As you have come to expect, Families First Pediatrics continues to be committed to providing the best possible healthcare for our patients and your children. We are taking the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation very seriously and would like to provide an update on how our clinic will be addressing your needs.
We encourage you to make health assessments of your sick children, as you would have done prior to the Coronavirus outbreak. If you have concerns, we encourage you to have them evaluated. Thankfully, COVID-19 appears to be a much milder disease in children compared to adults with the exception of children with serious underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or heart conditions. If your child has symptoms suggestive of COVID-19: fevers, body aches, sore throat, coughing and (more so in children than adults) runny nose, but they do not seem otherwise ill, it is very reasonable to continue to watch them at home. Of course, if they have any difficulty breathing or you are more worried about them, please bring them in for evaluation. Ideally, if you have other sick children who are NOT being seen we request that they stay at home with a responsible caregiver. If you, your child, or other siblings with you are coughing, we will have masks available at the entrance and we ask that you please keep them on for the duration of your visit to protect our patients and our staff.
We are not currently testing for the Coronavirus in our clinics. If your child has been exposed to a confirmed case or you would like them tested, we encourage you to call the University of Utah hotline at 801-587-0712 to find the closest testing area. As of March 13, Riverton Hospital is working on a drive-thru testing protocol to be in place in the next week. Once we have more information about how to access Riverton Hospital’s testing and whenever there are any changes regarding the evaluation and treatment for children with COVID-19, we will be regularly updating our website (www.ffpeds.com).
Despite the current global health concerns, now more than ever, we continue to recommend routine well care for your children. For twenty years, we have separated our sick and well patients and we are uniquely positioned to offer a safe environment for your children during this COVID-19 pandemic because it’s what we have always done. We will continue to separate our sick and well child waiting and exam rooms. We ask that you not bring any sick children to the well side. As stated above, when possible, if you are bringing a child for a well visit, please leave sick siblings at home. When not possible, we ask that you check in on the sick side to maintain a healthy environment for those who are well. In addition, we will have our excellent medical assistants work with either sick or well patients for the duration of the day to help minimize any cross contamination.
We will also be actively monitoring our employees for fevers or other signs of COVID-19 and will not allow them to work if they are ill. Additionally, staff that have been exposed to known cases of COVID-19 or have recently traveled to areas more affected by the virus, will be following the 14-day self-quarantine guidelines put forward by the CDC. Please be aware that because of these restrictions, we may be understaffed but we strongly feel that the safety of our patients and staff far outweighs the increased wait times our patients may experience. Though, as always, we understand how frustrating that is for you and we will do our best to minimize this as much as possible.
We are also actively pursuing an option for telemedicine with an FFP provider for the duration of the pandemic to better serve our patients. More on this exciting development to come.
Thank you for your patience at this busy time. Please don’t hesitate to call with any questions.
Families First Pediatrics