Coronavirus (COVID-19) NEWS UPDATES

We are actively monitoring the Coronavirus outbreak.  Please check this website for updates and resources.


4/16/2020: Smoking and vaping may increase the risk of serious health complications with COVID-19. See MGH information sheet here. 


4/13/2020: Important update regarding Asthma Action Plans: If your child has an asthma action plan (AAP) for management of either reactive airway disease or asthma please read this important update regarding AAP and COVID-19.


Breastfeeding and COVID-19 (4/13/2020)

If you are a breastfeeding mother and are suspected of having COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19:

  • Your breastmilk is still the best source of nutrition for your baby.
  • The safest and preferred way to feed your infant is to pump your breastmilk and have a healthy or non-COVID positive caregiver feed the infant your expressed breastmilk.
  • If pumping is not possible and/or a non-COVID caretaker is not available, the mother should breastfeed wearing a mask.

Please feel free to call our office if you have further questions regarding these recommendations.


TELEMEDICINE VISITS STARTING

Centre Pediatrics is committed to continuing to provide health care services to the fullest extent possible.  In order to keep providing care in the safety of your home, when possible and clinically appropriate, we are conducting many visits by telemedicine.  While we recognize that there are limitations to this format compared to face-to-face in person visits, we will do our best to continue caring for your children by conducting follow up and sick visits via telemedicine (face-to-face via computer or by phone).  Our MDs & NPs will be available Monday through Friday to assess your child and provide guidance and treatment recommendations over the phone or computer.  We will continue to remain open for necessary well visits and sick visits that cannot be adequately assessed via virtual visit. Per Governor Baker’s March 15th order on telehealth, insurance companies are required to cover any medically necessary services delivered via telehealth, whether related to COVID-19 or not.  Telemedicine visits should be covered by insurance companies but extent of coverage may vary based on individual insurance plans. 

Telephone advice: Our doctors and NPs will continue to give advice by phone.  Your insurance company may be billed, depending on the level of care (time, complexity) provided.

Please call our office to schedule your telemedicine visit.  


Expectant Parents Night:

We have cancelled our next two expectant parents nights on April 27th and May 18th.  We have made the same information available here and will be conducting these  meetings virtually. 


WALK-IN CLINIC SUSPENDED, SICK VISITS IN THE AFTERNOON ONLY. 

Please disregard all other information regarding walk-in clinic on other pages of our website.

In order to maximize safety for our patients and staff, Walk-in-Clinic at Centre Pediatrics has been suspended effective 3/13/2020.

We will continue to see patients for sick visits as scheduled visits ONLY.  Sick visits will be scheduled in the afternoon only (2:00pm-5:00pm).


Office visits: 

We are screening all patients who schedule visits by phone for coronavirus (COVID-19).  Additionally, all patients and families who come to scheduled clinic visits will be screened at check-in to help decrease the spread of this illness among our patient population.  Any patients who screen positive by phone, will be asked to stay at home as our providers work with you and the MA Department of Public Health to determine the next steps for care. If you or a family member has traveled internationally in the last 30 days OR if you have had a confirmed exposure to a patient with coronavirus EVEN if you are well, please call our office and do not come to the office or to your regularly scheduled appointment.

As of April 13, 2020 we are postponing well visits for children over the age of 18 months with the exception of the 4 year old well visit as it includes important vaccines.  All well visits will be done in the morning hours from 8:30am-1pm.  Visits will be limited to ONE parent/guardian with the child.  Please do not bring siblings to the office unless they also have a scheduled visit.


Letter to our patients and their families: March 16


Coronavirus Testing

At this time, we are unable to test for coronavirus (COVID-19) in our office.  If your child has fever, cough and congestion, our recommendation is for your child to stay at home until your child’s symptoms resolve.  If you have questions or concerns please call our office to review symptoms and need for an office visit.  


FAQ:

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?  The symptoms of COVID-19 in children appear to be mild and similar to a cold or flu-like illness. According to Dr. Kate Woodworth, M.D., M.P.H., from the CDC’s COVID-19 Response Maternal Child Health Team (from an article in the American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP NEWS), symptoms of COVID-19 in children include fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, and sore throat.  In some patients, symptoms may also include vomiting and diarrhea.  Dr. Woodworth stated that the low infection rates among children may be due to having more mild cases, which is reassuring. 

Good Hygiene Practices:  Please practice good hand washing techniques by washing frequently using soap and warm water for 20 seconds or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.   Try not to touch your face as much as possible.  Please remind children to cover their mouth and to cough or sneeze into their elbows.

Supportive Care at Home:  The main treatment for children with mild cases of Coronavirus is supportive care.  This includes fever control with acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), adequate food intake and hydration.   Please refer to our medication guide regarding dosing for acetaminophen and ibuprofen.  If your child is able to eat food, please ensure good hydration with water.   If your child’s food intake has decreased significantly, please add electrolyte drinks such as pedialyte, dilute juice, sports drinks such as Gatorade, which contain important sugars and salts.  Please monitor and call the office if your child has prolonged elevated fever, trouble breathing, decreased urine output (less than once every 6 hours), or inadequate fluid intake.  At this time, no antiviral drugs have been approved for treatment and no vaccines are available for COVID-19.

CDC Recommendations for Quarantine – If you have traveled from any CDC Level 3 or Level 2 country (As of 3/13/20, all of Europe, Iran, China, South Korea, Japan), the current recommendation is self-quarantine at home and social distancing for 14 days upon return.  For updated information regarding return from travel, self-quarantine and social distancing, please refer to the following CDC website:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Below is a list of trusted resources regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19):

Coronavirus COVID-19 Hotline (staffed by Partners Healthcare medical providers): any patient or member of the public is encouraged to contact the call line with questions and concerns and for reliable, expert information about the developing situation regarding Coronavirus.   Please call Phone Number: 617-724-7000, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Additional resources for parents (click here)