Like many pediatric offices, we have had a very busy summer at Old 4th Ward Pediatrics! We are working hard to get school paperwork completed for all our patients returning to in-person learning and sports. Meanwhile, there are unusually high numbers of sick children right now, who also need our attention. We are committed to taking care of everyone in a timely fashion, and doing our part to keep children out of the emergency room if they do not need to be there. Because of that, you may wait a little longer than usual right now. We appreciate your patience!
The delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is surging in Atlanta right now, and we are seeing more children than ever before testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. Fortunately, the majority of children continue to do well with just mild illnesses. However, the hospitals are also seeing increases in children who are more seriously sick with COVID-19, along with other illnesses. If your child is 12 or older, we strongly recommend getting them vaccinated against COVID-19!
Please read on for a summary of our current COVID-19 safety plan.
- We continue to see well patients ONLY between 8am and 12pm. It is very important that our families of healthy infants and children can feel comfortable bringing their children for routine care and vaccines. Therefore, if your child has any symptoms that might be associated with a contagious illness (runny nose, cough, fever, rash, vomiting, diarrhea etc), you will be asked to make an afternoon appointment. If your child needs a well visit, but also has these types of complaints, we are happy to do their well check in an afternoon slot.
- We continue to offer telemedicine appointments, which can be completed at any time of the day.
- Patients with symptoms or exposures concerning for possible COVID-19 infection will be asked to schedule a telemedicine visit with one of our providers, rather than directly being scheduled for an in-office visit. If after your telemedicine visit, you and your provider feel that your child needs to be evaluated in person, we will then schedule you for an in-office visit.
When you come for your visit:
- Everyone ages 2 and older entering our office is required to wear a mask. We ask that all family members leave their mask on during your entire visit to the office, to protect you and those around you.
- Family members and patients will answer a COVID-19 screening questionnaire upon arrival. Please leave any family members who are not feeling well at home!
- We ask that families make every effort to limit the number of people coming to appointments. Whenever possible, please bring just 1 adult to accompany the children being seen for a visit. In certain circumstances, we may allow up to 2 adults, such as newborn visits. Please try to leave additional family members, including siblings, at home if at all possible.
- Adults or siblings who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have a pending COVID-19 test should NOT come with their child to the office. Mothers who are positive for COVID-19 during delivery should ask a family member who is negative for COVID-19 to bring the baby to his/her appointment.
- We recognize that additional family members may wish to be involved in their children's care, and are more than happy to have parents or other family members join visits virtually via FaceTime or other video chat apps if desired.
What should I do if my child was exposed to coronavirus?
Remember that the vast majority of children who are exposed to COVID-19 will do very well. Most children have no symptoms or only mild illnesses and will recover without needing additional medical care. However, we do encourage our families to take exposure to COVID-19 seriously and follow all CDC and DPH guidelines regarding self-quarantine.
- Patients with symptoms should self-isolate until they have been at least 3 days without fever (and not using fever medicines) AND until at least 10 days from the beginning of symptoms.
- Patients exposed to someone with COVID-19 should self-isolate. They should be tested for COVID-19 on the 5th day after exposure. If that test is negative, they can complete quarantine on the 7th day. If a test is not done, they will need to remain in quarantine for 14 days.
- Please visit https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/if-youve-been-exposed-to-the-coronavirus for additional information.
- If your child is very ill, having trouble breathing, having prolonged fever, is not able to keep down fluids, or you have other significant concerns, please take him or her to the ER for evaluation.
If you have concerns or questions about our safety protocols, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please call us!
-The Old 4th Ward Pediatrics Team