2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
We are proud to say that we continue to see well and sick children in our office, including those who require evaluation or testing for COVID-19. We are taking great measures to maintain the health and safety of our staff, patients, and families; this includes limiting time spent in waiting areas, limiting unnecessary visitors during visits, frequent cleaning and disinfection, and offering telehealth visits when medically appropriate. Please note face masks or coverings are required to be worn for children 6 years of age and older. We continue to encourage children 2 years of age and older to wear face masks or coverings if possible, even after masking orders are lifted to protect our youngest population who cannot yet be vaccinated.
Walk-In Hours: We have resumed our walk-in hours, but the process has changed. Our phones will remain off until 9am as per our usual schedule. When you arrive at our office, you will click on the following link: Walk-In Registration. From that link you will enter the phone number you want us to call and how many children you would like seen for walk-ins. You will then wait in your car until a member of our staff calls you to check you in over the phone. We will make every effort possible to ensure that we are going in the order in which people arrive and to help with this we ask that you not register until you have arrived in our parking lot. In order to maintain social distancing, we ask that you wait in your car until we are able to bring you into the office. As a reminder, our walk-ins are first come first served so we recommend arriving close to 8am.
COVID-19 Testing: We have COVID-19 testing capabilities in our office for current Hilliard Pediatrics patients. Supplies are, of course, dependent on national and local supply chains, but we are doing our best to maintain this service to our patients when clinically indicated.
If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, best practice is to quarantine for 10-14 days after your most recent exposure to that person. If you are living with a person with COVID-19, this could mean a 20+ day quarantine! In some cases, testing family members can make sense, while in others, simply quarantining the whole family is the right move. Every family and scenario is different- we can help answer questions about your particular exposure.
Different COVID-19 tests are available at this time. There are “rapid” tests, which generally return within a brief period of time (15 minutes or so), and there are tests that take a few days. These tests have different ways to be run- some require a deep nasal swab (ouch!), some are just the front of the nose, and some sample saliva. Blood tests look for antibodies, which can take some time to develop with infection and can go away with time. No test is perfect, but some are better than others, especially when individual symptoms, exposures, and risks are taken into account. We can help you figure out if you need testing and if so, which test is the right one for you. If you have insurance, this test is covered in full during the public health emergency. If you do not have insurance, our cash price for the test is $90.00.
Return to Sports: If your child has COVID and is an athlete, dancer, gymnast, or is otherwise engaged in vigorous physical activity, he or she will need to be seen in the office after the resolution of symptoms to discuss safe return to play. Because COVID can inflame the heart muscle (a condition called myocarditis) it is very important that return to physical activity after infection is gradual and under the care of a medical professional. If any chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness or other new symptoms develop during return to activity, your child should stop immediately and medical care should be sought before participating in any further physical activity.
COVID Vaccines: Dr. Rob has put together a short video about the COVID-19 vaccine in older children and Dr. Tricia wrote a great post about COVID-19 vaccines in general. Both of those can be accessed from our blog post page here.
We are currently receiving Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines and scheduling appointments for patients and their family members. To receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, you must be at least 12 years of age. Please click here to get more information about the vaccine.
Well Visits: The American Academy of Pediatrics is encouraging families to maintain routine well care during the COVID-19 pandemic. In-person, routine well child visits are still recommended for all children at this time.
Telemedicine/Video Conference: We are offering medical visits by videoconference for multiple conditions such as minor illness symptoms or allergic symptoms. This visit type has also been helpful in assisting our patients with ADD, anxiety, depression, discipline and behavior concerns.
General Office Information: We are confident that we are still able to provide excellent medical care to our patients and are asking you to help us ensure the safest environment possible. When you come into the office, we are asking our families to do the following:
- We ask that only necessary caregivers bring the child to the appointment and leave other family members and siblings at home if possible.
- For parents and children 6 and older, we are requiring face masks or other face coverings be worn when coming into the office. We know that some of our younger patients may struggle to keep a mask or covering on and that is OK for children under the age of 6. Here is a helpful article from the AAP that talks more about children wearing face masks. Masks and Children During COVID-19
- If the child or anyone accompanying them to the office develop a fever (100.4 or higher) within 72 hours of their appointment, please call the office to discuss whether your appointment should be rescheduled or transitioned to our new sick protocol for fevers.
- If you or your child have been directly exposed to a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis within 14 days of your appointment, please call the office to discuss whether your appointment should be rescheduled or transitioned to our new sick protocol. If you have already discussed this with the nurse when scheduling your appointment, we have already made the necessary adjustments and you do not need to call again.
Hilliard Pediatrics has been a part of the community for 30 years. A pillar of this success has been the long-term relationships with our patients and their families. The entire staff welcomes your questions and want to assist you as we all work through this uncertain and unprecedented time.
Resources: Below are a few resources that we thought might be useful.
- Follow www.cdc.gov and Coronavirus.ohio.gov for up to date information.
- For specific information on the COVID-19 vaccine for children, please check out the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/adolescents.html.
- The Ohio AAP has a lot of great information regarding COVID-19 as well as the COVID vaccine: https://ohioaap.org/covid19resources
- Another great resource for children is HealthyChildren.org.
- Nationwide Children's Hospital has a great blog with a section designated to COVID-19 with several resources to help your children get through this difficult time. NCH COVID-19 Blog
- They have a great post on the COVID-19 vaccine in children that addresses the importance of getting everyone vaccinated and a few of the common myths about the vaccine. The Truth About the COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids.