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COVID-19 & CPCMG:
What you need to know

While it is important to stay home and practice social distancing, it is also important to maintain your family’s health. This includes your child’s well visits, immunizations and preventative screenings.

Background: The novel coronavirus (which causes a disease known as COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. All U.S. states are reporting community spread of COVID-19 with some communities having greater spread than others. People in the U.S. and in our communities have acquired COVID-19 through travel, having close contact with someone known to be infected with the virus and through unknown contacts of people infected with the virus.

In early July, both San Diego and Riverside Counties were placed on the state’s Monitoring List after each region’s case rate went above 100 positive cases per every 100,000 people three days in a row.  Keeping track of this data allows the public to monitor the impact of opening business and education sectors and for better understanding of when local health officers and county officials determine that it is necessary to put new interventions in place.

Symptoms: Patients with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported-ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.  Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with the following symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever or chills
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

This list does not include all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

To date, most cases of COVID-19 in children are asymptomatic or mild. There have been some rare, well publicized cases in children having an inflammatory condition presenting with a persistent fever several weeks after a COVID-19 infection.

Higher Risks: Older adults and patients with conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or weakened immune systems are felt to be at higher risk. Public health agencies are recommending that people at higher risk of severe illness should stay home unless medical care is needed.

Video Visits: Many mild medical problems can be treated with a CPCMG Video Visit. These visits are available 7 days per week and can be scheduled on MyChart. We encourage you to consider this option. Detailed information is available here.

Testing:

Standard COVID-19 PCR Tests
For patients having a known exposure, risk factors or symptoms concerning for COVID-19, we are able to offer fast testing at one of our health centers by appointment. Results can be as quick as 24-48 hours. In addition, our sites are now able to offer routine COVID-19 testing of asymptomatic children during their regularly scheduled visits. In select cases, we are also able to offer testing of caregivers. At this time, we do NOT have the staffing capacity to offer asymptomatic test only “nurse” visits or walk-in testing.

Antibody Tests

  • Office Based Rapid Tests:
    • Available tests are non-FDA approved and after reviewing the scientific data, we do not feel that these tests are either reliable or accurate enough to offer to you.
    • We are committed to offering you high quality and responsible health care.
    • When accurate office antibody testing becomes available, we will be in line to offer this testing.
  • Hospital and Large Lab Tests:
    • Many hospitals and large labs such as Quest offer antibody testing on a limited basis.
    • At this time, these tests appear to be more reliable than the office based tests.
    • The tests can be used to detect a past suspected infection, which may be helpful for some patients and families with increased risks of complications from COVID-19.

Prevention Tips: The same practices recommended during cold and flu season should be practiced:

  • Stay home except for essential needs/activities.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or wash with alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home and away from people if you become sick.
  • Stay home from work and keep children home from school or daycare if you or your child is sick (except to get medical care).
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or with your arm when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (like doorknobs and light switches).
  • Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress.
  • Practice “physical distancing”: stay six feet away from others and follow public health guidelines on gatherings.
  • Wear non-medical cloth face coverings while in public.
  • If you smoke or vape, consider quitting as you are likely at increased risk for developing severe COVID-19 complications.

Hours & Appointments: We’re here to keep kids healthy. All CPCMG offices are open and ready to see all patients. Well visits are available in the mornings and early afternoon and sick child appointments are available in the later afternoons and evenings. Take a look at the latest CPCMG video to learn more!

Commitment to Patient Safety: The safety and well-being of our patients and community members is our highest priority. We have taken the following steps to ensure patient experience.

  • We continue enhanced “deep cleanings” nightly at all of our offices with routine cleaning between patients.
  • We have taken steps to move the majority of our well visits to our morning and early afternoon clinics and have designated exam rooms that will remain as well exam rooms throughout the day.
  • All patients are being screened for risks at the time of their appointments and/or upon arrival at our offices so that we can direct them to the appropriate level of care.
  • All staff and providers are screened for COVID-19 risks on arrival to their workplace each day.

Visitors: While providing an enhanced safety experience, we have new visitor guidelines to protect you, your families, other CPCMG families, staff and providers.  We appreciate your cooperation during this challenging time.

  • Every individual entering a CPCMG office shall wear a face covering and will be screened for health and travel history.
  • Absent extenuating circumstances, only one adult (18 and older, parent or caregiver) is allowed to accompany your child to their appointment.
  • Please do not bring other children or family members to the appointment. This includes bringing another adult family member to supervise children (who don’t have an appointment) in CPCMG waiting rooms.
  • No one under the age of 18 may accompany a patient to any appointment at a CPCMG office.
  • If you are a new parent and plan to bring an additional family member to your child’s appointment, please let our scheduler know.

Masks:  The use of face coverings among the general public is required by the State of California. As such, it is our policy that all patients and families must wear cloth or non-medical face coverings (i.e. bandanas, scarves, etc.) in our offices. For children 2 years and younger, alternative coverings such as a blanket over the carrier or stroller are recommended. We respectfully ask that families bring their own face covering for their children and themselves. In some cases, we may provide masks to patients who are symptomatic when they come to our offices based on individual needs. This approach helps us ensure that we have masks for the patients and staff who need them most urgently.

Treatment/Evaluation: There is no specific outpatient treatment for COVID-19. The great majority of infected children ages birth to 19 are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms and will recover on their own. However, if your child is having persistent fever, appears especially ill, trouble breathing (breathing fast, short of breath, noise heard with breathing, or using extra muscles between the ribs), persistent pain or pressure in the chest, bluish lips/face, or difficult to arouse, this should be reported immediately.

Call Ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19, please call your primary care office. It’s important to call us before you come in. Calling ahead helps us direct you to the most appropriate care, and take precautions to protect other patients, their families, and employees.

If your family has lost health insurance coverage due to job loss or reduced hours, don’t worry. You’ve got options.
Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace, is a free service that will connect you to insurance options that will work for your family. CPCMG accepts most HMO, PPO, EPO, indemnity, fee-for-service and Medi-Cal health plans including many offered through Covered California. Visit our web site to find an office near you. To see which plans have CPCMG physicians in the Covered CA network, enter the CPCMG physician names when prompted in the Shop and Compare feature on the Covered California website.

Visit the CDC website for the latest COVID-19 information.