Home » News & Events » COVID Update 5/10/21

COVID Update 5/10/21

We are planning two COVID-19 vaccine clinics for our patients ages 12 and older. Notices have gone out via MyChart, our patient portal. If you have not received it or are not on MyChart, please call the office so we can sign you up. All clinic scheduling will take place on MyChart. Please watch for your messages to see how the clinics will run and what protocols are in place. Thank you and stay safe!

We kindly request that if your child or parent/guardian has had exposure to COVID-19, and/or anycompatible symptoms, that you connect with our office prior to visiting.  We must complete the COVID-19 pre-screen questions, and may ask that you call to check in from your car.  This will give us a few extra moments to gear up in the appropriate PPE and ensure an exam room is ready before calling you up for your appointment.  It’s critical for us to keep our staff safe so that we keep our patients and their families safe too! 

In an effort to expand testing availability for our patients, we are now able to provide testing for both symptomatic patients and patients who have been exposed to COVID-19.  

Calling Our Office
  • Our front office staff will determine how best to handle your call.  Symptomatic patients will be advised to make an appointment, preferably an in person visit.  Patients with history of a direct exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 will be advised to schedule a virtual visit.
Visiting Us
  • Please no walk ins to our office for any reason…please call first! 
  • All patients visiting our office require COVID-19 pre-screening so that we can ensure providers are wearing the appropriate PPE during your child’s visit.  Positive responses will not jeopardize your ability to be seen but rather help us wear the appropriate PPE & sanitize properly. 
  • Patients responding positively to COVID-19 screenings, for both sick & well visits, will be asked to remain in their vehicles & call to check in (Woburn check in line: 781-638-1075; North Andover check in line: 978-557-5712).
  • We require all adults & children over 2 years to wear a mask/face covering when visiting our office & throughout your visit. Please remember that whenever possible, only one parent/guardian (no siblings, please) should accompany the child to his/her visit.
  • 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 our waiting room access, regular cleaning, frequent handwashing, wearing personal protective equipment, and social distancing to the best of our ability.  

Testing for COVID-19

We are able to provide COVID testing for patients who are ill, directly exposed to COVID, or who who may need testing due to travel or preparticipation. Depending on volume & the type of testing available, results are expected in about 24 hours or so.

  • Symptomatic 
    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. 
  • Asymptomatic exposures to COVID-19
    Patients who do not have symptoms but were directly exposed will need to have a virtual visit before ordering any testing.  Our scheduling staff will call you after your virtual visit to schedule your lab appointment on the appropriate testing day.  In Woburn, testing is done during certain hours and typically on the first floor in Suite 100, so the scheduling staff will provide you with clear instructions.
  • Travel or pre-participation testing (college, athletic clearance, etc.)
    Families should check on destination/program requirements for most appropriate time period for testing completion.  These may be scheduled with the lab during certain testing hours.  This type of testing is not typically covered by insurance, so an out of pocket fee of $100 is required to be paid prior to specimen collection.  Parent/guardian may choose to investigate reimbursement from their insurance company on their own.  A formal results letter will be published to MyChart for proof of testing.

If the above options are not optimal, please use this tool to locate a testing facility near you. We strongly encourage calling ahead to inquire about each site’s procedures, how long results are taking to return, and what your insurance may or may not cover.

Vaccination for COVID-19 

On May 10, 2021, the Pfizer COVID vaccine was granted emergency use authorization for children age 12+ years.  We are in the process of securing Pfizer vaccine & are planning clinics for June.  You need to wait to be notified that a scheduling ticket has been uploaded onto your account before you can schedule.  Both children & their MyChart proxy accounts (parents/guardians) will be able to access the scheduling ticket, so if you feel your child is eligible and doesn’t have a ticket, please let us know.

All COVID vaccine appointments must be scheduled via your child’s MyChart account.  Vaccine availability will be first come first serve & we are not keeping a waiting list. If our appointments are not convenient for your family, we encourage you to find an alternative. There are many sites, including state & local health care organizations & retail pharmacies, that are offering COVID vaccination. 

Our providers have all received the COVID vaccine and feel comfortable recommending it for our patients in this age group.  There are no contraindications to vaccination, so there are virtually no patients in this age group who are ineligible.  Please rest assured that though the vaccine development process seemed fast, we trust the strict guidelines already in place. Here are some great resources on the Pfizer vaccine, but please call us with any case specific questions or concerns:  

About our June COVID Vaccine Clinics
  • All COVID vaccine appointments must be scheduled via your child’s MyChart account.  For families, each individual patient must have their own appointment scheduled.  
  • MyChart appointments available are for first doses only.  Second dose will be booked by our office staff 3 weeks later (21 days) and on the corresponding second dose clinic day around the same time.  Please be prepared to commit to both appointment dates/times.  You will get a MyChart notification once your child’s second appointment has been scheduled. 
  • Please adhere to your appointment time.  Only one parent/guardian (no siblings, please) should accompany the child to his/her visit to limit traffic to the office.
  • Patients driving themselves are encouraged to have a parent on site. An older sibling is not a stand-in for a parent please. 
  • At this time, we are not able to offer second doses so if your child has had their first vaccine elsewhere, please use that site again.
  • Be sure to review the Pfizer Emergency Use Authorization prior to your appointment
  • Cancel your appointment if you or your child has any COVID symptoms, a pending COVID test, or recent exposure to known COVID infection.
  • After being vaccinated you will need to wait in the office for a 15 minute observation period (some may need to wait longer if any history of allergies/vaccine reactions).

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.  As a standard, we are recommending cardiac clearance visits for children of all ages three weeks after symptomatic 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