COVID-19: What LGBTQ+ People Need to Know

LGBTQ+ people are likely worried about the potential impact of COVID-19 on their health. People at particular risk should talk to their health providers about their options for protecting themselves from infection.

Updated January 19, 2022

[Image description: A rectangular graphic with vertical intersectional Pride stripes to the right. To the left is white text on a purple background that reads “Keeping our community safe.” A gradient rainbow line separates this from purple text below that reads “New vaccine requirement for all visitors.” To the right of the text is a purple heart with a white plus sign inside. The Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center logo is in the lower right corner of the graphic.]

As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of everyone in our community, starting on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center will start requiring all visitors to the center to be fully vaccinated. This is in addition to our existing mask requirement. For more information about this new requirement, scroll down to the section titled "What is Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center doing?".


Where can I get vaccinated?

1. Vaccine appointments are available through Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). Everyone five (5) years of age and older is eligible for vaccination:

  • Schedule right on this website
  • Call 833-584-6283 anytime weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • The following LVHN COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics welcome walk-ins 12 years or older, and children 5-11 by appointment:
  • For patients aged 5-11, certain LVPG Pediatric practices are also providing the Pfizer vaccine.

2. COVID-19 vaccination clinics are being held by the Allentown Health Bureau. Everyone five (5) years of age and older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • At the Allentown Health Bureau, 245 N. 6th Street in Allentown
    • Walk-ins welcome. Appointments can be made by calling 610-437-7760 ext. 0
    • Monday-Friday from 9:00-3:30 PM
      • Vaccines will not be offered on Thursday, November 25th or Friday, November 26th due to the holiday
    • Moderna, Pfizer and J & J vaccine are available
  • In-home vaccination is available for people with certain health conditions and/or accessibility needs. Click here for more information.

Note: At all Allentown Health Bureau locations, individuals under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.


For the location of additional vaccination centers that have been trained on LGBTQ-competency, email [email protected] OR to find the COVID-19 vaccine site nearest to you, text your zip code to 438-829. You will be given locations of the three nearest vaccination sites and information on childcare and transportation OR visit vaccines.gov.


Who should get a booster vaccine and/or third dose, according to the CDC?

All adults (18+) should get their booster vaccines:

  • If you originally received Pfizer or Moderna, you can get your booster as early as 5 months after your last dose of your primary series.
  • If you originally received the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine, you can get your booster as early as 2 months after your original dose.
  • Regardless of which brand of vaccine received for the primary COVID-19 vaccination series (e.g. Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson), adults are able to take any brand of booster dose. For most people, Pfizer or Moderna booster vaccines are preferred. 

Individuals aged 12-17 who originally received the Pfizer vaccine can receive the Pfizer booster vaccine as early as 5 months after their last dose of their primary series.

Booster vaccines differ from third doses. Immunocompromised individuals aged 5+ may need a third dose in order to complete their primary series:

  • If you originally received Pfizer or Moderna, you should get your third dose of the same vaccine brand 28 days after your second dose. This third dose completes your primary series.
  • If you originally received the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine, you have already completed your primary series of vaccines. 
  • After completing your primary series, booster doses are recommended as outlined above.

Talk to your healthcare provider about whether getting a COVID-19 third and/or booster dose is appropriate for you.

Where can I get my booster vaccine?

  1. LVHN is offering booster vaccines at several locations, including their hospital-based clinics and stand-alone locations. Existing LVHN patients can make an appointment through my MyLVHN. Others can call 833-LVHN-CVD Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:30pm. For a list of LVHN's stand-alone locations, click here.
  2. The Allentown Health Bureau (245 N. 6th Street in Allentown) is administering boosters and third COVID vaccinations. Walk-in or make an appointment by calling 610-437-7760 ext. 0. 
  3. The Bethlehem Health Bureau (10 E. Church St. in Bethlehem) is administering boosters and third COVID vaccinations (Moderna and Pfizer). To see their available date and times, click here. Walk-in or schedule an appointment by calling 610-865-7083.

Have more questions about boosters or third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine? Visit LVHN's informational webpage here. 

 

[Image description: A rectangular graphic with a light blue background. On the left side shows a large rainbow clock. In the center of the graphic with white text that reads “TIME TO GET BOOSTED”. Below the text are cartoon images of a group of people.]


What should I do if I was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19?

If you were exposed to COVID-19 (i.e. in contact with someone who has COVID-19), the CDC’s recommended next steps differ based on your vaccination status. 

  • For the first ten (10) days after exposure, everyone (regardless of vaccination status) should wear a mask around others, watch for COVID-19 symptoms, and isolate if symptoms develop. 
  • If you are up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccinations (i.e. you have had all the vaccine doses you are eligible for), you do not need to quarantine after an exposure. Five (5) days after exposure, get tested for COVID-19.
  • If you are not up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccinations, quarantine at home for at least 5 days after exposure and then get tested for COVID-19.

What should I do if I tested positive for COVID-19?

If you tested positive, regardless of vaccination status or presence of symptoms, stay at home and isolate yourself from others for a minimum of five (5) days. 

  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, talk with your provider to see if you can end isolation after 5 days. If you need a referral to an LGBTQ-affirming provider, contact [email protected]
  • If you did not experience COVID-19 symptoms, you may end isolation 5 days after your positive result. For the first ten (10) days after a positive test, wear a mask around others and isolate if symptoms develop. 

What does it mean to quarantine? To isolate? 

Quarantine and isolation are different. Quarantine is meant to stop the potential spread in the instance of exposure. Isolation is intended for confirmed positive cases. The CDC outlines some steps for each quarantine and isolation here.


Where can I get COVID-19 tested?

Order four (4) free at-home tests from the federal government using this link. (O aquí para Español.)

Additionally, individuals with health insurance can receive up to eight (8) rapid at-home tests for free each month (effective since January 15, 2022). Need insurance coverage? Schedule a meeting with [email protected] to talk about low-cost healthcare available through the state's official healthcare marketplace, Pennie. 

Testing is offered at many locations, including biweekly at Bradbury-Sullivan Center! For information on Bradbury-Sullivan Center's asymptomatic COVID-19 testing, click here

You may be able to schedule a COVID-19 test closer to your home. Use this map to find the closest testing site to you. Some of the sites on listed on that map are only testing their existing patients, while others are open to the general public. The map includes an assortment of walk-in and appointment-only testing centers.

You can also view the AMI public testing sites that are being held in five regions across Pennsylvania.


What is Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center doing?

Our organization prioritizes health promotion and health equity for the LGBT community, so we are taking COVID-19 seriously and are taking the following precautionary measures:

  • Starting on February 1, the center is requiring all its visitors to be fully vaccinated. This new requirement for visitors, in addition to our ongoing mask requirement, offers an extra layer of protection for our employees and community members. Proof of being fully vaccinated, either in physical or digital form, is required upon entering the center. Being fully vaccinated, as defined by the CDC, means two (2) weeks after a second dose of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine. Please note that if a visitor is eligible to receive a third COVID-19 vaccine dose and/or a COVID-19 vaccine booster, then proof of additional doses will also be required for entry. 
  • All staff members have been fully vaccinated since the center reopened its doors to the community in September 2021.
  • Most programs are available through virtual formats.
  • We are uniting the voices of families and community members to share their vaccination stories. See a video from an LGBTQ+ Lehigh Valley family below.

  • We are working with community leaders to promote accurate, trustworthy, and accessible information. See a video we made in partnership with several community leaders below.


Mental Health Resources during COVID-19:

This time can be very hard for so many of us. When you may need them, please reach out to these resources below. They are very helpful to many of us.

RELATED RESOURCES: 

MORE INFORMATION: 

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center has produced videos featuring drag performer Mandy Mango to help keep our community informed:

Safe brunching / happy hours during COVID-19

Sexual health during COVID-19

Information on this page is provided in partnership with the National LGBT Cancer Network and Lehigh Valley Health Network. Additional support provided by CDC Foundation.

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