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COVID19 Updates
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COVID19 Updates

PLYMOUTH PEDIATRIC ASSOCIATES COVID-19 UPDATES


Happy Fall

We are halfway through the fall and about a month out since school started. We want to provide our patients with some information regarding what Plymouth Pediatric Associates (PPA) is recommending about COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TESTING:

To contain and prevent further spread of this very contagious virus, Massachusetts has recommended widespread testing of any symptomatic individuals. Testing will help with contact tracing of infected people and will help with isolation and quarantine recommendation. To achieve this, the Department of Public Health (DPH) guidelines continue to recommend testing for any person experiencing any of the following symptoms (no matter how mild they are):

  •          Fever or chills
  •          Respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, runny nose or congestion)
  •          Fatigue, sore throat, body aches, headache
  •          New loss of taste or smell
  •          Other less common symptoms – GI symptoms (like nausea or vomiting, diarrhea), and unidentified rash


GUIDELINES FOR ISOLATION OF SICK (HAS SYMPTOMS) INDIVIDUALS:

PPA is following the recommendations from both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the DPH for isolation and quarantine of symptomatic individuals. To minimize the spread of this virus, it is important that any individual with the above symptoms stay home and follow isolation guidelines.


Symptomatic (sick)
individuals may leave their home and return to school/daycare/work once the following criteria are met:

1. PATIENT HAS POSITIVE TEST FOR COVID-19

  •          At least 10 days isolation since the start of symptoms
  •          Symptoms have improved AND
  •          No fever for more than 24 hours without fever reducing medication (Tylenol, ibuprofen)

2. COVID-19 SYMPTOMS AND A NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST RESULT

  •          Symptoms have improved AND
  •          No fever for more than 24 hours without fever reducing medication (Tylenol, ibuprofen)

3. COVID-19 SYMPTOMS AND NO COVID TEST (DECLINED)

  •          At least 10 days isolation since the start of symptoms
  •          Symptoms have improved AND
  •          No fever for more than 24 hours without fever reducing medication (Tylenol, ibuprofen)

 

GUIDELINES FOR QUARANTINE OF NOT SICK INDIVIDUALS:

No symptoms (not sick)
individuals may leave their home and return to school/daycare/work once the following criteria are met:

 

1. COVID-19 TEST POSITIVE, PATIENT NOT SICK (NO SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS)

  •          Patient must self –quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the positive person

 

2. COVID-19 TEST NEGATIVE, PATIENT NOT SICK (NO SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS)

  •          Patient must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the positive person

 

Other scenarios:

1. PATIENT IS IDENTIFIED AS BEING A CLOSE CONTACT TO A PERSON WHO TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID

  •          Patient must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the positive person
  •          Patient tests negative for COVID-19, the patient must continue to self-quarantine for the full 14 days

2. PATIENT LIVES IN HOME WITH AN IDENTIFIED CLOSE CONTACT TO A POSITIVE INDIVIDUAL

  •          If identified close contact tests negative for COVID, the close contact must continue to self-quarantine for the full 14 days
  •          Patient may return to school/daycare/work without any quarantine

 

If exposed to a COVID positive person, the patient who has a negative test should still quarantine for 14 days after the last day of exposure.

 

PLEASE CALL US IF YOU ARE CONFUSED OR DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

 

Here is a link to some helpful information about when to isolate and quarantine https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html

 

The above criteria is what PPA will recommend every time we see our patients with symptoms or exposure. A COVID test will be recommended on ALL individuals with symptoms even if there are other diagnoses (like strep throat). Until COVID test results are back, we will recommend that the individual STAY HOME even if the symptoms have already resolved.

 

We all have the responsibility as part of our community to protect each other, especially the most vulnerable in our community (our elderly and the immunocompromised). Please follow our recommendations for isolation and quarantine. Do not go out into the world unless symptoms have improved. It is our CIVIC duty to protect each other

 

PROCESS FOR GETTING A COVID TEST:

If your child has symptoms that are mild, and if you feel they do not need to be seen in the office, but will need a COVID test to be cleared to go back to school/daycare, call the office. We will fax the order to the testing center of your choice. For locations of testing sites, please refer to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing . PPA usually uses the testing site at BID Plymouth, which is by appointment only.

 

Patients with symptoms seen in the office will have a nasopharyngeal (NP) swab performed by one of our physicians or nurse practitioners. The swab will go to an outside laboratory. Results take anywhere from 2 – 7 days.

 

The office is in the process of obtaining our own in house test for COVID. We hope to be successful in this endeavor, please stay tuned.

 

FINAL REMARKS:

The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely affected our way of life. We were all caught off guard with this pandemic and have had to make many adjustments. Our ultimate goal has been to STAY OPEN AND BE AVAILABLE for our patients. To achieve this we have to follow strict guidelines provided by the CDC and the MASS DPH. We feel that in doing this, we are keeping our staff, our families, and our patients safe. This is of the utmost importance to PPA. Adjustments to our schedules, structure, and model have occurred and we are sure that many of you have noticed these changes. It is most important that we continue to adhere to these safe practices:

 

  •          Screening questions asked of everyone prior to any appointment or entry to the building
  •          Thorough cleaning of our facilities before and after each patient
  •          Masks required at all times in our facility (2 years old and up)
  •          Separating our sick patients from our well patients

 

We will continue to review our protocols and our guidelines to ensure the safety of our staff and our patients.

 

We ask that you please be patient and bear with all of our changes and recommendations. We understand that these are trying times. We are trying our best. We ask that you trust us, be patient with us, and above all, be kind. We all need a little kindness during these trying times.

 

Enjoy these last weeks of fall weather.

 

The Staff of Plymouth Pediatric Associates

 

 

Updated on October 12, 2020

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