Health & Safety
Office Updates relating to COVID-19
As you may be aware, Governor Brown recently lifted the statewide ban on non-urgent medical procedures beginning May 1st, if the office can follow new protocols for maintaining a safe environment for staff and patients in relation to COVID-19. We are eager to get back to doing what we enjoy the most: providing you with the best dermatologic care possible. However we must follow the guidelines and do this in the safest way possible. The new COVID-19 protocols demand that we have adequate PPE (e.g. masks and face shields) for our staff. PPE is still very hard to come by from our medical suppliers, so we have to carefully ration our use of PPE. These protocols also ask that we take additional measures to reduce the potential for exposure in our clinic, which will limit the number of patients we can safely see on a daily basis, and the number of staff we can have in the building at one time. Finally, the Oregon Health Authority has recommended that we prioritize first scheduling the patients who have the most pressing health needs, or for whom further delay in care will have the most negative impact on their overall health. What this means is that we will not be able to safely see the same volume of patients that we typically have in the past, and that we will not be able to immediately provide all the routine care that you are accustomed to. We know these are difficult and frustrating times for all of us, and having a delay in your medical care only adds to the stress of the situation. Please know we are doing our best to balance your overall health and safety with your particular dermatologic needs. We thank you for your understanding and flexibility during these challenging times.
Below is a list of our new office protocols aimed at keeping you and our staff as safe as possible:
- We are limiting the number of staff in our office on any given day, to allow us to maintain at least 6 ft of distancing at all times throughout the work day. All staff will be wearing a mask or sitting behind a plexiglass barrier throughout the work day.
- In order to maintain social distancing, we request that only the patient to be treated enters the office unless a parent or caregiver is essential to the visit.
- All staff will answer a COVID-19 health safety questionnaire each day and have their temperature screened daily. Abnormal results will result in that staff member being asked to return home.
- We will ask you to delay/reschedule your appointment if you have any symptoms suspicious of COVID-19 (including fever, cough, breathing difficulties), if you have recently traveled, if you’ve had contact with someone known or suspected to have COVID-19, or if you’ve had contact with someone who was told to self quarantine due to potential COVID-19 exposure. We will screen your temperature with a non-contact device upon arrival.
- You must wear a face mask or covering over your nose and mouth (e.g. bandana, scarf) before entering our building. We do not have adequate PPE supplies to provide one for you. If you do not have one, you will be asked to reschedule your appointment.
- Upon arrival you will be immediately escorted to an exam room so you will not be sitting in the waiting area where you could have exposure to other individuals.
- We will only use each exam room twice per day, to allow for adequate sanitizing of surfaces in between patients, and to allow for any airborne particles to dissipate.
- In some situations we may offer you the option of scheduling a telemedicine visit, which allows us to evaluate your condition remotely through live videoconferencing. This is not appropriate for all dermatologic issues but can be useful for many conditions.
We hope this information is helpful to you in understanding the changes to our practice, and provides you reassurance that we are doing our best to keep you safe while also addressing your dermatologic needs. We will continue to make changes to our protocol as this situation evolves. Thank you for being such wonderful patients and for all your support and understanding.
If you are a clinic patient here and are taking a biologic medication (e.g. Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Stelara, Tremfya, Skyrizi, Ilumya, Cosentyx, Taltz, Siliq, Dupixent) please click here for instructions regarding additional coronavirus precautions. If you are a research patient currently in one of our biologic trials, please call the research department staff with any questions at (503) 226-3376 to ask for guidance with your study medication and vaccinations.
If you have any other questions, please call us at (503) 226-3376.
For up to date information on Covid-19, please visit https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/COVID19-FAQ.aspx