COVID19 Testing Update July 23, 2020

COVID19ImageOur communities are re-opening and our lives are expanding. This is a good thing!

As social distancing relaxes, exposures are increasing and we are receiving phone calls from worried parents. Fortunately, the data still shows that the majority of children have asymptomatic or mild cases. Still, an exposure or infection in your household has major implications for your family. Prevent infection by good hand-washing, social-distancing and wearing a face-covering. Once exposed, quarantine and isolation within your home are the most important tools to contain the virus. Testing is not a replacement for quarantine, however, under the right circumstances, testing can give useful information.

If your child has an exposure, please arrange for a telemedicine visit. Each case is different and needs to be fully understood so we can create the best plan for your child and your family. In the next few weeks, Casa Verde Pediatrics will have in-office COVID-19 testing with same-day results. Results are most accurate when done after symptoms develop, or at least 5-7 days after exposure. We have had many families rush immediately after an exposure to an urgent care and “get a test.” In these cases, a negative test should not be reassuring, as the virus can be in your body but not yet detectable. If there is an exposure, a 14 day quarantine is vitally important to protect the rest of your loved ones, and society. Second-hand exposures (being near someone who was near someone with COVID-19) don’t usually count as true exposure, and during a telemedicine visit we can help you figure out true risk.

COVID-19 testing at Casa Verde Pediatrics is done at specific times to minimize exposure to our staff and to preserve PPE. Testing will be done in your car.  After the telemedicine visit, we will help you schedule any needed testing.

The federal government has commandeered factory inventory to send to nursing homes in high-risk states. This has delayed our in-office test supplies. Please be aware that COVID-19 tests are precious resources. While we have some send-out COVID-19 tests, it is our responsibility to use them judiciously. Tests sent to the labs are taking over a week for results because the labs are overwhelmed.

We continue to read and learn and monitor for new recommendations with the goal of giving you the best information possible. As new information becomes available, we will update our advice. Now, more than ever, we thank you for trusting us with the care of your family.

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Pod People?

dolphinWhile no one can make wave a magic wand and make predictions about what may or may not be “safe” in terms of adults and children interactions during the COVID19 pandemic, some are floating the concept of “bubbles” and “pods.”

Your sworn social group is only as strong as its weakest member. There are some things to consider here.

 

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What to Think About When You are Trying to Avoid COVID 19

NASA

TipsToProtectYourself

This handout was written for health care workers. It’s an exhaustive list of things for us to think about as we transition from home to work and back home again. Having worked in operating rooms and a research lab with radiation, its second nature for me. In the age of COVID19, however, everyone is learning to wash their hands more not to touch their face.

I’m posting the handout for families to inform strategies you may want to put in place as adults and kids venture out into the world again.

Life during the pandemic with masks feels like we’re living in outer space. And with the recent launch of astronauts to the International Space Station, we all might play along.

Adults can then develop the clean and safety plan for you and your little astronauts.

The garage can be your docking bay or the entry way your air lock. Drop backpacks and shoes there. Remove masks. Sanitize hands or head to the sink for a good wash.

Be creative and stay safe and well.

 

 

 

 

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COVID19: CDC Links

COVID19ImageHow COVID19 spreads

Symptoms

How to Protect Yourself and Others

If You are Sick or Caring for Someone

Daily Life and Coping

Schools and Day Camps

Childcare, School and Youth Programs

Youth Sports

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home

People who Need to Take Extra Precautions

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Flu Vaccines Fall 2020 Update

nosebleedFlu vaccines for 2020-2021 season are on order.

At this time we have not been told to expect shortages or delays.

We will have influenza injections as well as the nasal influenza spray (Flumist).

We recommend getting the flu vaccine here so that we can review your child’s health record and update them on other medically necessary vaccines and screenings.

Healthy PARENTS and Guardians with PPO and POS insurance may also get their flu shot here.

For patients with Anthem Children’s First Medical Group and Contra Costa Health Plan, we will start immunizing once our Vaccines for Children (VFC)  flu vaccines are in stock.

Please call +1-925-939-7334 to schedule an appointment, although we can often accommodate same-day requests!

We offer flu shots throughout the day, but we ask that you call ahead to serve you better and minimize your wait time.

Current patients, if enrolled, may also message for an appointment through PRACTICE FUSION.

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Are You Ready for Things to Open Up Again?

beachballI’m sharing this post from a Texas pediatrician for those of you thinking about return to work, school, daycare, preschool, school, and activities. It’s a good read.

Are You Ready for Things to Open Up Again?by Dr. Iannelli.

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Antibody Testing for COVID19: May 2020

surgicalMaskMany of you have called the office asking about COVID19 testing. Antibody testing is a piece of the puzzle in determining whether or not someone has had a coronavirus infection. The results of antibody tests are best interpreted in the context of your clinical history. This means your pediatrician is the best person to help you decide if testing is appropriate and when it is most useful. Your pediatrician is also the best person to help you interpret the test. Please contact us before making any decisions about COVID antibody testing. We are here to help. 
 
If you are interested in the possibility of having this test done for your children, please call to schedule a telehealth visit to discuss whether or not testing is right for you, and how we can make it happen. The COVID testing requires a blood draw and cannot be done by fingerstick at this time. Results take 2-5 days to be reported.
 
While a positive antibody test may mean you have been infected with a coronavirus like SARS-Co-V2, the virus that causes COVID19, no one can make any conclusions as to what the result will mean for the patient in terms of future immunity. We must all continue following the recommendations of social distancing, hand washing and wear a face covering while out.
 
Keeping you safe, healthy and well-informed is our number one priority.  
 
We are here for you, and we will get through this together.
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PIMS Update: Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome

COVID19ImageWe have been sheltering at home and following the recommendations of social distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask when we have to go out.  The good news is that we seem to be in a steady state as far as COVID19 infections go. There is a new concern, however, for our children – Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome or PIMS.

PIMS is a very rare syndrome similar to Kawaski Disease and Toxic Shock syndrome, which most of you have never heard about.  While extremely rare, about 100 children have been affected. The syndrome is thought to be a post-viral process, most likely related to COVID 19 The majority of patients with PIMS are COVID-antigen negative, but antibody positive or have a history of close contact with a COVID-positive patient

Children with PIMS look sick.  They have had a few days of fever greater than 101, and may have symptoms that include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, rash, red eyes, swollen hands or red cracked lips.   Younger children may not want to drink.  Few patients actually have the respiratory symptoms we see in adults.

Our concern is the syndrome may affect heart function requiring hospitalization and ICU care. The  majority of children do well with this syndrome but they need special attention and supportive care.  Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome is new. We are watching this very carefully and scientists around the world are working hard to understand this syndrome and how best to treat it. 

Until then, we want to reassure parents that most children are not affected by the coronavirus, and reports of children who become seriously ill remain rare and unusual cases. Many children have red eyes, or rash or diarrhea without fever or looking ill.  These children do not have PIMS.  What should parents do?  If you are concerned, contact your pediatrician.  We can set up a telehealth visit and we can evaluate your child and answer all your questions.

Read more from the AAP here.

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OPEN? We never closed!

OpenNeonWill you need forms for daycare, preschool, elementary school, sports, scouting, or future activities?

Many families are getting ahead of the curve and scheduling appointments as we look to the broader re-opening.

We are open for all your sick and well care needs. We have access to full PPE and a rigorous cleaning protocol for office visits and those done at your vehicle. Telemedicine is also available as well as expanded physician telephone advice hours.

The American Academy of Pediatrics supports continued well care during the pandemic. Read their position statement

https://services.aap.org/…/guidance-on-providing-pediatric…/

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Cover Up!

surgicalMaskInfo on face coverings are here from the American Academy of Pediatrics about the how and why of your child’s new super power to reduce the spread of COVID19!

If you are coming to visit at in the office, please wear your face coverings. Thank you!

 

I did a video to show kids my full PPE outfit. Watch it here.

 

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