Dear Valued Patients and Families,
We know that there continues to be concern in our community about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) including the Delta Variant, and we want you to know that your health remains Hancock-Smith Pediatric & Behavioral Health’s top priority.
Although there had been less infections within the United States and in some other countries, there has been a recent significant increase in COVID-19 cases, particularly Delta variant cases. The state of Florida is currently an epicenter for COVID-19 cases and our local county (i.e., Alachua) has re-issued a state of emergency due to the significant increase in new cases (https://alachuacounty.us/covid-19/documents/emergency-action-2021-22.pdf). We continue to encourage you to take responsibility for yourself and your family. As the risk still presents itself, and more so with the Delta variant being significantly more contagious and potent than previous variants (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/variant-info.html#Concern), it is important to continue to take a proactive approach to minimize exposure. Please see some tips from the CDC below.
- Become vaccinated: COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. After you have been fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic; however, there have been updates to these guidelines especially for individuals living in areas of substantial or high transmission. Key Things to Know
- Wear a mask: To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
- Clean your hands often: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people.
- Stay home if you are sick: Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. If you are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness, I urge you to stay home, take care of yourself, and seek medical help when appropriate.
- Cover coughs and sneezes: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Please refer to the CDC's dedicated 2019-ncov website for additional information, and maintain awareness by checking the official communications from the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization.
How We are Being Proactive
Hancock-Smith Pediatric & Behavioral Health is continuing temporary changes to promote and reinforce you, your family’s, and our community’s safety and health. These changes include returning to telehealth only sessions. The method with which we will be continuing to provide telehealth services is via the same platform as our patient portal (i.e. Simple Practice). This platform is HIPPA compliant and will continue to protect your health information. If you and/or your family are not able to complete video telehealth sessions, phone sessions will be available. Research shows that telehealth appointments can be just as effective as in-person appointments, and we can continue your care without interruption.**Please note that insurance providers and/or third-party payors may not cover and/or reimburse for telehealth services. All non-covered fees are the responsibility of the patient. Hancock-Smith Pediatric & Behavioral Health is committed to eliminating financial barriers to quality care. If you have concern about your insurance company’s discontinued coverage of telehealth services, please let us know.
We are happy to share that all clinicians and staff are fully vaccinated. If your age and health allow, and if you are not yet vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to do so. Research shows that vaccines are safe, effective, and save lives. If you have questions or concerns about vaccines, please see the CDCs facts and myths sheet about vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html. Vaccines are available throughout the state of Florida. Please visit our state CDC website for detailed information on where and how to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/.
Our practice will continue to prioritize your, your family’s, and our community’s health. We will continue to augment practice policies and procedures with this priority in mind, with sound scientific research and data guiding our decisions. Our patients and families will be continually updated about the changes we make.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact us via secure messaging (via the patient portal), email, fax, and/or telephone. If a mental health emergency arises, please contact 911, or go to the nearest ER.
Thank you for being the best part of our practice! As always, we look forward to continued connection with you and your family.
Anyaliese D. Hancock-Smith, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PY 9269)
National Register Health Service Psychologist
Owner, Hancock-Smith Pediatric & Behavioral Health, LLC