Coronavirus Updates

Stay Up-to-Date on Summit Medical Group Oregon’s Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This page contains the latest information about the Coronavirus including risk factors, conditions, symptoms, what Summit Medical Group Oregon is doing and other frequently asked questions.

Rapid COVID-19 Viral Testing

We are currently offering rapid COVID-19 viral testing for asymptomatic patients who need negative test results to:

  • Return to school or work
  • Visit loved ones
  • Travel (or if you’ve recently traveled)

All rapid COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic patients will require a provider evaluation and prescription. If you do not have a provider prescription, you must first schedule a virtual visit appointment to be evaluated. To schedule your virtual visit, call your provider’s office, the Appointment Center at 541-382-4900, or online through MyChart. Once you have been evaluated by a provider virtually, and have a prescription, you can then schedule a rapid COVID-19 test.

It is the patient’s responsibility to understand the specific type(s) of the COVID-19 test required for their purpose of being tested. Antigen or a molecular test (PCR) are the two types of COVID-19 viral test options.

General Coronavirus FAQs

Last updated: September 25, 2020

What is the coronavirus and COVID-19?

Coronaviruses were first identified in the 1950s and generally cause mild upper respiratory illness characterized by cough, fever, and/or body aches. This is very similar to most viral illnesses including flu and the common cold.

The current situation involves a new, or “novel,” coronavirus and the illness it causes is called COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019). Because this virus is new, testing has been limited; there are no vaccines and no medicines designed specifically to treat it.

Am I at risk for coronavirus?

The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully known. As the pandemic expands, the risk of exposure will increase, and all persons are at risk for getting infected. Older adults and people of all ages who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, seem to be at higher risk of more serious illness due to COVID-19.

What can we do to reduce the spread of the disease?

Everyone should be maximizing “social distancing” to slow down the spread of COVID-19, as the disease is now in the community and can be spread by people who may not have symptoms.  Here are things you can do to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the community:

  • Stay home unless it is necessary to go to work, purchase necessary items, help someone who needs support, or seek medical care.
  • Do not visit friends, gather in groups or otherwise socialize in person.  Use virtual technologies to stay connected.
  • If you need medical care, call in advance.  You may be able to get care virtually by telemedicine.
  • Wear a cloth face covering in public settings where other social and physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies)

What are the symptoms caused by coronavirus?

Fever, symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) and body aches are the most common symptoms.

Most people who get coronavirus only experience mild viral symptoms such as fever, cough, muscle pain or weakness, and fatigue, and will experience a complete recovery. With allergy season here, it’s important to remember the symptoms of allergies differ from that of coronavirus or a viral infection. Common allergy symptoms include sneezing, itchy eyes or nose, runny or stuffy nose, and watery, red, or swollen eyes.

Can the coronavirus be treated?

Since this is a new virus, there are no established treatments.  There are several medications that are being tested in the most ill patients in hospitals.   Since it is unknown whether the benefits of these medications outweigh the risks, mild infections are treated in the same way as the common cold or flu with medications to relieve the symptoms of cough, congestion, and fever.

What should I do if I am experiencing symptoms?

If you are in respiratory distress, call 911. If you have a fever, cough, and other symptoms of respiratory infection, call Summit Medical Group Oregon at 541-706-2319. Our team can help direct you to the appropriate site of care based on your symptoms and medical history such as recent international travel or exposure to someone with coronavirus.  Most persons with mild symptoms are best managed at home. For these people, coming to healthcare facilities may increase their risk of infection.  Those with higher risk or those who have more significant symptoms may be directed to an urgent care for evaluation.

If you are concerned, call your primary care doctor or​ Summit Medical Group at 541-706-2319.  Video visits for are available to help evaluate patients with symptoms and/or questions.

We have established screening procedures at our clinics that will route symptomatic patients to our Urgent Care Centers. These screening procedures are designed to keep healthy patients healthy, to ensure the safety of our teams, and to keep our offices operational. ​

*Is it safe to take ibuprofen?

There is currently no scientific evidence suggesting that use of ibuprofen can worsen COVID-19. This concern is hypothetical. The World Health Organization (WHO) has made no recommendation against the use of ibuprofen. If you are taking prescription ibuprofen, it is safe to continue taking it for your condition as prescribed by your provider. It is also safe to take either over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen at recommended doses for short-term use to relieve pain and reduce fever. Discuss with your providers about long-term use of either medication.

What should I do to avoid infection?

Please stay aware and take proper precautions. It is believed the coronavirus spreads via respiratory droplets such as from a cough or sneeze, so you should be using the same prevention methods as you would to avoid a cold or the flu:

  • Wear a cloth face covering whenever in public settings.
  • 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 unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home from school or work when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. ​

​​I have a regularly scheduled appointment with my doctor or an elective procedure. Should I come?

To protect yourself and to protect our dedicated team of providers and support staff, we are taking aggressive measures to ensure that fewer symptomatic patients come to our offices and clinics.

At this point, all care that can be given without a physical visit to the office will be done remotely.  Our providers are available to offer video and telephone visits where applicable.

  • Call your provider’s office to determine whether a virtual visit is better or whether you need to come to the office.
  • If your care can be delivered virtually, our staff will help you set up a virtual visit appointment.
  • If you do have to come to the office for a scheduled appointment, you will be screened before you can come to the office and asked to stay home if you have symptoms.
  • Non-essential cases are being postponed for 6-8 weeks unless urgent clinical decision making is dependent on the surgery.
  • If you plan to visit our clinic, please be sure to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to wear a mask to help protect yourself and others.

Are there any changes to your hours or open locations?

In order to preserve our ability to staff our sites with the dedicated doctors and teams you rely on from SMGOR, we are proactively taking the step of establishing new hours of operation. Check our website or call 541-706-2319 for regular updates.

Are you offering telemedicine?

We have rapidly expanded our ability to offer telemedicine visits with a provider to help make it easy for patients to seek care, while limiting exposure for all health care workers and patients to the coronavirus. Almost all specialties can offer video and telephone-based telemedicine visits.

Please call your provider, reach out by portal message, or call Summit Medical Group Oregon at 541-706-2319 to determine which type of virtual visit will work best to meet your needs.

What is Summit Medical Group Oregon doing to keep patients safe?

We take this situation very seriously and have been preparing for potential cases for weeks. To help protect all patients, our campuses, practice sites and call center are using a special coronavirus protocol to direct patients with flu-like symptoms to the appropriate site of care. This will ensure that the SMGOR offices remain safe for patients seeking care unrelated to the coronavirus.

At our Summit Medical Group Oregon urgent care sites, all staff are trained on the appropriate care for patients with flu-like symptoms and are wearing masks and using protective equipment when appropriate. We are following CDC and DOH guidelines to limit the spread of the virus including how we isolate patients with symptoms and how we disinfect rooms between patients.

Where can I get more information?

Call 2-1-1 for information from the Oregon Health Authority or go to their site here:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

In-Office Visit for Essential Care

Over the past several weeks, our offices have taken proactive steps to keep our patients and employees safe. Now, as things begin to stabilize, it is our job to make sure you are receiving the essential care you need.

What kind of services will you start to offer in-person?

It is important to restart care that is currently being postponed, such as essential surgeries and procedures, chronic disease care, and, ultimately, preventive care. We know many patients have ongoing health care needs that are being deferred and need to re-start clinically necessary care.

Is it safer to postpone an office visit until the pandemic is over?

We understand you may be hesitant to seek in-person care at this time. However, the dangers of undetected medical conditions and chronic disease may put you at even greater risk. We’ve put careful precautions and protocols in place to ensure a safe in-office visit. We hope you don’t delay making an appointment for essential care.

What is SMGOR doing to keep me safe at my next in-office visit?

For the safety and well-being of our patients and in-office teams, we are reinforcing best practices and careful considerations at all our facilities, including the below. We also expect to soon begin offering antibody testing to determine whether a person has been exposed to COVID-19.

  • Strict social and physical distancing measures
    • Minimal time spent in waiting areas
    • Chairs spaced at least 6 feet apart
    • Low patient volumes
  • Restriction of visitors (unless medically necessary)
  • Screening of all patients using non-contact infrared thermometers and inquiring about common symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Rigorous cleaning and disinfecting of all areas
  • All patients, employees, and visitors to be wearing masks or face coverings

Will you still be offering telemedicine?

As we gradually resume in-person care, we will continue to maximize our telemedicine platforms for care that can be accomplished virtually. Call your provider, reach out by MyChart message, or call us at 541-706-2319 to determine which type of virtual visit will work best to meet your needs.

Helpful Links

Medication FAQs

Is there a medication available to treat COVID-19?

There are currently no FDA approved medications to treat COVID-19. People infected with this virus, presenting with mild symptoms, benefit from and recover with supportive care such as rest, fluids, and fever control. There is very limited evidence showing potential benefit of drugs such as hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) which has serious side effects and is in limited supply to previously treated patients for FDA approved indications. Therefore, its use is strictly reserved for hospitalized patients with confirmed severe COVID-19 where patients can be monitored by for cardiac toxicity and drug-drug interactions.

Is there a medication available to prevent COVID-19?

There are currently no medications available to prevent people from getting infected with this virus. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Follow CDC Guidelines How To Protect Yourself which include hand washing, cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, and social distancing.

Is there a vaccine available to prevent COVID-19?

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. The National Institutes of Health is developing a vaccine, but it will not be approved and available for use for at least a year.

Is it safe to take ibuprofen?

There is currently no scientific evidence suggesting that use of ibuprofen can worsen COVID-19. This concern is hypothetical. The World Health Organization (WHO) has made no recommendation against the use of ibuprofen. If you are taking prescription ibuprofen, it is safe to continue taking it for your condition as prescribed by your provider. It is also safe to take either over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen at recommended doses for short-term use to relieve pain and reduce fever. Discuss with your providers about long-term use of either medication.

Is it safe to continue taking my medications for high blood pressure, specifically ACE-Is and ARBs (examples: Benazepril, Enalapril, Lisinopril, Ramipril, Irbesartan, Losartan, Olmesartan, Valsartan)?

It is important for patients who have been prescribed ACE-Is and ARBs to continue their medication! The potential concern of worsening infection is hypothetical. There is currently no scientific evidence suggesting patients diagnosed with COVID-19 taking these medications had any better or worse treatment outcomes, while the benefits of reducing cardiovascular disease are well provenThe American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and Heart Failure Society of America recommends continued treatment as these medications are very important for your heart and your healthDo not stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your prescriber!

I take a corticosteroid as a nasal spray, oral tablets, and/or inhaler for my health conditions, can I continue these?

Yes, these therapies are important to maintain your various health conditions (examples: allergies, asthma, COPD) and should be taken as prescribed by your provider. Do not stop taking any prescribed medication without first consulting your prescriber. Known concerns about corticosteroid use in COVID- 19 have only been identified in hospitalized and critically ill patients taking oral corticosteroids.

I take controlled drug substances (examples: Adderall, oxycodone, Xanax) for my chronic conditions. Will I still receive prescription refills if I am not able to see my providers in the office every 3 months?

Given that there is a Public Health Emergency in effect, the requirements for an in-office visit every 3 months have been relaxed to ensure patients have no gaps in obtaining these medications. Please contact your provider’s office 2 weeks before you are due for a refill. In many cases you will be able to have a visit with your provider either by phone or video.

Does my blood type protect me from or increase my risk of COVID-19?

There is no robust clinical evidence that correlates blood types with risk of COVID-19 infection. Currently, your blood type is not a risk factor for COVID-19. We appreciate if you refrain from contacting our offices and/or hospitals to inquire about your blood type as it does not affect how you will be managed if you are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.

Will my pharmacy remain open?

Yes, pharmacies will remain open to fill your medications. Essential retail businesses that are exempt from the mandate to cease storefront operations include pharmacies and other health care services. Many pharmacies are waiving delivery fees to promote social distancing and minimize risk.

Does smoking increase my risk of COVID-19?

Considering COVID-19 targets the lungs, we anticipate patients who smoke or vape tobacco or marijuana to be at increased risk of worse outcomes. Based on the information available and the known impact of smoking on other viral lung infections, it is encouraged to abstain from smoking or vaping tobacco or marijuana to minimize your risk. If you need assistance quitting, please contact your health care provider.

Food Safety During Coronavirus Pandemic

There is one worry we can shelf along with our groceries, and that is the worry of contracting COVID-19 from food or food packaging. There is currently no evidence that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is transmitted through food or food packaging. Although it is theoretically possible to pick up the virus by touching a contaminated surface, the risk remains very low if you practice good safety habits and follow all additional recommended safety measures.

So, what should you do?

  • Wash your hands after returning from the store, opening a shipment, or returning with a pick-up order
  • Discard any bags or external packaging that you can
  • Unpack your groceries on a surface you can clean after
  • Rinse all fruits and vegetables thoroughly with water
  • Wipe down or wash any waterproof containers including jars, cans, plastic tubs, and plastic packages
  • Once you put away the groceries, clean the surface, and wash your hands again
  • Disinfect doorknobs and other surfaces you may have touched after bringing in your groceries

It is also very important to continue practicing typical food safety measures to avoid contracting a foodborne illness. Now is not the time for a medical emergency!

  • Wash your hands before preparing food and again before you eat
  • Do not eat raw dough or batter
  • Separate raw meat from other foods
  • Refrigerate perishables and leftovers in a timely fashion
  • Use separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables
  • Make sure you cook food to recommended internal temperature

As always, continue to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, wear a mask or face covering when out in public, disinfect countertops and frequently used devices, and avoid touching your face! By following these simple recommendations, you can live a little more and worry a little less!

For more information, visit Consumer Reports’ website to read, Answers to Common Questions About Coronavirus and the Food You Eat.

COVID-19—That’s So FALSE!

Last updated: Apr 09, 2020

With so much information circulating about COVID-19, it’s important to be able to separate myth from fact. Luckily, with a little help from our own physician experts, we’ve been able to dispel some of the more commonly heard myths to help avoid the spread of misinformation.

A vaccine to cure COVID-19 is available.

This is SO FALSE! Scientists are currently working on developing a vaccine that is both safe and effective. However, currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19.

Buying products from overseas will make you sick.

This is SO FALSE! Per the World Health Organization (WHO), the likelihood of becoming infected with COVID-19 from a package is low since it has likely traveled over several days and been exposed to varying temperatures in transit.

The warmer weather will kill the virus.

This is SO FALSE! Exposure to extreme temperatures (hot or cold) does not prevent contraction of COVID-19. Places across the world with hot weather have reported cases of the virus.

You can contract COVID-19 by eating Chinese food.

This is SO FALSE! Simple as that.

If you can hold your breath for longer than 10 seconds without coughing, you do not have COVID-19.

This is SO FALSE! The only way to determine if you have the virus is with a laboratory test.

Rinsing your nose with saline can help prevent infection.

This is SO FALSE! There is no evidence that rinsing with saline prevents the virus from infecting your body.

Spraying alcohol or chlorine on your body kills the virus.

This is SO FALSE! Although these products can kill a virus on a surface, they cannot kill a virus within the body and can cause harm to skin, eyes, and mouth, or if ingested. Alcohol and chlorine bleach are good disinfectants for surfaces and objects, not for bodies.

COVID-19 only affects older people.

This is SO FALSE! Although older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more vulnerable, people of all ages can be infected with COVID-19.

Medicine is available to treat COVID-19.

This is SO FALSE! Research and clinical trials are underway, but currently there is no specific medicine approved for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

For more information, we recommend visiting Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Information Page where you can ask questions, check symptoms, and read through their FAQs.

Must-Know COVID-19 Vocabulary

The amount of COVID-19 information available is overwhelming, not to mention changing every day. And when it comes to technical terms associated with the outbreak, they are plentiful. While everyone can’t be expected to know every word and phrase associated with COVID-19, taking time to learn what you can is essential to staying informed and safe. To help, we’ve compiled a glossary that includes some of the more commonly used COVID-19 terms.

Term Definition How does it relate to COVID-19?
Apex The peak Refers to the highest number of cases in a state or country, after which the rate of infection begins to slow. In our area, we have not yet reached apex.
Asymptomatic Showing no evidence of disease/illness Just because a person is asymptomatic doesn’t mean they aren’t infected with COVID-19.
Community Spread Spread of a disease where the infection source is unknown At this point there is community spread in OR, meaning there are people who have the infection without any typical risks of contracting the virus, such as travel or exposure to a known infected person.
Coronavirus A family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases The novel (new) coronavirus that emerged in late 2019 has been named SARS-CoV-2 and causes the disease known as COVID-19.
COVID-19 Name of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is short for COronaVIrus Disease-2019.
Flatten the curve The curve represents the number of cases over time. Flattening that curve means preventing a surge of new cases in a very short period. By flattening the curve of the COVID-19 spread, we reduce the number of patients who are ill from the disease at any one time so that we do not overwhelm the health care system.
Immunocompromised Having an impaired or compromised immune response People may be immunocompromised due to an underlying condition or due to a medication they are taking for a condition. Being immunocompromised may put a person at higher risk for COVID-19.
Pandemic A disease prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world. A pandemic is an epidemic that has spread over a large area. The World Health Organization (WHO) uses pandemic to refer to new diseases people do not have immunity for that have spread worldwide. The WHO has declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.
Self-quarantine Choosing or volunteering to isolate out of caution Individuals who have been exposed to the new coronavirus and who are at risk for contracting COVID-19 might practice self-quarantine. Health experts recommend that self-quarantine lasts 14 days.
Social/Physical Distancing Measures that reduce contact between large groups of people Given the community spread of disease, this means minimizing contact with any people that you don’t need to be in contact with. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specifically recommends maintaining six feet between people.
Quarantine Strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of disease To help stop the spread, people have been placed into quarantine when they are not currently sick but have been or may have been exposed to the virus.
Virus An infectious agent that replicates only within the cells of living hosts COVID-19 is a virus that spreads through droplets expelled after coughing, sneezing, exhaling, or talking from the mouth and/or nose of a person who has the virus.


What’s the Difference?

Some terms are hard to distinguish from others and because of that, people are using them interchangeably and incorrectly! Below, we help explain and further define some very important differences.

Epidemic versus Pandemic
While an epidemic, a temporary prevalence or rapid spread of a disease, occurs on a community or regional level, a pandemic is an epidemic that has spread over a large area and has become prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world.

Virus versus Bacteria
Although bacterial and viral infections may cause similar symptoms, they are dissimilar in many other ways, including the way they respond to medications. Most bacteria are harmless, and some actually help by digesting food, destroying disease-causing microbes, fighting cancer cells, and providing essential nutrients. Most viruses on the other hand, do cause disease with certain viruses attacking cells in the liver, respiratory system, or blood. Unfortunately, antibiotics are not effective against viruses.

Respirator versus Ventilator
A respirator is a face mask that seals around the mouth and filters out particles from the air before they are breathed in. An N95 respirator filters out 95 percent of tiny test particles. A ventilator is a machine that moves air in and out of the lungs in the case that a patient is having trouble breathing on their own.

Quarantine versus Isolation
Isolation and quarantine are practices used to prevent exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease. However, while isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick, quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Flu versus COVID-19
While COVID-19 shares many similarities with the flu, there are several differences between the two. While flu symptoms are typically rapidly onset and can take 1-4 days to develop, COVID-19 symptoms can take up to 14 days to appear and may not appear at all. The two illnesses share symptoms such as fever, cough, and fatigue. However, shortness of breath is a major symptom to look out for with COVID-19.