Updated Friday, March 20, 2020
Dear Fertility Centers of Illinois patient community,
This afternoon, Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker declared a “shelter-in-place” rule similar to the one that Oak Park, Illinois issued Wednesday. He stated that non-essential businesses around Chicago and the state of Illinois will be closed as of Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 5:00 P.M.
However, other essential businesses like hospitals, medical practices, pharmacies, and grocery stores will remain open. Similar edicts have been made in the last few days in California and New York. The fertility practices in those states have been completing started cycles but not starting any new treatments similar to the policy that Fertility Centers of Illinois (FCI) put in place Wednesday, March 18. We anticipate that the Governor’s policy language will allow medical practices to continue to function as necessary. If you are in the middle of stimulated treatments, your treatment will continue. We plan to finish your current treatment cycles within the “shelter-in-place” rules.
We anticipated this event days ago and put measures in place for our staff to be able to continue providing you excellent fertility care. Some staff will still physically be at the offices, others may be working from their home. You may not have your regular nurse communicating with you, and that communication may be delayed.
We are doing the best we can in this difficult time and hope you understand. We may ask you to change your appointment time, or office location to keep social distancing optimal. This is for your protection, our staff’s safety, and society as a whole. Email and phone access will be limited for our employees working from home, please communicate through the FCI patient portal with your nursing team for routine questions. The after-hours and weekend call system will still be in place.
Our emphasis has been and will continue to be, keeping you safe while providing you the exceptional care you expect from Fertility Centers of Illinois. If you are scheduled for monitoring, or a medical procedure, this weekend or next week, please plan to keep your appointment. The FCI staff and physicians are coming to the offices to care for you. If you cannot make it to your appointment or chose to stop your treatment, please let us know as soon as you know. That will help us further protect our staff and may avoid them having to commute.
As we have stated in previous communications, there is no current data suggesting any increased risk of birth defects in pregnancy from COVID-19. There is also no current data that suggests pregnant women are at greater risk if they acquire COVID-19 than a typical illness. But we completely understand how frightening the situation feels. Each of you has the option to finish your current cycle or to stop your cycle. If you choose to stop your cycle, please let us know for further medication instructions. Your physician and medical team will support you in whatever decision you make.
This is a stressful time for all of us, patients, FCI staff, physicians, family, and friends. The rules and guidelines are constantly changing, forcing FCI to adapt and make quick, thoughtful decisions for everyone involved. We appreciate your flexibility and hope you appreciate our dedication. We are all in this together.
Please make sure your contact information with Fertility Centers of Illinois is current so that we can continue to reach you. Follow us along on our COVID-19 page, our Instagram, and Facebook for updates.
Be well and safe,
Christopher S. Sipe, M.D.
Fertility Centers of Illinois