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Coronavirus Information

November 18, 2020 
 
 
October 28, 2020
 
August 24, 2020

Going back to school during COVID-19 might be concerning for some. Dr. Ellis is here to answer your questions about in-person school, sports and the benefits of masks and face shields.

Check out her responses here: https://bit.ly/3jaEIwF

 
July 2, 2020
Dr. Ellis gives an update on the COVID-19 virus via our YouTube channel:
 
June 23, 2020
 

COVID-19 FAQs

A family member had exposure to someone with COVID-19, does my child need testing? 

Yes, if your child develops symptoms, a COVID-19 will need to be done. 

My child was directly exposed to someone with COVID-19, what do I do? 

Watch for symptoms, notify the office if any symptoms occur. If you want to be sure and test, the best time to test is 8 days after exposure. 

My child has a fever, do they need a COVID-19 test?

We recommend an office visit with your doctor to determine that on a case-by-case matter. 

How is COVID-19 testing performed and processed? Do we do testingat the office

It is a swab into the back of the nose on both sides. We do not process the test in our office, we only obtain the specimen. We send the specimen to CPL and they process and result on the test. Results take anywhere from 3-5 days to come back. Please be aware the CPL will file a claim to your medical insurance for the testing.

Other testing site information or testing sites that might have no cost testing to the patient?

https://covid19.austintexas.gov/s/?language=en_US

http://www.wcchd.org/COVID-19/testing.php

https://www.austinregionalclinic.com/services/covid-19-care#testing

https://urgentcarekids.com/covid19-test/

When is the best time to test my child for COVID-19?

8 days after exposure or when symptoms start

Pre-surgery swabbing for COVID? Best at surgery site? How to get results to surgeon?

Your surgeon’s office will instruct you on the best options, some surgery centers have the rapid test and others will have the 3-5 days result test. 

Is COVID-19 antibody testing recommended for children? 

At this time, we are not recommending antibody testing. It might be useful in a few months. 

The antibody test is a blood draw performed at a lab. 

Mom is expecting and wondering what to do? Smartest way to bring baby home safely. How long to keep siblings home after having the baby before older child returns to daycare? Any quarantine needed after returning home with NB? What do we tell family? 

Family should quarantine for 2 weeks before baby is due to avoid separation of the mother and baby and then usual protocol for newborn babies—limit visitors, any adult contact should have Tdap vaccine, can go outside but no public places until 3 months old, no kissing on the mouth (if must, can kiss hair/top of head or feet) and no pacifiers from adult mouth to babies mouth.

TRANSMISSION OF COVID-19

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms (asymptomatic) may be able to spread the virus. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, which means it goes from person-to-person without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggests that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious. In general, the more closely a person interacts with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

The virus may be spread in other ways as well. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads.

SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. (The average time from exposure to onset of symptoms is thought to be about 5-6 days.)

If someone exhibits any of these signs, seek medical care immediately:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Confusion
  • Inability to wake up or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

PREVENTION OF COVID-19

1. Maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distancing

2. Wearing a mask or cloth face covering on your mouth and nose

3. Wash your handsregularly with soap and water — or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

4. Clean and disinfect surfacesyou touch frequently

5. Try to avoid touching your hands to your face

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE SICK

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

WHEN YOU CAN BE AROUND OTHERS

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/end-home-isolation.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprevent-getting-sick%2Fwhenits-safe.html

 
May 12, 2020
Dr. Ellis made an informative how to make a paper towel mask video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGLvAPSOo4w
Parents and children over age 2 should please plan to wear a mask when coming in for office appointments. 
 
April 14, 2020

Austin-Travis County extended modified #StayHomeWorkSafe orders until May 8 This includes new measures to keep residents healthy, safe and ” crush the curve.”

👉 Every person over the age of 10 must wear a mask when carrying out essential work or activities in public.

The requirement is to use a fabric mask to cover the face – medical masks + respirators must be preserved for medical workers and lifeguards. Scarves and tissues are common things that can cover your face.

Masks do not replace the measure of maintaining physical distance. Remember to keep keeping a distance of at least 6 feet between you and other people outside your home.

👀 Read more: bit.ly/3cgbPLW
📌 Info + resources: AustinTexas.gov/COVID19

It is very important to use a face covering to help slow the spread of COVID-19 anytime you are in public.
 
At this time, we do not have the supply to hand out face masks to parents and children in our offices.
 
Use the following link to learn how to create your own cloth face coverings: https://bit.ly/3aJ7ErL
 
Children under 2 should NOT have face masks applied

April 3, 2020

We are continuing with the Austin and Cedar Park offices having well check appointments during the mornings and, if needed, first thing right after lunch when sick children would be doing car visits and are not inside the office. This will be for appointments for the whole month of April 2020 and we will re-evaluate needs for May 2020 as the month progresses. The Leander office has the other side of the building open now and in use for sick patients only and the other side of the building is for well check patients only. We are having patients roomed into exam rooms without having wait time in the waiting rooms or parents can stay in their cars and check in via phone and be called when their exam room is ready. This way we can keep well patients safe and please know that well patients would not be in the same exam room as a sick patient in any office location.

We also ask that, when you visit one of the office locations for either a well check or a sick visit, we ask that you bring as few family members as possible, limiting to one adult is best, and consider asking elderly family who may be at a higher risk to remain at home.

Telemedicine visits 

Each provider is able to do telemedicine visits for things like rashes, eye infections, constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, allergies, or ADD follow ups. If you choose to cancel a well check appointment that does not require vaccines, but have concerns you would like to discuss, a telemedicine visit can also be scheduled. Call the office to set up a telemedicine appointment, sign into your patient portal 15-30 minutes prior to appointment time and answer a few questions and it is as easy as that! If you can take your child’s vitals such as temperature, weight, respiratory rate, that’s even better!

COVID-19 symptoms or exposure—OR any parent or patient with fever, or upper respiratory symptoms

We are asking any parent or patient with fever and/or upper respiratory symptoms like cough, congestion, or shortness of breath to NOT ENTER THE OFFICE and park their car and call the office for further directions. Each office location has all patients NOT entering the office with fever or URI symptoms. Our providers are doing outside visits or “car visits” in full PPE (personal protective equipment) and all equipment and supplies are cleaned between patients.

Other sick visit appointments

The Austin and Cedar Park offices are doing other types of sick visits in the office in the afternoons. Our Leander location has one side of the building dedicated to sick patients only throughout the day.

Well check appointments

The Austin and Cedar Park offices are having well check appointments during the mornings and, if needed, first thing right after lunch when sick children would be doing car visits and are not inside the office. The Leander office has the other side of the building in use for well check patients only. This way we can keep well patients safe and please know that no well patient would be in an exam room before or after a sick patient in any office location.

We also ask that, when you visit one of the office locations for either a well check or a sick visit, we ask that you bring as few family members as possible, limiting to one adult is best, and consider asking elderly family who may be at a higher risk to remain at home.

We are continuing with our sanitation checklist at each location all during the day and after every patient. Please know that each and every child and parent we want to keep as safe and healthy as we can! THANK YOU for your continued patience during this time.

March 17, 2020

With Coronavirus cases confirmed here in Central Texas, we are asking all patients who exhibit symptoms of the virus (fever, cough, congestion, or shortness of breath) and have traveled internationally or domestically in the last 30 days, been on a cruise, or been in contact with someone who was exposed to or has been tested for the Corona virus — to call our office for triage and if an office visit is needed, please remain in your vehicle and call our office when you are in the parking lot. Please DO NOT enter our office.

This process will help make sure that our waiting rooms and exam rooms remain as safe and sanitary as possible and anyone who could be a risk remains at a safe distance from other patients and family members. We are doing everything we can to ensure that every parent, patient, and staff remains safe and healthy in our offices. We take great care to keep our offices clean and safe.

We also ask that, when you visit one of the office locations for either a well check or a sick visit, we ask that you bring as few family members as possible, limiting to one adult is best, and consider asking elderly family who may be at a higher risk to remain at home.

At the offices this week, several providers are off for Spring Break, so we have already implemented specific rooms for well and sick visits and limiting waiting room wait times. We do ask that you keep your well check/immunization visits so that your child does stay on schedule as per the CDC recommendation.

As of Monday, March 23, 2020, our Austin and Cedar Park offices will be implementing revised appointment scheduling to have well check appointments in the morning and sick visit appointments in the afternoon. At our Leander location, since that office building is larger than the others, we will not be rescheduling at this time, however, we will have a sick side of the building and a well check side of the building to ensure patients are not intermingled together. We have implemented telemedicine visits for certain conditions when possible.

Any patients, whether well or sick, a baby or a teenager, are always welcome to call when arriving to the office parking lot and let the front office know you have arrived and inquire if an exam room is ready for you to minimize waiting room time. If there is not an exam room ready, our staff will be happy to call you when it is if you would like to wait in the car

How can I protect my family?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, sing the Happy Birthday song twice!
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth and tell your children the same. 
  • Stay home if you are sick. Self-quarantine until your symptoms resolve and up to 14 days helps to prevent spreading.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, try to cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Throw your tissues in the trash immediately and wash your hands again. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid handshakes, hugs, and kisses.
  • Wash stuffed animals or other plush toys, following manufacturer’s instructions and dry completely. 
  • Avoid non-essential travel, avoid play dates. 
  • Practice social distancing by limiting gatherings to 10 people or less, maintain at least 6 feet distance between yourself and others.

Helpful links to keep you updated on COVID-19