We're here for you through COVID-19 and beyond
Columbia Pacific CCO knows that you, our members, have many questions about COVID-19. We want to help you understand how to take precautions and how to access your benefits during this time. Health care providers are working hard to continue seeing patients, and your health is important to them. Here are some important things to know:
What are the best places to find up-to-date information about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Local counties, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer up-to-date information on the COVID-19 vaccines. You can find their public COVID-19 vaccine pages here:
- Clatsop County: co.clatsop.or.us/publichealth/page/covid-19-vaccine-survey
- Columbia County: columbiacountyor.gov/vaccine
- Tillamook County: tillamookchc.org
- OHA: covidvaccine.oregon.gov
- CDC: cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19
You can also call 211 or TTY 711 for the latest information, or text “ORVAX” to 898211 for live text help in English or Spanish.
Am I eligible for the vaccine?
- Everyone age 6 months and over is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine:
- People ages 6 months to 17 are only eligible for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
- Children ages 6 months to 11 will receive a pediatric version of the vaccine.
- Everyone ages 6 months to 14 must have permission from a parent or guardian.
How do I get a vaccination?
There are multiple ways to make an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and many locations are offering walk-in (or drive-through) vaccines without an appointment:
- Click here to visit the OHA’s vaccine locator.
- Visit vaccines.gov.
- The federal government is distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to retail pharmacies in Oregon. Contact your local pharmacy for details on walk-in appointments or how to schedule an appointment:
If you have any questions about the vaccine related to your unique health condition, please contact your provider – they know your health best.
Many people are trying to find information right now, so please understand that wait times or website load times may be longer than normal.
What should I do before and after I get the vaccine?
- Have food and water beforehand.
- Wear clothes that allow you to remove or pull down your sleeve, in order to get the vaccine in your upper arm.
- Wear a face covering.
- Bring your Member ID card with you.
- After you receive the vaccine, you will need to wait for 30 minutes for monitoring.
- The whole appointment should take between 30 to 60 minutes.
- The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are given in two doses. The first shot helps your immune system recognize the virus, and the second strengthens the immune response.
- For those vaccines, ask about your second shot when you get the first shot.
- The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is given in a single dose.
- It takes time for your body to build immunity after your shot. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after your single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
- The CDC and OHA have guidelines for wearing face coverings and other information for full vaccinated people: CDC | OHA
Is the vaccine safe and effective?
The FDA has fully approved the Pfizer vaccine, and has approved the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for emergency use. These vaccines are safe and effective.
- All COVID-19 vaccines had large-scale clinical trials. Tens of thousands of people received the vaccines during these trials — far more participants than were tested in most trials.
- Trial participants came from a range of diverse backgrounds.
- The FDA approved fully approved the Pfizer vaccine — and approved the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for emergency use — after a careful review of the trial data.
- There were no serious safety issues found during any of the vaccine trials.
- The vaccines currently available are Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
- Regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: According to the CDC, “CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine resume in the United States, after a temporary pause…A review of all available data this time shows that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks. However, women younger than 50 years old especially should be aware of the rare but increased risk of [thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome…which involves blood clots with low platelets] and that there are other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which the risk has not been seen.” According to the OHA, “All three approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective. With three vaccines now available, Oregonians should get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Will I need a booster dose or third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?
The CDC and FDA now recommend third doses or booster doses for everyone age 12 and above. An additional booster of the Pfizer vaccine is also available for people age 50 and above. OHA has detailed information about third/booster doses, which you can find here.
Where can I find other resources or information about the vaccines?
The following materials are all in PDF format, so they can be easily downloaded and/or printed.
- Columbia Pacific CCO: COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective:
- Columbia County: appears to be an empty link with target /docs/colpachealthorglibraries/cpcco/jnjcovidvaccine-factsheet-regional_qr.pdf Johnson & Johnson vaccine fact sheet
- OHA: Resources for parents, guardians and people under 18
- OHA: FAQ for parents with 5- to 11-year-olds: English
- OHA FAQ for parents and youth 12-17: English | Spanish
- OHA: Fast Facts: COVID-19 Booster Doses: English | Spanish
- OHA: COVID-19 Booster Dose FAQs: English | Spanish
- OHA: Booster Doses for Immuno-compromised people: English | Spanish
- OHA: Where can I get my COVID-19 vaccine? English | Spanish
- OHA: What to know before you get vaccinated: English | Spanish
- OHA: COVID-19 vaccine facts: English | Spanish
- OHA: Information on the Get Vaccinated tool: English | Spanish
- OHA: Johnson & Johnson vaccine information for religious communities:
- OHA: Why get the vaccine? English | Spanish
- CDC: Vaccine facts: English | Spanish
- CDC: Tracking your health after a vaccine: English
- Video: How the COVID-19 vaccine works: English | Spanish
- Video: Why you should get a COVID-19 vaccine: English | Spanish
Can I get a home test for COVID-19 at the pharmacy?
Home tests for COVID-19 are now available for all members of Columbia Pacific.
These tests let you take your own sample and get results in 10-15 minutes. You can get up to eight tests every 30 days.
You don’t need a prescription for most home COVID-19 tests. Go to a pharmacy in our network, show them your Columbia Pacific Member ID card, and your home COVID-19 test will be fully covered. (To find a pharmacy in our network, click here.) Many brands of home tests are fully covered, but not all. See our formulary for details.
If you paid out of pocket for tests, we may be able to reimburse you. Please use this form. Include your receipt(s) with your submission, but no prescription details are required. We can reimburse up to $12 per test.
Columbia Pacific also covers home tests from non-pharmacy providers such as clinics, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, and more.
If you have questions about home COVID-19 tests, please contact Customer Service at 855-722-8206 or TTY 711.
For most up to date guidance on what to do with your test results, please check the CDC website.
What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
OHA suggests these steps if you test positive for COVID-19:
- Stay home and stay away from others, including the people in your own household.
- If you’re sick:
- Isolate for five days from when you started feeling sick.
- Take care of yourself.
- Call your clinic or provider if your symptoms get worse.
- Whether or not you feel sick or have symptoms, isolate for five days from the day you tested positive.
- If you still have a fever or other symptoms after the first five days, keep isolating from others.
- If you have no fever or symptoms at the end of five days of isolating, you can be around other people. But make sure any fever or symptoms are gone for 24 hours, without the help of medicine, before you’re around other people.
- Even after the first five days of isolating, wear a well-fitting mask for five more days when you’re around others. The mask should ideally be a KN-95 mask or better.
What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19?
If you have symptoms or need immediate care, please call your primary care provider. If you don’t have symptoms but have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, the COVID-19 Case Support Hotline may be able to help. You can call the hotline at 866-917-8881.
What happens to Oregon Health Plan (OHP) coverage after COVID-19? How long will COVID-19 be considered an official “Public Health Emergency”?
Near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government labeled it an official Public Health Emergency (PHE). When this happened, the normal yearly checks to confirm people still qualify for the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) were put on hold.
At least two months before the end of the PHE, Oregon will be notified that the PHE will not be extended. Once that happens, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will need to start the process of “redetermination.” This means they will need to confirm that all OHP members still qualify for Medicaid coverage. This process has not started yet. When it does, OHA will send letters on a rolling basis when it’s time to renew so you will be notified if you need to fill out new paperwork. They will ask members to send proof of certain details (e.g., how much money they make) or to confirm other information. Visit the OHA website for more details.
What are the Delta and Omicron variants?
According to the CDC, the Delta variant of COVID-19 is over two times more contagious than earlier strains, and Omicron may be even more transmissible than Delta. Even people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can pass these variants to others. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is still the most effective way to prevent severe illness and death.
Can I still see my normal providers for non-COVID appointments?
Yes. Keep getting the care you need.
- Clinics are working hard to get you the care you need. Your primary care provider and the clinical teams in our network want to make sure you have access to physical, dental and mental health care and substance use treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinics are providing options including:
- Call your primary care clinic to discuss your options. They will tell you what services are available, how you can see your provider and the best way to get care.
- Preventive and chronic care is especially important, and clinics are prepared to serve you. Contact your clinic to determine the best way to get care.
- Immunizations are vital, especially for kids under 2.
- Chronic condition care is more important than ever. Call your provider to manage your diabetes, asthma, substance use treatment or other conditions.
- For mental health and substance use treatment services, contact your clinic directly about how to get your needed supports. Many providers are holding appointments by phone or video, though some in-person visits are still available for those who need them.
- We know this is a difficult time. You are not alone. There are mental health and substance use treatment services available to you. Click here to learn more.
- Dental offices are open and are taking steps to keep you and your family safe during COVID-19. Contact your dental clinic directly to find out what appointments are available.
- Elective procedures have resumed.
- You still have access to our network. None of your benefits have changed, and we are still here to ensure that your physical, dental and mental health care needs are met.
How can I help myself stay healthy during COVID-19?
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your primary care provider. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Your provider can advise you on the best next steps, including how to get tested.
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- Whenever possible, stay at home and practice social distancing. This
is the most effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- The Oregon Health Plan has created a Facebook page with helpful COVID-19 information in Spanish. Click here to see the page.
What are the latest updates about pharmacies and medicine?
- June 1, 2021 update about 90-day medication supplies
- Mail order: If you want to have your medications sent to you by a mail-order pharmacy, you can do that. Our directory of mail-order pharmacies is available here, or give Pharmacy Customer Service a call. You can also call your local pharmacy, as they may offer home delivery service.
- Authorizations: If you have an approved pre-authorization that expires soon, check with your provider to see if the pre-authorization can be extended.
Is transportation help still available during COVID-19?
- Rides to appointments are still available. Drivers are taking precautions to keep you safe. Please call NW Rides at 888-793-0439 to ask about transportation options.
How can I get help in my language?
- If you speak a language other than English, we can help you get access to an interpreter. For phone interpretation, call our Customer Service at 855-722-8206 and we can help connect you to an interpreter.
For helpful coronavirus facts from the Oregon Health Authority, click on your choice of language:
What is contact tracing? Will I be contacted about it?
Contact tracing helps public health officials determine who may have come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will be making contact tracing calls, and we want you to feel safe answering their calls. Your information will be treated as a confidential public health record and will not be shared with other agencies, including immigration officials. Contact tracers will ask for the following information:
- Name, date of birth and where you live
- If you need an interpreter for a language other than English
- Race, ethnicity, language and disability information
- If you have any symptoms of COVID-19
- If you need a place to stay or have other needs to help you stay at home
- If they can contact you to monitor your symptoms and needs
If a contact tracer can’t reach you, they’ll leave a voicemail and ask you to call back. You will NEVER be asked for your social security number, immigration status or financial information. If someone calls and asks for that information, hang up. They are not part of local or state contact tracing efforts.
Should I be worried about COVID-19 scams?
Unfortunately, some people will try to take advantage of the worry around COVID-19. Please be on the lookout for:
- Ads for vaccines or medications that promise to heal COVID-19 or keep it away.
- Emails that seem to be about COVID-19 that will add a virus to your computer from a link or attachment.
- Phone calls asking for personal information.
- People coming door to door offering testing or prescriptions.
- Offers to let you pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine, or to get the vaccine early.
- Someone calling, texting or emailing promising access to the vaccine and asking you to share your personal or financial information.
If someone calls claiming to be from CareOregon and you’re not sure, hang up and call our Customer Service department. If we called you, we will have a record of the call. For more information about possible scams during this time, click here.
Do I qualify for the Oregon Health Plan?
- Who qualifies for the Oregon Health Plan? The coronavirus pandemic has taken all of us by surprise and changed our lives in various ways. The state has recently changed its eligibility requirements for the Oregon Health
Plan (OHP) in light of COVID-19. If you have lost your job or your health insurance, you may be eligible for OHP. For details, click here.
Where can I find more information?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring the situation closely. You can learn more at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.
You can also call 211 or visit their website at https://covid19.211info.org/ for more general information.
OHA has posted some helpful fact sheets that can be found here: