Wilmington Reproductive Laboratories' Response to COVID-19

May 21, 2020 Update

Dear Patient,

As you know, we remained open during the North Carolina shutdown to ensure we could continue to provide services to cancer patients or others with extremely time-sensitive needs.  Based on the changing recommendations of the state of North Carolina, we are now open to all patients in need of our services.  Rest assured we are committed to providing you with the care and attention you deserve, however, as with any person-to-person interaction, services provided in-person at the laboratory create a risk of exposure to the virus for both patients and staff.  In this new ‘normal’ we are all adjusting to, we have made some changes to how we operate.

We are taking the following precautions to balance the risk of infection with the benefits of providing our services for our patients, based on recommendations of the North Carolina Department of Health, the CDC, and several professional associations.

 

  • We are screening patients and staff for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure.
  • We are staggering appointments through the day.
  • We closed our waiting room and now patients must call or text us when they arrive at WRL, and then they will bring their sample into the lab after they have completed their paperwork electronically.
  • We are requiring all clients and staff to wear masks when they are in the laboratory and our offices.
  • Our staff are wearing masks, gloves, face shields, and other appropriate PPE as needed.
  • Our staff are washing their hands and using hand sanitizer frequently, as well as using proper sneeze and cough practices, avoiding touching their eyes, mouth, and nose, and not shaking hands.
  • We are limiting in-person contact when possible by providing our forms and consents electronically, strongly recommending at-home specimen collection, and only allowing the individual undergoing testing to come into the laboratory, and then only if necessary.
  • Our staff is practicing social distancing, maintaining individual workstations, and working in teams.
  • We are cleaning and sanitizing high touch surfaces multiple times a day.

 

As always, please continue to reach out to us with any questions and concerns.  The best way to do this is by email to [email protected] or by phone at 910-444-1980.  Messages will be returned in a timely manner.

Thank you and take care!

The team at Wilmington Reproductive Laboratories.

 

Updated on: 4/16/20

Dear Patient,

Allow us to take a moment to address how we are handling the ever-changing recommendations surrounding COVID-19.  This is a challenging time for all of us. While we are being advised to distance ourselves socially, maybe we can all try to feel some peace in the sense that we are all in this together.

We want to assure you, Wilmington Reproductive Laboratories is continuing daily operations as long as authorities allow.  We are open to perform cryopreservation for any patient undergoing cancer or other time- sensitive treatments.  Please call the lab to make arrangements, as we have special procedures in place during this time.

Please know that sperm and/ or embryos you have stored with us are safe.  Specimens are stored in liquid nitrogen tanks that are monitored daily by laboratory personnel.  These tanks and the specimens stored in them will continue to be monitored daily by laboratory personnel according to long standing policies and procedures for as long as we are all coping with the effects of this global pandemic and beyond.

Rest assured we are committed to providing you with the care and attention you deserve.  As a team, we have decided that anything we can do virtually will be handled as such, and so most of our team is working remotely.  Therefore, we are not open for non- essential testing or for paperwork completion, as we are limiting contact with others.  Since we are a laboratory and reproductive tissue storage facility, we have activities that need to be dealt with by laboratory personnel on-site, and those activities are continuing to be handled by on-site personnel.  These personnel are following CDC and state of North Carolina recommendations to prevent infection with and the spread of COVID-19.

We know your planned treatment is probably postponed because your physician’s office may not be seeing any non-emergency patients.  That is frustrating for those trying to build a family right now, but it is the absolute right thing to do.  Due to the changing restrictions regarding COVID-19, we will be continuing these measures through May 1st, 2020, and will reassess our plan then.  While this was a hard decision to make, we believe it was the right call.  We are truly sorry for this inconvenience.

As always, please continue to reach out to us with any questions and concerns.  The best way to do this currently is by email to [email protected] or by phone at (910) 444-1980.  Messages will be returned in a timely manner.

Thank you and take care!

The team at Wilmington Reproductive Laboratories