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 

March 1, 2021

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:  Do you have tests for Coronavirus?

A:Testing for COVID-19 is important in order to identify those who are ill, and to isolate and trace all contacts.  We are offering swab clinics at all sites, varying by day of the week.  All patients who need a test must have a visit with a provider (in person or telemedicine), whether symptomatic or asymptomatic.

NEW!   We are now offering in-house rapid COVID tests for SICK PATIENTS only, on day 1-5 of symptoms.  All patients must have an in person office visit or telemedicine visit to assess your child and give appropriate guidance for their recovery and isolation.  The rapid test has an out of pocket cost of $75, with a 20% discount if you pay at the time of service.  The office visit or telemedicine visit will be billed to your insurance. Please see our testing consent.

At the current time, all patients that request a rapid test will have 2 swabs done.  If your child's rapid test is negative, a send out PCR test is recommended by the Virginia Department of Health.  Rapid antigen test results may or may not clear your child to return to activities based on the organization or facility policy.  If you need clearance to return to a facility or activity, please clarify with your organization what is valid for return. When in doubt, the send out PCR test is the gold standard for clearance (both symptomatic and asymptomatic).

All asymptomatic patients may ONLY have a send out PCR test. The turnaround time for this PCR test has been < 5 days.  Thank you for your understanding and patience. Please see our testing algorithm.

Q:  What do you know about the current COVID-19 vaccines available?

A:  NEW!  Most of our providers and many of our staff have received their COVID-19 vaccines from the local hospitals and health departments.  We believe in the science behind the current vaccines, their safety, and the hope that we can put the pandemic behind us.  See common vaccine FAQs and catch up with our providers getting vaccinated here

Individual counties are launching vaccine administration by phase.  As of January 18, 2021 - phase 1a and parts of phase 1b may register.  Of note, phase 1b includes those over 65 years of age and 16 years of age with high risk medical conditions or disabilities. If you are unsure if your child meets criteria, please discuss with your CAP provider.

This is a complex process, requiring vaccine supply, staff to administer vaccine, and staff and space to allow for social distancing and safety monitoring after vaccine administration. Please be patient as each county is working on their process.  At this time, supply is the main issue.  For now, registering online if you are eligible is a good start! Pre-registration is now done by the state of Virginia, except for Fairfax County.  If you registered before February 12, you do NOT need to re-register.  Links for information regarding COVID vaccine in our area below:

State of Virginia
Fairfax County
District of Columbia

Updates specifically for Fairfax County here.

Q: What should athletes do if they tested positive for COVID?

A: NEW!Whether asymptomatic or symptomatic, COVID positive athletes should complete a full 10 day isolation.  After the health department and team officials have otherwise cleared the team to gather again, children with a positive COVID test over the age of 12 years who want to play competitively or with high intensity should be seen by their provider before returning to play.  A full preparticipation screening and examination should be completed before a gradual return to play.  See Virginia AAP Return to Play after COVID.

Q: Do you suggest wearing 1 mask or more?

A: NEW!  For everyone age 2 years and up, we recommend wearing a good-fitting double layer mask.  Cloth is acceptable if it is at least 2 layers, with a wire nose piece to pinch at the nasal bridge and no gaping at the cheeks or chin.  Double masking is an option if it helps the fit, but not required.  It is NOT recommended to wear 2 disposable masks or layer other masks with KN95.  See CDC updated recommendations here.

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.

Per the Virginia Department of Health, even 1 single symptom in a child is enough to consider coronavirus as a possible diagnosis. Please see their updated recommendations for parents, schools, and daycares.

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. 

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.

NEW!The CDC and the Virginia Department of Health recently updated their quarantine guidelines for those exposed to COVID-19 and are asymptomatic.  A 14 day quarantine is still recommended, as the residual risk of transmission averages at ~0.1%.  In discussion with your provider, a 10 day quarantine can be considered with an additional 4 days of risk mitigation strategies (social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, avoiding crowds and symptom monitoring).  The residual risk of transmission averages at 1% for a 10 day quarantine.

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. 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.  Please do not walk in without an appointment as our efforts in separating well and sick patients needs to be preserved.  For all well visits, you will receive a text with a pre-visit COVID screen.  We ask that you complete this at least 24 hours in advance of your visit.  If we have any questions about your answers, we will contact you prior to your visit.  If your child or family is considered at risk of being contagious, we may ask to reschedule your well visit for the safety of others in the office.  If your condition changes from the time you complete the screen and your actual visit, please notify our office.
  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.  Masks should be well fitted (especially at the nose and the cheeks) and at least 2 layers.  NEW updated CDC mask guidance 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:  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: 

Websites: