COVID-19 Updates and FAQs
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. Routine COVID testing (such as that required for travel and school/camp entry in asymptomatic patients) is available at our office through a nurse appointment.
Testing for patients who are symptomatic or who have been exposed to coronavirus can be scheduled after a virtual visit with one of our doctors.
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?
If you have been exposed to coronavirus or have developed possible symptoms (with or without a known exposure), you and your family should self-isolate. 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.
For those with confirmed COVID-19 infection, self-isolation is recommended for 10 days AND until fever-free for at least 24 hours with improving symptoms. Retesting is not necessary in most cases. Click here for recommendations from the CDC.
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
Redness of eyes, lips or tongue
Most children diagnosed with MIS-C require hospitalization, but almost all recover fully. For more information about MIS-C from the CDC, click here.
What should I do about school, daycare, sports, play dates and travel?
Ah, the million-dollar question. While we strongly recommend following local rules and CDC guidelines related to COVID-19, there is an important caveat - just because something is ALLOWED does NOT mean it is necessarily a good idea for everyone. For instance, while accepting the risks that come with having a child in daycare or an in-person school might make sense for some families, we would not generally recommend this for families where someone is at higher risk for serious illness (for instance, a grandparent who lives in the home or who routinely provides care for the children).
Every family should consider what level of risk they are willing to accept as we all adjust to this “new normal,” and understand that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach. YES, we should all wear masks to protect those around us and limit the spread. YES, we should all continue to socially distance. But there is a huge gray area concerning whether play dates, soccer practices, tennis lessons, swimming pools and vacations are a good idea. Families should use their best judgment and consider local rates of infection and their own family’s particular risk factors when making decisions.
For the CDC’s recommendations on this topic, including a decision-making tool for parents, please click here. Guidance on a variety of similar topics (going to the pool, eating at restaurants, etc.) can be found here.