COVID-19 is the official term for the novel coronavirus that began in Wuhan, China and has since spread worldwide. The CDC along with state and local health departments are tracking the virus and advising on the best measures to prevent, test for and treat the disease. Our knowledge about the virus and its spread is evolving quickly and there are new updates daily. For general questions about COVID-19 we recommend that you visit the websites for the CDC and the New York State Department of Health. Both are linked below:
If you are calling our office with concerns or for an appointment:
- If you are considering bringing your child to our office for an appointment and you think he or she may need to be evaluated for COVID-19 because of symptoms, exposure or previous travel please call the office first and tell our staff. Please also notify staff if the adult accompanying your child has been exposed to COVID-19 or has traveled in the past 14 days. We will be asking all families that call for any appointment these same items. We will help you to decide if it is appropriate to bring your child in.
- In an effort to keep coronavirus exposure to a minimum among our patients, their families and staff, walk-in hours are cancelled until further notice beginning on Monday 3/16/20. Patients or families that arrive at the office without an appointment will be directed to return to their car and call for an appointment.
- We will continue to see patients by appointment during our regular business hours. Phones will go on at 8:15am daily for scheduling.
- We are altering our schedule so that only well child visits will be seen in the mornings and only acute visits in the afternoons.
- We will be disinfecting our rooms between every visit of any kind and then another deep cleaning of the office at the end of each day. Our office uses CDC recommended Clorox Healthcare Grade Bleach Germicidal Cleaner on all services throughout our space during the day and Re-Juv-Nal overnight. Staff is continually cleaning exam rooms, waiting room, pens, clipboards and many other surfaces for your protection, and ours.
- You will notice the increased use of personal protective equipment within the office.
- We are requesting that, whenever possible, families minimize the number of additional people that accompany their child to a visit.
Nasal swab testing for active COVID-19 infection is now more available in our area. The University of Rochester Medical Center is handling most of the COVID-19 testing locally. On 4/20/20 we were notified that, in addition to being able to test essential workers and patients with a direct COVID-19 exposure, we are now able to test patients without a known exposure but with symptoms which are suspicious for COVID-19 (fever, cough and shortness of breath).
As the local news media reported, NYS provided a limited number of COVID-19 antibody blood tests targeting a small portion of our local population for screening purposes performed at Wegman's East Ave location. These tests were to look for people who were exposed to COVID-19 in the past or who have recovered from the illness. Currently, this testing is not available to the mass population. Information available to us states that the COVID-19 serum antibody testing may become available within the next 2 weeks on a limited basis for healthcare workers, other essential workers, patients that are in quarantine awaiting testing, persons awaiting deployment and plasma donors. If your child falls into any of these categories, please contact our office. We will provide updates as we receive them, please tune in!
- We now have telemedicine available for many visit types or concerns. Please call our office to schedule a video visit. Once scheduled you will receive a text or email with a link to connect with the video visit. This can be done easily with a computer or smart phone. One click. You will be having the visit with one of our providers. We bill your insurance like an office visit however many insurers, including Excellus and MVP, have agreed to waive all co-pays and deductibles related to telemedicine during the coronavirus outbreak. If you are not sure you should contact your insurance company to confirm coverage.
We ask that you bear with us as we make ongoing adjustments as recommendations change. We will continue to work hard to address all of the concerns and needs of our families in these unusual times. We have a great team at Penfield Pediatrics and great families that come to us. With patience and diligence we will all weather this storm together. As always, you can call our office at any time with medical concerns. If you have a non-urgent concern (one that does not need to be addressed the same day) you may consider utilizing the patient portal to message us.
For more information about prevention at home, talking with your children about COVID-19 and preparing for changes in their daily lives visit the American Academy of Pediatrics site below: