Coronavirus COVID-19

 

September 21, 2020 Update

 

The last months have been extremely difficult for our families. We are continuously impressed with how brave, kind, and thoughtful the children and parents of our community have been. As New York City has entered Phase 4 of reopening, we have expanded in-office visit availability.  As we do so, our most significant concern, as always, is protecting the health of our families and our staff.  Therefore, as we increase our office hours, we will be following the guidelines of the CDC, the New York State Department of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics. We will also continue to provide telemedicine for appropriate visits that can be managed safely in the comfort of your home.

 

We ask for your patience, understanding and feedback as we move through the next phases of the COVID pandemic.  Please read through the following before your next visit:

 

  • Per New York State recommendations, all adults and children above the age of 2 must wear a surgical mask or equivalent face covering when visiting our office. If you do not have a mask or equivalent face covering, we will try to provide you with one if current supplies allow. 

  • We continue to pre-screen all patients and caregivers for any symptoms suggestive of COVID19.  If your child has COVID19 like symptoms, you can schedule a telemedicine visit with your doctor.  If an in-office visit is warranted, we want to be properly prepared for your arrival.  

  • All visits are being screened. For well visits, if you or your child has, or in the last 10 days has had, a fever (100.4 or above), cough, congestion or shortness of breath we will reschedule your appointment.

  • If you have you recently traveled to a high exposure state as identified by the NY Department of Health you must wait 14 days from your date of return before we can see you in the office for a well visit.   Click here for a list of states.

  • Please do not walk into the office without an appointment.  We will have to turn you away until you are properly phone triaged.  

  • Please be on time. If you are more than 10 minutes late to your appointment, please call our office to check that we can still see you. We are asking patients to come as close to their appointment times as possible to help us manage social distancing in our office.

  • Please limit the number of people who accompany your child during an in-office visit. No siblings and one parent/caretaker if possible. If both parents have a fever or a cough, please contact us to reschedule or make alternate arrangements.

  • Well visits are scheduled in the first half of the day and sick visits and telemedicine visits are in the afternoon.  

  • We have removed the toys in our waiting areas and rooms to decrease cross-contamination. Please feel free to bring in your child’s own toys for more ‘contagion friendly’ play.

  • All exam rooms and "high touch surfaces" are cleaned after each visit.

  • Our October and November well visit schedule is open.  Please call the office to schedule your well visit if you are due or postponed over the past few months.   

  • Flu Vaccine is available, please call the office to schedule during one of our flu clinics.

  • We will keep you informed of any scheduling or other changes in our availability and office protocols as we move through this process. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns that you’d like us to address.  

 

TELEMEDICINE INFORMATION:

  • Telemedicine appointments are available in the afternoon. 

  • Your provider will be able to see and speak to you, arrange referrals, send in prescriptions, and provide school notes, all over video chat. 

  • Call the office for an appointment and we will send you a link to the video platform where the visit will be conducted. Please be ready on the platform at least 5 minutes before the scheduled appointment time. 

  • You can connect using a smartphone, iPad, or a computer with a camera. If you do not have access to any of these, let our staff know and we will schedule a phone telemedicine visit.  

  • If at all possible, we will continue to do our best to help you manage your sick child at home.

TESTING:

Antibody Testing

What is antibody testing?

  • Antibody testing is a blood test that detects evidence of a past infection with COVID-19. It can not be used to detect a current infection. Antibodies may be detected around 3 weeks after an infection.

What does it mean if I test positive?

  • A positive test may indicate a history of previous infection with COVID-19. It does NOT mean you are immune to the virus and it should not be used to discontinue social distancing and other safety measures.

  • In areas of low-prevalence or in persons with a low pre-test probability of having the disease (aka someone who had no symptoms, had no known exposures, and lives in a low prevalence place), the likelihood of a positive test being a false positive is higher.

What does it mean if I test negative?

  • A negative test may indicate that you have not been infected with COVID-19. However, people who have a history of infection may still test negative for two reasons. 1) The test was performed too soon and the antibody response is not yet high enough to be detected. 2) The antibodies in the blood have already waned or were never high and are not currently detectable. Therefore, even people with a known and confirmed history of COVID-19 infection may still have a negative test.

 

COVID Testing

  • Please click here for a  link for local sites that can test you or your child for COVID-19.  As long as we have supplies, we can test HHP patients who are in our office for sick visits, however, for screening tests, due to our efforts at social distancing and limited schedule availability we advise also checking out one of the NYS run clinics listed where testing will be free of charge.

 

Please bear with our staff as we all try to navigate the current pandemic environment. Remember we all have the same concerns about our children, families, and community.

Dr. Richter, Dr. Hamlet, Dr. Wang and the HHP Team

 


COVID-19 and Children: 

 

Recent New York Times Coverage of COVID-19 in Children

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/11/health/coronavirus-children-icu.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/06/health/coronavirus-children-us.html

 

Talking to Children About COVD-19 (Coronavirus):  A Parent Resource

https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-(coronavirus)-a-parent-resource

 

From the CDC: Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019: Messages for parents, school staff, and others working with children

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/talking-with-children.html

 

Other Helpful Links:

The most recent local New York City information can be found using the link below:

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/coronavirus.page

The general CDC link:

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

 

Frequently asked questions regarding disease basics, prevention, medical information, and the current public health response:

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

 

Information on COVID-19 and Pregnant Women and Children:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/pregnant-women.html

 

Information from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

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

 

How to talk to children about COVID-19:

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus

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