COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
March 29, 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: 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. However, we will be making some changes:
Q: What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
A: Fever AND cough or shortness of breath, particularly with direct exposure to a confirmed coronavirus case or travel to an area with widespread community transmission (many international locations and some domestic locations).
Influenza can present similarly, but also has more muscle aches, fatigue, chills or sweats, sore throat. Spring allergies present as sneezing; itchy, runny or stuffy nose; or watery, red, itchy, swollen eyes.
Q: Do you have tests for Coronavirus?
A: Testing kits are still in short supply in our area. At this time, we are working closely with the local hospital systems to determine if testing is necessary based on risk factors. We do NOT have a rapid in-office test at this time. While a send-out commercial test is available, there is a limited supply and must follow a strict protocol to determine who needs testing.
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 Seattle Children's Home Quarantine and Self-Isolation Handout.
Q: Should my child go to daycare/preschool?
A: At this time, we are recommending you keep your child at home if possible. We understand that this is a personal, financial, and logistical decision. Please do not send your child to daycare if they are sick or if you suspect others are sick. Please consider keeping your child home if there are chronic medical issues in your household or daycare contacts. If your child does attend daycare or preschool, please avoid contact with close friends and family that are vulnerable (age > 60 years old or any age with chronic medical issues). Please make sure to have your child wash hands immediately when they come home, then change clothes and bathe/shower.
Q: Should my child go to a birthday party (or other public place)?
A: At this time, we recommend limiting social gatherings of all sizes. Parties at large public places are not recommended. Playdates with those outside of your household are NOT recommended. Members of your household CAN play outdoors in the yard, go for walks, or ride bikes. Please avoid community playground equipment! Wide open, well ventilated areas that are not crowded are not high risk. Please make sure to have your child wash hands immediately when they come home, then change clothes and bathe/shower.
Q: We have travel plans in the near future, should we travel?
A: We recommend following CDC guidelines which includes: No travel to Level 3 Advisory countries, no cruise ship travel, and no travel if you have chronic medical conditions. Capital Area Pediatrics also recommends cancelling ALL non-essential travel via airplane, train, or bus anywhere in the United States. Traveling by car to visit family could be considered, if no one is sick or high risk.
Q: My child was exposed to Person 1 who was exposed to Person 2. Person 2 was recently in a high-risk area. Person 1 is not sick. My child has not been exposed to Person 2. Should I be concerned?
A: At this time, with this type of distant exposure, you do not need to be overly concerned. Person 2 should self-quarantine for 14 days after travel. Person 1 should monitor for symptoms, and consider checking temperature twice a day. The child does not need extra monitoring, but parents should always be watching for signs and symptoms of any illness.
CAP Resources and Guidelines: