Information about BCH and its Response to COVID-19
People who have general questions about COVID-19 can call CO-HELP (Colorado’s
call line for COVID-19) at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911.
BCH Statement as of 10/19/20: While we are seeing some signs of stabilization related to the local COVID
situation such as reduced positive rates in our community and at CU Boulder,
the arrival of colder weather means many common respiratory illnesses
may soon begin to emerge. This presents a new challenge for us as our
community’s health care providers—balancing the busier volumes
of non-COVID patients with those hospitalized due to the virus.
Additionally, the number of cases across the State has been steadily increasing,
approaching the high point seen in mid-July. The Colorado Department of
Public Health and Environment cautions about the potential to see peaks
after holidays and the return of more students to school followed by lulls.
It is critical to remain diligent in your personal efforts to minimize
potential exposure to COVID-19. This includes adhering to the current
Boulder County Face Mask Order, maintaining social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. To stay
up to date on current guidelines for the Colorado Safer-at-Home order
in Boulder County, you can read more
Please be advised that this is an evolving situation and data and information
may change on a regular basis. See below for updates regarding BCH facilities
and its policies as it relates to COVID-19 and the health of our patients.
Mental Health, Safety and Protection Resources
BCH, Foothills Hospital and Community Information
UPDATE: In anticipation of increased demand for urgent care services due
to the onset of those seasonal concerns in addition to COVID-19, all BCH
Urgent Care Centers are implementing a new process for drive-up testing.
As of October 19, 2020, all drive-up testing, including tests for COVID-19,
influenza and strep throat, will require a video visit prior to testing.
This change will increase the safety of all patients seeking urgent care
services by allowing our providers to screen patients for symptoms of
infectious disease before they come to the Urgent Care. Appropriate patients
can then receive proper testing recommendations and additional instructions
for drive-up testing.
Patients calling one of our BCH Urgent Care locations in Erie (303-415-5810),
Gunbarrel (303-415-5199) and Superior (303-415-5255) will be able to directly
schedule a virtual visit with a nurse practitioner. If the NP recommends
swab testing, patients can schedule a drive-up appointment.
Swab testing will be available at all three locations seven days a week.
Patient charges will include an Urgent Care virtual visit charge in addition
to any testing fees.
Patients seeking COVID-19 testing for travel purposes, return to work requirements
and those who choose to not schedule a video visit will be advised to
call the BCH COVID Line at 303-415-8180 to schedule a test at the Della
Cava Family Medical Pavilion. We will continue to offer drive-up testing
at that location by appointment only Monday—Friday.
Please click here for our BCH COVID-19 Testing info.
To protect our patients and staff, all people entering a BCH patient care
facility will be required to wear a mask (exceptions include children
<2 yrs. old or medical reasons such as trouble breathing, unconsciousness,
or someone unable to remove a mask without assistance). Patients and approved
companions or visitors (including vendors) entering BCH inpatient care
facilities will be screened on arrival.
*Bandanas, neck gaiters, and masks with valves are not acceptable.
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Patients and approved visitors (including vendors) will be screened upon
arrival to a BCH facility with the following questions:
- Do you have signs and symptoms of a respiratory illness such as fever (100.4
F and above), cough, difficulty breathing, chills, sore throat, muscle
aches (myalgia) OR new loss of taste or smell? Your temperature will be
taken to verify.
- In the last 14 days, have you had contact with a person who is positive
or potentially positive for COVID-19 or with someone who is ill with respiratory illness?
If the answer is
NO to both questions, the patient or visitor can enter wearing a mask
- For Outpatient services, a cloth mask is acceptable. Bandanas, neck gaiters,
and masks with valves are not acceptable. A surgical mask will be given
to you if need.
- Inpatient, ED, and Urgent Care settings, patients and visitors will all
be given a surgical mask.
If the answer is
YES to either question, you may not enter.
Screening at Time of Scheduling
Patients who wish to schedule an appointment will be screened with the
- In the last 10 days, have you had signs and symptoms of respiratory illness
such as fever, new cough, difficulty breathing, chills, sore throat, muscle
aches (myalgia) OR new loss of smell or taste?
- In the last 30 days, have you been suspected of having COVID-19 or tested
positive for COVID-19?
- In the last 14 days, have you had contact with a person who is suspected
of having COVID-19 or positive for COVID-19 or someone who is ill with
If your answers to any of these questions changes before your visit, please
call us so we can discuss how to handle your situation. Also, you will
be screened again upon arrival to confirm if you can be seen in person.
If the answer is
YES to any of the above questions, please consider rescheduling as a
virtual visit if possible.
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BCH has been taking a very cautious and thoughtful approach to re-opening
access to more medical services. We’ve called on expertise from
across our organization, always focusing on patient and staff safety first
while weighing all the risks.
Whether you are planning an in-person visit with your physician at one
of our primary care or specialty clinics or you are coming to one of our
medical facilities for a lab, imaging or surgery, we have instituted new
check-in procedures to help keep all patients and staff safe.
Please note that patients will be screened upon entry to any BCH office
or building and will be required to wear a mask.
Check-in for BCH Medical Facility
We have made important changes in the registration process for patients
scheduled to have surgery, heart catheterization, imaging scans and some
other advanced procedures.
In order to maintain social distancing for patients and BCH staff, we now
ask patients coming to our facilities for a scheduled service to stay
in their cars and call us when they arrive for their appointment.
Step 1: Call
303-415-8190 to let us know you are here. Please continue to wait in your car.
Step 2: A registration representative will call you to complete your check-in
by phone. Please continue to wait in your car.
Step 3: A clinical representative will call to invite you inside the building
and provide instruction on where to meet. Please note you will be screened
upon entry to the building and will be required to wear a mask.
Step 4: Meet the clinical representative to begin your appointment.
This process applies to the following BCH building and departments:
Foothills Hospital: Surgery, Cardiology, Interventional Radiology, Lab, Mammography Services,
General Imaging Services
- Community Medical Center Imaging
- Boulder Medical Center Imaging
- Erie Medical Center Imaging & Lab
As another element of our social distancing strategy, we have moved to
decentralized registration at Foothills Hospital. Patients now go to one
of four areas to check-in, depending on the specific service they are
having. We’ve installed new signs to direct patients to the appropriate
Check-in at a Primary Care or Specialty Clinic
If you are coming to BCH for a traditional in-person physician visit, we
encourage all patients to sign up for the
MyBCH patient portal to utilize the e-check in function to minimize check-in time and fill
out any required documentation before your visit. Once you arrive for
your appointment, patients are given a tablet to complete check-in and
are then escorted to an exam room to minimize/eliminate time in common areas.
Please note that in some cases a physician clinic may require patients
to call the office upon arrival for a visit. This may be posted on the
entrance to the clinic.
We also ask that any patients who develop COVID-19 symptoms any time between
scheduling and their appointment day to please call and check with the
clinic on how they should proceed. Depending on the situation, your physician
will determine if a virtual visit is more appropriate, if you should call
upon arrival or just check-in as usual.
These changes represent a very cautious approach that can help ensure our
patients are able to have their necessary but less urgent procedures done
at BCH as quickly as possible, with a high degree of safety.
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Patients are allowed 1 designated visitor per patient per day except for:
- Patients placed in any type of isolation including symptomatic COVID-19
rule out patients.
- Children under the age of 15.
- Visitors with symptoms consistent with COVID -19 or in contact with someone
with known or suspected COVID 19 in the last 14 days are not allowed to visit.
- At-risk visitors who are immunocompromised, pregnant, and elderly should
consult their doctor prior to visitation.
- Patients may be accompanied in Pre/Postprocedural areas, but visitors are
not allowed to remain in the hospital waiting areas.
- Hours of visitation are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- All visitors will have to be screened for symptoms and need to wear a mask.
- The designated visitor will be documented in epic for tracking purposes.
- This new visitation policy applies to Inpatient Departments as well as
the Emergency Department
All ambulatory settings including clinics, procedural areas and outpatient
testing will continue to follow the same no visitor policy, with exceptions
as needed (for example, ADA accommodations and pediatrics).
Important considerations for visitation
Anyone with a disability that requires a family member or guardian present:
Patients with disabilities who require help with the provision of medical
or behavioral health care, activities of daily living, speaking for the
patient or keeping the patient safe, may have a designated assistance person.
The Americans with Disabilities Act,1 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation
Act,2 and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care
- Parent or guardian accompanying a minor
- Family Birth Center – One partner and one professional doula or licensed
midwife for labor and delivery patients (limit 2)
- Outpatient OB cases will be allowed a companion
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Please note that we are now able to begin accepting self-referrals for
COVID PCR and Antibody testing. The see the process for each below:
COVID PCR (Actively Ill or Exposure)
- Contact the Laboratory Customer Service at 303-415-4285.
- Inform the laboratory customer service that you would like to self-refer
for COVID PCR testing.
- Customer service will place your order in the system.
- You will be contacted by scheduling within 24 hrs in order to schedule
your drive-thru testing appointment.
Results are made available via the
MyBCH patient portal. You may make a payment online or wait for a statement in the mail.
COVID Antibody (Checking antibody status. Previous infection/exposure)
What is an antibody test to SARS-CoV-2?
SARS-CoV-2 IgG may identify past infection. Current in house antibody test
(Ortho –Clinical Diagnostics) which has sensitivity 83.3% and specificity
100%. NOTE: these tests are not FDA approved, but has been deemed by FDA
that clearance was not necessary.
- Present to any BCH outpatient laboratory and request COVID Antibody testing.
- As a self-referral, insurance cannot be billed and payment is expected
at time of service.
- Your specimen will be collected by lab and sent for testing.
Results will be available within 24 hours and can be viewed on the
MyBCH patient portal.
COVID PCR: $100
COVID Antibody: $75
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BCH has partnered with local testing company Biodesix to offer expanded
access to diagnostic COVID-19 testing.
Swab Test for COVID-19
Patients can now schedule appointments at drive-up testing sites in Boulder:
Testing is available at the Della Cava drive-up testing site
by appointment only. For information about the availability of testing over the weekend, please
call one of our three
Urgent Care Center locations located in Erie, Gunbarrel or Superior.
Testing is available with a physician’s order for patients:
- Currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, which include fever, new cough/shortness
of breath, or two or more of the following: loss of taste/smell, chills,
muscle pain, headache, sore throat.
Who have had close contact with someone with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19,
even if you don't have symptoms.
If you have a BCH physician, you can call that clinic to schedule a convenient
virtual visit to assess whether a COVID-19 test is warranted. Your physician can order
the test for you.
Individuals without a BCH physician can call their primary care physician
or the BCH COVID-19 line at 303‑415‑8180 to be screened for testing. The
BCH COVID-19 line is answered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Once an order is placed, patients will be contacted within 24 hours to
schedule the test at one of our testing sites.
The cash price for a COVID-19 test is $100.
Antibody Test for Those Who Are Not Sick
- Cash price: $80
Antibody testing is
not by appointment. You must talk to your doctor if you should have this test
not be sick and have
no symptoms for at least 10 days prior to getting your blood drawn
must order this test
BCH COVID-19 Testing FAQs
Please follow this link to see a list of COVID-19 testing FAQs
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We now offer the opportunity to have a video or phone visit with your physician,
as well as an E-Visit for those who don't need to speak directly with
their care provider. You can schedule a video or phone visit by calling
your clinic directly, calling the BCH scheduling number at 303- 415-4015
or by requesting an appointment through your
MyBCH portal. Videos visits are only conducted through the MyBCH portal.
E-Visits are virtual visits that enable you to message back and forth with
your physician. These are offered for your convenience and to save you
time by providing care through the MyBCH patient portal. An E-Visit can
replace a clinic appointment or certain Urgent Care visits. You won't
need to wait for an appointment or leave the comfort of your home.
E-Visits should be used only for non-urgent medical conditions, as it may
take up to 2 business days to receive a response. If you need urgent medical
care, please contact your clinic by phone or find a nearby urgent care
center. For medical emergencies, call 911 immediately.
Learn more about these visits on our
Virtual Visits page.
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Per Boulder County Public Health Press Release May 4, 2020:
Beginning May 9, every person older than 12 years old will be required
to wear a face-covering when in public anywhere in Boulder County where
social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained. The order does include
exceptions, including for people working alone in an office, anyone whose
health would be negatively impacted by wearing a face covering, children
aged 12 years and younger, and first responders under certain circumstances
(CDPHE Order 20-26 requires first responders to wear Face Coverings).
The Order defines “face covering” as a covering made of cloth,
fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers
only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face. They
may be factory-made or handmade and improvised using ordinary household
Facial coverings can reduce the spread of droplets from the wearer to others.
They do not protect the wearer from others. This, in addition to maintaining
at least 6 feet distance between others are steps we can all take to help
assure our businesses remain open and that we prevent the further spread
of this awful disease in our communities. Everyone must still wash their
hands, not touch their faces, stay home if their sick, cough into a tissue
and discard, and regularly clean high-touch surfaces.
Details of the Public Health Facial Covering Order are available at
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Governor Polis recently discussed the three levels of social distancing,
which include: Staying at Home, Safer at Home and Protect our Neighbors.
Colorado is moving into the Safer at Home phase, which is estimated to
begin April 27. While we are at this level, Coloradans will no longer
be ordered to stay home, but are still strongly encouraged to do so. Vulnerable
populations and seniors must continue staying home except when absolutely
The physical distancing measures Colorado put in place have helped us bend
the curve, slow the spread of illness, and protect our health care system.
That’s exciting news, but there’s more work to do. Even when
Colorado has passed its peak of cases, the virus will continue to be present
in the community. Colorado will remain in the Safer at Home level of social
distancing until case numbers indicate it is safe to further reduce restrictions.
And, there may be a fluctuation between the levels to recover from outbreaks,
meaning that Colorado could return to the Stay at Home level if there
is a significant increase in cases or spread of the virus.
For a list of Boulder County closures, please visit the
Boulder County Public Health page.
Learn more about Safer at Home at the
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BCH is making changes across our network in order to lower potential exposure
to respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Please see below for updated
BCH Patient Services Center Office Closed to the Public
Our office will not be seeing patients in person. We are still available
to serve the needs of our patients via the following:
- Call the Patient Service Center at 303-415-5300
- Email email@example.com
- Payments or letters can be mailed to 5450 Western Avenue Boulder, CO 80301
or drop boxes are available at the main entrance on the outside of the building.
- To pay online for services on or before September 30, 2019, the secure
portal at bch.org/paymybill
- To pay online for services on or after October 1, 2019, use the myBCH patient
portal. Can sign up at my.bch.org or download the MyBCH app from the App
Store or Google Play.
Health Information Management Offices Closed to Public
As of 3/19/20, our Health Information Management offices will be temporarily
closed to the public at our Pearl Parkway and Foothills Hospital locations.
Patients who have questions or need assistance with their medical record
can still reach us by phone at 303-415-7760 Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or by
email at HIM@bch.org.
BCH Sleep Diagnostics Clinic Closed Until Further Notice
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), limiting
public gatherings is a very effective tool for slowing the spread of COVID‑19.
We are following that CDC recommendation and canceling all non-essential
public gatherings intended for community members. This is effective immediately
and includes community education programs and wellness-related events.
We recognize that activities like community education programs are highly
valued by community members and the BCH staff who provide those services.
Accordingly, we have a task force working to identify alternative ways
of providing such activities. We expect to begin using such new approaches
in the near future.
As of March 18, BCH canceled all in-person free community health lectures.
However, because providing this service to our community is important,
folks can still "virtually attend" our free health lectures
online, by visiting our
Community Health Lecture Livestream page. On this page, you can watch our lectures live or view a recording
the following day.
Thank you for understanding and supporting this effort to safeguard our
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Established in 1978, the Boulder Community Health Foundation is a 501(c)(3)
charitable organization that exists to enhance the quality and availability
of health care services in Boulder County by generating and administering
all charitable gifts to our nonprofit community-owned hospital system.
COVID-19 Response Fund
With the continued spread of COVID-19 throughout Boulder County, the BCH
Foundation has established the COVID-19 Response Fund, which helps raise
money to help BCH employees directly affected by the virus and to help
procure the equipment and services we need to care for our community during
100% of all proceeds raised to this fund will continue to go directly to
these areas of support:
Support our most critical asset at BCH, our people.
You can help us assist those BCH staff who are facing unanticipated financial
challenges (e.g., needing child care due to the closing of schools, financial
hardship from a spouse/partner being out of work, etc.). We will provide
the assistance they need by significantly expanding the depth and breadth
of support provided by the BCH Employee Assistance Fund.
Remove any barriers to providing the best treatment for COVID–19.
You can help by supporting BCH’s significant investment in our testing
capability, expanding telehealth access, and planning for an increase
in cases, including supply management, space capacity and flex training
for our staff and physicians.
BCH leadership is confident in the ability and personal commitment of our
clinical team to provide the best treatment and care to the community
in the coming weeks. We need your help to support those caregivers. Please
consider donating to our COVID-19 Response Fund.
Donate to COVID-19 Response Fund
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Mental Health, Safety and Protection Resources
The Outpatient Behavioral Health team would like to offer some tips on
coping with stress, change and uncertainty during this time of the pandemic.
See below for our Q&A.
What are the top five ways to manage stress during the Coronavirus outbreak?
- Stick to a routine: go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable consistent time.
- Reach out to others at least 30 minutes per day (ie phone calls, FaceTime,
Skype) to connect with other people; to seek and provide support.
- Find humor in the challenges and the different coping strategies you have created.
- Find and practice calming exercises such as deep breathing, listening to
music, enjoying nature.
- Find something to be grateful for everyday or in a moment where you feel
challenged. (At least my toilets flush!
How do you prevent burnout during these trying times?
- Do one thing mindfully rather than pushing yourself to multitask.
- Maintain connections with family and work colleagues.
- Find deeply relaxing activities to do daily. Be okay with doing nothing
How can you prevent negative thinking during COVID-9 quarantine at home?
- Note what you do have control over and focus on what you can change.
- Allow life to be “good enough.”
- Practice kindness toward yourself and others.
- Give everyone the benefit of the doubt and a wide berth. Everyone will
have moments where they are not at their best. It is important to move
with grace through blowups and arguments.
- Remember everyone is doing the best that they can do through this crisis.
- Normalize, accept and be patient with the wide variety of emotions and
physical sensations you are having in response to this state of emergency.
- Ask yourself: “What gives me hope right now? Where do I find hope?”
- Reflect on the changes that have been positive. Ask, “Do I prioritize
what I value most
What are your self-care tips right now for folks?
- Every day get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes, wash your face,
brush your teeth, take a shower/bath and dress in day clothes.
- Live in the moment
- Practice gratitude
- Make a daily routine
- Practice deep breathing
- Make yourself accountable to someone (partner, friend)
- Access free apps and online resources for meditation, breathing exercises,
relaxation, yoga, learning, etc. (Some of our favorites: MyStrength through
BCH, Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer)
- Prepare nutritious meals.
- Limit news intake. Stringently
What is the best advice for children during COVID-19?
- Expect behavioral issues in children and respond gently.
- Expect increased anxiety, worries, and fears, nightmares, difficulty separating
or sleep, testing limits, and meltdowns.
- Focus on emotional connection.
- Create time each day to play, bake or learn a new skill together
If these daily coping strategies are not working and you find yourself
overwhelmed with emotions you can do the following:
- Walk away from the situation. Go for a walk, do something to take your
mind off the problem.
- Call the 24/7 Crisis Line at 1-844-493-8255.
- You can go to the Crisis Walk-in Center: 3180 Airport Rd., Boulder.
Get more support by finding a therapist through EAP, your insurance company;
psychologytoday.com/us/therapists, or by contacting Mental Health Partners at 303-443-8500.
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Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions
in adults and children. We’ve gathered some resources and tools
to help manage anxiety and reduce stress in yourself and others during
Stress and coping: Taking care of yourself, your friends and your family can help you cope
with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your
community stronger. Learn what you can do to support yourself and others.
Talking to children about COVID-19: It’s very important to remember that children look to adults for
guidance on how to react to stressful events. Helping children cope with
anxiety about COVID-19 requires providing accurate prevention information
and facts without causing undue alarm.
Reducing fear and taking care of yourself: We need to be careful that fear is not what we spread across our communities.
When we take actions that help us be prepared, healthy and informed, we
can spread calm instead.
Coping strategies for those with mental health vulnerabilities: People affected by mental illness face additional challenges dealing with
COVID-19. Read how to take care of yourself and check in on loved ones
with mental health vulnerabilities.
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We understand this is a stressful time and people want to know what steps
to take to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19. In addition
to staying informed about what’s happening in our community and
always following the directions of state and local authorities, we’ve
gathered some important information and guidance to help you and your
loved ones remain safe.
Caring for someone with COVID-19: If you are caring for someone at home, it’s important to know how
to monitor for emergency signs, prevent the spread of germs, treat symptoms,
and carefully consider when to end home isolation.
How to isolate at home when you have COVID-19: If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have it, follow these
steps to help protect other people in your home and community.
How to protect pets if you are sick: If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed), you should
restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around
Coronavirus self-checker: The purpose of the Coronavirus Self-Checker is to help you make decisions
about seeking appropriate medical care.
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Your health and safety are our top priority. In addition to staying informed
about what’s happening in our community and always following the
directions of state and local authorities, we’ve gathered some important
information and guidance to protect you and your loved ones from COVID-19.
How to strengthen your immunity with nutrition: Good nutrition is essential to a strong immune system, which may offer
protection from illness and other health problems. No one food or supplement
can prevent illness, but you may help support your immune system by including
these nutrients in your overall eating plan on a regular basis.
Ways to disinfect your home if someone is sick: Learn about every day steps and extra steps for cleaning and disinfecting
when someone in your household is sick or confirmed with COVID-19.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding information about COVID-19: What is the risk to pregnant women of getting COVID-19? Is it easier for
pregnant women to become ill with the disease? How can pregnant women
protect themselves from getting COVID-19? These and other questions are
Resources for older adults and their families: According to early data shared by the CDC, older adults are twice as likely
to have serious COVID-19 illness because as people age, their immune systems
change, making it harder for their body to fight off diseases and infection.
Many older adults are also more likely to have underlying health conditions
that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness.
For more frequently asked questions, please visit the
CDC FAQ and
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