At American Fertility Services, the health of our patients and staff is a top priority. In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, our medical team is closely monitoring developments and following the updated recommendations from the CDC and public health department to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus for our patients and staff.
Patients planning non-procedural visits — consultations, for example — are encouraged to book appointments via telemedicine.
If you have an upcoming in-person office visit, please review these guidelines carefully.
AFS requires all patients to complete a questionnaire prior to their office visits in order to identify those who may be at risk of having the COVID-19 infections:
• Patients with fever, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing will need to reschedule their appointments until after the resolution of their symptoms.
• Those who have traveled to, from, or through mainland China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea within the past 14 days will need to complete a 14-day self-quarantine prior to coming to our office, per the recommendation of the CDC. Treatment at AFS cannot be initiated until after the quarantine period and the patient has remained free of any respiratory symptoms throughout the quarantine.
• Patients who have come in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 also would need to complete a 14-day self-quarantine before coming to our office. Treatment at AFS cannot be initiated until after the quarantine period and the patient has remained free of any respiratory symptoms throughout the quarantine.
Because infected individuals may not exhibit symptoms for several days, these precautionary steps cannot completely eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19. In addition, with the increasing number of community-acquired infections, travel history may become less effective in identifying at-risk patients.
If a previously healthy patient suddenly were to become symptomatic and were coming to AFS for a procedure such as an embryo transfer or egg retrieval, a last-minute cancellation would be necessary. Although this would be a disappointment for the patient, the safety of other patients and our staff is our highest priority.
Furthermore, as the effects of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy are unknown, it would also be in the best interest of a patient who is unexpectedly exposed to COVID-19 during fertility treatment to defer completion of the treatment until the resolution of the infection. You can read more about coronavirus and pregnancy at the CDC web site.
AFS staff with respiratory symptoms will be asked to stay at home until the resolution of their symptoms and, if indicated, to seek medical care with their physicians. The home quarantine policy also applies to AFS staff.
If an AFS staff member or patient who visits our office were to test positive for COVID-19, our staff would undergo a 14-day self-quarantine at home. Should this occur, our New York City affiliate clinic, Neway Fertility, would help with emergency procedures during the quarantine, provided the patient has not been at a facility with a diagnosed case of COVID-19. Please note: For a gestational surrogate transfer, we would not be able to transport a frozen embryo to Neway to complete the transfer, due to logistical and legal limitations.
AFS recognizes this is a time of uncertainty, and some patients may experience a high level of anxiety. We are here to support our patients during these difficult times. For patients who are planning to initiate elective procedures but are concerned about this epidemic or the possibility of having unexpected treatment cancellations, it may be prudent to defer treatment.
That said, if you are thinking about your fertility and wondering how to proceed once this difficult time passes, our doctors are available via telehealth to discuss how you can plan for the next step. We've been consulting locally and around the world by phone and video for years; we can assure you that our virtual care and advice are as helpful and meaningful as what you would receive at our office. Call us at 203-774-9900 if you are interested in setting up a consultation.
This page will be updated as often as necessary. In the meantime, for more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC's web site.