COVID-19  Information  

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to the office, from visitor restrictions in our building and appointment check-in from the car, to telehealth appointments and drive-by testing. Thank you for being flexible as we adapt to an ever-changing situation.

Here are two things you can do to make sure you get the information you need:

  • Make sure you have an active portal account. Not only is this an easy way to ask questions and see growth charts and immunization records, this is the fastest way to get your COVID test results if needed for school or work. Not sure if you have an account? Call us!

  • Be sure we have your correct phone and email information so you can receive important announcements and updates. 

How do I know if I need a test? When do I need a test for school?
Here are two places to start.

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What's the difference between quarantine and isolation? What do I do?

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How long do we have to quarantine? Or isolate? Or both?

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COVID-19 FAQs

My child has a cough. How do I know if they have COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, nasal congestion, and shortness of breath. Some people's symptoms are severe and others have symptoms of a common cold. In general, children are more likely to have little or no symptoms. Unfortunately the only real way to tell the difference between COVID-19 and other illnesses such as colds, RSV, or croup is to test.

In general, we will treat all respiratory symptoms the same way we always have, regardless of if it is a cold, influenza, or COVID-19. Rest, fluids, steamy showers and nasal saline are still your best bet. And just like always, we are here to answer your questions (even if it takes a little longer to get to your call!), and we are ready to take further steps if your child gets worse. How we do that has changed; we may start with a telemedicine visit, or if you need to come to the office how you enter and how we are dressed may be different. Regardless, your first step is to call us!

How can I tell if my child is getting worse and I need to call?

While this may look different for every child and every situation, we definitely want to hear from you if you are worried. We want to know if your child is too lethargic to respond to their name or look at a toy, if they are unable to drink fluids or are not urinating, or if a fever is lasting more than 3-4 days.

 

These are the symptoms we would want you to call for right away:

Shortness of breath, having trouble talking

Working hard to breath, stomach and chest heaving with each breath

Retractions: seeing the ribs stick out with each breath

Having trouble eating, talking, drinking

Breathing fast

Wheezing

Color change: face is blue or very pale

This video demonstrates some of the breathing difficulties infants can have. It shows an infant working hard to breath with RSV (starts at 0:12). 

I have a family member with COVID-19-like symptoms. How do I keep the rest of the family from getting sick?

The key words are distance, masks, ventilation and cleaning! Keep food and personal items separate, wash high-touch surfaces frequently, and keep the sick person away from others as much as is possible depending on age and home situation. Wear masks if possible. Keep windows open when you can to encourage ventilation. A separate bedroom and bathroom would be ideal. The CDC has some more detailed tips. And as always, lots of hand-washing!

Can my child get a COVID-19 test?

Currently there are multiple options for testing. We offer both PCR and rapid tests for our patients, but are unable to test parents. The Oregon Health Authority has a web page devoted to finding testing.

Why do we have to wear masks in the office? Why can't I wear one with a valve?

 

There is solid evidence that masks help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We wear masks to protect ourselves, each other and you, and we ask that you do likewise. When you wear a facial covering you are protecting yourself and your family, and are helping us protect ourselves and all of our patients. Thank you!

We do not allow masks with exhalation valves or vents in the office. Per the CDC, "The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control. However, masks with one-way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material, which can result in expelled respiratory droplets that can reach others.  This type of mask does not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting COVID-19 to others. Therefore, CDC does not recommend using masks for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent."

 

We do not allow wearing a face shield without a mask. You are welcome to wear one along with a mask if you would like. Again, per the CDC, "A face shield is primarily used for eye protection for the person wearing it. At this time, it is not known what level of protection a face shield provides to people nearby from the spray of respiratory droplets from the wearer. There is currently not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields for source control. Therefore, CDC does not currently recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks."

 

Remember, infants and children under the age of 2 should not wear masks or face shields. 

My family is healthy. ​Why do we need to practice social distancing? My kids need to get out!

We don't have a cure. We don't have a vaccine. We don't have enough hospital beds and ventilators if too many people get sick too fast. Staying at Home is the best way you can protect yourself, protect others in your community who could easily die from COVID-19, and help the doctors and nurses and many other people working hard to save lives in the hospital. We are all in this together, and we each can make a big difference in flattening the curve.

In the words of Dr Kate Tulenko, a pediatric global health expert, "Every day you stay home is another day the health care system can prepare and can work on treatments and a vaccine."

That being said, playing outside, taking a walk, or going for a hike in areas without many people are good for our physical and mental health.

Below is a video explaining why social distancing is important, and a video story for young children.

Should I keep my child's appointment for their check-up?​ Is it safe to come to the office?

Yes! One of the ways we can keep our community healthy is to keep individuals healthy. Check-ups and other preventive care is just as important, and even more so, than it was 2 months ago. We still need our infants and children vaccinated, we still need to screen for other diseases or developmental delays that continue to happen even in a Coronavirus world, and we need to check in on the mental health of adolescents (and their parents!). Chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes need to be managed proactively. We are also following the CDC's and the Oregon Health Authority's guidance that vaccines are an essential service, as is well-child care as long as it is done in a manner that is safe and separates well patients from those that are ill.

 

Here are the measures we have taken to ensure safety for patients, families, and staff.

We are physically separating well and sick patients. Our main office (suite 30) is being used for well patients, and our adolescent clinic (suite 32) is being used for any ill patient who need to come in. Suite 32 has its own separate entrance and we can bring patients in straight from a side door in the building.

We are screening patients and family for symptoms of illness before coming into the office.

We are practicing social distancing in the office by not having people stay in the waiting room. You will be asked to call from your car when you arrive and will be directed straight to a room. 

We are using telemedicine video visits when appropriate. 

We are having staff work from home when possible.

We are wearing masks at all times as do our patients and families.

You can see what these changes look like here.

What can I do if my child has a chronic medical condition or other risk factors?

The best way to protect your child is staying home and practicing strict social distancing. It is also important to keep your child's medical condition well-controlled.

  • Don't miss doses of maintenance medications. This includes any steroids for asthma.

  • Make sure you have a month's supply of your child's prescription medications, such as inhalers.

  • Call us if you have any concerns.

How can I help?

You have all been amazing in your support for us and our community. Your donations to our office help us to continue caring for children while keeping families and staff safe. Thank you! Here are other ways to help.

  • Stay strong with social distancing... it's working! The curve is flattening which is not only good news for Oregonians, it's allowing us to share resources with New York. Don't let up now!

  • Keep checking in on family, friends, and neighbors. Can you pick up someone's prescriptions, deliver their groceries, or sew them a mask? Each time you pitch in like that for your community, you are helping avoid a potential exposure.

  • If you have PPE to donate, contact your local fire station.

  • If you want to help the larger Portland community, check out the PDX Mutual Aid Network.

How can I get help?

Do you need help with groceries or picking up a prescription? Something else? The PDX Mutual Aid Network may be able to help. Complete a form describing what you need and they will connect you with someone able to help.

Need help with food, utilities, rent or more? Congressman Blumenauer has collected multiple resources all in one place. You can also call 211 from a landline or 503-222-5555 for assistance.

I have so many questions!

You are in good company! Our questions are coming faster than the answers. As we learn more every day, the CDC is updating their FAQ page regularly.

Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) sounds scary. What do I need to know?

MIS-C is an extremely rare but serious condition in children that requires hospitalization. It appears to be complication of COVID-19. As explained by the CDC, "Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. We do not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, we know that many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care."

MIS-C typically develops in the six weeks following a COVID-19 infection or exposure to COVID-19. Here are the symptoms to look for:

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Why can't my child exercise even if they have a positive test but have no symptoms?

COVID-19 infection has been shown to cause heart inflammation in youngsters, even with mild or asymptomatic infections. Both myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and epicarditis (inflammation of the lining around the heart) have been seen. Steps need to be taken to either clear a student athlete or possibly obtain an ECG or a cardiology consultation before returning to sports is safe. Read more here.

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