Updated August 11, 2022
Valley Internal Physicians cares for many patients who are elderly, as well as those with significant underlying medical conditions. These are the very populations at highest risk for severe complications from COVID-19 infection. Fortunately, we are experiencing a drop in cases throughout the U.S.
The California Department of Public Health still requires that all individuals entering indoor
healthcare facilities must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.
Our office policies are as follows:
- 1. Patients are being scheduled in-office appointments, however we will convert these to telehealth appointments for patients with cold or flu symptoms, or those with known exposure to COVID.
- 2. Our waiting room is open. All patients entering the office are required to wear a mask while in the building. Patients who wish to wait without a mask may do so in their cars and will be called in when ready. Once again, masks will be required when entering the office.
- 1. We are not testing for COVID-19 in the office. If the provider feels testing is appropriate, the patient will be directed to a testing location.
- 2. Riverside County residents who do not have symptoms but want to be tested for COVID-19 are able to schedule testing appointments themselves. Those who wish to be tested at one of the multiple county testing locations may call (800) 945-6171 for an appointment.
- 3. At-home swab tests are available through LabCorp without a doctor’s order. Visit pixel.labcorp.com for more information.
- 4. Rapid at-home antigen tests are readily available from most pharmacies.
- 5. Antibody testing is available for asymptomatic patients or those who may have been exposed. Both LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics offer antibody testing through a blood draw that requires an order from a provider.
Vaccination against COVID-19 has been shown to be overwhelmingly effective and is our best strategy for ending the pandemic. We are aware there have been reports of complications from the vaccines, but considering the sheer number of doses that have been administered, the statistical likelihood of having one of these complications is exceedingly low. We are also aware of considerable disinformation surrounding the vaccines, but rest assured that we practice evidence-based medicine, and our recommendations are based on science published in the medical literature.
- 1. Due to storage and capacity requirements, we are not able to offer vaccines at our office.
- 2. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been fully approved by the FDA.
- 3. Vaccines are readily available through local pharmacies on a walk-in basis.
- 4. Booster shots are available for all adults age 18 or older who completed their initial vaccination at least 6 months ago.
- 5. Adults age 50 years or older who received a booster at least 4 months ago are eligible for a second booster.
For those infected with the virus, there are effective treatments that can help prevent the progression to severe illness.
- 1. Paxlovid (Pfizer) and Lagevrio (Merck) are oral medications that can be prescribed within the first five days after symptoms begin for patients with underlying medical conditions that increase the risk of severe illness.
- 2. The list of conditions that meet criteria can be found on the CDC website.
This page will be updated regularly. In the meantime, please refer to the following websites for the most accurate and up-to-date information:
• Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
• Riverside County Department of Public Health
• World Health Organization (WHO)