Due to current recommendations made by the US Government/State Government/CDC to reduce transmission of novel coronavirus – we are continuing with the following protocols:
1. Most in-office appointments including new patient consultations, established patient follow-ups, allergy testing, patch testing, food challenges – will be cancelled or moved to a telemedicine visit. We ask you not to come into the office. You will be contacted by someone from our office regarding switching your office visit to a telemedicine visit. We will open starting Monday, May 4th, for limited in-office appointments.
2. Allergy shots will be still be continued to be offered. If you are on maintenance dosing of your allergy shots please come in every 4 weeks for your injection. If you are building your dose of allergy shot – holding at this dose, and come in only every 4 weeks to repeat that dose. After check-in for your shot, you will be asked to wait in your car. Once your shot is ready, you will be called to come directly in to receive your injection. After your allergy shot – please wait for observation in your car. This is an evolving process, so this recommendation may change – check the capitalallergy.com website for updates. If you have specific questions regarding your allergy shots – please contact the office via phone (916) 453-8696 or via the patient portal.
3. Biologic shots (Xolair, Fasenra, Nucala, Dupixent) will continue to be administered in office. Similar check-in process, shot administration, and observation process (as described above for allergy shots) will apply for these injections. Starting April 30th, please check in at the allergy shot waiting room for all biologic injections, unless you have a scheduled in-office appointment for the same day.
4. If you have cough, cold, or flu-like symptoms (fever, fatigue, body aches, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) and you have questions about what to do – please call the office via phone (916) 453-8696 or via the patient portal to receive advice and further direction. Do not just walk into the office.
Below are relevant questions/answers regarding COVID-19 and those with chronic allergies, asthma, and other chronic lung conditions:
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new form of coronavirus first identified in December 2019. Coronaviruses, in general, are not new and are a common cause of colds and upper respiratory infections. We don’t yet know why this new form, COVID-19, is more severe.
How is COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly person-to-person, through respiratory droplets in coughs or sneezes. It can live on surfaces as well through these droplets.
What is the time period when COVID-19 can spread?
Unfortunately, people can spread the infection to others before symptoms first appear. It can then be spread for up to 14 days after symptom onset (possibly longer).
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The majority of people experience mild illness but severe illness and death can occur. Fever, cough, and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms. Certain groups of people have been identified as being at risk of having severe symptoms of COVID-19 if they are infected – older adults (over age 60) or those with chronic illness (including chronic heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and chronic lung disease – this includes asthma, COPD (bronchitis/asthma).
Here is information regarding what to do if you are at higher risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19 (understand that the changes we are implementing in the office are to help reduce your risk)
How is COVID-19 treated?
There are no current vaccines, or anti-viral treatments to use when someone is acutely infected. Treatment relies on supportive care to treat symptoms when they occur.
When should I seek emergency care?
Seek immediate medical attention if you have difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, sudden confusion or inability to stay awake. These are not the only reasons someone may need emergency care – call your doctor for other concerns. Call any emergency department or medical provider BEFORE arrival to allow them to put precautions in place.
Can I get tested for COVID-19 at your office?
The indications for testing as well as availability for testing are constantly changing. We currently are unable to safely test for COVID-19.
When should I cancel my regularly scheduled allergy appointment?
Effective immediately; all in-office appointments will be canceled through April 1 – you will be contacted about rescheduling options. Even though your office visit is canceled, we can still help you – we will be offering telemedicine visits and you can please understand due to this sudden change, allow for some delay in contact from our office to discuss your options.
Is it safe to come to your office?
At this time, due to the recommendations to avoid groups of 10 or more, we are canceling all in-office visits at this time. Be aware that we are taking all recommended precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including reassessing what care must be done in a face-to-face manner, screening all patients and accompanying family members, regularly disinfecting exam rooms and public areas, and staying up to date with current recommendations from the local Department of Public Health.
I’m getting allergy shots – what should I do?
If you are on a maintenance dosing of allergy shots – only come in every 4 weeks. If you are currently building your dose of allergy shots – your current dose will no longer be able to be increased, and you will remain at that dose for another 4 weeks. If you have questions regarding your allergy shots – please contact the office.
Will your office be closing?
No. We may need to adjust the number of appointments or types of visits depending upon the future spread of COVID-19. Please refer to our website for the most up to date information.
What if I have asthma? How will COVID-19 affect me?
We don’t have a lot of information regarding the risk of asthma exacerbation with COVID-19. For now, we recommend continuing all currently prescribed daily asthma medications, call our office if you have had frequent symptoms or needed your rescue inhaler more often, and starting your asthma treatment plan as soon as possible if symptoms occur.
Are steroids harmful if someone has COVID-19?
It does not appear that inhaled steroids or short courses of oral steroids are harmful for the treatment of asthma. The risk of stopping regular use of inhaled steroids include a loss of asthma control and the possible need for treatment with oral steroids. Please do not stop any medications without discussing it with your doctor.
I have an immune deficiency – what precautions should I take?
Please contact your doctor directly to discuss any necessary precautions. There is a wide range of immune deficiencies that may have different risk. All general precautions should be followed as outlined above.
What can we do as a community to stop and halt the spread of this virus?
It is first important to understand that anyone can acquire this infection – regardless of their age, gender, and medical conditions; we are able capable of acquiring the infection and therefore passing it to others. Even though you are younger without chronic diseases, you are still at risk of getting infected, and potentially transmitting the virus to someone else – potentially someone who is at higher risk of COVID-19-related severe symptoms. Although you may very well recover without significant medical attention needed, someone else who gets it may not. These patients who develop more severe symptoms may need necessary inpatient/hospital-level care – and those resources may become limited if we do not act to prevent continued community spread.
The US government has strongly recommended avoiding gatherings or settings where there may be 10 or more people – please abide by this recommendation. Stay home, cut off your normal daily routine/activities to the best of your ability, communicate with your employer to see if working remotely is possible. If you know anyone who fits in the higher risk for severe symptoms category – help them so they can self-isolate to the best of their ability.