COVID-19 Information-updates

SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Information                                                                                                       updated 06/22/2022

With the announcement of Massachusetts lifting the mask mandate for students,
we have received many questions from parents.

We believe that masks are important to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
The best protection for a child is to wear a mask in public, and to get vaccinated (if eligible.)
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP,) they believe it is too early from a public health standpoint to lift mask mandates.
The AAP currently recommends universal masking in school, with an emphasis on indoor masking.

We understand this may be a difficult decision to make as a parent.
Our goal is to help keep our patients as safe as possible. If you should have any other questions, please let us know.



VACCINE UPDATE 6/29/2022: Elmo got his COVID 19 vaccination!

VACCINE UPDATE:6/22/2022: Patients aged 6 months to 5 years can receive the COVID 19 vaccine in our office.  Please call our front desk staff to schedule an appointment.  We are very pleased to offer the Pfizer vaccine to this age group.  

VACCINE UPDATE: 6/01/2022: Patients aged 5-11 can receive their first booster shot of COVID 19 vaccine.  The booster shot may be given 5 months or later after the primary series of two vaccines has been completed. 

CALLING the OFFICE and OFFICE Appointments:

Our Nurse Triage is answering calls from 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, and 10am to close on weekends and holidays. There is a significant increase in volume of phone calls and we do our best to answer patient and family questions and concerns as quickly as we can. If you are calling for a non-urgent matter, we ask for your patience as it make take 1-2 days for a provider to return your call.

Due to the increase in COVID illness, we sometimes need to delay non-urgent visits. This varies depending on the surges in illness. We will continue to offer well visits for infants and older children due for vaccines.

We ask that all patients call from the parking lot prior to their visit. If anyone (parent or patient) has signs of illness, including cough, stuffy nose, fever, headache, stomach ache, diarrhea, rash, or vomiting, we ask that you do not enter the building from the front. We will direct you to the rear of the building.

COVID TESTING:

We offer testing for symptomatic illness as well as asymptomatic exposures for our patients. We offer both PCR testing as well as rapid antigen testing.

We offer outdoor drive thru PCR testing for patients who meet specific criteria on Monday through Friday, weather and staff availability permitting. We also have an outdoor tent set up for testing where rapid antigen or PCR testing may be done, also Monday through Friday, staff and supply availability permitting. Our nurse triage team will help to determine whether a drive thru, tent or office visit would be the most appropriate.1

Our PCR tests are sent out to Quest lab. We are not able to predict how quickly the results will be available as it depends on their volume of testing. Test results can return anywhere from 2-6 days after testing is done.

Test results are available on the patient gateway portal.


COVID POSITIVE:

If you test positive on a home rapid antigen COVID test:

  1. Begin isolation.
  2. Please call our office to notify us that you have tested positive for COVID.
  3. As of 1/11/22, current MA DPH and CDC guidelines recommend a minimum of 5 days of isolation starting after the first full day of symptoms. You may exit isolation after 5 days if your symptoms have resolved and you wear a mask at all times for the next 5 days. You should continue to wear a mask even in the home to help prevent spread to family members.

If you test positive on an in-office COVID PCR or Rapid antigen test please isolate according to the above isolation guidelines.

We recommend the full 10-day period of isolation for babies, toddlers and older children who are unable to mask at all times.

 

 




 

 

 

 

 


 

Post COVID infection Sports/Cardiac clearance:

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening for potential cardiac effects of COVID on children prior to returning to sports after COVID infection. All children who have moderate illness (fever for 4 days or 1 week of lethargy, body aches, chills) should be evaluated in person. Asymptomatic COVID infection or mildly symptomatic COVID infection (symptoms for <4 days and no symptoms of chest pain, persistent shortness of breath, fatigue) may be evaluated through a virtual visit.

Please visit the AAP to read more about COVID sports clearance. https://www.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-interim-guidance-return-to-sports/