COVID19 Testing at Seattle Children’s

Update on COVID19 testing

 

On May 11th, Seattle Children’s Hospital began offering drive through testing of symptomatic patients at various sites in the greater Seattle area.

 

If your child has possible symptoms of COVID19 and you believe he or she may need testing, please call our office. Our nurses will review your child’s symptoms and help determine if drive through testing is appropriate or if an in-person evaluation is warranted.

 

If drive through testing is appropriate:

 

  1. We will need to order the test for you
  2. You will need to call and schedule testing
  3. Once we receive the results from Seattle Children’s Hospital we will contact you.

 

 

Update on Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome

 

You may have recently heard reports in the media about a possible connection between COVID19 and a serious health condition in children now being called Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory syndrome.

 

This condition is being monitored and closely studied. Currently, it is not clear that it is in fact related to COVID19. It also appears to be very rare.

 

It may involve the following symptoms:

 

  • Fever that won’t go away
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Rash or changes in skin color
  • Trouble breathing
  • A child seeming confused or overly sleepy

 

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, please call and we can help you decide if your child should be seen in the emergency department or in our office.

 

For more information:

 

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/covid_inflammatory_condition.aspx

Expanding hours – phased approach

Efforts to return to normal scheduling:

As restrictions around COVID-19 have begun to loosen per the Governor’s orders, we have begun expanding our office visits with a recommended phased approach. On Monday 5/4, our staffing increased to support more appointments. We will continue to conduct well child visits in the morning, and sick visits in the afternoon but priority will be given to patients who need vaccines and young children who require frequent checks on growth and development. Essentially, we’ll be playing “catch up and keep up”—seeing those patients whose appointments were postponed, as well as those who have already been scheduled or who have recommended appointments coming due.  We appreciate your patience as we sort out the backlog and also try and meet our patients’ ongoing needs. Telemedicine appointments remain available when appropriate.

To ensure everyone’s safety:

We ask you to:

  • Please arrive with one caregiver per visit.
  • Wear a mask if you have one and keep it on for the entire visit.
  • Please utilize handwashing stations in our office

Our staff will:

  • Greet you at our entrance and take the temperature of all who enter the building. Anyone that presents for a well visit with a fever and/or symptoms of COVID19 will be asked to reschedule.
  • Check you in promptly with no waiting in our waiting room.
  • Wear masks at all times
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Sanitize surfaces and equipment frequently
  • Limit overall numbers of people in the office to ensure compliance with social distancing.

Update on testing

Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests.

  • A viral test tells you if you have a current infection.
  • An antibody test tells you if you had a previous infection

Viral Testing for current infection:

With increased testing capability in our community, recommendations on who should be tested have been relaxed to include most anyone with symptoms concerning for COVID19 (see below). If you have concerns about possible COVID19 symptoms and/or testing, please call our office. We can either direct you to testing sites or offer you an appointment with one of our providers (either by telemedicine or if necessary, in person) who can help coordinate testing if appropriate.

Antibody testing for past infection:

If you have concerns about possible past COVID19 disease in your child, please call our office to discuss if antibody testing is appropriate. It is important to know that an antibody test may not be able to show if you have a current infection, because it can take 1-3 weeks after infection to make antibodies. We do not know yet if having antibodies to the virus can protect someone from getting infected with the virus again, or how long that protection might last.

Symptoms of COVID19 may include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

April 6, 2020 – TELEMEDICINE

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak we have implemented telemedicine visits into our schedules. These are scheduled visits with your child’s doctor and are done through your phone, laptop or iPad. You and your child can see and hear your doctor. Many things can be discussed including: mild cough, runny nose (without fever), conjunctivitis (pink eye), ADHD, anxiety, developmental concerns, constipation and other chronic conditions. If after meeting on-line your doctor feels you should be seen in person, they can have you schedule an in-office visit.

Telemedicine and telephone consultation visits can be billed to your insurance. Co-payments and deductibles may apply. You should contact your insurance to be sure that you have coverage.

Call our main number to schedule: 206-783-9300.

March 24, 2020 Covid-19 Update

We hope you are well and following Public Health recommendations. For the most up to date guidance on how to keep you and your family healthy and safe, please check out these links:

https://www.coronavirus.wa.gov

https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/communicable-diseases/disease-control/novel-coronavirus.aspx

The dizzying pace of the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult to keep up with. We are doing our best to respond in a way that allows us to continue to provide essential primary and acute care in a safe manner. To this end, we have implemented the following changes to our practice:

  1. Telemedicine – Please read:
    1. We have begun to provide virtual visits with our doctors using video technology that enables you to see a doctor remotely for most medical problems using a phone or a computer.
    2. You may call our office and our front staff and nurses will help you decide if we can address your concerns with this type of visit
    3. Telehealth visits will be billed to your insurance. You will be responsible for any co-pay, deductible or non-covered visit.  You should check with your insurance to determine if this is a covered service under your policy.
  2. Schedule – To support social distancing and help decrease the rate of spread of COVID-19, we have made the following changes to our office hours:
    1. Monday-Friday mornings from 8:30 to 12:30 we will see well visits in clinic only for children ages 0-18 months, according to the AAP recommended schedule (to monitor growth and development and maintain vaccinations). Because vaccines are not required at 9 months, we are suspending those visits at this time.
    2. From 1:30 to 4:30 we will see sick children of all ages in clinic. We will attempt to see most acute problems via telemedicine. We will only see those children in clinic who, after screening by our nurses or after an evaluation by telemedicine, are felt to need an in-person evaluation.
    3. We will no longer have Saturday morning office hours. Instead, we will see patients from 8-12 am via telemedicine after screening by our front office and/or nurses.
  3. Testing – Washington state department of Health has recommended appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health care workers performing testing for COVID-19. We still do not have the appropriate PPE to safely test patients.

March 17, 2020 – COVID-19 Update

In response to COVID-19, Ballard Pediatric Clinic is implementing the following changes to patient care in order to protect our patients, families, and staff.

SCREENING: We will be taking temperatures of all who enter the building. Anyone with a fever, other than patients who are being seen for a sick visit and who have been screened by our nursing staff prior to their visit, will not be permitted into the building. Instead they will be asked to reschedule.

OFFICE VISITS: We no longer have morning drop-in hours.

* Well child physicals, injuries and non-sick visits between 8:30am and 12:30pm.

* Illness visits (cough, cold) will be scheduled after 1:30pm.

If you do not feel your child can wait until after 1:30pm call and speak to the triage nurse

We ask that you only have ONE person accompany a child to their appointment.

Virtual telehealth visits are available with our physicians as an alternative to office visits and may be recommended by staff when you call with concerns about your child.

TESTING FOR COVID-19: While testing has been rolled out to many hospitals and larger facilities, clinics like ours do not have access to enough appropriate protective equipment necessary to obtain a specimen safely.  This is likely to change and we hope to provide this service to our patients as soon as possible.

The health and safety of our patient community is our number one priority. Updated information is posted on our website: www.ballardpediatrics.com.  On our blog, you can find this information in the yellow box on the right side of the home page.

If you are concerned your child may have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath), please do not come in.  Instead please call our office so we can determine a plan of action:  206-783-9300.

March 9th – Coronavirus update

To our patients and families regarding Coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2 which causes the disease COVID-19:

As you are likely aware, the Coronavirus situation in our community is changing rapidly. The number of cases is increasing daily and so are the responses to the situation. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Washington State Department of Health (WSDoH) currently have no restrictions on who can be tested.

While Ballard Pediatrics would like to begin testing everyone for whom there is a concern for COVID-19, due to limited testing supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff, we are unable to do so.

If you are concerned your child may have symptoms of Coronavirus (fever, cough, shortness of breath) please call our office so we can determine if testing outside Ballard Pediatrics is appropriate.

We are actively working on increasing supplies and developing processes to perform the test efficiently and safely. We appreciate your understanding and patience while we respond to this rapidly evolving situation.