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To best serve our patients and community, we continue monitoring the CDC guidelines and the Georgia Department of Public Health.
We are offering virtual office visits as well as in-office visits for well child checkups, vaccines and other needed services.

Covid-19 Announcement Virtual Office Visits
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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID Update Week of 3/29/21

COVID-19 THIS WEEK

The Good News

The U.S. vaccination drive is making progress.  Over 147 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given.  The CDC reports that 15.8% of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated, and 28.6 % of the U.S. population has received at least one dose.  And, the number of doses being distributed to states each week has tripled since January, 2021.  Data also shows that the vaccines are effective.  The number of U.S. deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19 has dropped significantly over the last two months.  New studies reveal fully vaccinated people don’t spread COVID-19 as readily asunvaccinated people and have negligible rates of getting COVID-19 infection. 

The Concern:  To accelerate vaccination efforts, the White House is encouraging states to make COVID-19 vaccinations available to all adults by May 1.  A number of states, including Georgia, have already opened vaccination to all adults 16 years and older.  Many other states pledge to do the same in the upcoming weeks.

The number of new COVID-19 cases has plateaued and again increased to over 63,000 cases per day.  Decreases in hospitalization and deaths from COVID-19 have stalled over the last couple of weeks.  And, 30 states show upticks in new cases.  Experts warn that increases in air travel, gatherings of spring break crowds, surges in COVID-19 variants throughout the U.S, and easing of mask mandates in some states could be factors to this trend and may also risk a new surge in COVID-19 cases.  

What can we do? 
Please limit travel, avoid crowds, get vaccinated as soon as possible, and continue to mask, wash hands, and maintain social distancing until we can ensure adequate protection from COVID-19 for everyone.  SEE vaccinefinder.org (CDC) or the Georgia Vaccine Locator under dph.georgia.gov to find a vaccination location near you.

What is the status of COVID-19 vaccines for children?

Current COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. are only authorized for emergency use for persons 16 years (Pfizer-BioNTech) or 18 years (Moderna and Johnson& Johnson) and up.   However, clinical trials are in progress for children.  Moderna and Pfizer-BiotNTech have been testing their vaccines on children down to age 12 years, and both pharmaceutical companies recently started studies for children 6 months to 11 years.  Johnson & Johnson also plans to study kids down to 12 years old, then down to newborns.  Testing will look at dosing for different age groups, safety and tolerability, and immune response.  Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the White House, stated that a vaccine for older children might be available before school next fall, while a vaccine for younger children might not come out until the end of 2021 or early 2022.   Exciting news this week: Pfizer says its vaccine trials show 100% efficacy for children 12 to 15 years old. 

Vaccination of children, who make up 20% of the U.S. population, is felt to be crucial to achieving herd immunity and ending the COVID-19 pandemic.  Herd immunity is when a large percentage of a population is immune to a disease, so that the disease can no longer spread.  While the level of herd immunity against COVID-19 is not certain, many experts think 70% to 85% of the U.S. population will need to be immune.  Do your part and GET VACCINATED AS SOON AS YOU CAN.

MASK. WASH. DISTANCE. VACCINATE.

 

 

COVID Update Week of 3/22/21

COVID-19 THIS WEEK

Not too much has changed in the Covid-19 news this week. The numbers have shown a little fluctuation but most Georgia counties seem to be staying between 5-10% positivity rates.

Over 100,000,000 vaccines have been given in the last 88 days!!! We are not “there yet” but we are getting closer every day. Where is there? Herd immunity. We believe that, when around 70% of the population is vaccinated, we will be able to get ahead of the virus.

We are hopeful that Spring break travelers do not shift our current success in lowering the rate of Covid-19 spread. So do not forget to continue to mask up and socially distance and wash your hands !

What if I have received my vaccine?
Do I still have to mask, wash and distance?
Do I still have to quarantine every time I am exposed?


The CDCs latest recommendations are that fully immunized people (those who are 2 weeks or more out from their final dose of the vaccine) may socialize amongst one another without masking or distancing. They may also socialize with individuals who are un-immunized as long at that person (or anyone that person lives with) is not at risk of severe disease.

The CDC also states that if a fully immunized person is exposed to someone with the Covid-19 virus, the immunized person is not required to quarantine or be tested as long as he/she is without symptoms.

Having said all of this, when out in the general population, YES, we need to continue to protect others by wearing our masks and distancing until everyone has had the opportunity to be vaccinated. It appears that a vaccinated person is not likely to be an unknowing carrier of the virus, but this has yet to be validated.  So, until then, we must look out for our neighbors. 

Who is eligible for the vaccine this week?

All healthcare workers and first responders; all educators and staff ( including childcare programs); all aged 55+ and anyone 16 years or older who has serious medical condition or is the caregiver to a adult with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and parents of medically complex children.

There are 10 mass vaccination sites in GA. Several major pharmacies are also providing the vaccine (CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Kroger, Publix) though not all branches may be participating. There is a state-run vaccine site MyVaccineGeorgia.com (pfizer only) where you can sign up to receive email updates and to learn when you will be eligible. You can also go to the GA health department at dph.georgia.gov to learn more about availability and locations.

Any news on the Vaccines vs. the Variants of Covid -19?

It looks as though the vaccines are providing at least some protection against the more serious outcomes to the Covid-19 variants thus far though the jury is still out and the variants are likely still coming. Most of us still believe a booster vaccine is likely in our future. For an interesting but easy read on this topic go to the World Health Organization (who.int) and read “The effects of virus variants on Covid-19 vaccines”.

As always, please stay well. Keep up your daily healthy habits and yearly health check ups.

We imagine that as we get closer to the summer more of you will once again be attending sports camps and programs. Please allow us to accommodate you now and do not wait until the last minute. Thank you in advance.

 

COVID Update Week of 3/15/21

COVID-19 THIS WEEK

Despite fluctuations in new COVID cases over the last few weeks, the CDC reported an encouraging 11.2% decrease in new cases this past week.   It also cautioned that daily cases remain high, with >10,000 more daily cases (56,000+) this week than at the peak one year ago.   On the positive side, over 10% of the adult US population is now fully vaccinated, and more than 19% have received at least one vaccine dose.  The White House recently reported that it has now secured enough supply to vaccinate at least 300 million people by the end of July.   

COVID VACCINATION EXPANDING TO NEW GROUPS THIS WEEK:

Beginning March 15th, per the Georgia Department of Health, people 16 years and above WITH THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination program in Georgia:

Asthma, Cancer, Heart Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, Hypertension, Immunocompromised State, Liver Disease, Neurologic Conditions, Overweight and Obesity, Pregnancy, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Sickle Cell Disease, Thalassemia.

NOTE: For eligible persons who are 16 or 17 years old, the only vaccine authorized for this age is the Pfizer vaccine.  Please schedule your appointment at CVS or Walgreens or at one of the GEMA mass vaccination sites to ensure Pfizer is available.

Persons 18 years and older can receive ANY of the three vaccines authorized for emergency use.

Contact our office AFTER you have made your vaccine appointment if you need a note from our office.

IF YOU ARE PREGNANT, CAN YOU GET A COVID VACCINE?

According to the CDC, yes.  Based on how COVID-19 vaccines work, experts feel they are unlikely to present a specific risk for pregnant women.  Although there is limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women, trials are underway to further study vaccine safety and efficacy in this group.  Of note, the CDC reports that pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  And, pregnant women with COVID-19 may be at higher risk for unfavorable outcomes, like preterm birth.  Pregnant women should discuss COVID-19 vaccination with their OB-GYN. 

If you are pregnant and have received a COVID-19 vaccine, consider joining the CDC’s V-safe Pregnancy Registry, a smartphone-based tool that provides health check-ins and surveys to women who are pregnant or are expected to be pregnant soon. (See cdc.gov for more information.)

IF YOU ARE BREASTFEEDING, CAN YOU GET A COVID VACCINE?

According to the CDC, lactating women may choose to be vaccinated.  COVID-19 vaccines have not been studied on breastfeeding women, so there is no currently no data.  However, the type of vaccines that are currently authorized for emergency use against COVID-19 are known to pose no risk to lactation women or their infants.

GOOD NEWS FOR GRANDPARENTS!

The CDC has stated that FULLY VACCINATED PEOPLE can now:

-visit other vaccinated people indoors without masks or social distancing

-visit unvaccinated people from a single household indoors without masks or distancing IF the unvaccinated people are low risk for severe disease.

- skip quarantine and testing if exposed to someone who has COVID-19 but are asymptomatic.  However, you should still monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

That means vaccinated grandparents may visit unvaccinated grandchildren (and hug them) IF no one in the family’s household is at risk for severe COVID-19.  Hurray!

Meanwhile, please continue masking and distancing around unvaccinated people who are 1) from multiple households, 2) at increased risk, or 3) living with someone who is at increased risk.

 

MASK. WASH. DISTANCE. VACCINATE.


COVID During the Holidays

Happy Holidays from our Roswell Pediatrics Family to Yours

While we have all grown somewhat weary of Covid 19 restrictions and warnings , we feel we would be remiss if we did not take this opportunity to restate them now at the Holiday Season.

All year long we have all been reinventing ways to work, gather and share. We MUST do the same during this Season that is traditionally busy with large gatherings of family and friends. Find new, safe, socially distant ways to celebrate the Holidays.

While we are getting better at treating the virus, the sheer number of cases is overwhelming our hospitals and EMS systems. The number of Covid 19 cases in GA and across the country is rising and is expected to continue to rise over the winter months.

To be completely transparent:

in October RPC followed 310 patient Covid tests. 18 were positive, so 5.8% in  November we followed 155 tests and 17 were positive, so 10.9 %

(These numbers are consistent with the trend being seen in our state ) Until we can vaccinate the majority of the country, the virus will continue to steal our medical and economic resources and lives will continue to be lost.

So why are we telling you this now? We want you to know that we are monitoring our community closely. We understand the frustration that comes with constant changes in our knowledge of this horrible virus. We appreciate your patience in being on the learning curve with us. Mostly though, we care about your well being and that of your families. More than anything, we want ALL of us to be able to enjoy our next year’s big holiday season with ALL of our family and friends in a Happy and Healthy New Year.

As for the vaccines, we have great confidence in the the science behind them and in their safety. ( Two of our physicians and their spouses entered into the Pfizer and Moderna studies months ago and no one had any adverse reaction. You can ask Dr Silverman and Dr Blackington about their experiences when you see them). We will be following closely the recommendations of the CDC and AAP for future vaccine guidelines and will keep you posted.

Having said all of this here it is (AGAIN)

PLEASE REMAIN DILIGENT. Wear your masks, stay 6 ft apart whenever possible and wash your hands often.

Be as smart as we know you are and as safe as we know you can be and have a very Happy Holiday Season. 

 


Thanksgiving

As you make your Thanksgiving plans, remember that you can spread COVID-19 before you have any symptoms. Use precautions when you're around loved ones! Visit this link for tips on how to minimize the risk of exposure.

 


Covid-19 Testing Now Available

If you think your child might be infected, please call the office to discuss with our triage staff.  Our triage staff will help determine if an office visit or telemedicine visit would be appropriate and then the provider will discuss if there is a need for testing. 

There are 2 primary types of tests for active infection right now: A rapid, antigen test and a molecular PCR test. As the PCR test is far more accurate this is the test that we will be doing for now. Antigen (rapid) tests are not recommended for routine clinical care, although rapid tests may have utility for population-based surveillance.

The test will be done as a nasal swab and sent to the lab for analysis. Turnaround time right now is about 48 hours but might be longer if demand rises. For now, most insurances seem to be covering this test.

As we are entering into the Fall season and more public openings, there will inevitably be more illness in our communities. Unfortunately, Covid-19 symptoms are, initially, very similar to many of these seasonal and more common, benign illnesses. While we are still learning many new details about this virus weekly, we do know that QUARANTINING those that are infected, and their households is crucial in minimizing the spread of this infection!

Please continue to protect one another by wearing your masks and washing hands.  For those of you who have children in person school, please ensure/demand that your children and their classmates are wearing masks.  This gives them the best chance to remain at school given to prevalence of disease in our community.

Stay Healthy and Safe.
 


Helpful Links

Is is safe to send my child to daycare during COVID-19?

Return to school during COVID-19

How to help children build resilience in uncertain times.

Mask Myth busters: 5 common misconceptions about kids and cloth face coverings 


Mental Health and Behavioral Changes!
 

Signs your teen may need more support


How to make a mask!
Click here for helpful tips on how to make your own mask. They provide options for both sew and no-sew face masks as well as how to care for them.

  • Masks are required! Everyone that enters our office needs to be wearing a mask the entire time of the visit. If you do not have a mask please use a homemade or purchased cloth face coverings with multiple layers of fabric.  Pleated face coverings with elastic are likely to work best for kids.  For a child, especially a small child, the right fit is important.  Adult face coverings are usually 6x12 inches, and even a child-sized 5x10 inch covering may be too large for small children.  Try to find the right size for your child's face and be sure to adjust if for a secure fit.  For further information on children's face mask recommendations, please visit healthychildren.org and search COVID-19.

    Continued information from the CDC and other public health authorities confirms that the transmission of COVID-19 is greatly reduced by people wearing masks whenever they are around others.  Our office policy mandates the use of masks for all staff, patients and visitors to our office.  It has recently come to light that certain face coverings do not provide adequate protection from transmission of COVID-19.  Neck gaitors (stretchy wraps worn around the neck and pulled up over the face), bandanas and masks with valves are not providing adequate protection against the spread of the virus.  Accordingly, our office will no longer allow these type of masks to be worn in our office.  If you present to our office with a mask of this type, an appropriate mask will be provided to you.  All children ages 2 and above are asked to wear an appropriate mask when in our office.
  • One Parent! We ask that only one parent accompany the child being seen whenever possible.  Please make arrangements to leave other children at home.
     
  • Pre-check! We encourage everyone to complete the precheck survey you will receive via email or text prior to your visit. This will minimize your exposure to our in-office Phreesia tablets.

     

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that belongs to the Coronavirus family, a group of viruses often associated with the common cold. In December of 2019 a novel coronavirus appeared in Wuhan, China. It has since spread throughout China and to other countries around the world, including the United States. The status of COVID-19 continues to evolve. For the most current information please refer to cdc.gov.

It is thought that COVID-19 spreads:

  • Person to person (those in close contact less than 6 feet)
  • Through respiratory droplets (from coughing, sneezing or talking)
  • Inhaling droplets into the mouth or nose into the lungs
  • Possibly by people without symptoms

Here is a great video for kids to watch as your family discusses the outbreak from Brain Pop.


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Sore Throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Repeated shaking with chills

 

When to see your doctor or nurse practitioner?

If your child is in respiratory distress, call 911 or take them to the closest emergency room.

If your child has a fever and/or cough, please use the CHOA ASSESSMENT TOOL to guide you in managing your child.  As always, our triage staff and providers are here to answer your questions or concerns @ 770-751-0800.

 

How do we prevent from getting COVID-19?

1. COVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE WHEN YOU COUGH OR SNEEZE

2. MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING, AT LEAST 6 FEET

3. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE

4. STAY HOME 

5. WASH YOUR HANDS Here is a great video to show your kids on proper hand washing.

 

What is RPC doing specifically to prevent spread?

  • Our staff and providers undergo temperature checks and screening for symptoms every day.
  • We follow CDC recommendations for masking, handwashing, social distancing and PPE equipment when caring for patients both in our office and during drive-by testing.
  • Most of our providers and staff have already received one or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. We expect to complete this process in the near future.
  • We provide separate office hours for well visits and sick visits in our offices. We schedule contagious sick visits after other appointments to prevent the spread of germs.
  • In-office appointments are spaced out to maintain social distancing.
  • We offer a convenient online pre-check process before all appointments.
  • When patients arrive for appointments, we notify them via text when a room is available. We provide car-to-exam room service to bypass our waiting rooms.
  • We diligently clean each room between visits.
  • Our phone triage staff screen all calls extensively for COVID symptoms and exposures.  We follow CDC guidelines to provide best practices in guidance, instruction, and recommendations for visits.
  • We provide TELEMEDICINE office visits for COVID exposure and/or symptoms, a number of consults, and some other concerns.
  • We offer COVID-19 testing for our patients per CDC guidelines and offer scheduled COVID testing in our parking lots to keep at-risk patients out of our office.
  • Providers notify families of COVID-19 test results from our office seven days a week.
  • We provide regular updates on COVID-19 through our websiteFacebook and Instagram.

 

Why should you continue to come to the office for well visits?

During the Covid-19 outbreak, it is important that children stay up-to-date on vaccinations in order to protect them from other serious infections or outbreaks. We recommend scheduling well visits for children up to two years old, 4/5 years old and 11/12 years old. We also recommend that new patients get a well visit to make sure their vaccine status is current. Call our office today to make sure your child is up to date on vaccines. 

 

How can you help us help you?

1.Give as much information as possible to our triage staff to help them assign you the right appointment for your child’s needs.

2. Everyone 2 years and older (and parent) should wear a mask for your appointment.

3. Please limit one parent in the office with your child for their appointment. 


Talking to your children about COVID-19

This is a great video from PBS that explains COVID-19 to younger children. 

Resources

World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control
Georgia Department of Public Health
AAP - Healthy Children

Quick Links

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