The Polyclinic is taking the spread of COVID-19 very seriously. We are monitoring the situation, staying in touch with our local Public Health officials, and updating our processes and protocols accordingly. We do expect to see more cases in the coming weeks, much like the other epidemics that we have experienced over the last 15 years.
COVID-19 is impacting how we all live, work, and stay healthy. There is a lot of information about this virus, often changing rapidly. The Polyclinic is here to help you navigate this crisis and help keep you and your family healthy.
In accordance with public health guidance we’ve made some important changes to our clinic operations to keep you and our staff safe.
Screeners at Main Clinic Locations
Our staff are screening all patients for COVID-19 over the phone and in person based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and King County Public Health. We have added team members at clinic entrances at Ballard, Broadway, Downtown, Madison Center, and Northgate Plaza to screen patients for respiratory illness. Family members or friends entering the building with patients will also be screened. They will provide masks and hand sanitizer to patients who need them. If you’re coming to one of these Polyclinic locations, you will be stopped by a screener on the way into the building. Thank you for answering their brief questions and wearing a mask if they give you one.
How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Family
Watch for symptoms. They can appear 2-14 days after you’ve been exposed. They include:
- Runny nose
- Trouble breathing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath
Be extra careful if you:
- Are over age 60
- Are pregnant
- Have a weak immune system
- Have diabetes or serious heart or lung problems
Protect yourself and others:
- Stay home, if you can
- If you must go out, stay at least 6 feet away from others
- Clean your hands often. Use soap and water or a hand sanitizer
If You Have Symptoms – Call Your Doctor’s Office or our Nurse Triage Line
To help prevent the spread of infection, we are asking all patients with symptoms of respiratory illness—fever, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath—to please call us before coming into the clinic. We will triage your condition over the phone and make recommendations on next steps based on your symptoms and our current screening guidelines. Use this guide for navigating symptoms and self-care.
The Polyclinic’s Nurse Triage Line, 206.860.5319, is staffed by registered nurses who can assist you seven days a week.
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
If your symptoms are mild: slight fever, cough, runny nose.
- We may ask you to remain at home to recover.
- Avoid going out in public, but if you must go out, be sure to use good respiratory hygiene: wash hands thoroughly or use hand sanitizer, wear a surgical mask, or cover your cough/sneeze with tissue and throw it away.
- Please call us if your symptoms worsen.
If your symptoms are serious or worsening: continued fever, severe shortness of breath.
- We may ask you to come in for evaluation or we may refer you to the closest emergency room.
- If we do schedule an appointment, we ask that you remain in your car once you arrive at the clinic and call your provider’s office to let them know you’re ready to be seen. They will confirm when to come into the clinic for your visit.
- Once you enter the clinic: sanitize your hands with Purell and put on a surgical mask.
Should you be tested for COVID-19?
In more than 80% of cases, symptoms are mild, don’t require testing and can be self-managed at home. After you’ve talked to or been evaluated by your provider, you might be sent to one of our acute respiratory clinics for further evaluation and testing. The decision to test for COVID-19 will be made in consultation with a provider at one of our acute respiratory clinics.
Changes to Upcoming Clinic Appointments
We may contact you to reschedule clinic appointments that are not urgent. This includes:
- Routine check-ups or wellness visits
- Non-urgent specialty visits and surgical care
These appointments may be able to be scheduled via video or be scheduled after June 1. We will call you if we need to reschedule your visit.
Urgent In-Clinic Appointments
Some appointments can’t be delayed or done via video. For those appointments, we are doing everything possible to keep you safe while delivering the care you urgently need. Urgent in-clinic visits, including allergy shots, must be scheduled ahead of time. Learn more about appointments.
As more people need care due to COVID-19, our clinics will become busier. If you need care, you may need to see a different provider than your primary care doctor. Or, you may need to go to a different clinic to get care. Our goal is to offer all patients the care they need, when they need it.
Most importantly, we ask you to call first if you have fever, cough, or trouble breathing before you come into a clinic. For those who have mild symptoms, it is best to use our home care instructions.
Non-Urgent Surgeries and Procedures Will Be Rescheduled
The Polyclinic will also postpone surgeries and procedures (operations) that are not urgent. This will begin March 18 and last until April 30. We will call you to let you know if a surgery or procedure needs to be rescheduled. We will begin rescheduling once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.
New Visitor Policy
To reduce the spread of infection, The Polyclinic is limiting visitors who accompany patients in the following way:
- One parent for each child or minor
- One caregiver for each patient with physical or cognitive limitation or disability
- No siblings of a patient unless they have an appointment
- No visitors with a fever, cough, or breathing problems
MyChart Direct Scheduling Is Temporarily Unavailable
All Polyclinic patients must be screened for COVID-19 by phone before scheduling an appointment. Call The Polyclinic directly to make your appointment.
Find more information and home care instructions here.