Updated Monday, March 23rd, 2020
We understand that many of you are concerned about the spread of COVID-19. At Jeffers, Mann, and Artman Pediatrics, you and your child’s safety is our top priority, and we are taking every precaution to keep your child and family safe. We thank you for the understanding, patience, and kindness you have shown this past week, and ask you to “roll with us” as we continue to make changes to keep your kids safe and healthy over these next few weeks.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, we urge all families to practice good handwashing and “social distancing” by limiting your social activities and not attending large group gatherings. The primary goal of our country needs to be to slow the spread of the virus so that our healthcare system is not overwhelmed and our vulnerable patients are not at risk. Fortunately, children who have COVID-19 do not usually have severe illness. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
JMA CLINIC CHANGES
Beginning Monday, March 23rd, 2020 we will be implementing the following changes to our clinics;
- Drive-thru clinics for sick appointments; Any patient with a COUGH, CONGESTION, RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS, SORE THROAT or FEVER will be directed to our triage nurse to assess symptoms. If an appointment is considered necessary, it will be scheduled in our new Drive-up clinics located outside select office buildings. The staff at these clinics will be wearing personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.) to evaluate your child’s symptoms as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You will be scheduled for an appointment time to minimize wait times. We hope to be able to provide this service outside most of our offices.
- Telehealth Appointments; This past week we were able to start transitioning some visits to our new telemedicine platform “Doxy.me” We are continuing to evaluate the best way to provide this service which we know will be a benefit to many of you. As always, we strive to provide the best care for your child. Telemedicine has great benefits, but also limitations. We will be updating you as we roll out this new program further.
- In office appointments are limited to well checks and some non-sick same day patients with issues such as rash and injury that are pre-approved. The American Academy of Pediatrics has urged us to continue to see well patients, especially those that are in need of vaccinations. After we get through this health crisis, there will be too many kids in need of well visits and vaccinations for our system to effectively handle. If we do not continue to see and immunize well children, as a nation, we will be putting ourselves at risk for outbreaks of other diseases like measles and whooping cough. By seeing all patients with fever, cough, congestion, or sore throat in our drive-up clinics, we are able to provide the safest environment possible for our well checkups.
- All evening clinic and weekend clinic appointments will be seen in our Raleigh office. Temporarily, the Clayton office will not be open for evening and weekend appointments so that we can have enough staff to continue to keep our drive-thru appointments available.
- We will be temporarily closing our West Cary location. Sadly, in order to have staffing to cover these changes and also continue to separate sick and well appointments, our providers from the West Cary location will be moving to our Cary and Holly Springs offices. We will be back! We hope you will hang in with us for the short term until COVID-19 is contained in our community and we can get Dr. Zarick and Dr. Fofaria back out to you.
In the interest of providing the best care for all patients, please be very upfront and inform our staff of all your symptoms when scheduling. We want to care for any patient with possible COVID-19 symptoms, but we need to do so in prepared areas and by prepared staff.
Also, we are asking any patients scheduled for well appointments in the office to call prior to leaving for their appointment if either the patient or caregiver accompanying the patient to their appointment has any cough, congestion, respiratory symptoms, sore throat or fever. For the safety of our other patients and staff, we will ask you to reschedule your well appointment if your child or anyone accompanying the child has any of these symptoms.
We are NOT accepting walk-ins. Any patient arriving at the office without an appointment will be asked to return to their car and await a phone call from a triage nurse.
We currently do NOT have routine testing for COVID-19. For further recommendations regarding what to do if your child is sick please visit the CDC’s information at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
In most cases, if your child has mild cough, sore throat or congestion, the best course of action is home care and self-quarantine. Fortunately, pediatric patients who have been infected with COVID-19 have mostly had mild cold-like symptoms. However, children and people with mild symptoms can spread the disease to others who may be at higher risk so staying home until your child is well is important in preventing others from becoming ill. If you or your child have any fever or cold symptoms, the recommendation is to stay quarantined for at least 7 days from the start of the illness and 72 hours after fever has resolved and symptoms have begun to improve.
If your child has been directly exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or if you have traveled from China, South Korea, Iran, or Europe in the past 14 days and have a cough or fever, then please call the following number:
NC DHHS COVID hotline (2-1-1) or (888-892-1162)
Wake Co. Public Health - COVID specific hotline (919-856-7044)
Johnston Co. Public Health (919-989-5400)
As always, please call with any questions and we will be happy to best direct your care. As recommendations are rapidly changing, we will keep you updated with any changes to our clinic schedules.
Please feel free to contact our office with any questions, or visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html for more information.