As we face the threat of the coronavirus in South Africa and across the world, the well-being of OUT and TEN81’s clients, staff members and community is of critical importance. We would, therefore, like to inform you of what steps we are taking to reduce the risk of infection while maintaining our services.
1. We will continue to provide our usual HIV and sexual health services for now, although we will be limiting the scale of services.
2. The coronavirus may have a more severe impact on those with weaker immune systems. Anyone who is HIV positive who is not on treatment may be at higher risk. We recommend that they contact us or another health provider to get onto free ARV treatment. If you are on ARV treatment already, please stay on it and ensure you have adequate stock. We urge those in our communities who do not know their HIV status to get tested.
3. We will be limiting the number of staff in the field and at our clinic/offices. We are working to ensure that we are equipped with alcohol-based sanitiser and masks as needed.
4. We will ensure that only one client at a time will wait in our clinic/office reception area. Other clients are asked to remain outside until it is their turn.
5. We will not be accepting walk-in clients during this time and request that clients please call us to make an appointment before coming to our clinic or office. For those collecting medication, please make sure that you have pre-arranged this telephonically.
6. Where possible, our office-based staff will be asked to work from home and/or on a rational basis. This is to reduce the number of staff in the office at any time and will limit their contact with others, such as when using public transport.
7. We will do our utmost to accommodate staff with children who need day-care in the wake of school closures by allowing them to work from home wherever possible.
8. Our clinic and services are not equipped to assist patients who may be sick with coronavirus. If you are concerned that you have coronavirus or have had contact with anyone who may have been exposed, we urge you to rather stay at home and self-quarantine. We will, however, accommodate clients who need to collect their HIV medication as long as they first contact us on 012 430 3272 / 066 190 5812 to arrange collection.
9. If you are concerned that you have coronavirus and/or have any symptoms, please call the national coronavirus hotline for further advice and support: 0800 029 999.
10. To stay up to date on coronavirus news, developments and symptoms please save the official coronavirus WhatsApp service number on your phone: 060 012 3456. Send “hi” to the number and follow the prompts.
11. We urge everyone to avoid unnecessarily travelling, socialising and congregating with other people. Wash your hands for 20 seconds regularly and after every interaction with other people, public spaces and surfaces. Use hand sanitiser when and if possible. Also, practice social distancing of at least one metre, and avoid touching your face.
12. If you have any questions about our services or wish to make an appointment, please contact us on 012 430 3272 / 066 190 5812.
We believe that by working together, staying aware of developments via official and reputable news sources, and following recommended practices, we can overcome this crisis and limit the spread of coronavirus. Wishing you and your loved ones the best of health.