CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE
We at The Allergy Clinic are, like all of you, very concerned about what we can do to protect ourselves, our families and our community from the current epidemic of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). We are also particularly mindful of the need now, more than ever, to make sure our patients' allergy and asthma are under the best possible control so that your lungs and respiratory system will be strong enough to withstand any potential infection-- whether it’s COVID-19, the flu, or anything else.
As a medical office providing essential services, we plan to keep The Allergy and Asthma Clinic and Peninsula Allergy and Asthma Associates open, though we will be reducing our days of operation. As of now, we plan to have normal business hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in San Mateo and will be closed through the end of the month on Wednesdays and Saturdays. In Daly City, we plan to remain open with normal business hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but will be closed through the end of the month on Fridays. Please understand this situation may change and we encourage you to check our website or call the office for the latest information on our hours of operation.
COVID-19 targets the lungs, which is why individuals who are most at risk of complications are those whose lungs have already been weakened by environmental toxins (such as smoking, air pollution, etc), disease (including allergic disease), and age (over 60). We have already asked all patients to refrain from coming into the office if they have any indication of possible COVID-19 infection. We want you to know of the additional steps we are taking in our office to further protect you. They are:
1) As we have always done, we are wiping down and disinfecting each exam room after every patient encounter. Additionally, our reception areas are being disinfected on an hourly basis, including pens. For the time being, we have also removed all magazines, so you may want to bring your own pens and reading material. As you know, we have wi-fi available.
2) All staff members have their temperatures taken when they report to work and, effective March 16, we are taking the temperature of all patients when they enter the office for allergy injections. (We already were taking the temperatures of all patients scheduled for an office visit.) We will also be taking the temperature of anyone else entering the office for any reason (for ex., persons accompanying patients, delivery people dropping off supplies, etc.).
Anyone with a fever will not be allowed to receive an allergy injection or enter the office for a scheduled appointment. Anyone with a fever or any other symptoms of COVID-19 should not come into the office as they will not be allowed to remain in the office but will instead be advised to consult with their primary care physician, as recommended by the CDC.
3) Masks will be required for any patients who have a cough.
4) All staff have been notified of travel restrictions, and will need to self quarantine for 14 days if they have traveled overseas or if they have traveled anywhere by airplane. We also recommend to our patients that they avoid all non-essential air travel at this time.
5) Staff always wear gloves when giving injections and always wash their hands after they have contact with a patient while not wearing gloves (ie, in an exam room).
Your health and safety are our top priority. As we do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19, we ask that you please call our office to reschedule any appointments if you have or have had any symptoms of fever, especially if associated with cough and/or shortness of breath within the past 3 weeks. Also, anyone who is sick and plans to accompany a patient to the office should not come into the office.
We realize the above rules and schedule changes may be inconvenient for some patients, especially at this time of year when allergies tend to flare because of increasing pollen counts. However, we appreciate your understanding that the reason we are doing this is to protect the health and well-being of all of our patients, and to ensure we have adequate staffing to accommodate these exceptional times.
We will continue to monitor the data and recommendations from the CDC and WHO, as well as local health authorities, and keep you informed as more information becomes available.