COVID-19: a new coron​​avirus
Human Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that commonly cause mild to moderate illness like the common cold. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that had not previously caused disease in humans and our immune systems have never seen before. While we do know it is contagious, it does not seem that children are at higher risk. Children who have tested positive in China had mild illnesses. Like other viruses, there is no treatment besides symptomatic care.

 

Nurture Pediatrics is starting special changes in how we prepare for your visits as we try and limit the spread of the Coronavirus. Although most children will have only mild illness, we want to protect our families, staff, and especially others who are more at risk.

 

Nurture Pediatrics will continue to welcome newborns, well visits and same day sick visits for new and established children and teens.

The only patients in our waiting room should be well visits, follow up medication visits, injuries, or other illnesses WITHOUT fever. Newborns are taken directly to their exam room.

This is our new protocol:

  • When you make your child’s appointment, you will be asked if your child has a fever and cough. If your child does not have fever and cough, you may also talk to Triage to determine if you need to be seen in the office or if your child can be treated at home.

  • If the answer is yes, you will be transferred to Triage to ask further questions. If your child needs to be seen in the office, you will be assigned an appointment time. You will then “pre-check in” with the receptionists to verify insurance information.

  • When your child with fever and cough arrives for their appointment, CALL THE OFFICE from the parking lot. Please remain in your car until we call you to come inside. If your child has a mask, please have them wear it into the building. You will be greeted at the front door of our office and taken to your room.

  • When your visit is over, you will be “checked out” from your exam room so you do not need to stop at the check out desk on your way out.

 

Other important recommendations:

 

  • When possible, please leave siblings with another caregiver when you come to the office to avoid spreading the coronavirus or other illnesses.

  • Leave unnecessary bags and other belongings in the car.

  • We no longer have books and toys in our exam rooms or lobby.

  • We continue to clean exam tables, chairs, and equipment after every visit.

  • We will continue to wash our hands and wear gloves for testing procedures.

  • It is important to keep up to date with your child’s vaccines to prevent contracting other preventable illnesses.

  • Make the most of this time with your children by reading, playing family board games, making art, playing outside, cooking or other things your family enjoys together. 

  • Avoid Emergency Departments or Urgent Care Clinics because they may become overwhelmed with a high concentration of very sick patients.

 

Nurture Pediatrics is always available to help. In addition to our regular office hours Monday – Friday we have:

Saturday morning sick appointments and evening appointments up to 6 pm three days a week in our SMYRNA office. Most mornings our first appointment is scheduled at 7:30 a.m.

Patient Portal to send non-urgent questions, view vaccine records, and more.

 

Symptom Check on our website with information about most symptoms.

 

After hours there is ALWAYS a doctor on call to give advice about what you can do at home and, if needed, refer to an emergency department or urgent care. Please call the office, leave a message with your number, and the doctor or nurse practitioner will call you back. 

 

We appreciate your patience during this ever-changing situation. We will continue to work with you to provide the best care for your family! 

Who should be tested?
1) The state still has very limited number of tests, so they aren’t able to test everyone with upper respiratory symptoms.
2) The Protocol we follow is:
    --If someone is without symptoms --> no need for testing. 
    --If someone has just mild cold symptoms (runny nose) --> no test. 
    --If you have a flu-like illness (fever, cough, runny nose) --> call Nurture Pediatrics for appointment.  Most of the time these cases will be the flu! We are still seeing a significant amount of the flu in our area.
    --We do not have the capability of testing for COVID 19 at this time. By mid week of March 16, 2020 we will have a few tests that we can perform in our office. Most primary care physicians have very few testing kits provided to them, so we will test those at highest risk. When we have run out of tests, it appears that currently only the hospitals are able to do testing.  We will keep you updated on testing ability as it changes


How can we prevent the spread:
1) Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds
2) Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
3) Cover their coughs and sneezes. Cough into your arm.
4) Disinfect surfaces regularly
5) Stay home when you are sick and avoid others who are sick
6) The general public does not need to wear face masks - they do not protect you against the virus 

© 2019 by Nurture Pediatrics. 

All Photos Courtesy of Brandi Pitts Photography