Dear Valued Patients,
We understand the growing concern surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) across our communities, and we want you to know that at Gwinnett Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, we are doing everything we can to keep your family healthy.
We have worked closely alongside Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) and the Georgia Department of Public Health and have been following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to determine the safest course of action for every patient who enters our office.
We are adjusting our schedules so that all well visits are scheduled during our mornings and all other visits in the afternoons. Our providers are also working to increase telemedicine visits where appropriate to assist families.
We have always worked hard to keep our office clean throughout the day, but we are increasing the frequency of sterilizing high touch surfaces such as doorknobs, counters, and chairs. We wash our hands regularly and have hand sanitizer in every exam room which we use before, after, and frequently during visits.
At this time, we are unable to test for coronavirus so please do NOT come to our office expecting testing. Fortunately, it appears that illness from COVID-19 is typically milder in children and teens. Typical symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It spreads through the air from coughing and sneezing and also from close personal contact, like touching or shaking hands.
There is no antiviral treatment available for coronavirus, and it is expected that the vast majority of children and teens will recover from infection with the novel coronavirus on their own without any medical attention. For this reason, most children that acquire COVID-19 will not need to seek medical care, but as with all illnesses, they should be kept home and away from others until well. The most important thing you can do is to prevent spread of the virus to others.
The way you can help with this is:
* Practice good hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; when this is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
* Avoid touching noses, eyes and mouths.
* Cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing (using masks, or tissues with younger patients may help contain the droplets from sneezes that can't be covered by the patient).
* Avoid close contact with sick people.
* As with any contagious illness, stay home (no school or work) until the patient is without fever for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, is feeling better with marked reduction in respiratory symptoms and coughing, and sneezing is mild enough to be contained (this may be longer for younger patients who can't cover their mouths with coughing/sneezing).
* For well and sick visits, only bring necessary people to the office with you (if possible, limit siblings, grandparents, etc.)
* Do NOT come in the office if you have traveled to any of the locations where coronavirus outbreaks have occurred (China, South Korea, Iran or Europe) or you have been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and you are concerned that your child is sick. Instead, please call us at 770-995-0823, select the advice nurse option, and leave a message. You can also send us a secure message by logging into your parent portal. We will call or message you back promptly and give you further instructions as to how to best get your child evaluated.
We will do our best to continue to communicate with you with any further changes or recommendations.
The Doctors and Providers at Gwinnett Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Dear Valued Patients,