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Last week, we updated you on plans to resume scheduling urgent surgeries for our UW Medicine patients. As the COVID-19 curve continues to stabilize, we are looking across our system to determine how to safely bring patients who need in-person care back into our clinics. As part of our planned recovery, we will be gradually increasing our primary and specialty care in-person visits starting May 4.

The safety of our patients and staff remains our highest priority, and it may be necessary to modify our operations to maintain a safe work environment. Many of the practices that we rapidly implemented over the past two months, including telehealth, drive-up screening sites and pre-screening patients for upper respiratory symptoms, will remain in place and will be critical to the success of increasing in-person clinic visits. We will continue to limit visitors in the hospitals, strictly enforce our policies requiring staff to stay home if ill and continue our enhanced environmental cleaning. We will also ensure physical distancing and require all staff and patients to wear masks while in clinical areas.

Clinical leadership is prioritizing patients based on a number of clinical and operational factors. Non-urgent and elective visits should continue to be converted to telehealth when possible.

Primary care clinics have continued to see patients when telehealth was not possible and will continue to prioritize patients with chronic conditions, well-child visits, obstetrical care and postpartum follow-ups as well as outpatient procedures that were delayed for patients with high-risk needs that cannot be conducted via telehealth. Specialty clinics will prioritize patients based on referral queues, recall lists and surgical/procedure schedules as well as availability of ancillary services.

As new public health and UW Medicine guidelines evolve, we will continue to reevaluate our ambulatory strategy with the goal of keeping patients, providers and staff safe. Over the next days and weeks, we will be sharing more information with you as UW Medicine modifies its operations. Thank you again for your commitment to our patients and the community.


Lisa Brandenburg
President, UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics

Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Chief Medical Officer, UW Medicine
President, UW Physicians