COVID 19: Facts, Updates, Changes at DPC
July 20, 2020
Please read this practice statement, including a TESTING UPDATE, we have put together to provide accurate information, help you understand the impact of COVID 19 on children, and learn what we are doing at DPC to care for our patients in the safest way possible. We will continuously update with new information as it becomes available.
Since this pandemic began, we have learned and continue to learn every day more about COVID-19. All data so far continues to show that COVID-19, for most children, is a mild illness, very similar to colds and other viral illnesses. Symptoms, like so many other viruses include fever, cough, sore throat, GI upset and fatigue. Older children have also reported a loss of smell and/or taste. Research is ongoing to determine the likelihood that children with no symptoms, and or children with symptoms and positive for COVID-19 spread their infection to adults, who may be more vulnerable.
We know for sure that the best way to get things under control and stop the spread of infection is for everyone (children over age 2) to wear a mask in public, practice social distancing and good hand washing, avoid crowds and stay home when sick. We are quite certain that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic adults and possibly children can spread the virus unknowingly. Wearing a mask helps to protect others. Others wearing a mask helps to protect you.
The decisions about schools reopening are complicated and difficult. The American Academy of Pediatrics released guidelines advocating for reopening if safety measures can be put into place. We all believe that kids being in school is best, but we are operating in a place where the virus is still spreading, data and resources are limited, and details about how schools can operate safely are still being developed. Parents face difficult decisions, and although we do not have the answers, we are here to help talk you through the choices.
What can you do?
Practice social distancing – stay 6 feet away from other people whenever possible.
Take personal hygiene measures seriously, such as hand washing with soap for 20 seconds, covering a cough or sneeze, and keeping your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes.
If you or your child develops a fever and/or mild respiratory illness try to isolate until symptoms have improved and you have no fever for 24 hours.
Wear a cloth mask, covering your mouth and nose in public. (2 years and up)
What are we at Dekalb Pediatric Center doing to support you and this effort?
We continue to operate as a WELL OFFICE inside our building.
All “sick” patients are seen virtually, or in the parking lot. We are being particularly vigilant to remain open and available to our families in the safest possible way.
1. We launched our telemedicine service on March 23rd and to date have done almost 2000 virtual visits! Learn more and download the app to get registered HERE.
2. We are putting a temporary hold on online “sick” appointments so we can screen patients first, and set up a telemedicine visit. As a reminder we do not accept walk- in patients – all patients must call first.
3. ALL patients with RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS – fever, cold, cough, sore throat are being scheduled for a telemedicine appointment with one of our doctors or NPs.
4. If after a telemedicine visit a patient needs to be seen it will be in the parking lot with the provider wearing full PPE, as recommended.
5. We are successfully using telemedicine for many other concerns, such as rashes, allergies, pink eye, GI symptoms, and behavioral health. Call for an appointment.
6. At this time testing for COVID-19 is recommended in certain situations. WE CAN NOW DO RAPID TESTS FOR COVID-19 AT OUR OFFICE. We require a telemedicine virtual visit first to decide if and when a test is indicated. If so, we schedule you to come to our parking lot at a designated time each day. One of the doctors will come to the car to obtain a nasal swab. Results are given in 20 to 30 minutes.
We are keeping the office a “well” office and remain open for essential services that must be done in person. Following the AAP, CDC, and CHOA guidelines we are continuing to do well visits, immunizations, and newborn care, with the following measures:
1.We kindly ask that only one adult accompany the patient inside for an appointment. (Both parents, no grandparents for newborns)
2.The adult and child will be screened before entering the building for fever/illness/exposure.
3. Masks that cover your mouth and nose MUST be worn (age 2 and up) the entire time in the office.
4.We are not using the waiting room and we are spreading out the appointments to minimize your time in the office. Please complete the online portal forms prior to coming in.
Our staff is doing an amazing job at streamlining your visit, while practicing exemplary social distancing and hygiene measures. The office is obsessively and continuously being cleaned throughout the day.
We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty, messages that change daily, and no clear ending to what we are all experiencing. We feel that keeping up with immunizations, newborn care, care for kids with chronic conditions and mental health issues is essential. If you are anxious or unsure about keeping a well visit appointment for a child with none of the above issues, please call to discuss or reschedule for a few months down the road.
We are here and available to work with you through this public health crisis, answer your questions and provide accurate information. Our sources are the CDC website which is embedded on our website and updates regularly, WHO, and locally CHOA and the Ga Dept of Public Health.
Please check these sites first and then call if you have additional concerns.
In addition, here is a link with resources you may find helpful to reassure children about COVID-19.
We continuously update policies as as new information becomes available. Please remain flexible and patient, and check back here often. We will get through this together. Thank You!Back to Blog/News