As the nation continues to struggle with controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, Advanced Pediatrics continues to work to make sure we can offer care as safely as possible.
The key observation today is that COVID-19 is in a state of active spread across the United States. In Ohio, the number of cases has stepped up to the tipping point of 1000 cases per day starting in July and is rising to 1,500. National reports alert us to the danger that even more severe flares are very possibly appearing here in the coming weeks. Should the anticipated severe flares hit Ohio, we will begin to look like FL, AZ, CA, and TX. Cuyahoga County is one of 7 counties that has had the greatest spread in Ohio. We need to be careful.
Currently, our office remains fully staffed and with regular full hours.
To provide all the help we can and at the same time reduce exposure risks to everyone, we are stepping up current policies as follows:
- Mask. Everyone entering the office must wear a mask, unless unable to because of age, disability, or inability. We now have masks available to those who enter without one, so everyone needs to meet this standard, which is now in force also by order of our Governor. While supplies last, a carton of donated cloth masks is available to all in our lobby.
- Social Distancing. Everyone should keep their families at least 6 feet apart from everyone else. This is the most powerful tool to stop spread.
- Waiting Room (WR). We will continue to strive for an empty waiting room. The only exceptions should be parents waiting for their older child’s visit to end, and those waiting to see the therapist and neuro-psychologist in our office. To that end we will try to register and check you in by phone when you make your appointment, and have you pay then as well.
- WR Screening. To the best of our ability, we will check symptoms and temperature on everyone on arrival and get you to your exam room, without staying in the waiting room.
- WR Staying Empty. To keep viral transmission to a minimum, we will be asking that siblings and family who come to the visit, who are able, remain in the car.
- Sick Rooms, Well Rooms. Everyone should know that at least half of all of those infected with COVID-19 have no symptoms or fever. It has been shown, however that those with symptoms appear to be more contagious. Our new policy going forward is that anyone ill, even those here for check-ups, will be seen in rooms 1-3, and asymptomatic patients here for checkups will be seen in rooms 4-6. Even with new these precautions, there still cannot be a full guarantee that any room will not have had someone with COVID-19 in it since so many are asymptomatic with this illness.
- Room Cleaning. Because of the risk of spread, our rooms remain vigorously ventilated and wiped down with potent anti-infectives between every use.
- COVID Testing. Advanced Pediatrics has secured the services of one of the nation’s most sophisticated labs able to detect the genes of germs, Diatherix. They have been doing such work for many years, and now offer a COVID-19 test. We have this test available. It costs $150, and whether your insurance covers it will be between you and your insurer and the Diatherix lab. To do the test, we take a throat or nasal swab and send it out. When running at full efficiency results are back in 2-3 days, when crunched the lab takes as long as 7 days.
- There will of course be a limit on how many COVID tests we can process in one day, our staff will be happy to let you know if openings remain each day.
- Who can be tested. COVID testing is limited solely to children who are members of our practice. Unfortunately, supplies keep us from offering to parents, and of course, to the whole community.
- Flu and Other Viral Tests. During the fall and winter virus seasons, we will be using this lab to test for influenza, RSV, adenovirus, and other viruses, along with SARS-CoV-2, to allow us to know if your child’s fever is COVID or definitively a different virus. These tests cost in the range of $200-350 depending on how many viruses we test for.
- Well and Sick Schedules. This is an important change in September. Starting September 7, once the demand for exams before school drops, and in anticipation of a very busy viral season, we will be offering check-ups until 1:30PM every day, and seeing everyone for illness from 2-5PM every day. This will separate well and sick dramatically. Well checks will of course continue, but separated in time from sick visits.
- Thank you. From now until school begins, we know there is an urgency to come in to have your exam renewed, we will work hard to get everyone who needs to see us in. We also ask your appreciation that the months of being at half-volume, the uncertainty of school openings, put us all into a tighter space, so we look forward to working together to make it all work well.
In closing, let us share our concern that we all share. We are all living through a truly devastating pandemic, its impact is disruptive. So many routines are no longer able to be sustained. The virus seems to hover all around, and it does. We appreciate the burden of the concerns, the risks, and the disruptions this pandemic causes.
In response, we will continue to serve as best we can and help us all make it through as safely and well as possible.
To your health,
Dr. Arthur Lavin Dr. Julie Hertzer