As this novel coronavirus moves through our country, we are working diligently to make sure that we are doing everything possible to take care of you and your family, as well as the community at large. This pandemic is requiring us all to be nimble and to adjust quickly as things develop.
Things that we are doing to help minimize potential exposure and care for you:
- We are rescheduling our well patients (newborns, well visits, non-infectious issues, adhd and mental health appointments) into two sessions, first 2 hours of the morning and first 2 hours of afternoon. We will be working to move our vaccine-only visits to the mornings as well. During this time, you may be asked to reschedule your appointment with another physician if your doctor isn’t available. Please be flexible and forgiving with our staff and remember that we are doing this for the greater good. Also we realize with school being cancelled that other household members may be in attendance. We encourage other appropriately aged children stay at home or wait outside. We also cannot have any sick children or parents in our office during these scheduled times.
- We are working to start offering Telemedicine visits with your doctor very shortly! There are certain visits that are potentially appropriate for telemedicine, but remember that we cannot do much of a physical exam over the screen so there are limitations. At this time, we plan to use CGM Telemedicine for these visits. We will also be reaching out to patients with appointments for whom this may be an option. A signed consent will required before you are eligible for this telemedicine option and will be available via the portal.
- If your child has minor symptoms, we may ask you to self-isolate at home during this time. We have very limited access to coronavirus testing at this time. At the current time, testing will be reserved for those meeting very strict criteria at the doctor’s discretion. If you have fever, dry cough, any flu-like symptoms AND known coronavirus exposure or recent travel to endemic areas of significant outbreak we ask that you please use our nurse triage system to arrange for the proper visit at either our office or to be redirected to the appropriate clinic.
- If you or your child has had a fever, dry cough and/or fatigue, we would like you to wear a mask from home if you have access to one. If you don’t have access, we have very limited supply. We would ask that you call upon arrival so that staff can immediately direct you to the appropriate room. Also, we recommend socially distancing yourself 3-6 feet away from others. It’s ok to wait in your vehicle if you feel more comfortable.
- We are committed to keeping our office space as safe as possible. All doctors and staff with any symptoms are not working at in the office. We have intensified all cleaning protocols. The best thing you can do to protect you and your child in the public is to thoroughly wash your child’s and your hands.
Now, a bit of information about novel coronavirus pandemic, as we currently know:
This is a new virus that our bodies have not seen before, spread by the tiny droplets that come from our coughs, sneezes and saliva. It also appears to be shed through feces for up to 30 days in children. It is stable on a surface for up to many days if not cleaned, but it is easy to kill with appropriate sanitizers. Because our bodies do not have innate immunity to this virus, it is quite contagious, but the spread is dramatically decreased by good hand washing, not touching your face and social distancing (at least 3-6 feet away from others). It can cause mild or severe disease. Data from overseas indicate that the highest risk populations are those over 50, especially with co-morbid conditions such as high blood pressure.
Children can and do get sick from novel coronavirus, but they generally do not tend to get as critically ill as adults. We do not know at this time if kids are catching it at a lower rate than adults or if they are just more likely to be asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, but they appear to be protected from severe disease much more than adults. At this time, there have been no reported pediatric deaths in children under 10 years of age. Babies also seem to be fairing well. Several small studies have shown that babies born to moms infected with coronavirus at the time of delivery do not seem to get it from the delivery process.
We recommend the following precautions to keep you and your family safe:
- Socially distance. This means no play dates, no hang outs, no public gatherings. This is also a time to protect our elders. They are in a higher risk category (published mortality is 8% in your 70s, 14.8% in your 80s), so do not visit them in person. Assume that you and your children have this virus already, and modify your behavior to protect others.
- Wash your hands for at least 20-30 seconds, covering all parts.
- Take your shoes off before you enter the house.
- Keep updated. This is a rapidly evolving story. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a good place to start: CDC Coronavirus Website
What can you do to get through this period of time at home:
- Make a daily schedule for your family. With school age children we encourage as much routine as possible during these trying times. Consistency is key; this includes early awakening, routine meal times, and regular bedtimes. Try to get all school work done as early in the day to maintain routine. Include some activity (i.e. recess during educational time), and then add fun time, play time at end of day. Art projects, baking, spring cleaning projects are great things for the family to enjoy together. The great outdoors is still open and available! We know it is extremely difficult, but try to avoid as much as possible the use of video games and movies/screen time to occupy the children’s brains.
- Reach out to the isolated, but not in person. Because our elders are the ones most vulnerable, they will likely be the ones most isolated. FaceTime Grandma! Make cards or videos for your older friends! If you think about someone, reach out to them – you will make their day and will help them to pass the time.
- Look for the positive in each day. It’s easy, especially in these early days, to dwell on our fears. Kids will pick this up and they may show some signs of anxiety. Make a family plan to share things that you’re thankful for each day. This is a unique time where we collectively will have the opportunity to slow down, spend time together and grow together as a family.
We are here for you at this time! This is a time of great opportunity for our community to come together (while apart) and care for one another. How we care for one another in times of crisis defines who we are, and we can positively change the course of our world.
We encourage our patients to sign up for the patient portal. Use the portal to: View/print immunization records. Pay your bill. View upcoming appointments, most recent well child physical date, recent weight and height. Upload/download school forms. Communicate via encrypted email with the MDs and staff (non-urgent only). Call our office to ask a staff member to sign up for the Portal. Once you have signed up, you can access our portal by following this link.
We will be closed on Monday, May 25th in observance of Memorial Day.
We will be closed on Friday, July 3rd and Saturday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day.
We hope you find this website useful. Please contact us at (843) 706-3206 during business hours with any additional questions you may have.