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COVID-19 Information for Patients

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Our practices are open and we are here to care for you. Keeping you and our clinical teams safe is a top priority. Whether you receive your care virtually or in-person, you can count on receiving the same great quality of care that you’ve come to expect from Columbia. Please visit ColumbiaDoctors for more information. 

COVID-19 Vaccines

In partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian, we are providing first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible New York City residents. Patients that are eligible for the vaccine can make an appointment through our Connect portal. Vaccines are administered five days a week at the Armory, located at 216 Fort Washington Avenue. Information about eligibility and appointment availability can be checked on our VaccineTogetherNY.org site. Information is also available at 646-697-8222. 

Please note that patients who are not NYC residents but who received their first dose at the Armory can return for their second dose.

Seeking Medical Care for COVID-19

If you think you might have COVID-19, we want you to get the best care possible and keep those around you safe and healthy. That means finding out if you need testing before visiting a practice office.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone that has been diagnosed with COVID-19, call your primary care doctor. They will determine if you need testing. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, you should visit the emergency room.

Wear a mask if you need to leave your home. Please note that in New York State everyone is required (age 2+) to wear a face covering when outside their home if unable to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others. As part of efforts to protect all patients, visitors, and our staff members from COVID-19 and other illnesses, all of our staff members in our practices wear a face mask while providing care to our patients, and we will provide face coverings to our patients as well. For more information, please see this Notice to Patients Concerning Face Coverings.  

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has additional information for specific groups, including pregnant women and children.

COVID-19 Prevention

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC and other public health experts recommend everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Above all, practice proper social distancing. That means avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people; suspending discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits; and engaging in work, school, and other activities from home wherever possible.
  • Wear a cloth face covering in public.
  • Stay home, especially when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with others. Maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others when in public.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.  
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

COVID-19 Symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, chills, and/or loss of taste or smell. These symptoms may be similar to the flu or the common cold. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia and other complications, especially in older individuals and those with underlying health conditions.

Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure. For more on signs and symptoms, see this reference guide by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Visitor Policy

For everyone’s safety, our Visitor Policy has been updated. For now, visitors are not allowed with few exceptions. In these cases, only one person may join you at your visit. Any visitor who is coughing or showing other signs of illness will be asked to leave.

Please visit NewYork-Presbyterian’s website for information about their Visitor Policy.

Resources for Discharged COVID-19 Patients and Caregivers

If a health care provider has determined that you or somebody in your care can be isolated and monitored at home after testing positive, please follow these abridged Discharge Instructions for Patients with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 until the provider says that you or the person you are caring for can return to normal activities. Consider printing these instructions and placing them somewhere visible for your quick reference.

If you have questions, please see our more detailed Discharge Instructions – Patients with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19  and Caregiver Instructions for Respiratory Illness.

Seeking Non-Covid Medical Care

CUIMC and our outpatient practices are open to provide care for all patients. We are taking every precaution to ensure our patients’ safety and wellbeing as they return for medical care which may have been delayed, cancelled, or rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit ColumbiaDoctors for more information.

Additional Resources