Covid 19 Update
September 21, 2021
Thanks to all who participated in our first FLULAPALOOZA event of the season last Saturday! We were able to vaccinate about 350 children, protecting them from FLU. A special shout out to all the staff who made it happen. We are now scheduling for our second event which is Saturday, October 9th.
We have COVID vaccines available for children ages 12 and above, the Pfizer brand. We are hoping to hear about vaccines for younger children in the next month. Check back here for updates!
The surge of illness due to the delta COVID strain appears to be easing some with decreased reported cases for a few weeks in a row now. Thank you for helping us by following our guidelines. Our staff has been working so very hard to meet everyone's needs in a timely fashion. We are trying to resume normal function in the office again. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and to allow access for sickness and well visits. We continue to practice cleanliness guidelines and keep sick and well children separate to the best of our ability.
Please review the following guidelines about exposures, home care, when to seek an appointment, when to seek emergency care, and how to prevent the spread of COVID.
EXPOSURE: We continue to hear of parents getting notifications of school exposures. If you are notified of an exposure and your child is well, we recommend continuing to wear a mask in public and protecting any high risk people in your home.
WHO NEEDS AN APPOINTMENT OR TEST? NOT EVERYONE WITH A COLD OR VIRAL SYMPTOMS NEEDS A COVID TEST! Testing too early may increase the chance of a false negative test, give a false sense of security and put others at more risk. Please follow these guidelines:
Your child had an unknown or poorly defined exposure to COVID at school but is well. . You do not need a test or quarantine. Wear a mask at school and protect any vulnerable individuals that you are around. These recommendations are for everyone anyway so really no need to do anything different. You want a test anyway. Do not get tested until at least 5 days after the exposure to minimize false negatives. The best test in this situation is a PCR test, which we do not have in our office. See the testing center link below.
The school, camp, sport, travel or other activity is requiring COVID testing. Get a PCR test at a testing center.
Your child has mild symptoms of viral illness and no clear exposure. Mild symptoms would include low grade fever, runny nose, slightly decreased appetite, intermittent cough, a few episodes of vomiting or diarrhea. A low grade fever is defined as a rectal or oral temperature between 100.5 and 102 degrees (exception is if your child is 3 months old or less, please call for any fever greater than or equal to 100.4) See symptom checker here. You do not necessarily need an appointment or testing. Stay home until you are fever free and improving. Wear a mask (if over age 2) as the cough and congestion resolve over the following week or two to prevent spreading whatever other viral infection you have. Please do not come in during the first 2-3 days of a mild viral illness for a test. A test in this setting may yield false negative results.
Your child is mildly ill and has an exposure. We recommend testing at day 3-5 after onset of symptoms. We can test your child in the office at the time of a sick visit. If your child has mild symptoms and you do not think he or she needs an appointment, you can go to a testing center for a test. Of course, quarantine at home and isolate from other household members to the best of your ability until you get test results. Treat symptoms as below and monitor for signs of worsening illness that would require a visit to our office.
Your child has moderate or severe illness symptoms or symptoms that are not improving after 2-3 days. Signs of more concerning illness include respiratory distress, dehydration, inconsolable crying, symptoms that are worsening after 2-3 days of illness. Respiratory distress includes frequent cough, labored breathing (rapid breathing, skin pulling between ribs with breathing), low energy or interest in playing. Signs of dehydration include poor fluid intake, decreased urine output, no tears when crying, listlessness. Dehydration typically occurs in the setting of vomiting and diarrhea or prolonged poor fluid intake due to respiratory symptoms. If your child seems to get better and then worsens, fever returns, this may signal a bacterial infection such as pneumonia or ear infection and we want to see him or her. If a fever persists more than 2-3 days and is not improving, we want to evaluate your child. If you are unsure, please ask to speak with our phone nurse and she will guide you. If you think your child has severe symptoms (listlessness or lethargy, blue lips, worsening respiratory distress or dehydration) call 911.
Viral illnesses do not require antibiotics or other prescription medications. We treat symptoms to make the child more comfortable and monitor for signs of worsening. Control fever with acetaminophen ( Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil). Click here for dosing guidelines. For infants, use saline and suction to keep the nose clear. Obstructed nasal passages make little ones very uncomfortable. Use a humidifier or vaporizer in the child's room (cool mist please). You can try baby Vick's rub on the chest. Your baby will need extra tender loving care while ill. Make sure you have help because you need to get rest too. For children over a year, you can try giving a teaspoon of honey by mouth to soothe the throat irritation. For older children, try Zicam zinc nasal spray. Cough is a protective reflex that clears mucous and is important to prevent pneumonia. Cough can also signal a lower respiratory tract infection that requires medical attention (see signs of moderate to severe illness above). Vomiting and diarrhea are frequent symptoms of viral illness. Encourage fluids and a mild diet. If children have frequent vomiting or diarrhea, we recommend Pedialyte to replace losses. If you are concerned about dehydration from frequent vomiting and diarrhea with signs as above, please call us. Your child may need to be seen.
HOW TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID:
Wear your mask
Wash your hands
Watch your distance
Stay home when ill.
Get your COVID vaccine if you are age 12 and above.
Following these guidelines is more important now than ever. These measures will help reduce ALL viral illness. Flu vaccines will become available soon. Please be on the lookout for our email when we begin to schedule for FLULAPALOOZA, our curbside flu vaccine campaign, back by popular demand!
WE DO NOT RECOMMEND HOME TEST KITS, BASED ON RECOMMENDATIONS FROM INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALISTS AT CHILDREN'S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA. They report false negatives. If you do a test and it is positive, it is positive. Negative results are much more likely to be false, giving false ressurance.
For COVID-19 PCR testing, drive-up sites, and quick turn around for results visit:
For other possible testing options visit:
For young children
For older children
How long should we quarantine?