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.

About Lisa M. Asta, MD

Lisa M. Asta, M.D. is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, for which she is also a Media Representative (she has been interviewed for “Kids Health” on Health Radio, and quoted in Parenting Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times, among other publications). She is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco and past pediatric chair at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. She graduated from Temple University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Asta is also a writer whose fiction has appeared in Inkwell, Philadelphia Stories, Schuylkill, and Zeniada. Her essays have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hippocrates, the San Jose Mercury News, and The New Physician Magazine. She is an occasional contributor to KQED public radio’s Perspectives series, and has written articles for Bay Area Parent, Valley Parent, Parents’ Press, and Parents Express, as well as online at WebMD.com, Rx.com, and MyLifePath.com. She wrote a chapter in The Field Guide to the Normal Newborn, ed. Gary Emmet, M.D. BabyCenter.com currently has two how-to videos for parents in production which feature Dr. Asta. For more on Dr. Asta’s writing, visit www.LMAsta.com
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