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Coronavirus Update 3-13-20

Posted on: 03/13/2020

Novel Coronavirus Update (COVID-19)

March 13th, 2020

In order to provide the most current information possible, we will continue to disseminate brief updates on our plans and procedures at PNP regarding the evolving Coronavirus situation.

First, we want to reiterate that we continue to screen all phone calls from parents of sick children and are NOT bringing in patients with suspected Coronavirus into our office. Other patients can keep their sick and well visits scheduled as usual.

We are actively monitoring the local, domestic, and international spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Currently the risk for COVID-19 infection in the United States remains low overall. The virus is thought to spread from persons in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets. Symptomatic people who are actively sneezing and coughing are probably most contagious. The symptoms of COVID-19 are like other respiratory viruses, including the flu. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough, body aches, fatigue, shortness of breath, sore throat, and headache. The severity of illness ranges from mild to severe.

The most reassuring information pertaining to our pediatric population is that documented COVID-19 infections in children have been generally mild.

Unfortunately, we still do not have the capability to test for the virus in our office, despite what you may be hearing in the media. Testing has to be done in a designated facility where staff and physicians can properly isolate the patient and wear the proper personal protective equipment, which is not available to our office. We are working with the local and state DOH as well as the local hospitals to ensure that we can direct our patients to the correct facility for care, if testing is eventually required. There are indications that testing availability may increase locally, and when that happens, we will help disseminate that information to our patients.

We continue to follow the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that parents and caretakers protect their children by following the same hygiene practices for cold and flu season. These general practices to help prevent the spread of viruses include washing hands with soap and water, frequently disinfecting household objects and toys, teaching your children to cough into their elbow (not their hands) and keeping your kids away from others who are sick. Additionally, the best protection against COVID-19 is to avoid exposure by limiting travel to highly infected areas where the CDC has issued extensive travel advisories for countries experiencing community spread. Social distancing measures put into effect in the last few days should help to decrease spread within our community.

If a patient or a caretaker who has had recent travel or known exposure to COVID-19 case is feeling ill, please remain at home to avoid exposure to others and call our office.

Please do not hesitate to contact the office if you have questions or other concerns. We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.

It is our privilege to provide pediatric care for your children and families.

For more information which is frequently updated, please visit:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.aspx

https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

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