Dear CMG families,
We hope everyone is out enjoying the incredible weather this weekend. We feel so grateful that we live in a place where we can be outside so much of the time. Make sure you are social distancing!
The last thing we need is measles amidst COVID-19. Vaccination rates for the US are down by over 40%. A vaccine-preventable disease outbreak during a global pandemic would be a public health crisis.
We continue to vaccinate our patients and want to keep all of your children on schedule. We are doing our best to provide an environment as safe as possible. Please see our website for office policies.
The Austin Public Health Department has increased the number of tests that can be performed daily. They are currently under projected volumes and offering free testing at many sites. You simply fill out the form yourself and they will direct you to the correct testing center. This is a PCR test, which shows the presence of the virus and detects active infection.
You may have also heard of “antibody testing”. This measures the presence of antibodies to determine if you have ever been infected with the novel coronavirus and recovered.
We anticipate antibody testing will make a big difference in the months to come in easing social distancing measures. There is currently a great deal of controversy around the test as to which versions are truly reliable and what level provides immunity. Unlike the PCR test, we do not currently have a way to order this for our patients, but we anticipate this changing in the near future.
We continue to see most of our acute visits via telemedicine. We are still using the platform doxy.me and our process of appointment scheduling has not changed. These appointments allow us to give advice and prescribe medications without contact or potential exposure. Despite social distancing, we are continuing to see children with fever unrelated to COVID-19. We are diagnosing strep throat, roseola, hand foot and mouth, ear infections, and gastroenteritis (stomach bug). We have not had any cases of influenza recently.
Many older children need physicals for school and overnight camp. If your child has had a well exam in the last year, most of these forms can be completed based on that visit. We do not need to see your child again to complete the form. Email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your child has not had their annual exam in the past calendar year, we will be opening up another time in the office between 1pm and 2pm to see children for well checks who do not need vaccinations. These appointments will begin in May and continue for the duration of our adjusted schedule.
The disease continues to be very mild in children. There have now been two reported cases at Dell Children’s Medical Center. One baby with fever whose mother had COVID-19. The other was an 18 year old who ended up being cared for at an adult facility. We find these numbers very reassuring. Children with chronic illnesses are more at risk for serious illness. Please continue your child’s controller medications for asthma.
Plasma exchange is being explored as a treatment for COVID-19 for the severely ill. We want to thank all our parents who have generously donated their plasma. You are amazing!! If you have had the disease and recovered, you can also donate your plasma to save lives. Travis County Medical Society is directing everyone to We Are Blood for evaluation and donations.
The CDC has reported record breaking accidents and ingestions over the last few weeks. Many of the ingestions have been due to cleaning products and hand sanitizers. Every parent should have the poison control number saved in their contacts: 1-800-222-1222. Feel free to call us with any lacerations or concerns for broken bones. We will do our best to keep your child out of the emergency room if possible.
Please feel free to contact us with any concerns or questions. We hope you are all staying healthy and well. Please give your kids some extra love from us today.
Children’s Medical Group