(April 10, 2020) Although opting to suspend clinic operations during the covid-19 pandemic, FYZICAL of Ocean Pines is providing remote consultations for current patients or others dealing with musculoskeletal issues.
Owner Scott Gardner, who became a board-certified orthopedic specialist in 2003 and earned a doctorate in physical therapy from Drexel in 2008, said the business, located at 11204 Racetrack Road, is temporarily halting in-person treatment in light of the ongoing public health crisis.
“Though our office is currently closed, we are always available to our patients and community,” he said. “We are available for phone or video consultation as well as Telehealth services.”
Director of Sales & Marketing Ed Weeks said the decision to close physical operations was made several weeks ago.
“We thought it was in the best interest of our staff, patients and community to close the clinic,” he said.
Two weeks after the initial move, the closure was extended further.
“Once the two weeks passed, last week of course Gov. Larry Hogan mandated a stay-in-place order,” he said. “Even though physical therapy is classified as essential, we thought it was not in the best interests of patients.”
That conclusion was based in no small part to the typical age demographic of FYZICAL patients.
“They are predominantly elderly and not always in the best health,” he said. “They’re the ones that seem to be most susceptible to the virus according to the CDC.”
Weeks noted that last week the American Physical Therapy Association issued guidance cautioning senior citizens to forgo hands-on treatment while the pandemic threat remains.
“They should stay home,” he said.
The overarching concern is the health and well being of the community.
“If one patient is sick it affects our entire staff, our entire practice and … our homes as well,” he said.
The safety concerns for front line health care workers extends to immediate family members.
“Our kids [and] our spouses,” he said. “It all has to be taken into perspective, not just that it’s bad for business.”
Weeks said Gardner made the move to close intuitively.
“His gut was telling him to close,” he said. “For us to have 300-plus people per week come through the door, on top of our staff … it’s a lot of risk.”
Weeks said it remains uncertain how long FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers of Delmarva will keep clinic operations closed.
“Right now, we are playing it by ear,” he said.
Gardner said updates regarding reopening would be posted on FYZICAL of Ocean Pines Facebook page.
“Working together we will get through this pandemic, but we must all do our parts,” he said. “Stay safe [and] stay home.”