At Color Country Pediatrics the health and safety of the pediatric population in our community is our top priority. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic we wanted to provide you with some information, as well as changes we have made to the office environment, in our efforts to provide the best possible healthcare for our patients. As you know, this is a very fluid situation and the information we receive changes daily, sometimes hourly. We will do our best to keep you updated on any important information we feel necessary to relay on to you. As always, please call our office if you have any questions or concerns.

COVID-19 signs and symptoms:

According to the CDC the most common symptoms (with the percentage of how often they occur in symptomatic patients) are:

-Fever (77-98%)

-Cough (46-82%)

-Fatigue (11-52%)

-Shortness of breath (3-31%)

Less common or rare symptoms include sore throat, headache, cough with sputum production, congestion (only for pediatric population, but very uncommon).

That being said, there has been much less COVID-19 activity in children than adults. Children who have tested positive for COVID-19 have largely had mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. To date there have been no reported pediatric deaths in the United States. Southwestern Utah has very little activity with 4 confirmed cases and no confirmed cases in Iron County. As mentioned before, information changes daily and we will let you know if/when there are confirmed cases in our County.

COVID-19 Prevention:

The CDC has information available on how COVID-19 spreads, steps to protect yourself and others, and tips on cleaning and disinfecting your household. Please visit their website here. Most importantly, washing your hands frequently and staying home when you are sick are the best ways to prevent the spread of germs.

What to do if you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19:

If you feel like your child is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or you have been exposed to someone who is being tested for COVID-19 we ask that you call the Utah coronavirus hotline BEFORE coming into our office. We are currently not testing for COVID-19 in our office for multiple reasons. First, we do not have the supply of protective equipment required for testing patients, and secondly, we do not want to risk possibly exposing other patients who are in our office. This follows national and state guidelines to only provide testing in certain locations. Again, please call the hotline at 1-800-456-7707 where they can answer your questions and give you guidance on whether or not you or your child requires testing. Intermountain Healthcare has also just created a helpful website specifically for COVID-19 that has links to a COVID-19 specific symptom checker, directs to help and information, as well as an option for a live chat to ask questions about COVID-19. It's a great resource and we encourage our patients to use it if they have questions or concerns.

Changes to our office:

In efforts to provide you and your child with the best possible care we have made a few changes to our office.

  • We are doing our best to keep sick and well patients separated. We have made specific "sick waiting areas" and "well check waiting areas" and we ask that you please help us in trying to follow these protocols. If possible, please do not bring extra children into the office, especially if they are sick. If your child is here for a well child check-up and they are sick, or they are with a sibling who is sick, we ask that you please let our front staff know upon check in.
  • Following recently released recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), we are still strongly encouraging patients to come in for their regular scheduled Well Child exams and immunizations. Now, more than ever, we feel it is important to bring your children in for their well child check-ups so we can continue to monitor their physical and mental well-being. This is especially true for our adolescent population where recent changes and stressors can have a negative effect on their mental health. The AAP has also released guidance about talking to your children about COVID-19. They give some great advice and tips on staying age appropriate, watching for signs of anxiety and more. You can find their information here.
  • Many patients come into our office for sick visits with very mild symptoms, symptoms that have recently started (within that day), or sometimes no symptoms at all (just exposure). While we absolutely will see your child if you are concerned, we ask that you try and monitor them at home if you feel comfortable. This is not only to protect the patients in our office, but mostly to protect your child from being exposed to anything else unnecessarily. Feel free to use our online symptom checker, or call our office if you are unsure if you should bring your child into the office or not.
  • We have removed all toys from the waiting room, as well as every patient room, both on the sick and well sides. In order to decrease the spread of germs we have decided to remove toys from our office for the time being.
  • We will be doing more frequent deep cleaning of our office furniture including, exam beds, chairs, and equipment.

We promise to do our part to help keep your children healthy and safe. We truly want to provide the best possible care and we feel these changes will help us do so. If you have any questions about these changes, or anything else, please feel free to call our office.

Helpful links and references used in this post:

Utah Coronavirus Information

CDC

Intermountain Symptom Checker