A MESSAGE FOR OUR VPG FAMILIES ON COVID-19:
We would like to give an update about how Virginia Pediatric Group is handling the COVID-19 outbreak. The health and well-being of our patients, families, and staff continue to be our top priority. The situation is evolving rapidly and we are making every effort to implement protocols to maximize safety within our office while providing the best care to our patients. For now, here are things you need to know.
VPG has already implemented the following changes to limit the spread of COVID-19:
- Screening patients by phone with fever or cough and using telemedicine to manage care
- Increasing use of telemedicine visits
- Disinfecting rooms and office spaces/equipment more frequently per protocol
- Separating well and sick rooms as well as waiting areas
- Planning for separate blocks of time for well only and sick only patients
- Reducing time and exposure in waiting areas
Before Your Next Visit
Please call the office to schedule a visit to Virginia Pediatric Group. PLEASE DO NOT ENTER OUR OFFICES WITHOUT CALLING IN ADVANCE. You will be able to speak to our triage nurses to discuss whether you should come into the clinic.
COVID-19 usually causes mild illness in children. The most common symptoms are fever or cough. Many children have no symptoms at all. Like all viruses, there is no treatment that our group (or emergency rooms/urgent care clinics) can provide to speed recovery. Even if you think your child may have COVID 19, you probably WILL NOT need to visit our office. However, we are able to assess and advise you on COVID-19 type symptoms through Telemedicine visits.
IF YOU THINK YOUR CHILD HAS OR MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID-19 OR HAS FEVER OR COUGH, PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE AND YOU WILL BE ADVISED ON THE NEXT STEPS. PLEASE DO NOT WALK IN AS THIS CAUSES INCREASED RISKS OF EXPOSURE TO OUR STAFF AND OTHER PATIENTS. AT THIS TIME, VPG IS NOT ABLE TO PROVIDE TESTING FOR COVID-19.
Primary reasons your child will need a sick-visit appointment in the office are:
- Any fever (>100.4F) in a baby under 60 days
- Respiratory distress (a barking cough, increased work of breathing, or cough that interferes with sleep or play)
- Dehydration signs (dry lips, decreased urination, decreased activity)
- Sore throat in the absence of cold symptoms
- Ear pain for more than 2 days in children older than 2 years old or with fever in kids younger than 2 years old
- Fever above 100.4 for more than 5 days
If your child is ill, but does not need to be seen in person, we are able to offer Telemedicine visits. Your provider will be able to see your child, speak to you, and provide care and treatment for a variety of conditions as well as for behavioral and mental health concerns. We will be able to arrange referrals and send in prescriptions all over video chat. Please set up your Telemedicine account now.
Well Child Checks
At this time, we feel it is important to stay on track with your child’s well visits and vaccinations. In order to limit risk of infection, we will be scheduling well visits during a time period when sick visits are not being seen in the office, in addition to measures listed above.
To reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 to our patients, staff, and their families, we are REQUESTING the following:
- We are requesting families limit the number of caregivers bringing the child to the office. One parent per child.
- We are requesting families to bring only the patient to the office with no siblings.
- We are requesting people over 60 to avoid the office unless there is absolutely no alternative, and they are the child’s caregiver
The Health Department recommends that the public do the following to protect themselves and others from respiratory illnesses:
- Individuals at increased risk for severe illness, including pregnant women, older adults and persons of any age with underlying health conditions should avoid non-essential travel, public gatherings, or places where large groups of people congregate, such as ticketed events (such as theaters, concert halls, and sporting events).
- Avoid travel to all areas where there are outbreaks of COVID-19.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you are mildly sick with a fever, stay home until you have been fever-free for 24 hours, except to get medical care.
- Avoid close contact with sick people and social distancing (6 feet away)
- Those with high risk factors and who have fever or new or worsening cough, should consider contacting their providers earlier when they are sick. Call ahead to let them know of your symptoms.
- Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about COVID-19.
- Healthy eating, exercise, and adequate sleep help you stay healthy
We want to urge our patient and families to stay updated on this information and to use the following resources for more detailed information:
- Prepare Yourself and Your Family
- Children and COVID-19
- Talking With Children About Coronavirus
- COVID-19: Managing Stress and Anxiety
- Fight Germs, Wash Your Hands VIDEO
- Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and you
- COVID-19 Symptom Checker
AAP Healthy Children
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Working and Learning from Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Social Distancing: Why Keeping Your Distance Helps Keep Others Safe
Child Mind Institute
- Supporting Kids During the COVID-19 Crisis
- Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
- Supporting Families During COVID-19
National Child Trauma Stress Network
FFX County DH
Loudon County DH
Our offices will continue to remain open but there may be changes to appointment times, scheduling, and possibly providers. These changes are designed to keep all our patients and staff safe. We will continue to work to provide you with the very best care! We will also continue to provide you with updates as they become available.