We are following closely all guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the Maricopa Department of Public Health. These guidelines are constantly changing as we know more about the virus, the disease and as new studies are coming out. Updates are schedule at 11a.m. every Tuesday.
As of March 18, the recommendations are as follow, but take in mind it is very likely for this to change as a minimum on a weekly basis.
1. Reassure parents that children with fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher and mild respiratory symptoms should stay home, avoid public places and contact with healthy people. If the parent/guardian is going to bring the child to an outpatient clinic to be evaluated, let them know in advance what to do when they get there (e.g., call ahead, get a face mask in the waiting room, or meet them outside).
If the child has persistent or worsening symptoms, parents/guardians should call their healthcare provider to be seen. Severe symptoms can include but are not limited to: fever that does not resolve, dehydration, irritability/fussiness, or shortness of breath.
When at home, ask parents/guardians to do their best to keep the ill child away from healthy family members. Children with fever or respiratory symptoms should stay at home until 72 hours with no fever or symptoms of acute illness.
2. We are triaging every patient for confirmed exposure and/or travel history within the last 14 days to areas of high risk. Anyone that meets criteria for high risk will be sent directly to a single room or asked to wait in their car until that room is ready.
3. If a patient has fever and respiratory symptoms the recommendations is to wear a surgical mask, gown, gloves, and protective eyewear. Testing can be done but it is very limited.
4. We are dedicating rooms to well patients and trying to have them come at the beginning of the day so that afternoons can be dedicated to anyone with symptoms.
The most reassuring thing is for parents to know that children have less severe illness with COVID-19 than adults. Overall, 5.9% of children had severe or critical disease compared with 18.5% of adults in China. There was only one pediatric death, a 14-year-old, in all of China. In other words, 94.1% of children with COVID-19 will have mild to moderate illness, which can be managed at home.
Please remember kids will be OK. Keep them home when they are sick, give them lots of rest, fluids and love. And please, please teach them to wash their hands, avoid touching their face and to cover their coughs and sneezes.