COVID-19 UPDATE FROM THE ALLERGY CENTER

COVID-19 UPDATE FROM THE ALLERGY CENTER – March 26, 2020

Dear patients,

Please refer to the following FAQ (frequently asked questions) regarding the COVID-19 pandemic precautions and its effect on our ability to provide care to our patients. Please check our website or Facebook page frequently as guidelines will change per recommendations from the CDC, our professional organizations (AAAAI, ACAAI), state and local governments.

In light of the current recommendations, we have implemented the following plan, which will be in effect until further notice.

OFFICE VISITS:

  • We are currently setting up telehealth procedures and will be able to offer care via telephone or other methods starting Monday, March 30.
  • If you have a fever of 100.0 ºF, cough or shortness of breath DO NOT come into the clinic or go to the Emergency Room. Call your primary care physician or our office for further evaluation and instructions. At this point, emergency services are generally reserved for only critically-ill patients. Our office does not have the ability to provide COVID-19 testing.
  • Since patients above 65 years old are at greatest risk from COVID-19 infections, we are recommending older adults to shelter-in-place and receive their routine care via telehealth or telephone. See allergy shot policies for older adults below.
  • You can reach us by phone during our office hours: M-TH 8 am to 5 pm and F 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Please DO NOT drop into the office for routine questions. We are also on-call after hours for emergency issues.
  • Routine in-clinic follow-ups for patients with no active problems may be postponed for up to two to four months. Our staff will reach out to you to reschedule or to set up a telehealth appointment in the near future.
  • Any new patients, skin testing, oral food challenges, etc., already scheduled will be contacted for rescheduling for a telehealth evaluation if appropriate or postponed for a later in-clinic visit.
  • We will continue to fill your medications; please have your pharmacy send a refill request.
  • Some regions are reporting shortages in short-acting Albuterol inhalers so please refill those before you run out. Keep any expired inhalers on hand—do not discard.

ALLERGY IMMUNOTHERAPY SHOT PATIENTS:

  • Please visit our website or Facebook page for updated shot hours. They can change at any time due to staffing issues and clinical needs.
  • Follow the schedule below from the date of your last injection:
    • Currently on maintenance shots: Come in every 30 days for your maintenance allergy shots. Your dose may or may not be slightly reduced depending upon time interval.
    • Currently on build-up phase of allergy shots every 2-14 days: Come in only once every two weeks (every 14 days). Most patients will be held on their current dose until the social distancing precautions have been lifted, although we will address that on a case-by-case basis.
    • After your injection, please wait in the waiting room or your car for 30 minutes. You will notice there are fewer chairs available. This is to promote social distancing.
    • Let the front office staff know you will be waiting in the car.
    • Please bring your rescue inhalers (Albuterol) if you have been prescribed one when you come for your allergy shots. In case of shot reaction our office cannot administer nebulized treatments due to the risk incurred with airborne droplets
  • New start patients: New start allergy shots will be deferred until social distancing precautions have been lifted. Please allow approximately two to three months to start shots.
  • If you are currently receiving your shots Out-of-Office, please notify the clinic of our modified shot schedule and have them contact our office or refer them to our website.
  • For patients above 65 years old, we would prefer you only come in for shots if medically necessary to maintain asthma or severe allergies.
  • For patients above 65 years old, we have set up special hours and cleaning procedures to receive your shots and still maintain social distancing from the general population. We ask that only seniors come during these hours to provide them with the safest allergy shot experience possible.
  • Venom Immunotherapy (VIT) is a potentially life-saving intervention and therefore VIT patients will follow their same protocols.
  • We will not perform routine peak flows in an effort to decrease the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
  • We recommend that you do not bring family members, especially children, into the clinic if they are not receiving immunotherapy. Decreasing the non-essential visitors can help with social distancing.

PATIENTS ON BIOLOGICS (e.g., Xolair, Fasenra, Dupixent, Nucala)

Please continue with your injections as directed. You may continue to call ahead to prepare your injection. Call the office once you arrive for further instructions (916-736-6644).

  • Please call the office if you are due for your biologic and have active cold or flu-like symptoms to determine the best course of action.

We apologize for any inconveniences these new policies may create.  However, they are temporary and devised with your safety and the safety of our various communities in mind. We will get through this together and appreciate your patience.

Please refer to the links below for questions regarding high risk populations including older adults, and those with chronic conditions including asthma, pregnancy and immune deficiencies.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html

Please call the office for any urgent questions or concerns:

(916) 736-6644