Skip to Content

Home|Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center

We're here to help

Presbyterian’s top priority is ensuring the safety of those we serve, as well as our own employees.

All Presbyterian facilities have taken the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of our patients, staff and community from Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are also working collaboratively with the New Mexico Department of Health and other health facilities to address the growing concern of COVID-19.

Helping You Navigate Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Access information, online screening tools and care options.

Learn More

Clinic Visitor Policy

At Presbyterian, the health and safety of our patients and workforce is our top priority. In order to protect our patients and staff, Presbyterian is revising our visitor policy while the threat of COVID-19 continues.

To protect our patients and workforce all family members are prohibited from attending a clinic visit with a patient, except for the following:

  • Guardian of a pediatric patient.
  • Medical decision maker or power of attorney for any patient unable to advocate for themselves.
  • Surrogate for patient as defined as a primary caregiver providing care the patient is unable to provide care for themselves.

Waiting rooms will be utilized for patients and their designated family member only. Patients and family members will be required to adhere to the social distancing requirements in the clinic waiting rooms

Family members or guardians not meeting these criteria will be asked to wait in their car. Clinic will ask for cell phone number and will call when patient is ready to exit.

We continue to monitor the risk of COVID-19 closely and will make adjustments to visitor restrictions, as necessary.

We appreciate the community’s partnership in helping us as we prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Elective Procedures

We will be postponing most elective procedures. Your provider’s office will contact you if you have a procedure scheduled in the next 6-8 weeks.

FAQ

Education & Prevention

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China that has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States.

The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing and trouble breathing.

This respiratory virus is spread through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose, as well as close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands or touching an object or surface with the virus on it.

The best ways we can prevent illness are: avoiding exposure through frequent hand washing, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth and staying home.

Throughout the Presbyterian system, we would accommodate a surge in patients due to COVID-19 through triage and appropriate transfers to other facilities in New Mexico, in close coordination with the New Mexico Department of Health.

At Presbyterian Hospital, we currently have capacity in our ICU but the vast majority of patients with COVID-19 do not require that level of care. It is important to note that in about 80 percent of cases, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can recover at home and do not require hospitalizations.

Contracting COVID-19

Older adults, as well as people with underlying chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease, seem to be at higher risk for developing serious complications with COVID-19. But, COVID-19 can still be present in all other ages, including children and young adults.

People are thought to be able to spread the virus the most or be the most contagious when they feel sick and are showing symptoms. However, some spread might be possible before someone feels sick or has symptoms. There have been reports of this with the new coronavirus, but it is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

There is limited information about the risk of COVID-19 to pregnant women. During pregnancy, women experience changes to their immune system and other physical changes that might increase their risk for severe illness with COVID-19. Because of this, pregnant women are considered an at-risk population and asked to please take extra care in following prevention efforts like social distancing and handwashing. To help reduce the risk, Presbyterian Medical Group is offering their pregnant patients the option of telehealth visits so that they can continue their regular appointments without having to come to the office.

Screening & Testing

To have your symptoms screened for a COVID-19 test, you can do one of the following:

Please take advantage of one of these options before going to your doctor’s office, an urgent care clinic, PRESNow or the emergency room to help us keep our patients and employees safe.

If you are experiencing severe symptoms or if you think you have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.

Yes, both screening and testing are free.

Online screenings are open to the entire community, regardless of insurance.

If your screening says you do not need a test, you will not get an order for a test.

If you have symptoms and have received an order for a COVID-19 test, you will be tested for:

  1. Influenza (flu) A/B and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  2. COVID-19

Based on CDC guidance and test supply, if your test for the flu or RSV is positive, the COVID-19 test will not be completed.

Results are taking 3 to 5 days to be processed after your test.

While waiting for your test results, please take precautions such as staying home, washing your hands frequently and cleaning high-touch surfaces.

You will get a call with your results as soon as they are ready. Or if you have a Presbyterian MyChart account, you can check it at www.phs.org/MyChart.

Currently, there is no vaccine to protect us against COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) and no medications are approved to treat it. Supportive care is the most important response strategy.

Appointments & Access

Most of our Presbyterian Medical Group clinics remain open. However, our providers are reviewing all scheduled appointments to determine if appointments can be done safely in person, can be moved to telephone or video, or need to be rescheduled. Your provider’s office will contact you ahead of your appointment to offer you care options.

Presbyterian has developed comprehensive guidelines to determine whether to continue elective cases or not. Ultimately, this is a decision between the surgeon and the patient which must be balanced with availability of supplies, operating room capacity and staffing.

For now, non-emergent elective cases have been reviewed based on several criteria, and many non-urgent procedures have been cancelled. Scheduled elective case schedules will be reviewed several times per week based on these guidelines.

Presbyterian is encouraging the delay of elective hospital-based surgery and outpatient procedures that can be reasonably postponed for 4-6 weeks without compromising the health of our patients. This applies to scheduled surgeries until April 15.

Presbyterian has temporarily suspended all self-scheduling options through MyChart to help keep our patients, staff and community safe. We encourage you to do a Video Visit or Online Visit, or message your care team using MyChart if you have a non-urgent or common health concern. For all other appointments, please contact your provider’s office directly.

Prescription Medication

Please check with your insurer. For Presbyterian Health Plan members, we are permitting the pharmacy to bypass the "refill too soon" edits at the pharmacy counter. This means that you will be able to fill your maintenance/chronic medications earlier than normal, ensuring you have an adequate supply for any potential situation.

The pharmacy may ask why you need an early refill at the counter to document why they have overridden the prescription. You should explain that you want to get an additional supply for home, based on the coronavirus outbreak. Pharmacies may be required to contact OptumRx at 1-866-528-5829 to obtain an over-ride. This number is referenced on the back of your member ID card.

Please check with your insurer. For Presbyterian Health Plan members, we have adjusted our “refill too soon” (Emergency Access to Benefits) policy for maintenance/chronic medications to ensure you have needed medications on hand. You also have access to mail order prescriptions. (Currently, controlled substances are not part of the Emergency Access to Benefits program for early refill.)

We are also reviewing rejected claims to see if members are able to access the medications they need. If any drug shortages are encountered, we will seek other options to meet member needs. We will continue to monitor the situation along with our pharmacy partners to ensure members do not run out of needed medications during this time.