Piedmont Athens Regional Physician on Essential Medical Care and COVID-19 Safety Measures

Jun 9, 2020

State leaders, including Gov. Brian Kemp, and health officials are urging Georgians to head back to their doctors for everything from elective surgeries, to checkups like colonoscopies, and mammograms, as well as other necessary care.  

Dr. Robert Sinyard is the Chief Medical Officer at Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital. He says those elective procedures are not necessarily optional.

“There are a number of conditions out there that are time-sensitive, we consider very essential and to delay addressing that problem too long can definitely have consequences.”

FILE-Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital

The hospital has precautions in place to minimize risks to patients and staff during treatment.

“The patient has a phone call to screen for symptoms: fever, cough, any kind of respiratory or GI symptoms, muscle aches, things like, that,” according to Dr. Sinyard. “If all of that’s negative, then they show up at the appointed time and we test them on the spot.”

But, Sinyard says, the facility has several additional measures everyone is asked to follow for safety’s sake.

“Try not to congregate people in waiting room. We want everyone to wear a mask. A lot of people who are coming in, are bringing homemade cloth masks and that’s fine. Our staff are wearing masks. Handwashing.”

He and other health professionals are hoping people needing essential care keep their appointments to prevent their conditions from worsening or to catch potential issues early.