Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Enhanced Infection Control Policy

This is an evolving situation. Our website will be updated as more information is available.

If you are experiencing life threatening symptoms, call 9-1-1 or go to an Emergency Room.

Our clinics are closely monitoring and assessing the evolving risk that COVID-19 poses to our patients and employees.  COVID-19 has become a global pandemic, and we are committed to minimizing the transmission of this infection among our patients and employees.  The following are updated policies to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious agents.

We must ask that anyone who has been out of the country in the past month, been exposed to coronavirus cases, or has flu-like symptoms (fever, body aches, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath):

DO NOT come to the clinic.  Please call our office and speak with one of our staff to determine your next steps for treatment.

Further, if you are coming to the clinic for a scheduled appointment, testing, or to get your allergy shots, we humbly request the following:

Before Your Appointment

Please plan ahead for social distancing.  For adults, we ask that only the patient being seen/treated come to the clinic.  For minors, we request that only one parent or guardian accompany the patient.

Please help us by asking yourself these questions before coming in for your appointment:

  • Do you have symptoms?
    • A new cough OR new or worsening shortness of breath?
    • A fever?
  • Have you had potential exposure to Coronavirus?
  • Have you traveled internationally within the last 3 weeks?
    • If yes, have you traveled to/from or through, China, South Korea, Japan, Italy or Iran, or other areas known to have high incidence of Coronavirus?
  • Have you had exposure to someone with Coronavirus?
  • Have you been in a high-risk setting such as a cruise ship or long-term care facility?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, please call the clinic before coming to your appointment.

Video Conferencing

In order to further minimize possible exposure to the virus, we encourage that you schedule a video conference/telemedicine appointment with us.  Only patients requiring a procedure need to visit our offices, and other appointments can be done through video conferencing.

At Your Appointment

  • Upon entering the office, please apply hand sanitizer available on the counter and rub hands until dry.
  • Please help us maintain social distancing in our waiting rooms and sit at least 4 feet apart from other patients. We recommend avoiding our busy shot hours so that social distancing can be maintained.
  • All visitors and patients must wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer frequently and especially after touching another person.
  • Patients and employees need to cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing.

If you are handed a mask:

  • Keep it securely attached around your nose and mouth for your entire visit
  • Please do not pull it down or off for any reason

Shot Clinic

We recommend calling the office for an appointment prior to coming in for allergy shots.  This will assist with social distancing and limiting crowds.

Please call the clinic to see if you are a candidate for an alternative shot schedule (this may not be applicable to all clinics).  We may be able to hold your dose at the same amount and increase the time elapsed between injections (for example, if you were coming in once a week for shots, you may be able to safely and temporarily come in for shots every 2-3 weeks instead).

Please note that for the majority of Coronavirus cases, the infection is mild and similar to the common cold.  For your safety and for the safety of others, if you are exhibiting any symptoms, please do not come into the clinic, as you will NOT be given a shot. 

Other Information

  • The most effective thing that all of us can do is to wash our hands with soap and water (or alcohol-based hand sanitizer when not available) and to avoid touching our faces.
  • Columbia Asthma and Allergy employee policy requires our providers and staff to stay at home if they are ill as well. Be assured that all of our employees are following the protocols recommended by the CDC. Please see the CDC coronavirus resource guide.
  • We encourage you to check with your pharmacy early to ensure you have an adequate supply of your medications.
  • We will continue to closely monitor all aspects of the COVID-19 situation, and will update any changes on our Columbia Asthma and Allergy website here.

While we understand our requests may pose an inconvenience, we thank you all for your efforts in keeping everyone safe through abiding by our policies and proper hygiene practices.  We are hopeful that this major public health challenge will abate in the near future.  Columbia Asthma and Allergy has been and will continue to be a safe place to get your medical care.

Stay Informed!

This is a new and rapidly changing situation. The CDC has the most current information about the virus, including everything you need to know about how the virus spreads, how it’s treated, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you get sick. Stay on top of the latest by visiting the CDC website, which is being updated frequently.

Resources:

Center for Disease Control:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

California State Department of Health:

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx

Idaho State Department of Health:

https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/

Oregon State Department of Health:

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/emerging-respiratory-infections.aspx

Washington State Department of Health:

https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: “What People with Asthma Need to Know”:

https://community.aafa.org/blog/coronavirus-2019-ncov-flu-what-people-with-asthma-need-to-know