COVID-19 Resource Center
Updated May 5, 2023
We are changing our mask policy. Effective immediately, masks are required for those with fever, new respiratory symptoms, or possible infectious illness. Otherwise, masks are optional. We encourage those who would like to wear a mask to continue wearing one. Clinical staff will mask if a patient is masked.
Our primary goal at Bethesda Medical Associates is to do our best to keep you safe and healthy, in particular during the coronavirus pandemic.
We remain available both during and after office hours, as always, with some important changes detailed in the Office Safety section below. We are prepared to also serve as a source for the most up-to-date information regarding Covid-19 as we all navigate this challenging time together.
Please continue scrolling to read more information, or click a link below to jump to your topic of interest:
- • Vaccine Resources
- • COVID-19 Testing
- • COVID-19 Safety Precautions at BMA
- • COVID-19 Informational Resources
- • Former COVID-19 Newsletters from BMA
- • All Maryland residents: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine
- • Montgomery County residents: https://montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/vaccine/
- • Prince Georges County residents: https://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/3730/COVID-19-Vaccination
- • You may also send a text message to 898211 with the phrase “MDReady” to receive notifications about vaccine distribution
- • Maryland Vaccine Hunters on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/462938984877900
- • Maryland covidLINK FAQ: https://covidlink.maryland.gov/content/faqs
- • All Virginia residents: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/
- • Alexandria residents: https://www.alexandriava.gov/Vaccines
- • Arlington County residents: https://www.arlingtonva.us/covid-19/vaccines/registration
- • Arlington COVID Information line: (703)228-7999
- • Fairfax County residents: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novelcoronavirus/vaccine/registration/
- • Fairfax Health Department Vaccine Hotline: (703)324-7404
- • https://coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccinatedc
- • D.C. Dept. of Health COVID-19 Hotline: (855)363-0333
- • VETERAN RESOURCES: Walter Reed: https://walterreed.tricare.mil/Health-Services/Preventive-Care/Immunizations/COVID-19-Vaccine
- • CDC RESOURCES: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/index.html
- • PHARMACY LINKS: Walgreens, CVS links
Testing Information from the CDC
Private Pay Testing Sites (that our patients have reported having quick turnaround times):
- • Medical Access Clinic
- • A Squared Primary Care
- • Jodie Stone, PA-C, MBA
- • LabCorp Pixel Testing (at-home collection kit, no physician order needed)
COVID-19 Safety Precautions at BMA
Due to current CDC Guidelines, all patients, physicians, staff, and visitors are required to wear a mask at all times, regardless of vaccination status. Additional information about the Executive Order for Montgomery County regarding facecoverings can be found here.
Upon arrival to your appointment, when checking in at the front desk, you will be screened for Covid-19 symptoms. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate patients who may have symptoms of Covid-19, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat, which cannot be explained by a chronic condition. If you have any of these symptoms, please contact your physician to address them first by phone or telehealth.
Once you have been taken back to an exam room, please refrain from removing your mask, unless requested by a physician or other member of our clinical team.
COVID-19 Informational Resources
We are keeping abreast of the latest information regarding the current pandemic, and encourage you to access the links below for up-to-date information from public health experts, our partners at MDVIP, and other resources. We continue to monitor the same resources on a routine basis, and will update our information as it changes.
At this time the CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to all global destinations.
Regarding travel within the United States
Montgomery County Family Justice Center
VACCINE BOOSTER UPDATE - September 19, 2022
Bivalent COVID19 Booster
The Food and Drug Administration authorized a new booster last week and shots are now available at larger pharmacies. The new booster shot differs from the initial vaccination series and its boosters, being a “bivalent vaccine,” meaning that it targets two versions of the coronavirus: the original strain as well as the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, BA.5 now accounting for about 90% of the infections in the US. The earlier vaccine and booster shots targeted only the original strain. It is anticipated that the newer version will provide better protection against future variants.
A directory is available at https://www.vaccines.gov/ and lists where patients can find available boosters.
The F.D.A. authorized the Pfizer booster for anyone 12 or older who received an initial vaccination or booster shot at least two months ago. Moderna is authorized for adults over the age of 18, also two months after previous immunization or booster. For patients, there is no practical difference between the Moderna or Pfizer shots. They are equally effective. Also, it is fine to “mix and match” with previous Moderna and Pfizer shots, and vice versa.
According to CDC guidance, people who recently contracted active COVID19 infection can wait three months to get their booster. Potentially, waiting can result in a stronger immune response after the infection.
Booster shots are safe for pregnant women.
Currently, our office has not been provided with the bivalent COVID boosters. We are recommending that our patients get the new boosters where they are presently available, at local pharmacies or larger health clinics. Please send us documentation of your booster so that we may record in your chart. We will let our patients know when we receive the new booster.
More information about the vaccines may be found at:
The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced that individuals aged 50 and up are eligible for a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine at least four months after their last dose. The second booster is meant to bolster waning immunity against severe disease in case there is another COVID surge in the coming months. The Food and Drug Administration also authorized a second booster for people 12 and older with certain immune deficiencies.
We are recommending that everyone who is eligible for a booster under this new guidance receive one.
Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines: A second booster dose of both COVID-19 vaccines may be administered to individuals 50 years of age and older at least 4 months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
- Pfizer Vaccine: A second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine may be administered to individuals 12 years of age and older with moderate or severe immunosuppression at least 4 months after receipt of a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
- Moderna Vaccine: A second booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may be administered to individuals 18 years of age and older with moderate or severe immunosuppression at least 4 months after the first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine:
In addition, based on newly published data, adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (either Pfizer or Moderna)
COVID Booster Clinics at BMA:
BMA currently has Moderna vaccine in stock and will be offering dedicated COVID booster clinics on Tuesday and Fridays from 3:30-4:30. Please call and schedule an appointment if you meet the criteria for a booster. Additionally, our office continues to maintain a steady supply of Moderna shots, and we are pleased to provide boosters at the time of any scheduled office visit or laboratory appointment. As in the past, we will be monitoring patients in the waiting room for 15 minutes following the injection.