Pediatric Care Center

 

Today's Medicine With a Tender Touch

COVID-19 Updates and FAQs

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The situation around the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve.  For the most accurate and up-to-date information, we highly recommend that our patients refer to the CDC website and Maryland Department of Health Website.  We also recommend DC COVID Connect, a website organized by GW medical students.

Please be mindful of the widespread misinformation about coronavirus online, and always refer to trusted medical sites for verified information.

Is COVID testing available in the office?

Yes.  We currently have same-day PCR testing available for symptomatic or high-risk patients, and can offer rapid antigen and/or send-out PCR testing for all others.  Results of send-out PCR tests are usually available within 24-48 hours.  Testing for patients who are symptomatic or who have a known exposure to COVID-19 can be arranged through an in-person or virtual visit with one of our doctors.  Routine testing for school, work or travel can be scheduled through our nurses.  

 

Most testing will be performed outside, weather permitting.

What should I do if I think I might have been exposed to or contracted the virus?

Testing and clinical guidance can be arranged by scheduling a virtual (telemedicine) visit with one of our doctors, who will evaluate you and determine the best course of action.  The CDC has recently issued new guidelines for isolation and quarantine, a summary of which is below.  For complete details, click here.

IF YOU HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Stay home for 5 full days (your first day of symptoms or positive test result is Day 0).  Wear a well-fitting mask around others in your household if you cannot stay fully isolated. 

  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house but should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days.

  • Those who are unable to wear a mask (e.g., young children) should isolate at home for a full 10 days.

  • Travel is NOT recommended until 10 days have passed since symptom onset or your positive test,

If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

 

IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEONE WITH COVID-19

If you have been boosted or have completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months

OR

Have had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days

  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days.

  • Test on day 5.  (People who have had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days do not need to test.)

If you develop symptoms at any time, get a test and stay home.

If you completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted
OR
Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted
OR
Are unvaccinated

  • Stay home for 5 full days (your first day of symptoms or positive test result is Day 0). Wear a well-fitting mask around others in your household if you cannot stay fully isolated. 

  • Test on day 5 or later.

  • If your test is negative, you no longer need to stay home but should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days.

  • Those who are unable to wear a mask (e.g., young children) should quarantine at home for 10 full days.

If you develop symptoms at any time, get a test and stay home.

 

Please note that these guidelines represent the MINIMUM isolation and quarantine recommendations.  To prevent the spread of COVID-19 to high-risk individuals, a longer isolation or quarantine period may sometimes be advisable. 

Keep in mind that most children, adolescents, and young adults who develop symptoms of COVID-19 will have a relatively mild and self-limited illness and can receive supportive care at home.  More information about caring for a family member with COVID-19 symptoms can be found here

Anyone with difficulty breathing or speaking, persistent chest pain or pressure, confusion, trouble waking up, or a bluish discoloration of the lips or face should seek medical attention right away. 

What do I need to know about Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C)?

MIS-C is a rare but serious downstream reaction to COVID-19 infection that causes a systemic inflammatory response.  It tends to occur several weeks after a child was infected with SARS-CoV-2.  Children who exhibit the following symptoms should be evaluated by a healthcare provider:

  • Fever for > 24 hours (especially fever lasting for more than 3 days)

  • Abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea

  • Neck pain or stiffness

  • Headache

  • Rash

  • Redness of eyes, lips or tongue

  • Unusual fatigue

Most children diagnosed with MIS-C require hospitalization, but almost all recover fully.  For more information about MIS-C from the CDC, click here

Is the COVID vaccine safe for children?  
We are thrilled that the COVID vaccine is now available for school-age children, and we wholeheartedly recommend that our families vaccinate their children as soon as they are eligible.  In recent studies, the vaccine was found to be safe, effective and well tolerated.  If you have specific questions about the vaccine and your child, please call our office to schedule a televisit with one of our physicians.