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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.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Covid-19 Update Week of June 18th

Here are some recent topics in Covid -19 we are hearing about and thought you might like to know more about:

What ages are eligible for vaccine?
All patients 12 and older are eligible for the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. It is still a 2 shot series and for those 18 and older it is thought to be 97% effective 2 weeks after the 2nd dose and 100% effective for those 12 to 16 years old 2 weeks after their 2nd dose.

All patients 18 and older are also eligible for either the Moderna or J and J Covid-19 vaccines. Moderna is a 2 shot series and J and J is a 1 shot vaccine.

What am I to understand about the possible side effect of Myocarditis from the Covid-19 vaccine?
The Covid-19 vaccines are under constant observation for any possible side effects. Most recently, it has been noted that a rare side effect might be an inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) of the sac around the heart (pericarditis). Myocarditis and pericarditis are often associated with viruses, including the actual Covid-19 virus itself. Most of the myocarditis cases reported that the symptoms appeared within a few days of the 2nd vaccine . Symptoms included fever and chest pain. Most (more than 80%) resolved within a week with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories and/or steroids.

How often is this happening?
While 306 million doses of vaccine have been given, only 789 cases of myocarditis have been reported. To break it down even further, about 28 million vaccines have been given to those between 16 and 24 years old. Within that group, 79 of the 16 to 17 year olds and 196 of the 18 to 24 year olds reported possible myocarditis associated with a covid-19 vaccine.

Given their knowledge of the risk and rate of bad outcomes from the Covid-19 virus itself, including long term heart damage, the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and many prominent Pediatric and Adult Cardiologists are continuing to recommend the Covid-19 vaccine. It is strongly felt that the risk of bad outcomes from the virus still far outweighs the risk of developing myocarditis following a Covid-19 vaccine. They will, of course, continue to monitor and update us on this.

Could we just check to see if we have antibodies and avoid getting the vaccine? No.

Why not?
We are glad you asked. Antibody testing at this time is not helpful for predicting immunity. In other words, it tells us you have been exposed to the virus and likely had it some time in the past. It does not tell us whether you are still immune or how long you will be immune. Perhaps as important, having had the original strain of Covid-19 virus may not provide as much immunity for the variants as the vaccines provide.  This is especially concerning with the new "D" variant. 

What is the "D" variant?
The D variant of Covid-19 is a more recent mutation that is spreading at an alarming rate world wide and is taking over here in the US as the #1 strain present. (You will likely remember hearing about it in the news as the strain that has devastated India.) It is even more contagious than its predecessor and is 50 % more likely to land you in the hospital! The current vaccines mentioned above have all seemed to be quite effective against it, but in communities where people are not vaccinated we are seeing previously declining rates of infection begin to level off and even to rise. With the 2 dose vaccines, the 1st dose is only 33% effective, so completing the course is necessary for full protection. Previous infection with original Covid-19 has not seemed to be protective.

When can I get myself or my child vaccinated?
We are working diligently to provide vaccine for all who want it! We are having Covid-19 clinics in all of our offices from 1-2 pm Tuesday through Friday….and you can even ask at your child’s well visit if we are able to give it then! (Each vial contains 6 potential vaccines and if not used within 6 hours, must be thrown away. We will determine our ability to open a vial for you at the time you request based on time of day and potential shots to be given yet that day).

Please remember, even though things are starting to feel more “NORMAL” we are in the third quarter, and we can not leave the field now or we forfeit the game. And this is no game. We have to stay on track. If you are age eligible, get vaccinated. If you have not been vaccinated continue to exercise extreme caution with masks and social distancing as this new variant is a serious threat.

Stay well and see you at the Covid Clinic,
Your RPC Family

PS
We have become aware that many of our young ones did not attend preschools during the pandemic and will be headed to Kindergarten this year. Please work with them on their numbers and letters over the summer so they will not be too far behind! Also, get their check ups done ASAP so that the forms you will need for shots, hearing and vision will be ready when you need them.

 

 

Covid-19 Update Week of May 17th

  • More people are immunized.  The CDC reports that 47.1% of the total US population has received at least 1 dose of vaccine and 36.7% are fully immunized. Of those 12 and older, 55.7% have received at least 1 dose of vaccine, and 43.7% are fully immunized. (36.1 % of Georgians have received one dose, and 26.8% are fully protected.) The continued increase in immunization rates moves us closer to herd immunity when enough people will be immunized to help stop the pandemic. This goal is now more achievable, because …
     
  • The FDA has authorized the Pfizer- BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in children 12 to 15 years old. Clinical trials show the Pfizer vaccine is 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 in this age group. The dosing and schedule are the same as 16 years and older- two doses 21 days apart. We ask you to schedule other vaccines at least 2 weeks from a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination can safeguard your children from getting infected and sick, prevent viral spread to those who remain unprotected (including children under 12 years old) and help get your children back to school and other activities more quickly.  Please vaccinate your child as soon as you can.  We can help…
     
  • Roswell Pediatric Center now offers the Pfizer Vaccine to our patients 12 years old and up.   We are scheduling COVID-19 vaccine clinics at our Haynes Bridge location, on weekends and after school weekdays, as we receive vaccine supplies. Vaccination takes only 5 minutes plus a short post-immunization waiting period. We have given our patients first notice, but we will soon open this program to the community to help others during this pandemic. This past weekend, we administered 450 doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. Please call our office at 770-751-0800 to schedule your appointment. Meanwhile…
     
  • Updated CDC guidance states that “anyone who is FULLY VACCINATED can participate in indoor and outdoor activities- large or small- without wearing a mask or physical distancing.” Federal, state, and local regulations may require exceptions for travel and for facilities like nursing homes, healthcare facilities, and schools.  Fully vaccinated” means being 2 or more weeks beyond a final Covid-19 vaccine dose. This recommendation is based on studies showing that fully vaccinated people don’t spread COVID-19 virus to others. According to the CDC, all unvaccinated people 2 years and older “should wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household.”  Why the updated guidance?
     
  • New cases of COVID-19 continue to fall as more people get vaccinated.   Hospitalizations and deaths are also falling.
     
  • The CDC has this to say about these COVID-19 vaccine questions:
Do COVID-19 vaccines alter DNA or cause infertility?  NO and NO.  The vaccines stimulate an immune response so your body will remember how to fight the virus in the future.  They do not enter the nucleus of the cell, where DNA resides.  No vaccine studies or vaccination data report infertility. 

Are fast-track vaccines safe? YES. The vaccines are safe, and adverse effects are rare. They have been approved quickly due to funding and removal of barriers, not due to lack of research and trials.  The CDC and FDA continue to review vaccine data.

 

Covid-19 Vaccine FAQs

If your friends or family have concerns about COVID-19 vaccines, you can find answers to common questions here.

Covid-19 Vaccination for 12-15 year olds

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to grant emergency use authorization next week to Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old.

There are many reasons for children to be vaccinated:

  • We can start opening our communities faster - schools, restaurants, offices, movie theaters, sporting venues, after-school activities, travel.
     
  • You can keep your kids safe.  Although children are less likely to die from Covid-19 than adults, over 2300 young people have died from the virus.  Another possible outcome for young adults is a long-term complication, called “long COVID,” which can include persistent brain fog, chest pains, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell, and decreased appetite.
     
  • Vaccinated kids do not have to quarantine if they are exposed to Covid-19 and have no symptoms.
     
  • Your child will be safer playing contact sports.
     
  • Certain children are at risk for severe Covid-19 infection due to obesity, diabetes, asthma or chronic lung disease, medical complex history, sickle cell disease, heart disease, or genetic/metabolic/neurologic conditions.
     
  • You can help prevent the spread of new Covid-19 variants. As the virus spreads, it can also mutate or change, sometimes to more contagious and dangerous forms.  Of particular concern, an increase in variants may give rise to a strain that is resistant to our current vaccines. We have seen how quickly the UK (B.1.1.7), Brazilian (P.1), South African (B.1.351), and California (B.1.427 and B.1.429) variants have spread and increased Covid-19 cases in the U.S.  Vaccination allows us to stop Covid-19 in its tracks.
     
  • You can protect your family and friends.  Some people can’t get the vaccine- those who are too young to get the vaccine, are allergic to a component of the vaccine, or who have not yet received the vaccine due to illness or receiving other vaccines within the last 2 weeks.
     
  • We can reach herd immunity.   Children make up almost ¼ of the US population, about 70 million.  Immunizing kids is crucial to achieving herd immunity, the level of immunity from Covid-19 that protects the US from this disease.  Experts estimate 70% or more of the population needs to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity.
     
  • The vaccines are safe and effective.

 
Roswell Pediatric Center has sent out a Survey Monkey to confirm your interest in getting your children immunized should we receive vaccines for our 12 to 15 year old patients.  Please help us by completing this confidential survey this week.

As always, stay safe!

COVID Update Week of 4/12/21

COVID-19 THIS WEEK

In the whole of the USA, approximately 36% of the total population has received one dose of their Covid vaccine and 22% are fully vaccinated. Age wise it breaks down as 79% of those 65 years or older and 46% of those 18 or older have received at least 1 dose of the Covid vaccine. Yay!
 
However, here in Georgia the numbers are lower. Only 25% of Georgians have had their first dose of a Covid vaccine and only 13% are fully vaccinated. As of this week’s CDC report, GA still has one of the lowest vaccine rates of all the 50 states. (reported as number of people per 100,000 vaccinated). Community transmission is still deemed “substantial” in many counties in GA including Cherokee, Forsyth, Fulton, and Gwinnett.
 
WHO can get vaccinated in GA?
Anyone over 16 years of age can have the Pfizer Covid vaccine and anyone 18 or older can have the Moderna.* As we have noted in previous letters to you, there are multiple sites offering vaccine appointments for anyone meeting the age requirements. Go to www.vaccines.gov
 
SHOULD I get vaccinated if I have had Covid?
Yes. You should wait until you are out of quarantine from your illness and you are feeling better. Outside of this, there is no time restriction.
 
CAN I mix vaccine types?
NO. At this time there is no data on the mixing of different covid 19 vaccines. If you start with the Pfizer Covid vaccine then you must finish with the Pfizer Covid vaccine and the same with Moderna.
 
You should also have 2 weeks between the Covid 19 vaccine and any other vaccine unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
 
WHY would you NOT get vaccinated?
There has been a great deal of misinformation spread throughout the country that has left some confused or unsure. We have heard such things as: tracking devices are being placed in arms when vaccinating; the vaccine is sterilizing the population and even that our genetics is being altered by the vaccine.
 
Of course, none of these statements are true, but many people remain nervous. Many are nervous about the speed at which the vaccines were developed. We understand. Please ask your doctor about your concerns. Accurate information is needed to make an informed and healthy decision for you and your family!
 
Actual contraindications (real medical reasons to not get the vaccine) are very few: 1. If you had an anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of the Covid vaccine (this is a severe, life threatening allergic reaction that generally occurs within 20-60 min. of receiving the vaccine) or 2. If you are allergic to one of the components of the vaccine (particularly PEG (polyethylene glycol) or polysorbate).
 
Other types of allergies, even anaphylactic reactions, to other things such as foods, animals, venom, etc are not contraindications. An anaphylactic reaction to other vaccines (not covid) should lead to some precautions but not necessarily prevent vaccination with Covid 19 vaccine.
 
WHAT side effects might I expect from the vaccine?
Everyone responds differently to the Covid vaccines. In general, the first dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has little to no reaction. Some experience a sore or itching area around the vaccine site for a day or two and some have a low grade temperature. More people, especially in the middle age bracket, seem to have 12-48 hours of flu like symptoms after the second shot in the series. Similar side-effects have been reported from the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. One CDC report describes this as, “not a side-effect, but the body generating a protective shield against the virus”.
 
WHEN will I be protected?
You are 60-70% protected after your first dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine and the remainder of your protection comes 2 weeks after your second dose.
 
CAN I get Covid 19 if I have been vaccinated?
Yes. The vaccine is great but it is NOT 100% protective. Currently, re-infection or post-vaccine infection is felt to be a fraction of a percent.
 
FOR NOW:
When in a public venue continue to mask, wash hands and socially distance....Georgia is still highly unvaccinated!
 
Stay safe and healthy and ahead of the Spring/Summer checkup rush and schedule your sports/camp and school check-ups now!
 
* As of April 13, 2021, the FDA and CDC have placed a hold on the Johnson and Johnson Covid vaccine. We will update and discuss this further as more information becomes available.

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

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