Coronavirus Updates

as of February 28, 2022

Updated Visitor and Safety Guidelines at FOWH

  1. NST (non-stress tests) are in a shared room so we will continue to restrict visitors (except when needed for support or assistance).
  2. For all other appointments, ONE visitor (one adult or one child) is allowed.
  3. Everyone must wear a mask at all times in the office.
  4. We are NOT asking patients or visitors if they are vaccinated. This policy applies to all patients and guests.
  5. Safety requirements include mandatory mask-wearing for patients, visitors and staff; use of hand sanitizers; waiting room spacing (using the text message system); and others.

At Fair Oaks Women’s Health, we have implemented policies to reduce the number of medical appointments, to minimize people in our waiting room and to ensure that the office is clean, hygienic and safe for our patients and staff.

Restrictions and safety practices are in effect. All patients, guests, and staff are expected to wear a mask at all times while in the office. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Texting for your Appt.

Here is how our text system works (see images below):

  1. The day before a Tuesday to Friday appt. you will receive a text message. For a Monday appt. the text will be sent the Friday before.
  2. When you arrive for your appt. and park, reply to the text with the word "ARRIVED" and also which PROVIDER you are seeing.
  3. Note that the signal in the parking structure is sometimes weak, especially in the basement levels. If we do not reply within 5 minutes, please call us at (626) 304-2626 to let us know you have arrived.
  4. We will send you a text which asks you to wait in your car (or nearby the office) until we send "READY".
  5. When we send "READY", please make your way to the waiting room. There may still be a brief wait to see the Provider.

Please do not use the texting system for other messages to us. Thank you for your understanding. This system will help us to keep the occupancy of the waiting room low so people can maintain proper social distancing.

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First Text (Tues-Fri Appt)

Before your appt. you will receive this text message:

"from FOWH: For your appt. tomorrow, please wait in your vehicle upon arrival. Reply to this text with "ARRIVED" and also WHICH PROVIDER you are seeing. Only reply to this text message. Thank you."

When you arrive for your appt. and park, please reply to the text with the word "ARRIVED" and tell us which provider you are seeing. Thank you.

Note that the signal in the parking structure is sometimes weak. If we do not reply within 5 minutes, please call us at (626) 304-2626 to let us know you have arrived.

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First Text (Monday Appt)

For a Monday appt. this text message will be sent the Friday before:

"from FOWH: For your appt. Monday, please wait in your vehicle upon arrival. Reply to this text with "ARRIVED" and also WHICH PROVIDER you are seeing. Only reply to this text message. Thank you."

When you arrive for your appt. and park, please reply to the text with the word "ARRIVED" and tell us which provider you are seeing. Thank you.

Note that the signal in the parking structure is sometimes weak. If we do not reply within 5 minutes, please call us at (626) 304-2626 to let us know you have arrived.

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Second Text

When we see the ARRIVED text (or when you call us) we will respond with:

"Thank you for your reply. After "READY" is received, please head up to our waiting room. There may still be a brief wait for the Provider. Thank you."

Do not come to the office just yet. Please wait for the READY text. This helps to minimize crowding in the waiting room.

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READY TEXT - Come on Up

When it's time to come to the waiting room we will send:

"We are READY. Please head up to the waiting room now. There may still be a brief wait for the Provider. Thank you."

When you get this text, please make your way to the waiting room. There may still be a brief wait for the Provider. Thank you for helping us minimize the number of people in our waiting room.

COVID Vaccine and Pregnancy, Breastfeeding

According to the CDC, "COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant. If you are pregnant, you might want to have a conversation with your healthcare provider about COVID-19 vaccination. While such a conversation might be helpful, it is not required before vaccination. You can receive a COVID-19 vaccine without any additional documentation from your healthcare provider."

We are often asked our views on the above and YES we support the use of COVID-19 vaccine for these situations.

Exceptions to this would include people with a history of anaphylaxis to other vaccines, those who have recently tested positive for COVID, people who have recently received a COVID antibody infusion treatment, and certain other medical conditions. Please contact us if you are not sure if you are a candidate for a COVID vaccine.

Absent contraindications, pregnant and lactating women who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson) should be allowed to receive it without any delays or additional discussion with any of our doctors. Many women's health and other major medical organizations support this position. See Resources Below.

The risks of delaying the vaccine or not getting the vaccine - even while pregnant or breastfeeding - are far greater than the potential risks of the vaccines themselves.

Do you need a doctor's note to get a COVID-19 vaccine? Click here for the download page.

***RESOURCES***

12/27/21: Click here for our newsletter for our OB patients who are sick with COVID, have tested positive, or were exposed...

10/7/21: COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. (CDC)

9/29/21: Urgent Alert from the CDC. CDC strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccination either before or during pregnancy because the benefits of vaccination outweigh known or potential risks.

9/24/21: ACOG - Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine while I’m pregnant?

8/24/21: Pfizer-BioNTECH COVID-19 Vaccine receives full FDA Approval

7/30/21: ACOG and SMFM Recommend COVID-19 Vaccination for Pregnant Women. Joint Statement.

7/30/21: COVID-19 Vaccination if You Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding. ACOG.

4/7/21: Mother-to-Baby: If you would like to speak to someone about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, please contact MotherToBaby. Experts are available to answer questions in English or Spanish by phone or chat. The free and confidential service is available Monday–Friday 8am–5pm (local time). Call 1-866-626-6847.

4/3/21 - ACOG PODCAST: Interview with Sarah Carroll, ACOG’s Director of Immunization, where we discuss ACOG’s official position on vaccinating pregnant and breastfeeding women. Listen to it here:

3/6/21: HealthDay News: The sooner a pregnant woman gets a COVID-19 vaccine, the more likely she is to transfer protective antibodies to her baby, a new, small study suggests. Read More here:

3/26/21 - CNN: Study says Covid-19 vaccines provide protection for pregnant and lactating women -- and their newborns. Read More here:

3/25/21: - Stat: Shattering the infertility myth: What we know about Covid-19 vaccines and pregnancy. Read More here:

3/17/21 - CDPH: On March 15, people with certain significant, high-risk medical conditions or disabilities will become eligible for vaccines statewide, to help save the lives of people who are at high-risk of death and severe complications from COVID-19. This includes pregnancy. Read More here:

2/3/21 - From the ACOG Maternal Immunization Task Force: "All pregnant individuals who choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine must be allowed to do so in alignment with their state and local vaccination allocation plan. This includes the estimated 330,000 health care workers who are pregnant and should be allowed to receive the vaccine as part of the first phase of vaccine distribution plans. Reports of pregnant individuals being refused vaccination are concerning." Read more here...

References:

COVID-19 Vaccine and Influenza Vaccine

OK to GET FLU SHOT and COVID-19 VACCINE at SAME TIME

COVID-19 vaccines currently approved or authorized in the US may be administered without regards to timing with other vaccines. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine on the same day.

Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged 6 months and older who do not have contraindications. Influenza vaccination is particularly important this year to help maintain our hospital capacity, to reduce the likelihood of flu-like illness that may be confused with COVID-19, and to decrease influenza/SARS-CoV-2 virus coinfection. Providers are encouraged to start vaccinating patients against influenza now.

See CDC Coadministration of COVID-19 vaccines with other vaccines.

From the AMA: What to know about coadministration of flu and COVID-19 vaccines (9/25/21).

MESSAGE ABOUT COVID-19 VACCINE AND MAMMOGRAMS

Lymph nodes in the underarms of people who were recently vaccinated for COVID-19 sometimes become enlarged and tender. This is an expected response as our bodies begin to develop antibodies to the vaccination. The underarm of the arm getting the vaccine is more likely to form swollen lymph nodes, which might appear days or sometimes weeks after receiving the vaccine.

As a result, we recommend scheduling your annual mammogram either before or at least 6 weeks after completion of COVID-19 vaccination to reduce the need for additional testing.*

This recommendation is for people who do not have any breast symptoms. If you are having any problems with your breasts, you should not delay your planned mammogram.

The Society of Breast Imaging has recommended that women undergo a mammogram screening either before receiving a COVID-19 vaccine or wait to get their breasts imaged anywhere from four to six weeks after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine Can Cause ‘False Positives’ on Breast Cancer Mammograms

*Some experts disagree:

Should I reschedule my mammogram if I recently received the COVID-19 vaccine? Mayo Clinic.

TeleHealth

TeleHealth is available by patient request, but the number of appts. is limited. Our TeleHealth is integrated into our athena EMR software system.

When you book a TeleHealth appt., you will receive a link from athena. Save that link until your appt. time and then click the link and you will enter our digital "waiting room." The Provider will be notified. If you lose the link, call us and we can send a new one anytime.

The video chat works very well on iPhone (7 or up) or Android cell phones. If using a PC, you need a webcam, speaker and microphone, and Google Chrome browser.

We can look at a wound or a skin problem, and of course it's nice to speak face-to-face for any medical interaction with a patient. TeleHealth is for Established FOWH patients only. We cannot do an annual well-woman exam via TeleHealth and we are not able to use TeleHealth for breast or vaginal problems.

Gyn TeleHealth visits for Gyn problems are billed like office visits. Also, there is no separate fee for TeleHealth prenatal or postpartum care.

Using TeleHealth Visits we can help you with:

  • Birth control choices or problems
  • Pre-pregnancy or fertility counseling/advice
  • Menopause or peri-menopause concerns
  • Pelvic pain, painful periods, painful intercourse
  • Irregular periods or PCOS
  • Review of recent abnormal labs or imaging
  • Possible UTI or bladder infection
  • Coronavirus-related concerns

Postpartum Patients

To all Post-Partum Patients: Please complete this brief depression screening quiz (see below) ahead of time. This will help us prepare for our visit with you. For patients we are following with postpartum depression, please do the same.

Submit the quiz to us by email, fax or submit it online:

Postpartum Depression Test

Here is the quiz to be filled out if you are 4-6 weeks postpartum or are being followed for postpartum depression.

PP Depression Quiz Online FOWH PP Depression Quiz pdf

Huntington Hospital (HH)

HH BIRTHING SUPPORT

The visitation practice in L&D includes a healthy birth support person in addition to the healthy birth partner. The birth support person may either be a doula or another individual of the patient’s choice. This means your "spouse" and perhaps your mother, sister or close friend can attend your labor and birth.

The healthy birth support person will follow the same guidelines as the birth partner:

  • Masks are to be worn while in the hospital and in the Labor Room.
  • Prior to the transfer of mother, newborn and birth partner to the Mother-Baby unit (Maternity), the birth support person has to leave the hospital.
  • The birth partner and birth support person may go to the cafeteria and gift shop during their stay at the hospital, but not leave the hospital.
  • If you have further questions, please contact the Labor and Delivery Manager Amy Pendleton by email at amy.pendleton@huntingtonhospital.com.

HH OB Policies

Labor and Delivery Department Policies

COVID TESTING

  • Universal COVID testing (nasal swab) for ALL obstetrical patients, their birth partners and birth support person presenting to Labor and Delivery is being done. Results are available in about 30 minutes.
  • Scheduled C/S patients and scheduled induction patients will be tested after they arrive.
  • If the patient tests COVID-19 POSITIVE, the birth partner will be unable to stay with patient and will be sent home, and NICU will attend the delivery and transport the newborn to the Isolation Nursery. We know this sounds harsh but COVID is too contagious to risk anyone else getting sick.

SIGNIFICANT OTHER (Birth Partner)

  • All patients (labor checks, C/S, or OB problems) will check-in to the Obstetrical Emergency Department (OBED)
  • Birth Partners check in with the patient.
  • Patients have to limit personal belongings to ONE bag per family (not one bag per person). Bring this with you when you arrive at the Hospital, since nobody is supposed to leave the hospital after you arrive.
  • Meals can be either room service or cafeteria. Birth Partners and birth support people in L&D or MBU can go to the cafeteria and gift shop. Wear masks at all times.
  • All labor rooms and all maternity rooms have bathrooms with showers. (See below for information about the High-Risk OB Unit (PHRU))**
  • When the patient leaves the Birth Center and is transferred to the Mother-Baby Unit (MBU), the birth support person has to leave, but the birth partner remains with the patient when she transfers to the Maternity Unit.

*meals are ordered using "room service". This shuts down at 7 pm, and reopens at 6 am. Until further notice, outside food is not allowed. Late night snacks are also available, ask your nurse. Cafeteria access has been granted for birth partners and birth support persons.

**For patients admitted to the Perinatal High Risk Unit (PHRU), the birth partner has two options:

  1. First Option - the support person may stay for the entirety of the hospital admission with meals and toiletries provided, with the understanding that they will not be permitted to leave the room.
  2. Second Option - one designated healthy support person will be allowed 2 consecutive hours per day visiting. This person must be the same person each day and an assessment will take place upon arriving to PHRU.

OB Classes at Huntington (HH)

During COVID, the classes are all virtual. Classes will be delivered live by certified and credentialed instructors. Registration is free but required.

Here are the Virtual Classes available:

  • Pregnancy & Newborn Nutrition
  • Childbirth Preparation: A Three-Part Series
  • Breastfeeding: A Three-Part Series
  • Caring for Baby: A Three-Part Series
  • Parenting Preemies: From NICU to Home

The Maternity and L&D Tours have all been cancelled due to COVID.

HH Hospital Policies

ALL PATIENTS, STAFF, PHYSICIANS and GUESTS must wear a mask the entire time while in the hospital.

  • Upon arrival to our campus: all staff, patients and the very limited visitors who are permitted will complete the screening procedure and obtain a surgical mask.
  • Surgical masks are required to be worn in all areas of the hospital.
  • Masks must be kept in a paper bag when not worn.
  • Upon Departure: Soiled masks should be thrown away in receptacles or indicated bins.

Click here for Huntington Hospital COVID-19 information

You can call the HH COVID-19 phone line with questions at (626) 397-3777.