COVID-19 Preparation at Grow Pediatrics
To all our families,
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in MN, we wanted to let you know all of the steps that we are taking to protect our patients from the spread and transmission of the virus while receiving care at our locations. At Grow, the health and safety of our families and team members is our top priority.
We have been and continue to be in contact with MDH and our county health departments regarding current guidelines and recommendations to keep all our families protected. Because of that, we have implemented some additional protocols to help isolate and care for suspected COVID-19 cases. Some of these include:
- Increased cleaning of all clinic areas
- Removal of frequently touched items in our waiting rooms
- Use of protective personal equipment in accordance with CDC and MDH recommendations.
- Use of curbside exams and sample collection to reduce spread potential
- Increased use of telehealth visits and triage
It is important that our clinics remain safe for our families to continue to receive well-child care and care for other non-COVID-19 issues. Because of that, as of March 15, 2020, Grow Pediatrics has implemented a policy to perform assessments and care for possible COVID-19 patients curbside and outside of all clinic locations to reduce the possible spread of the illness. Also, we have always had a policy of segregating exam rooms between well and sick care to further reduce the chance of spread. While we understand that families may still be nervous to come in and receive care, we believe that these changes will keep our clinics safe for our families to receive any care they require.
The CDC has the most up to date information on COVID-19 which can be found here. Also, we have created a FAQ section below to help answer some of the most common questions. If you have additional questions, please give us a call at 651-455-9697 or send us a message through your patient portal.
Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the term for a coronavirus illness. The coronaviruses are a group of respiratory viral infections that have circulated for years. However, COVID-19 is causing global concern because it is a new type of coronavirus which we are not immune to.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 are the same as most viral respiratory infections: runny nose, congestion, cough, and fever (over 100.4F). One of the reasons COVID-19 is spreading so quickly is that in most people, symptoms are very mild to non-existent. Over 80% of infected individuals experience only mild symptoms, similar to the common cold.
Who is at risk for serious COVID-19 infection?
The elderly and other individuals with compromised immune systems are most at risk for severe COVID-19 disease. Most children experience very mild symptoms, even infants. Out of 9 infants that tested positive in China, none required any significant medical intervention.
Who should be tested for COVID-19 infection?
Because of the lack of testing supplies, healthcare providers are following the CDC recommendations that any individual who has been to a country with widespread disease (China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Japan, or Hong Kong), or has been in direct contact with a patient known to have COVID-19 disease, or been on a cruise ship in the past 14 days AND has runny nose, congestion, cough, or fever should be tested for COVID-19. At this time, tests are not performed for patients seeking “peace of mind”.
How can I be tested for COVID-19?
Grow Pediatrics and other primary care clinics are able to test for COVID-19, however, we are currently out of testing supplies at this time and are waiting for additional disbursement. If you meet the above criteria for testing, please call our clinic to see if we are able to test at that time or to receive a recommendation on where to get tested. We have protocols in place to ensure that possible COVID-19 infected patients remain isolated from the rest of our patients. Please do not go to the ER for COVID-19 testing.
What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19?
If you are concerned that you might have COVID-19, the first thing you need to do is self-quarantine to reduce spreading the virus. Then contact Grow Pediatrics or your primary care doctor to arrange for testing. Testing involves obtaining swabs from your nose and throat and sending these samples to the Minnesota Department of Health or to our 3rd party lab partners, like Quest Diagnostics. Test results typically take 24-48 hours. It is important that you remain in self-quarantine until you receive the results of your test
What is the treatment for COVID-19?
Because COVID-19 is a viral infection, there is no treatment for illness, just supportive care for the symptoms caused by the illness. The great majority of infected individuals will recover with rest and time. For those with severe respiratory symptoms, like shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, emergent medical attention should be sought, as some people will require inpatient hospital care. Unlike some rumors online, there are no proven or approved anti-viral medications at this time.
I’ve heard Tamiflu can help prevent you from getting COVID-19?
False. While Tamiflu is an anti-viral, it is specifically designed to fit into a molecular structure found on the influenza virus. Because that molecular structure is not present on the coronavirus, Tamiflu would have no preventative or treatment effects on COVID-19.
How can I prevent COVID-19?
COVID-19 is spread through infected respiratory droplets- basically snot, spit, and what we cough up. Practicing good hygiene is the absolute best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (and any disease)! If you sneeze or cough, cover your nose/mouth and wash your hands immediately. Do not share food or beverages. Avoid touching your own face and cut down on direct contact with individuals (wave instead of shaking hands).
Is it safe for me to come into the clinic and receive care for other issues?
As of March 15, 2020, Grow Pediatrics has implemented a policy to perform all exams and care for possible COVID-19 patients curbside and outside of all clinic locations to reduce the possible spread of the illness. Also, we have always had a policy of segregating exam rooms between well and sick care to further reduce the chance of spread. While we understand that families may still be nervous to come in and receive care, we believe that these changes will keep our clinics safe for our families to receive any care they require. If you need care but do not want to come in, please give us a call.