Columbia Opens Fever and Cough Clinic

March 30, 2020

Columbia University has established a fever and cough clinic where people with respiratory symptoms can see a health care provider and, if clinically warranted, be tested for COVID-19. The clinic is located at the ColumbiaDoctors Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Group location at 516 W. 168th St. in Washington Heights.

To schedule an appointment, individuals must first be screened by a health care provider in the Columbia system, which can be done by phone or via a tele-health visit. After this initial screening, the provider can schedule an appointment for the patient electronically. Any Columbia health care provider—including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and registered nurses—can provide the initial screening and schedule appointments. Individuals who do not have a Columbia health care provider can connect with one by calling 877-426-5637. 

“The new fever and cough clinics will give patients who are ill a convenient location where they can see a health care provider, while at the same time helping ensure that only the sickest patients are sent to our emergency rooms,” said David Buchholz, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and senior founding medical director for primary care. 

When a patient arrives at the clinic, a health care provider will confirm his or her medical history, perform a physical exam if needed, and obtain samples for lab tests, which may include a nasal swab to test for COVID-19 if the result of the test would change medical management. If the health care provider determines that the patient should be admitted to a hospital, a test for COVID-19 will be performed. It is likely that testing guidelines will broaden in the days or weeks ahead. 

Patients with accounts in Connect (Columbia's online patient portal) will get their results posted in their online portal. Patients who do not have a Connect account will receive results by phone or by mail, and a copy of the results will be sent electronically to the provider who referred the patient to the clinic. COVID-19 results will be available to patients within one business day.

During their clinic appointment, patients will receive additional instructions about how to manage their symptoms, how to prevent the spread of their illness within their household and community, and when to seek additional treatment if their symptoms worsen or do not go away. 

Additional information for providers can be found here; additional information for patients here.

Directions to ColumbiaDoctors Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Group:

The clinic is located at 516 W. 168th St., between Amsterdam and Audubon Avenues.