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COVID-19 Update 4/30/22

Happy Spring! Now that we’re over the hump of the COVID surge we experienced over the holidays, we feel ready to relax our COVID protocols at bit.

Calling & Visiting Us

  • We require all adults & children over 2 years to wear a mask/face covering when visiting our office & throughout your visit. Masks protect both you & those around you, and generally speaking, most children have adapted well to regular mask use. Please note that we will not write letters of exemption from mask wearing except in cases of extreme physical or mental disability.
  • All patients visiting our office will be verbally COVID screened and directed to the appropriate waiting area.  Positive responses will not jeopardize your ability to be seen but rather help us wear the appropriate PPE & sanitize properly.  Our medical assistants work hard to get our patients roomed as quickly as possible, particularly infants.
  • For patients/parents/guardians with current COVID infection or currently in quarantine, we kindly ask you to reschedule your non-urgent/well visit.  
  • We continue to take appropriate precautions to decrease germ transmission within our office by limiting crowding, regular cleaning, frequent handwashing, & wearing personal protective equipment.

Testing for COVID-19

We are able to provide COVID testing for patients who are ill.  Depending on volume & the type of testing available, results are expected in 1-2 days and will be uploaded to the patient’s MyChart account. We do not write orders for testing to be done outside of our practice.

Symptomatic – available

We generally prefer to see symptomatic patients in office so that we can do a physical exam & ensure there are no alternative diagnoses before ordering testing. When available, we try to utilize rapid PCR testing & results are expected same day. We strongly suggest maintaining access to your MyChart account – lab results are posted there in real time so often, you will be notified of results before our providers get to review labs during lunchtime or end of day!

We are not able to perform confirmatory PCR testing after home antigen testing. If your child’s school/other is requiring confirmatory testing, please use this tool to locate a testing facility or try other options like Curative.

Asymptomatic exposures to COVID-19 – Unavailable as of 12/8/21

With our high volumes of sick patients, we are unable to offer testing for asymptomatic exposures at this time. Patients who do not have symptoms but were directly exposed to COVID infection may need testing after exposure depending on several factors. Visit the MA Department of Public Health website for complete instructions (updated 12/28/21) on how to handle a direct exposure to a positive COVID case. Use this tool to locate a testing facility, or try other options like Curative,

Travel or pre-participation testing – Unavailable

As of 8/18/21 we are no longer able to offer testing for travel/pre-participation due to supply shortage.  

Testing Positive for COVID

COVID results get published to MyChart as soon as they result. Positive results will receive additional clinical guidance via MyChart message only and will include details on quarantine, household exposures, and cardiac clearance for return to activity. We ask all families to review these recommendations and only call with additional questions if necessary.

On December 28, 2021, the CDC updated their recommendations for quarantine after testing positive for COVID. The CDC hasn’t clearly defined how to handle COVID positive younger children who cannot consistently mask & are unvaccinated, so we continue to recommend 10 day quarantine for that group (especially toddler age and younger) which is a recommendation endorsed by the DPH.

One of the most common questions we get is how to handle continuous exposures for household members who cannot isolate in the home. Generally, if a household contact is continuously exposed to your COVID positive child, day 1 of their quarantine would be after the child’s 10 day quarantine period (positive child’s count starts on first day of their symptoms or COVID positive test if asymptomatic).

Vaccination for COVID-19 

On May 10, 2021, the Pfizer COVID vaccine was granted emergency use authorization for children age 12+ years, followed by approval for 5-11 year old on November 2, 2021.  Our providers have all received the COVID vaccine and feel comfortable recommending it for our eligible patients.  Please rest assured that though the vaccine development process seemed fast, we trust the strict guidelines already in place.  If you or your child has had recent COVID infection, vaccine/boosters can be given 14 days after positive result.  

At this point, we do not currently have COVID vaccine in stock.  Please visit the Massachusetts Vaccine Finder website to find a location near you.  

Post-COVID Infection Cardiac Clearance

As we continue to learn more about COVID-19, we now know there have been limited reports of cardiac effects from even mild COVID infections.  The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending clearance for return to sports/activity after COVID based on factors including severity of symptoms & intensity of sport/activity.  Children of all ages with moderate COVID infection (>4 days of fever, etc.) will need a clearance visit three weeks after COVID infection.  Parents should connect with our nurses to determine the best course of action before returning to activities, and once the patient is determined safe to return, a gradual return to play will be recommended.

Additional Information & Resources

 

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