The stress of COVID-19 has affected all of us-individuals, families, as well as institutions in our community, in different ways. Care New England and its affiliated providers have been laser-focused on the safety of the community as well as our front-line staff who have been there to serve you. As we have slowed down some programs and changed others to ensure patient and staff safety and worked to maintain staff and facilities to care for people with COVID-19, we have greatly appreciated your patience. We have gone through what we hope will be the worst of this experience. It is time to return to normal, albeit one that may be new.
As we move forward, we are working hard to assure you continue to receive safe, quality care in an environment as welcoming as always. We recognize that doing so may be challenging as it seems clear that COVID-19 will remain part of our daily lives to some degree for much longer that we had hoped. As a healthcare system we are committed to reopening our services now and getting back to providing you the best in care in ways that keeps you and our staff safe. In order to do so we have taken what we have learned from our recent experience and reimagined the best ways to provide needed care in the community. We know many of you have put off non-emergent surgery and other procedures. Others have delayed care of ongoing chronic and urgent medical issues. As a health system we are committed to creating ways that people can get the care they need now to live up to be as healthy as they can be, while minimizing the risk of COVID-19.
Our message to you is we are here and available to care for you and your family. The vast majority of patients we are seeing now do not have COVID-19 and we have the space and time to safely see people with other healthcare needs again. We have processes in place to keep our patients and staff safe. These include changes in how we space our patients and their appointments, how we screen our staff and visitors, how and when we use masks and other personal protective equipment and how we cleanse our care environments. We are also using testing for COVID-19 for non-emergent surgical cases to minimize risk for all of our patients and staff.