COVID-19 Updates and Service Related ChangesWhat We Know About COVID-19
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. Emergency warning signs include:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to move around
- Bluish lips or face
If you are not a patient but may be experiencing symptoms, call the NYC Coronavirus hotline at 888.364.3065 or the New Jersey Coronavirus hotline at 800.222.1222. IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING SEVERE SYMPTOMS, CALL 911.
As the Coronavrius outbreak evolves, Callen-Lorde has remained in close contact with the NYS Department of Health, and other state and local health agencies to get the most up-to-date information. Our priority is to ensure that our staff and patients are aware of this information as we receive it. Here’s what we know:
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory (chest/lung) disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first found in China and which has now been found in many places around the world including in the United States. The disease has been named “Coronavirus Disease 2019” (also called “COVID-19”).
The 2019 novel coronavirus may cause mild (light) to severe (serious) respiratory symptoms like:
- Trouble breathing
These symptoms may show in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after being in contact with the virus. The majority of people who contract the virus will not experience severe symptoms, however, people with chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems may be at an increased risk. This underscores the importance of wearing a mask if you are experiencing symptoms as not to spread the virus to others who may be a greater risk.
How Does Coronavirus Spread?
The virus spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) via respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Since this virus is very new, health officials continue to watch how this virus spreads. Read more about methods of disease transmission here.
While there is currently no vaccine, these simple steps can help stop the spread of this and other chest/lung viruses.
- As of April 15th, all New Yorkers are required to wear a mask or face covering when out in public and any other situation where 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained.
- Everyone should be social distancing, keeping at least six feet from anyone else and restricting the number of people with whom they have closer contact as much as possible.
- If you are experiencing symptoms such as cough or fever STAY HOME and isolate yourself – this means staying home and away from others. This is important for anyone who has symptoms, whether or not they have had a test. Call your healthcare provider for advice.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
At this time there is no specific treatment for the Coronavirus other than supportive care (fluids, medicine to reduce fever, and, in severe cases, oxygen). In most cases, people with COVID-19 will recover on their own, but will need to be isolated at home to avoid passing the virus to others. Call your healthcare provider if you are experiencing symptoms to discuss next steps.
Hours of Operation:
Callen-Lorde Chelsea: Monday – Tuesday, 9:00am – 8:00pm, Wednesday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Callen-Lorde Bronx: Monday – Tuesday, 9:00am – 8:00pm, Wednesday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Callen-Lorde Brooklyn: Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
We are have made a number of service changes:
1) to reduce non-essential procedures, meetings, and groups to minimize contact that may increase the spread of the virus,
2) to increase the number of nurses and providers speaking with our patients by phone to make sure their medical needs are taken care of, and
3) to provide very limited in-person visits (please call first).
At this time, we are moving to a phone screen model for our current patients. All patients scheduled for routine appointments will receive a call on the day that appointment is meant to occur.
At this time, we encourage you to use our delivery service for refills and non-urgent prescriptions. If you use the Callen-Lorde Pharmacy, you can request refills online, or by calling (877) 436-3452. If you are unable to receive a delivery or need additional support, please call 212.271.7204, option 2.
TESTING FOR COVID-19
Due to instructions by the NYC Department of Health, we will no longer be providing tests for COVID-19 at Callen-Lorde. At this time, tests will only be provided in hospital settings for patients requiring hospitalization.
The reason for this is to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gowns, gloves, and coveralls for people who are severely ill, and to keep people who may be experiencing symptoms but are otherwise healthy safely at home to minimize the spread of the virus.
The Thea Spyer Center (17th Street) is closed starting Wednesday, 3/18. All groups are temporarily suspended. Regularly scheduled appointments will be held by phone.
Procedural appointments (wart removal, anoscopy, routine dental work, etc.) have currently been canceled. Please contact 212.271.7200 for rescheduling.
At this time, the best course of action to keep you safe is to avoid coming into the office. For those who receive hormone injections at our clinics, we hope to still be open to provide shots, but we urge you to consider changing to pills or patches. Contact the clinic at 212.271.7200 to discuss options.
In order to best support our patients at this time, all Care Coordination is remote and happening by over the phone. Field visits for patient navigation services are cancelled indefinitely. If Callen-Lorde patients need case management support, call 646-965-5463, leave a voicemail, and a staff person will call you back within 1 business day. Learn more about accessing public benefits at callen-lorde.org/public-benefits-covid-19
Legal Services NYC is working with patients remotely and will not be staffing their usual Wednesday evening sessions for the time being. Instead, they are working with Callen-Lorde to reach out to the patients who had scheduled appointments with them over the next few weeks to offer support by phone. Additionally, they are staffing their citywide hotline for anyone seeking legal assistance: 917.661.4500.
The state has re-opened Open Enrollment until April 15th. Individuals who enroll by April 15, 2020 will have coverage effective starting April 1, 2020. Request a call from an Insurance Navigation Specialist here.
Patients can also directly apply for coverage through the NY State of Health on-line at nystateofhealth.ny.gov or by phone at 855-355-5777.
We are currently able to send all laboratory orders to draw stations across NYC. If you need labs, please call 212.271.7200. If you have an urgent laboratory question or concern, please ask to speak to a Triage Nurse.
Current Callen-Lorde patients can schedule a COVID-19 test at our Chelsea and Brooklyn clinics here.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Callen-Lorde has kept our doors open for all who are unable to access care with telephone or video conferencing. For those receiving their care in-person, we are doing everything possible to ensure safety at all of our clinical locations. We have continued to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State and City Departments of Health to make sure all of our staff and patients stay as healthy as possible.
In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, Callen-Lorde has implemented the following requirements:
All patients will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms at the front door of all locations with the following questions:
- Have you had a cough, fever, or shortness of breath in the last 2 weeks?
- Have you had chills or fatigue (feeling very tired or weak) in the last 2 weeks?
- Have you had a sore throat in the last 2 weeks?
- Have you lost your sense of taste or smell?
- Have you had any known exposure to someone in the last 2 weeks who has, or has had, COVID-19?
Patients that report any of the above will be brought into the isolation room for further assessment by a Registered Nurse.
- All patients, staff, and visitors must have their temperature taken when coming into the center. We will be using no-touch thermometers (checks temperature at the forehead). Anyone with a temperature of 100°F or more will be moved into an isolation room for evaluation by a Registered Nurse.
- Anyone in the center (patients, staff, and visitors) will be required to wear a mask while in the building. Masks will be provided at the front door of all our locations.
- All surfaces in the waiting area will be cleaned regularly each day. Waiting rooms are also being re-arranged to allow for 6 feet of distancing between others.
- To increase safety, we have marked areas in the centers to help with distancing. We will only allow a maximum of 4 people to occupy the elevators at any one time.
- Plexiglas barriers have been placed at the front desk to protect both patients and staff.
- To reduce the number of patients in the centers at any time, we are limiting in-person visits. Telehealth and videoconferencing visits can be scheduled online or over the phone.
- Each exam room will be cleaned and disinfected at the start of each day and after every patient. This includes equipment, exam tables, countertops, doorknobs, and other surfaces.
- Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be worn by all Callen-Lorde Staff. This includes N95 masks, protective gowns, gloves, and eyewear, if necessary.
- The Callen-Lorde Pharmacy offers at-home delivery. Please see our website for details.
- Additional air filtration systems will be utilized during any procedures or examinations where there is increased risk for COVID-19 transmission. This includes our Dental Department, which will use specialized oral air filtration devices during all procedures.
Please use the following recommendations to ensure your safety:
- Wear a mask when you are out in public (including at the health centers).
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds (sing “Happy Birthday” twice) with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Keep at least 6 feet of distance between others as much as possible.
- Insert the swab provided at least 1 cm (1/2 an inch) into the nostril
- Press the swab against the inside of the nostril and rotate it
- Hold the swab in place for 15 seconds
- Repeat using the same swab in the opposite nostril
- Unscrew the specimen tube cap being careful not to spill the liquid inside
- Place the swab inside the specimen tube
- Snap the swab stick against the inside of the specimen tube, leaving the soft part of the swab stick inside the specimen tube
- Screw the cap tightly back onto the specimen tube
- Place in the specimen collection container
- Clean your hands