Doctors Notes:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Kate Davis

Like most of the United States, Holland Pediatric Associates has been making changes to try to limit the spread of infection in our community and follow the recommendations of public health officials. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together to safely continue to provide advice and healthcare for your children. Here are a few important things to note.

 

  1. COVID-19/CORONA VIRUS INFORMATION – The CDC, WHO and the OCHD all have helpful information on their website. Spectrum Health has a COVID-19 hotline at 616.391.2380. They also have a chatbot screening tool where you can get realtime virtual answers to COVID-19 questions.   Healthychildren.org also has information about COVID-19.
  2. People experiencing a fever, cough or shortness of breath, and concerned they may have been exposed to the coronavirus, should call the free screening hotline through HOLLAND HOSPITAL at (616) 394-2080 (available 7 AM – 10 PM)to speak with a nurse who will evaluate their symptoms, answer questions and determine if further testing or hospitalization is needed. Holland Hospital also has a virtual chatbox. You can also use the Spectrum Health Virtual Chat Screening tool . Holland Pediatrics Advice Line nurses will continue to be available, but please be understanding as there may be a long hold time. There is still a shortage of tests for COVID-19, although that should be improving over time.  We do not have tests available in our office.
  3. CHILDREN GENERALLY HAVE MILD COVID-19 DISEASE. Thankfully, most children (<20 years) have had mild disease – fever (often less than 24 hours), cough, sore throat. There is NO treatment for Coronavirus. The best thing to do is STAY HOME (social distancing/isolation) Call if your child is having fever >72 hours, or working hard to breath, seems dehydrated or seems to be worsening rather than improving after a few days.
  4. SEPARATION OF OUR OFFICE: In order to help better separate healthy from sick children we will be dividing our office completely. Healthy individuals will enter the office as they normally would. Patients with fever or respiratory symptoms like cough, runny nose will enter through the entrance closest to Washington, the opposite side of building from our main entrance. We have divided the inside of the office into two completely different areas to avoid any contact between well children and children with respiratory symptoms.  All staff will be wearing masks.  We will room all patients as quickly as possible to avoid people sitting in waiting area. We are cleaning all areas of office even more frequently than before, and there will be no books, magazines or toys available while you wait.
  5. AVOID COMING IN IF ONLY MILD ILLNESS: When available, healthy siblings should not come to appointments. If your child is overall acting well – despite fever or cough, DO NOT come in for a sick visit. ERs and Urgent Cares will also turn away well-acting patients with fever and cough. This will help prevent the spread of germs.
  6. WELL VISITS: We will continue to see children for their physicals/well visits if possible, especially those that are due for vaccines. As noted above, we have taken every precaution to avoid well patients getting sick.
  7. TELEMEDICINE:  We are offering telemedicine appointments for visits that can be done by video when appropriate.  Ask the advice line nurse if your appointment might qualify.  Here are instructions for signing up for CareConvene
  8. PATIENCE: Thank you for your patience. Our staff is working extra hard to keep our facility clean and to be available to answer your questions. We appreciate your kindness.
  9. Remember that COVID-19 does not appear to pose serious risk to most children. Practice good handwashing, try to avoid touching your face, and stay home as much as possible. We will be updating our website and Facebook page as new recommendations and changes occur.
  10.   We will be shortening our evening office hours shortly, and this may continue to change depending on needs of our patients and staff. Currently we are planning on being open until 5:30 pm Monday through Thursday, 5 pm on Friday, and normal Saturday am hours.
  11. Check our helpful links under Patient Resources for more COVID information and resources