Capital Area Pediatrics is here to educate and serve our patients and community. While the situation regarding the Coronavirus pandemic is rapidly evolving, we hope to continue to be a resource for you during this time.  

COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

September 11, 2020

There are many questions about the Coronavirus pandemic, some that have definitive answers, some that require some judgment.  While the situation is rapidly changing, our recommendations for your family are below. Please check back frequently for updates.

Q: What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

A: There are a wide range of symptoms, presenting 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle aches, sore throat, headache, congestion/ runny nose, nausea/ vomiting, diarrhea or new loss of taste or smell.

Q:  Do you have tests for Coronavirus?

A:NEW! Testing for COVID-19 is important in order to identify those who are ill, and to isolate and trace all contacts.  CAP is proud to provide drive-up COVID-19 testing at our Vienna location for all CAP patients.  Testing will be 2-3 afternoons per week and is by appointment only, as ordered by your CAP provider. If you are concerned that your child has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please schedule a telemedicine appointment with one of our doctors or nurse practitioners who can order testing for you. CAP COVID Testing Patient Instructions

Q:  Can I get antibody testing for Coronavirus?

A:  While there is abundant information on the media about antibody testing now being available, we are not recommending antibody testing at this time and do not offer it. While there have been antibody tests that have been "approved," the standards for antibody testing are not yet reliable.  In addition, it is not yet clear what antibody testing results really mean for a patient.  We will stay up to date and informed on the latest evidence behind all testing and make changes as guided by the health department and our local infectious disease experts. If you are interested in being part of INOVA's COVID antibody study, please click here for info.

Q: My child needs an appointment (for well, sick or flu shot).  Is it safe to come in?

A:  At this time, we welcome all well visits and vaccine appointments to keep their appointments.  We encourage families with sick symptoms to call us for a telemedicine visit.  We have made many changes in order to keep patients and staff safe.

  1. NEW!We are now offering flu shots at all sites.  Please call our office to schedule your family for flu shots at one of many flu shot clinics!  For details on what to expect when scheduling your visit and at the clinic, please click here.
  2. We are pleased to now offer touchless mobile check-in and registration.  Save time and check in before your appointment from your computer, tablet or smartphone, whenever it’s most convenient for you, using a link sent to you in a text message or email!  Also, you can now alert us from your smartphone when you arrive so that you can wait in the comfort and safety of your vehicle.  CAP Touchless Check-In Info
  3. Out of an abundance of caution and to increase infection control, we are continuing to separate our well and sick visits.  Our offices are working together to provide different options to be seen when you need us, for sick or well care.  We will also be open in the evenings starting the week of September 14.  Please do not walk in without an appointment as our efforts in separating well and sick patients needs to be preserved.
  4. For all visits (sick or well), patients > 2 years of age and their accompanying family member should wear a mask.  A scarf, bandana, or homemade cloth mask would be appropriate.  We also ask that you bring only 1 healthy adult with the patient when able, no siblings or other adults.  Need a quick DIY mask? See the sew and no-sew options here.
  5. In an effort to decrease exposure for patients and staff, we are continuing to provide telemedicine visits!  Many of our “sick” visits will be booked for telemedicine to limit sick exposures in the office. Telemedicine visits are still scheduled with your provider during their office hours. Please note, not all visits are amenable to telemedicine and we will generally NOT be prescribing antibiotics via telemedicine. Many insurance companies are now covering provider telephone advice calls and telemedicine visits – feel free to check with your insurance company regarding coverage.  As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our providers are able to offer these services to continue providing excellent, personal care to our patients in the safest manner possible.  If during these calls or visits, the provider determines that you need an in-person visit, scheduling that will be arranged.  As we move forward, please feel free to let us know how we can continue to better serve you and your family.  Please see our Telemedicine FAQs.
  6. Herndon Express Care is temporarily suspended.  As always, we will have a nurse or doctor on call after hours to answer your urgent questions.

Q:  What do I do if I am concerned my child may have Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A:  Regardless of exposure, stay at home and call us!  Do NOT go to our office, an urgent care, or emergency room unannounced.  We have a specific protocol, coordinated with our local emergency rooms and health departments, to determine your risk AND keep everyone you come into contact with safe. Please call your primary office and our nurses can help schedule a telemedicine appointment for you. The non-emergent Fairfax County Health Department COVID-19 hotline is 703-267-3511.

Recommendations for seeking care, prevention of spread of disease, and what to monitor for remain the same.  General guidelines are available here:  What to Do for Unconfirmed COVID-19 Illness

Q:  What does quarantine and self-isolation mean for my family?

A:  Home quarantine and self-isolation are strategies to use in order to limit the spread of the virus.  They both mean staying home and limiting contact with people outside your household, which we know can be challenging for families. Please see this Self-Quarantine and Isolation Recommendations.

Q:  With stay-at-home orders lightening, should my child go to daycare/ preschool? Should we visit grandparents?

A:  NEW!  We understand that this is tough decision without a one-size-fits-all answer.  We ask that you take into consideration different factors - assess risk and minimize risk where you are able.  Need help figuring out what to take into consideration?  Read Should I Send My Children Back to Daycare? and When is it Okay to See Grandparents?Please feel free to schedule a phone consult with your provider if you have specific questions.  

Q: Now that the CDC recommends cloth face coverings or masks when outside, what should I do for my child?

A: Children over the age of 2 years should wear cloth face coverings or masks in places where they may not be able to stay 6 feet away from others. For example, if they need to go to the doctor’s office or store with you.  They should not wear them at home or if they cause a strangulation risk.  For more tips on how to get your child to wear a cloth mask and appropriate use and fit, see AAP Cloth Face Coverings for Children.

Q:  How can I help my family get through the next few weeks to months of social distancing?

A:  With schools closed and parents working at home or facing job uncertainty, it’s important to use positive parenting and healthy approaches to discipline.  These are unchartered waters in a challenging time – show yourself and your children some grace.  Even when things are frustrating or you feel like you are struggling to make the new routine work, choose to work at your relationship with your family.  Encourage each other, have a positive attitude, and ensure your children they are safe.  See AAP Positive Parenting during COVID-19 for more tips.  Please also see our blogon Surviving Social Distancing at Every Age and Anxiety and Coronavirus.

Q:  How can I help my teen during COVID-19?

A:  Social distancing can be especially hard for teens, who may feel cut off from their friends.  Many also face big letdowns with cancellations of prom, graduation, sports and college events.   If you can, try to stick to a schedule (including eating and sleeping).  Allow down time for teens to have privacy for music, art or virtually hang out with friends.  Communicate honestly and openly with them, especially about their role in social distancing.  Answer any questions and dispel any myths.  Keep an eye out for signs that they might need more support for sadness or anxiety.  Some other great resources include AAP Teens and COVID-19 and Child Mind Institute Supporting Teenagers and Adults during COVID-19.

CAP Resources and Guidelines: 

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