Our approach to COVID-19
Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve the health of our members and communities is more important to us now than ever before. Through the incredible strength of our care teams — doctors, nurses, researchers, custodians, and beyond — we’re committed to caring for you when you need us most.
Building on what we know
Treating infectious diseases is nothing new to our doctors and nurses. We’ve treated many COVID-19 patients, actively applying our learnings as the pandemic evolves. We’re also working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and federal, state, and local agencies about the latest recommendations and guidance. Our decades of experience confronting highly infectious diseases have prepared us for this moment. Rest assured that your health is our top priority.
Keeping patients safe
We’re taking numerous steps to create a safe work and care environment. Masks are required for anyone who enters our buildings – both clinical and non-clinical areas. We will provide you with a nonmedical-grade mask to wear if you don’t have one. Greeters are placed at the entrances of our medical centers to prescreen patients and provide masks if needed. Greeters escort masked patients to a room to be evaluated in person, or patients can choose to have a phone visit. Patients with severe symptoms are isolated or hospitalized according to CDC guidelines.
A healthy environment is essential for the safety of our members, visitors, doctors, and employees. We have strict cleaning procedures in place to disinfect our facilities and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Closing farmers markets
We’ve canceled farmers markets at our medical care facilities until further notice so we can ensure these facilities remain accessible to patients in need of care during this critical time. Farmers markets at our administrative facilities and within our communities may be closed because of local physical distancing recommendations.
Ensuring staff safety
Doctors and employees working with patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, or in areas with COVID-19 patients, wear an isolation/procedure mask, disposable gowns, gloves, and protective eyewear (such as goggles or face shields).
COVID-19 is spread through droplets made when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. Some procedures have more risk for spreading droplets, such as intubation (inserting a tube through the mouth and into the windpipe to make it easier to breath). During these high-risk procedures, employees are required to also wear N95 respirators.
Maintaining our inventory of critical supplies
We’re working around the clock to help make sure our facilities and staff are ready to provide high-quality care for our members. We’ve been carefully managing our resources for weeks to ensure we have adequate access to personal protective equipment and medical supplies needed for the screening and treatment of patients with potential and confirmed COVID-19 infections.
As we screen more and more patients, our supply needs increase, so we’ve been working tirelessly to acquire additional supplies through traditional as well as innovative channels. To learn more about what we’re doing and how you can help, visit our COVID-19 donations page.
Testing and diagnosis — no cost
As a Kaiser Permanente member, you won’t have to pay for costs related to COVID-19 screening or testing if referred by a Kaiser Permanente doctor. If you’re diagnosed with COVID-19, additional services, including hospital admission (if applicable), will be covered according to your plan details.
Research and community health
Researchers gave the first-ever injection of an investigational vaccine for the novel coronavirus to volunteers on March 16, 2020.
Kaiser Permanente is giving $1 million to public health organizations to strengthen the nation’s public health infrastructure.
Learn more about how Kaiser Permanente is responding to the outbreak.
Help coping with COVID-19
Right now, it’s especially important to care for the whole you — mind, body, and spirit. We have many digital tools and articles to help your physical and mental health.