Costco Hearing Aid Centers & Coronavirus

I recently ordered new hearing aids from Costco (Philips HearLink) and was supposed to be fit for them this coming Friday, March 20.

Well, that won’t happen, as I just received a call from my local Costco Hearing Aid Center saying that the Hearing Aid Center will be closed for two weeks, and that I’d be rescheduled sometime in the future.

I’m not sure if the closing affects all Costco HA Centers or just my local store.

Unfortunately, you’re not going to be the only one inconvenienced. Hang in there and be patient.

My local Costco Hearing Center called today and told me the same thing. Closed for next 2 weeks.

Healthcare providers are on the front line of risk in the coronavirus pandemic. Anyone who gets up close to you and to many other customers risks getting infected and, if they don’t take the right precautions, passing the disease on to others. The NY Times had a very interesting infographic that I recommend looking at just to see how it was implemented, if for no other reason, on the risk of coronavirus infection that different workers face by occupation and how many workers are in each group (spoiler alert: in the text that goes with the article there’s a bit of a “political(?)” sermon at the end about the compensation needed, e.g., paid sick leave, to help stem the epidemic). Besides doctors and dentists, nurses, hairdressers and barbers are much more at risk than the average member of society. I would imagine audiologists and other HCP’s are also similarly at risk. Now might NOT be a good time to go to a hospital, for example, to get a cochlear implant, or maybe even visit your audiologist if you don’t really need to.

Just as a point of information, I did not flag anyone’s post in the following thread https://forum.hearingtracker.com/t/anyone-think-coronavirus-will-bring-down-hearing-aid-prices/ but I did urge @AbramBaileyAuD privately in a PM to stand up for the truth in our present pandemic, rather than just lock threads. Hopefully this forum and Abram’s overall website provides the best healthcare information available, e.g., should you hold off seeing your audiologist?, should you have a cochlear implant now?, etc., during the pandemic. I’m waiting for the Dr. Cliff video on the healthcare implications in audiology on the coronavirus pandemic rather than just selling hearing aids and audiology services… <joking about Dr. Cliff but if he feels disposed to do so, more power to him!>

BTW, today wife and I received an e-mail that Gold’s Gym is closing all corporate locations fitness centers at least for a few weeks. What is the message audiologists want us to know about managing the risk in this arena of healthcare? Shall we just come on in, the waters fine?!, or what’s the official advice on hearing healthcare during the pandemic, what best practices to follow??

I didn’t see your private message Jim. Just checked my inbox again. Also, unfortunately, that thread had turned political and I was receiving multiple messages from people who were concerned about it… Under normal circumstances, I would have worked to resolve the dispute, but I’ve been busy taking care of family due to the pandemic situation, so please don’t over-generalize my actions.

BTW, my recommendation right now is to restrict appointments unless absolutely necessary. And I mean all medical appointments, not just trips to the audiologist. Try to access telemedicine where possible, and if your audiologist provides remote care, speak with them about accessing the service. Also here’s an article that may interest you Coronavirus Precautions: Informing Your Hearing Healthcare Staff Members - Hearing Review

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Bravo on your recommendation, @AbramBaileyAuD. I wrote what’s below before receiving your post.

OK. But I think it would be good with your connections to get some expert advice on whether as with dining out, going to the gym, avoiding unnecessary shopping, etc., that it would be good to minimize trips to the audiologist or HCP just to practice self-distancing. I realize with all the minimization behavior that there is a serious economic cost. But I would think, especially given what happened in the Seattle area nursing home, especially over-80 folks should put their self-isolation ahead of their hearing. Since hearing aid customers are often older people more at risk, I think that a good considered recommendation from the audiology and HCP professionals would help insure that as many of their aged customers as possible will still be doing business with them on into the future. I am concerned with striking the right balance and not blowing things out of proportion as the resulting panic could cause an economic crisis way beyond any direct effect of the virus but I think the thing is not to ignore what’s going on but provide the right balance, not minimize, not exaggerate, and certainly not blame anyone else for a “foreign Chinese virus.” Hope my recommendation sounds reasonable to everyone and I do realize that there are business considerations to running this site, we don’t want inflammatory posts (sorry for whatever contribution I made there). Thanks, Abram, for all you do.

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Thanks Jim … Just a note… Keeping things peaceful and civil is a priority for me. I want to maintain a safe and approachable place for people to get help. Also I’m a believer in nipping trouble in the bud … Keeps things more manageable over the long haul. The business interests of the site have fortunately never come into any decision I’ve made to moderate this forum.

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Just my two cents, but throwing this kind of thing in is inflammatory… For better or worse. So, please find another way to make your point. I agree with you, but challenge yourself to make your case without letting it get political. :wink:

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Here’s an update on this from our Facebook group:

Here’s a Covid19 update for all Costco hearing aid centers in the US. We’ve been closed by our corporate leaders in light of recent outbreaks within the States. The reasons are obvious; to cut down on the potential spread of the virus and to protect our members and our employees. This will likely be the case for at least 30 days, but my opinion is that it will be for a much longer period of time. If you have recently purchased hearing aids from Costco, you will be able to have your devices programmed for you, but there should be zero booth time while you receive your aids. That means REM will not be performed at the time of delivery. However, you should return to the hearing center after the period of time that the CDC and other responsible health agencies deem a safe time period for doing so. You will still be eligible for your 180 day trial period after you are fitted with your devices. We are abiding by all local and federal mandates with regard to this horrible situation and again, our focus is to maintain the safety and health of our members and employees and their families. Be safe everyone!

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