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Coronavirus Questions Answered: Should I Go To My Scheduled Doctor Visits?

Every situation is different, so talk to your doctor before you cancel. [Goran Bogicevic / Shutterstock]
Every situation is different, so talk to your doctor before you cancel. [Goran Bogicevic / Shutterstock]

What are your questions about the coronavirus?

ideastream is answering as many questions as possible, with help from local experts in a range of fields. You can  send us your questions with our online form, through our  social media  pages and  group or call us at 216-916-6476. We'll  keep the answers coming on our website and on the air.

Governor Mike DeWine announced Tuesday a new statewide policy that prioritizes essential surgeries, and many of you are wondering what that means for you.

Sylvia from Ohio asked: “I’m scheduled for knee replacement in three weeks. I’m in good health. Due to the virus, should I cancel this operation?”

University Hospitals announced shortly after Gov. DeWine made the announcement that they will follow his lead and suspend non-essential surgeries and procedures.

Dr. Keith Armitage of University Hospitals said the situation keeps changing, but he said Sylvia should probably cancel her surgery, unless she really needs it.

“We’re just now starting to see an increased number of cases admitted to the hospital,” he said. “But I think if she’s otherwise pretty healthy, not high risk, and she really needs the procedure and the hospitals are still doing it, I think it’s OK to get it.”  

Gov. DeWine said essential surgeries might be different for each person, so it will be up to the doctor to help patients decide whether they should get the surgery.

Rosemary asked: “What about dental appointments for elderly during this virus shut down?”

Some local hospitals, including MetroHealth, are closing some of their dental clinics. Even if Rosemary’s appointment is still available, University Hospitals' Dr. Keith Armitage said she may want to reschedule.

“The only way to stop this virus is stopping contact between people,” he said.

So as soon as Rosemary leaves the house, she may come into contact with someone who has the virus.

If Rosemary’s dental appointment can be rescheduled, she may want to do that so she limits her contact with others, said Armitage. That limits the risk of spreading the virus and reduces her chance of contracting it.

lisa.ryan@ideastream.org | 216-916-6158