Updated August 5, 2020
We understand that many of you in our ALS community may have questions and concerns related to the spread of the coronavirus, known as COVID-19. We are closely monitoring national government health agency guidance and consulting with our local and state health agencies on dealing with the coronavirus.
With the developing news regarding COVID-19, we wanted to take a moment to share how The ALS Association of Texas is addressing the concern about our programs and events. Our first priority is the safety and well-being of people with ALS, their families and caregivers, and our staff.
- We will temporarily cease any in-person interactions and instead work with our community virtually to safeguard our ALS community. We will assess this timeline as the situation progresses to determine if it should be extended.
- Utilizing video conferencing, we will continue to serve the ALS community through consultations, meetings, and support groups.
- We are closely monitoring the situation and are committed to following the recommendations of local, state and federal authorities.
- We are evaluating each of our programs and events on a case-by-case basis and will notify you directly of any changes.
- We will provide further details as-needed.
For the most recent information about the coronavirus (COVID-19), The ALS Association recommends that you reference the websites for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and state and local health authorities.
For specific information about symptoms you may be experiencing or questions about personal exposure as someone living with ALS or as a caregiver, please contact your physician directly. If you have questions about an upcoming clinic appointment, please contact your physician’s office directly.
Thank you for your patience as we manage this rapidly shifting situation.
Virtual Connection Groups & Workshops
We are still connecting! It just looks a little different. We have set up virtual Connection Groups, Caregiver Groups, Workshops and more. Take a look at our upcoming virtual events and join us!
Please contact your local Care Services Manager for further information.
ALS Multidisciplinary Clinics
Our ALS clinics across the state are determining their operations on a case-by-case basis. Below are changes that we know are impacting future clinic dates. Please contact your clinic if you have any questions.
Austin/Temple VA clinics
• Not expecting to host clinic again until a vaccine is available.
Baylor in Houston
• Offering telehealth visits. Diagnostics handled in-person.
Central Texas Neurology
• Resumed normal clinic operations in June.
DHR in Valley
• Offering in-person visits and telehealth visits.
Emory Bellard in RR
• Regular operations scheduled to resume August 27.
• Started seeing patients in the clinic in June; it is a modified clinic with a limited number of patients and limited clinic team members.
• Offering telehealth visits to the more severe patients.
UT Health San Antonio
• Offering telehealth visits to patients.
South Texas VA in San Antonio
• Seeing only new patients in-person and postponing follow-up patients.
• Scheduled to resume clinic on August 7 at new location.
Texas Tech in El Paso
• Resumed regular clinic operations in June. Having clinic on August 14, September 11, October 9.
We utilize community partners to help deliver and pick-up our loaner medical equipment. Specifically, we work with Travis Medical, National Seating & Mobility, Numotion, and ImproveAbility in different parts of the state.
We have resumed normal operations of our DME program as of June 16 with some limitations:
- We may be limited as to the specific items we are able to accept as donations due to budget constraints and storage capacity.
- We may be limited in the number of deliveries and pick-ups we do each month, so delays in the delivery and/or pick-up of equipment may be possible.
NOTE: The items needed most are electric patient lifts, newer power wheelchairs, and tilt-n-space rolling shower chairs.
If you have any equipment needs, concerns, or questions, please contact Marshall Nelson at 210-468-8281 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Respiratory Quality Services (RQS)
RQS manages the in-home respiratory care of many of our patients across Texas. RQS is seeing patients on an as-needed basis due to the recent increase in cases of Covid. If a visit is necessary, RQS will continue to take necessary safety precautions including being symptom-free for the previous two weeks before entering the home. They have measures in place to ensure the safety of patients, caregivers, and respiratory therapists.
RQS has put together Cleaning Guidelines for respiratory equipment that we wanted to share with you. You can download the Respiratory Care Supply Hygiene PDF here.
Avoid Coronavirus Scams
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has received reports of scam and hoax text message campaigns and scam robocalls offering free home testing kits, promoting bogus cures, selling health insurance, and preying on virus-related fears. Do NOT click on links in texts related to the virus, and check cdc.gov/coronavirus for the most current information.
Helpful Resources and Information
- Medicare Coverage for Telehealth Visits Expanded During COVID-19 Pandemic
- Questions and Answers about COVID-19 and Its Impact on People with ALS
- Social Distancing Door Sign
- Hospital Communication Sign
Questions and Additional Support
If you have any questions or additional needs, please contact your local Care Services Manager.