The health and well-being of our patients, staff and community remains our top priority. We have redesigned our patient protocols, so that we may continue to provide top-notch, patient-oriented Ear, Nose, Throat, Allergy and Audiology care in a safe, efficient manner. We continuously monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely, and take steps to strictly comply with (and in many cases exceed) recommendations from our local, state, and federal health departments.We hope and expect that you will find your visit to Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy to be safe, efficient, streamlined and – as always – personalized to your needs.
We know many of you have questions. Our most commonly asked questions about appointments and care during this time are answered below. If we haven’t covered your particular question on this page, please contact us directly for additional assistance.
Does Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy and Allergy perform coronavirus testing on-site?
No, we cannot perform testing for coronavirus on-site.
If you have a COVID test pending you should not come in until the results are known. A positive test means you need to seek care elsewhere.
What are the symptoms that can indicate infection with COVID-19?
Here is a list of CDC symptoms that can indicate COVID-19 (Dry cough, chills, sore throat, fever of 101 or above, headache, muscle pain or loss of smell). More information is available at this CDC website:
What should I do if I have some of these symptoms?
If you think that you have a sufficient number of these symptoms – or any to a very significant degree – then you should not come to our offices. Rather, you should contact your primary care physician for guidance and treatment. Of course, you can always call our office prior to scheduling an in-office appointment if you require guidance.
If you have tested positive for COVID in the past 14 days – please call our office for alternative arrangements.
How is Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy and Allergy preparing for COVID-19?
We continue to monitor new information about COVID-19, and we are adapting our care practices to reflect the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), Department of Health (“DOH”), and other overseeing regulatory bodies.
Have additional safety measures have been implemented?
- Yes! We have implemented a COVID-19 specific protocol. This protocol includes enhanced instrument cleaning and disinfecting procedures, limiting the time spent in the office, universal use of PPE, thorough surface cleaning and exam room sanitizing between patients.
- Patients will undergo screening questions and receive comprehensive instructions about our new policies prior to their appointment.
In order to limit patient density, we request that most patients arrive at their appointment alone. For children and adult patients who require a caretaker, one adult may accompany the patient.
- Patient temperatures will be checked via forehead scanners upon arrival to the office.
- Patients who are sick, are under evaluation for COVID-19 infection, or fail screening questions or temperature checks, will be rescheduled.
We are limiting the number of patients we see throughout the day and we have largely eliminated the concept of a “waiting room.” In most cases, patients will be taken directly to the exam room. This includes virtual check in and check out.
- Where possible, patients will generally complete check-in procedures from their car, and when acceptable to patient and provider, the patient also may discuss their symptoms and reason for visit with their provider from their car using a cell phone. Patients will then come into the office for a physical examination and discussion of treatment plan. This will limit the time spent in the office.
- All of our providers and staff are provided personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes masks, gloves, eye protection and in many cases, protective gowns.
- When patients enter the office, we ask that you also utilize PPE equipment as well as cleaning your hands using the provided hand sanitizer. You must wear a mask or face-covering at all times when on the premises.
- Where possible, the waiting room will be used only for allergy treatment. The rearranged waiting rooms allows for ample social distancing while undertaking the mandatory wait after an allergy shot.
- Office cleaning now includes COVID-19-specific protocols. Exam rooms – from countertops to chairs to door handles to computer keyboards – are thoroughly sanitized with high-level disinfectants before every patient visit.
- All employees and providers are screened for symptoms and fever twice daily.
- Telemedicine appointments remain available for patients for prefer to be seen virtually, as well as visits that may not require in-office examination.
Are you pre-screening patients?
The safety of our patients and communities we serve is our number one priority. Patients will be properly assessed for COVID-19 risks (via phone or in person) prior to being allowed into any clinical areas. Patients will have their temperatures measured and will be required to answer additional Covid-19 specific questions.
We remind you that our offices are not the place to come for patients with symptoms consistent with a significant risk of ongoing COVID infection.
How are you ensuring the safety of your more vulnerable patients?
We believe that the measures we are taking provide a safe space to be seen throughout the day. That being said, CDC guidance suggests increase risk for COVID-19 illness severity in older patients (>60-65 years) and patients with other medical conditions including: High blood Pressure, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Chronic Lung Disease (Asthma, COPD, Bronchitis, etc), Cancer (any type except for skin cancer), Chronic Kidney Disease, Chronic Liver Disease, and Immune System Problems. If you have any of these medical problems here is guidance from our office:
- Low risk patients can come into the office as usual (with heightened safety precautions as described above)
- Medium risk patients can come into the office at their (and our) discretion.
- High risk patients are advised to consider coming to the office only for truly urgent problems, especially those >80 years old. Most high risk patients should have a virtual telemedicine visit to determine their need for in-office examination. Face-to-face visits are ideal but may not be possible for all of our patients.
We will offer telemedicine visits for ALL patients, regardless of risk, if preferred by the patient
Patients at higher risk must give special consideration as to whether their problem warrants leaving their homes at this time to come to the office. They must weigh the degree to which they need to be seen with the increasing risk of serious consequences in contracting COVID-19. This risk increases with increasing age so that someone 90 years old carries a greater risk than someone 65 years old, and this must be taken into consideration in the decision making.
If you do not feel comfortable in the clinical setting, you can still schedule a virtual visit with your Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy and Allergy provider.
Have there been changes to the clinic operating hours?
To allow increased time between patients, at this time the practice has structured a full physician day (8:00am-4:30pm, M-F) and in some cases will be starting earlier (ie-7:30am) and extending the day later (ie-8pm) to accommodate patients while allowing for proper spacing between patients. We have reduced the number of patients we see per hour to ensure minimal public interaction within the office space and to reinforce proper social distancing protocols.
What are the guidelines for office visits?
To help you prepare for your appointment, please keep the following in mind:
Patients should arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to answer pre-screening questions.
Only the patient is allowed in the office. For children and adult patients who require a caretaker, one adult may accompany the patient.
Additional instructions and guidelines are posted on the “Forms” page of our website.
What else should I know about the office visit?
Where possible we will be eliminating and at least minimizing the number of patients in our waiting room. Please call ahead to our clinic (we will give you the number prior to your visit) to let us know you have arrived. We will guide you from there.
What about my paperwork?
Now more than ever, it is important that all patients, both NEW and RETURN (if over a year since your last visit) complete your intake paperwork ahead of time through the online portal or print at home. All forms are available on the “Forms” section of our website and may be submitted online. If this is not possible, please arrive at least 30 minutes before the appointment time and we will ask you to fill out paperwork in your car.
Who can come into the office with me?
Only the patient is allowed in the office. For children and adult patients who require a caretaker or have special needs, one adult may accompany the patient. Additional well-children/siblings are not permitted to accompany.
Can I make changes to my appointment?
We will respect and accommodate any patient’s request to defer their appointments or procedures to a later date, particularly as it relates to any non-urgent services.
Are you still offering allergy shots?
Allergy shots will continue in the office. After receiving shots, patients will wait for the required 30 minutes either in the spacious waiting room or in an exam room. Distancing guidelines will be strictly enforced.
How soon can I book an appointment?
Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy and Allergy IS NOW BOOKING IN-OFFICE APPOINTMENTS. WE ARE SEEING PATIENTS BOTH BY TELEHEALTH AND IN THE OFFICE. Most clinical locations are now open. In many cases, we can schedule you for the same day you call for an appointment. Our goal is to schedule your appointment at the best possible time for you.
What if I am unable to keep my appointment?
If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call the office and your provider will be notified and your appointment will be rescheduled. You can also reschedule online by visiting our website.
Are you still offering virtual and telemedicine visits?
Yes, Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy and Allergy will still be offering virtual visits. Penn Medicine Becker ENT & Allergy and Allergy doctors and nurse practitioners will be able to discuss your symptoms and determine the most appropriate treatment plan, including recommending an in-office visit when necessary.
Here is some guidance from the CDC on Staying Healthy:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you’re sick and encourage family to do the same.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and immediately wash your hands. No tissue? Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.