COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
June 27, 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 happy to announce that we will begin 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.
Q: What are your thoughts on sending our child(ren) back to school in the fall?
A: NEW! At this time, taking into consideration the physical and mental health needs of your child(ren), we recommend going back to school in person, with appropriate safety and health measures in place. We also recommend children wear masks, even if not mandated by the school. If your child has any chronic medical conditions or you have specific concerns about your child, please schedule a telephone consult with your regular provider. AAP Return to School during COVID-19
Q: My child has an upcoming well visit, is it ok to still bring them in? Are you still open?
A: At this time, we welcome all well visits and other non-urgent visits to keep their appointments. We have made many changes in order to keep patients and staff safe.
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. The non-emergent Fairfax County Health Department COVID-19 hotline is 703-267-3511.
As stated above, we are very limited in our ability to test for COVID-19. Regardless, 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: What are your thoughts on activities this summer?
A: NEW! After more than 2 months with stay-at-home orders, we know many are wondering whether we will be able to enjoy our summer. There are no one-size-fit-all answers as everyone's risk is different - based on time, space, people, and place. We encourage you to discuss risk with your family, your doctor, and your friends as you contemplate what activities you are going to undertake. Rating the Risk of Activities this Summer.
Q: Changes at home, school and work have really affected us. Do you have any advice for parenting at home during this pandemic?
A: These are unforeseen changes to our lives. Our developmental pediatrician is offering a group of zoom parenting sessions this summer to help parents navigate these unchartered waters: CAP Parenting Seminar - Dealing with Challenging Behaviors during the Pandemic. And don't forget to take a peek at our recent blogs, that address some issues that are common during the pandemic: Capital Area Pediatrics Blogs.
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 blogs on 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: