In response to the largest public health threat in a generation, we join with our colleagues in medicine and public health who are working very hard to understand and control the impact of the new coronavirus disease, called COVID-19. We will continue to update our communications here.
Older individuals and those with underlying medical problems like asthma, heart disease, and diabetes are at increased risk. But everyone can be affected, even babies have been lost to COVID-19, so please stay in your home or yard, clean hands and surfaces and stay safe! The virus appears much more contagious and concerning than typical cold and flu viruses in how it affects people, even previously healthy people. Like many cold and flu viruses, it appears to be spread (and very contagious) right before someone shows symptoms. This is why it’s so critical to avoid gatherings and public exposure of any sort right now. All of our regular cleaning and hand washing (then moisturizing) procedures apply, especially keeping hands away from faces, saline nasal flushing, and coughing into our elbows.
The best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to stay home, or in your yard. Kids (and parents) with fever, cough, body aches, and fatigue should stay home and avoid infecting other people. With coronavirus, minor cold symptoms are most likely in children, and can be treated the usual way with saline nasal spray, fluids, rest, and tylenol for body ache. If they have these symptoms, it’s still most likely that they have one of the many standard cold viruses going around, but either way, let’s not spread them to other people that could be much more affected by them. Keep your family and community safe by staying at home as much as possible!
We remain available to you 7 days a week! Most of our in-person visits have been cancelled or rescheduled, but we know certain concerns just have to be seen! During the pandemic, our primary contact is via our video visits. During our available hours (7 days from 8 am to 10 pm PST) you can click on the link on the right side of our homepage or here: nwp.doxy.me and just follow the simple instructions. No downloads, apps, signups, or passwords necessary, just a quiet, well lit space with a stable internet connection via phone, tablet, or computer. Availability and charges apply as for usual office visits. If we determine it is necessary, we may ask you to come for an in person visit, one family at a time, with recommended disinfectants used before and after your visit for everyone’s safety. Patients with cough and congestion are asked to stay at home and use baby/kids’ saline nasal mist, extra fluids (like water or pedialyte).
If wheezing or difficulty breathing were to become an issue, we would have your child evaluated under a protective situation, like with mask, gown, and eye protection. Patients with known asthma or wheezing symptoms should use your prescribed asthma medications, and be sure to keep refills updated to ensure an adequate supply. Keep us informed, especially for more difficulty breathing or wheezing.
Tests to determine who is currently infected have been in short supply, meaning they can only be used on those most likely to be infected, like those already sick in the hospital. That’s frustrating to all of us, so until they are more readily available, we must act like we are at risk or infected already, keeping a distance from others, and again, keeping hands away from our face and clean.
Our office is offering tests to those most at risk. We will be happy to increase testing availability as supplies become available. While there are some treatments designed for other diseases that are known to help patients with coronavirus, they are already in short supply, and there likely won’t be a cure or vaccine developed for quite some time yet. Prevention is still key!
There are plenty of the usual germs going around right now, and on top of that, our early Spring has brought with it rising pollen counts and allergies, with more hand to face activity! It is our goal to be available to provide our usual customized care for your children to the highest possible extent. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we stretch to help those in need. Usual hours and availability may change over the next few months in response to that need and the conditions we encounter.
To support social distancing and self quarantining safety measures to avoid spreading germs to others in our community, we may request appointments that can be delayed to be rescheduled for a later time. If your child has a sore throat without the other symptoms, we may want to test for strep. Other acute needs will continue to be met to our greatest ability. Care by the use of phone, home visits, and our video visits may be most appropriate. We will determine the best way we can help your child, so after reviewing the above information about symptoms, don’t be afraid to call us with your concerns. Please leave a message if we cannot answer the phone immediately, they will as usual be checked regularly.
We clean and sanitize office surfaces on a regular basis, and will be doing even more of that now. Many of our soft and fuzzy pillows and toys will be experiencing their own form of quarantine, so they can be safely available to your child in the future. If your child needs to come to the office and would like to bring their own, sanitized comfort object, please do so. Teens—we know that might mean a phone to you. Here’s how to sanitize your smartphone: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/coronavirus-and-your-phone-how-to-effectively-clean-and-disinfect-your-device/
Wash those hands, keep them away from your face, and keep those smiling faces away from other people! Here are some ideas for things to do while off school and work: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/14/us/what-to-do-this-weekend-coronavirus-trnd/index.html
Finally, some tips on keeping things clean while at home: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/coronavirus-can-thrive-in-your-home-heres-how-to-kill-it/
Let’s get through this together, we’re happy to help as always!
Click the “Coronavirus Assessment Tool” box on this linked page to help determine your level of concern for coronavirus if you or your child have symptoms: https://www.providence.org/patients-and-visitors/coronavirus-advisory