re-initiate cycle starts for additional patients, even if the shelter in place ordinance is extended. This will include frozen embryo transfer (FET) and IUI cycles beginning in mid-June.
The entire team at Genesis is passionate about providing the highest caliber of fertility care, and we look forward to continuing to advance our mission to create families with heart and science.
How has the situation changed?
When we suspended the initiation of new treatment cycles, we did so because we felt it was our social responsibility to prevent any undue burden on our healthcare system, not because of data suggesting that it was unsafe to pursue treatment or conceive. Additionally, we faced tremendous uncertainty around how the rate of infection would progress in British Columbia. Fortunately, early actions have proven effective at managing community transmission, and our hospitals and critical care centers are not under stress.
As a standalone private practice (not part of a larger hospital), we can operate without diverting needed resources like personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, or skilled staff from the pandemic response at a larger hospital system.
So, is it safe to pursue treatment?
It is safe to conceive despite the pandemic, but there are important considerations for any person or couple considering pregnancy right now. At this time, still very little is known about the SARS-Cov2 virus, particularly related to its effect on pregnant women and infants, but there are currently no recommendations specific to pregnant women regarding the evaluation or management of COVID-19.
However, it is important to consider the overall healthcare system and recognize that prenatal care visits and overall access to health services will be more limited during this pandemic.
For many of our patients, especially those women over the age of 38 or with diminished ovarian reserve, we recognize that every month counts. Therefore, we will be prioritizing restarting egg retrieval cycles for our patients in these categories. At this time, we will not yet be re-initiating embryo transfer cycles.
What does this mean for me?
We greatly appreciate your continued support and patience as we make every effort to resume clinic operations as safely and as seamlessly as possible. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we are also updating our precautionary measures to help keep our patients, providers, and staff healthy and safe.
Temperature Check: If you are scheduled to come into any of our clinic locations for an appointment, we ask that you take your temperature before you arrive. If you have a fever >100.0⁰F, please let your care team know and do not come into the office. We are also checking our employees’ temperatures at the beginning and end of their shifts. Anyone with an elevated temperature will be sent home.
Personal Protective Equipment: Please bring your own mask to all appointments. Masks help protect you and are mandatory for treatment and workers at essential businesses. For the safety of our patients and our team, we’re requiring all Genesis team members to wear masks in all care settings, at all times.
Social Distancing: As we resume operations, we will do so at a reduced capacity. We have extended appointment times to minimize any unnecessary in-person interaction between patients. We will limit the number of patients in the waiting areas at any given time to accommodate the recommended six feet of physical distancing, and we are asking for all patients to avoid bringing guests (including partners) to monitoring visits.
Telehealth: We will continue to rely on video and teleconferencing to complete initial consultations as well as any appointments that do not require an ultrasound, bloodwork, or a surgical procedure.
We are doing everything in our power to keep both our patients and staff healthy, safe, and advancing towards their goals. Thank you for everything – we’re here for you and look forward to resuming operations so that we can continue to help create families with heart and science.
Your Team at Genesis