Coronavirus (COVID-19) Comprehensive Update Page

This page has been created in an effort to keep our patients, staff and members of the community abreast of the latest policies, procedures, and precautions the IMSMP & Tisch MSRCNY have taken to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Here, you will find all previous posts and announcements in addition to our latest updates. We will continue to update the page as frequently as needed to keep everyone informed.

For any additional concerns, please contact the front desk at (212) 265-8070.

 

Coronavirus Update ~ 3/24/2020

Hydroxychloroquine Advisory

Please be advised, due to the recent cases of hydroxychloroquine poisoning, this drug is dangerous when taken unsubscribed.

The risk of infection with COVID-19 is not affected by taking hydroxychloroquine and taking this drug routinely is not recommended. In addition, a new medication should NEVER be started without direction from a medical doctor. 

 

Coronavirus Update ~ 3/23/2020

Today, Governor Cuomo announced there have been 12,305 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in New York City with 99 deaths from the virus. The mortality rate will remain low as long as our hospitals are not overwhelmed with patients, which is why social isolation is so important to stop the spread of the virus.

Many different treatments are currently being investigated, including an anti-malarial drug called hydroxychloroquine. However, the evidence for hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness has not yet been established. Furthermore, the risk of infection with COVID-19 is not affected if you are taking hydroxychloroquine. However, if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection, taking hydroxychloroquine may prevent the most serious complications associated with COVID-19. Therefore, it is hoped that if a patient takes hydroxychloroquine during a COVID-19 infection it may decrease the chances of a fatal outcome. The best advice is to remain vigilant with frequent hand washing and limit any possible exposure to the virus. Finally, if you think you have the infection it is best to call your local doctor or the IMSMP for guidance. 

 

A Letter from Dr. Saud A. Sadiq

Dear Patients, Friends, and Supporters of the IMSMP & Tisch MSRCNY,

As we find ourselves in uncharted, challenging times, the treatment and care of our patients remain our priority. Employees whose role allows it are currently working from home to minimize the number of people coming to the Center, commuting and leaving their homes.

Our clinical staff including nurses, physical therapists, social workers, and neurologists are here for you. At this time when the healthcare facilities are generally overwhelmed with COVID-19, it is important that other health issues and even initial assessments for coronavirus related issues be carried out by non-hospital-based health professionals. For all these reasons we are open and available.

With COVID-19, multiple sclerosis is not canceled, therefore neither is the healthcare you need and deserve.

Our commitment to our patients will not waver. Our dedication to discovering the cause and cure for this disease is not on hold. A live voice will answer the phone when you call and our doors will remain open.

In the midst of this season of anxiety and disquiet, we hope to be a source of constancy, comfort, and healing for our patients. When this is over, and it will be over, we want you to know that during this trying period we were and will always be there for our patients.

Practice social distancing, frequently wash your hands with soap and water, and stay well.

Saud A. Sadiq, MD, FAAN

 

Coronavirus Update ~ 3/21/2020

Today, the IMSMP is open as usual.

On Friday, March 20, an additional decontamination crew (pictured below) has been brought in as an added precaution, despite no cases of COVID-19.

To ensure the safety of our staff and patients, the IMSMP and Tisch MSRCNY will continue the policy of taking the temperature of all staff, patients, and their one visitor upon arrival at the Center. Patients will be asked to leave the Center without receiving treatment if the temperature is above normal.

 

Coronavirus Update ~ 3/20/2020

Protecting Yourself and the Ones You Love

What is social distancing? Is handwashing enough? What else can I do?  This Coronavirus spreads more ways than simply hand to face, it also spreads by inhalation of droplets which transiently remain in the air after someone has sneezed or coughed. To prevent this spread, health officials recommend social distancing. This means staying at least 6 feet from other people, especially if they are coughing or sneezing. It also means not going into groups of more than 10 people and restricting other usual daily activities. To learn more visit these webpages on the CDC and NIH:

https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2020/03/19/to-beat-covid-19-social-distancing-is-a-must/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html

 

Coronavirus Update ~ 3/19/2020

If you have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus, COVID-19, please call the Center at (212) 265-8070 to let your neurologist know as soon as possible. 

We are aware there may be increased anxieties with the uncertainties of COVID-19 and how it relates to MS, families, and life.

Patients with multiple sclerosis are not necessarily at increased risk for the virus however we understand the growing concern over MS medications and contracting the Coronavirus.

During these uncharted times, our social workers are here for you. Prior to requesting an anti-anxiety medication, or increase in a current dose, please call the social work department and our social workers will assess your mental health needs at this time.

Just like your MS care, treatment for anxiety is highly individualized and we want to ensure our patients are on the optimal medications and the path to a healthy present and future.

 

Coronavirus Update ~ 3/18/2020

The IMSMP and Tisch MS Research Center of New York are both fully functional and are committed to remaining open to continue to provide care for our patients. To minimize the number of people coming into the building, all other tenants of 521 West 57th Street will be shutting down their offices until further notice.  

The following measures have been put into place for the safety of our patients and staff: 

  • On Tuesday, March 17th, a professional decontamination unit disinfected the entire building including elevators, lobbies, the 4th floor, and entry points.  
  • Despite no employees being diagnosed with COVID-19, each employee will continue to have their temperature taken upon arrival to the Center. 
  • All patients are encouraged to take their temperature daily and will not be permitted to the Center with a fever. Patients and their one guest will have their temperature taken upon arrival, and will be asked to leave the Center without receiving treatment if the temperature is above normal. To date, two patients have been sent home due to elevated temperatures. 
  • It is not recommended to stop MS treatment. Any concerns about your MS treatment and the Coronavirus should be addressed directly by your neurologist. Patients of the IMSMP may call (212) 265-8070 and request the Nurse's Phone Line. 

We are dedicated to keeping you informed and safe, and are here to help you every step of the way. 

 

Coronavirus Update ~ 3/16/2020

The IMSMP & Tisch MSRCNY are both fully functional and taking every precaution to safeguard our patients from the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We will continue to bring you the most up-to-date information as it pertains to the management of your multiple sclerosis. For all other regulations going into effect i.e. school closings, event/community cancellations and other restrictions, please check your local government website.

 

Coronavirus Update ~ 3/13/2020

Beginning Monday, March 16, only one adult will be permitted to accompany a patient to their visit at the IMSMP/Tisch MSRCNY. Patients and their guest will have their temperature taken upon arrival, and will be asked to leave the Center without receiving treatment if the temperature is above normal.

For the safety of our patients, all employees’ temperatures are taken daily upon arrival.

To date, there have been no cases of an elevated temperature.

 

Coronavirus Update ~ 3/12/2020

To date, no patients of the IMSMP or Tisch MSRCNY have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Patients with multiple sclerosis are not necessarily at increased risk for the virus.

As a Center, we are taking all necessary precautions to provide a clean and safe environment for our patients and staff.

  • Patients and staff with a fever will not be permitted at the Center. If you are experiencing a fever, please call the Front Desk at (212) 265 – 8070 to notify your neurologist and cancel your appointment.
  • Domestic and international travel has been restricted for employees of the IMSMP/Tisch MSRCNY, regardless of destination. If travel is necessary, the staff member will be not be permitted to the Center until quarantined for 14 days.
  • To minimize the number of people coming to the Center, all support groups will be conducted via telephone until further notice.  If you have any questions, please contact the Social Work Department.

 

Coronavirus Update ~ 3/10/2020

To date, no patients of the IMSMP or Tisch MSRCNY have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Patients with multiple sclerosis are not necessarily at increased risk for the virus.

What are the symptoms of the Coronavirus?

The usual incubation period for COVID-19 is five days, although you may not experience any symptoms at this time. The initial symptoms of the virus include a fever (temperature over 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and a dry cough. After a few days, symptoms begin to include breathing difficulties and general malaise.

Patients with a fever will not be permitted at the Center.

If you are experiencing a fever, please call the Front Desk at (212) 265 – 8070 to notify your neurologist and cancel your appointment.

How can I protect myself?

As a Center, we are taking all necessary precautions to provide a clean and safe environment for our patients and staff.

Prevention and Ways to Protect Yourself

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid crowded areas over 20 people (such as movie theaters, meetings, etc.) and unnecessary physical contact.
  • Avoid social activities and gatherings with close, intimate contact, examples include: playing cards, mahjong, etc. collecting and handling money, holding hands in religious settings, holding poles while riding the subway or other public transportation.
  • Avoid all international and domestic travel.  

 

Coronavirus ~ Precautions Taken by the IMSMP  3/6/2020

As a leader in MS healthcare, we have taken extra measures at our Center to minimize any chance of infection and ensure your safety and health.

  • All door handles, toilets, infusion chairs, coffee machines, water coolers, and frequently used areas will be wiped down with disinfectant every hour.
  • To reduce the number of people in the Infusion Suite, we kindly request ONLY one companion is brought to your infusion if necessary.
  • To eliminate unnecessary door opening, access doors will remain open.
  • All patients will be requested to wash their hands with soap and water upon arrival to their appointment.
  • To reassure patients, all employees who are not well will not be permitted to work and must be evaluated by a physician before returning.
  • All employees at work are required to wash their hands upon entering any exam room or interaction with a patient.
  • A "No Touch" policy including shaking hands, hugging, etc. is now enforced excluding clinician exams.

These policies have been put in place without a patient or staff member having been diagnosed with the Coronavirus. 

 

An Announcement from the IMSMP on the Coronavirus ~ 3/3/2020

We are aware of the growing concern of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and would like to address some common questions our patients have been asking.

Despite being in the midst of an outbreak of this respiratory disease, there are still very few cases in the United States. However, people with multiple sclerosis may be taking some MS medications that can modify or alter the immune system, which can increase the risk of certain infections.

The following guidelines should be followed at all times, as we continue to monitor the situation. Updates can now be found regularly on our website and social media pages. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern, or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas, should call ahead to their primary care physician before seeking treatment in person or head to an urgent care facility for testing.

If you feel you may have been exposed to the virus and have any upcoming appointments at the International Multiple Sclerosis Management Practice, please call (212) 265-8070 to discuss how to proceed.

Prevention and Ways to Protect Yourself*

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid large crowded areas and unnecessary physical contact.
  • Avoid social activities and gatherings with close, intimate contact, examples include: playing cards, mahjong, etc. collecting and handling money, holding hands in religious settings, holding poles while riding the subway or other public transportation.

*A portion of this information was obtained from the following websites:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html

https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/

https://www.nationalmssociety.org/About-the-Society/News/What-You-Need-to-Know-about-Coronavirus 

News Date : 
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 (All day)

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