Our Response to COVID-19
Gastroenterology of the Rockies wants to assure our patients and the community that we are closely monitoring the situation and following guidance from public health officials and government agencies. As part of our commitment to help protect the health and safety of our patients and employees, we have implemented additional measures to create a safe environment within our clinics and endoscopy centers.
We are practicing the following safety measures to protect our patients and staff:
1. Implementing screening and temperature checks for all patients, staff and providers upon entry to the facility
2. Separating chairs in the waiting rooms to maintain social distancing between patients
3. Patients, staff and providers are required to wear masks during their visit
4. Additional PPE requirements for staff and providers to maximize safety for all
5. Frequent cleaning with N-list (EPA approved to disinfect COVID-19) chemicals
5. Minimizing visitors in the facility to enhance social distancing
7. Providing guidance, education, resources and supplies to our employees within our facilities.
Below are some common questions and our current advice, please realize that this information may change as more medical data is received.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Are you performing surgical procedures?
Yes, we are currently performing endoscopic procedures as we are an essential service. If you would like to schedule a surgical procedure, please call us at 303-604-5000.
2. Should I postpone my surgical procedure?
We do not recommend postponing your screening because the early detection of cancer greatly increases the odds of prevention and limiting the spread of the cancer. It is also important to remember that a colonoscopy is the only way to detect and prevent colorectal cancer. If you have any questions or concerns about your surgical procedure, please call us at 303-604-5000.
3. Can I bring a visitor with me to my appointment?
At this time we are minimizing the number of people coming into our facilities and practicing social distancing. If you have any specific questions or concerns about additional visitors, please call us at 303-604-5000.
4: Should I get vaccinated against COVID-19 if I have not already been vaccinated?
Yes, we urge everyone who is 12 years old or older to immediately get vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes patients on immunosuppressants, chemotherapy, and pregnant women. We anticipate future approval of vaccines for those under 12; at that time, those individuals should also get vaccinated. Click here for more info.
5: Which vaccine should I get?
We recommend one of the 2-dose mRNA vaccines: either Pfizer-BioNTech (if 12 years old or older) or Moderna (if 18 years old or older).
6: What if I had a prior reaction to a different vaccine; is it still safe and advised for me to get vaccinated against COVID-19?
Yes, the CDC does recommend proceeding with the appropriate COVID vaccine: Click here for more info.
7: What if I had a severe reaction to a COVID vaccine shot?
Per the CDC recommendations:
- If you have had a severe allergic reaction or an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get either of the currently available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna).
- If you have had a severe allergic reaction or an immediate allergic reaction to any ingredient in Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get the J&J/Janssen vaccine. Click here for more info.
8: I heard there is a BOOSTER approved for immunosuppressed persons; is it advised that I get this booster?
Per the CDC and FDA guidance 8/13/21: "Effective August 13, 2021, CDC recommends that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised receive an additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) at least 28 days after the completion of the initial mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series."
For IBD Patients, our interpretation suggests that this includes people who are being treated with:
- high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., =20mg prednisone or equivalent per day)
- Imuran (azathioprine), Purinethol (6-MP), Tabloid (thioguanine), Xeljanz (tofacitinib), Zeposia (ozanimod)
- Biologics such as tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers (Remicade (or biosimilar), Humira, Cimzia, Simponi); and other biologic agents such as Stelara and Entyvio.
- If you are on a different therapy than those and are not sure, please contact us. You do NOT need a booster if your IBD medication is just sulfasalazine, mesalamine ("5-ASA"), or budesonide (Entocort; Uceris).
9: How do I get this booster?
The CDC and FDA have recommended that your booster be the same as the original vaccine you received. We do not know that this is necessary (in fact, there may be some benefit to switching, but we do not have data on this question yet). Click here for more info.
10: Should I stop my IBD medications if I have been exposed to COVID, been diagnosed with COVID, and/or am sick with COVID?
For exposures, usually not, but for infection, sometimes. These decisions must be individualized. Please contact us if this happens to you. It is important that you do not stop your IBD medications on your own; please contact your medical team if you are ill and they can provide you with the appropriate guidance.
For additional COVID related questions, please visit the CDC's website.
We will continue to monitor the situation, and adjust protocols if necessary. We are committed to continuing to provide excellent care for our patients while maintaining a safe environment.