A Letter From Dr. Schechtman

3/13/20 10:00am

Dear Pediatric Partners’ patients, families, neighbors and staff:Para version en Español por favor haga click aquí y cambie el idioma de la página de inglés a español en el botón de menú de idioma que se encuentra en el borde superior.

As a valued patient and partner of our Pediatric Partners’ family, I appreciate the trust you place in us every day for your child’s health care. In these times of rapid changes, our commitment remains unchanged to provide the best healthcare for you and your family.

We have implemented an enhanced triage system consisting of Pediatric Partners’ nurses and physicians who will remain available  24/7 to answer any of your questions and concerns regarding coronavirus (COVID-19). We have also provided additional training for our staff on infectious disease prevention including proper hand washing and frequent cleaning of high touch surface areas. We have always used CDC recommended cleaning techniques of our exam rooms between patient visits.

As always, the personal safety and health of our patients and employees is at the forefront of all of our daily decisions as we manage the quickly evolving epidemiology of this novel virus. We will continue to follow CDC (the Center for Disease Control and Prevention), Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendations and guidelines. As pediatricians and leaders in our community, we will continue to approach decision making for individual patients, families and our staff based on sound clinical decision making, the same as we always have done.

Please go to our dedicated website for up-to-date information, https://www.pediatricpartners.com/coronavirus and to view our child friendly hand washing videos. Our website includes many helpful resources from trusted sources including how best to speak with your child regarding what is happening.

What we know so far is that children are fortunately not presenting with serious illness from Coronavirus. We must remain diligent and at the same time remain calm so together we can make the best decision for your child.

Here are some important facts to keep in mind from the Children’s Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado School of medicine:

  • The risk of your child getting COVID-19 requires one of the following to have occurred.
    • Close contact with a person who is lab-test-confirmed COVID-19 AND contact occurred while they were ill. Close contact means being within 6 feet (2 meters) of a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case for prolonged period of time (~10 minutes or more). Examples of close contact include kissing, hugging, sharing eating or drinking utensils, carpooling, close conversation or direct contact with infectious secretions of a confirmed case of COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on).
    • Close contact with a person is under investigation for COVID-19 and contact occurred when they were ill.
    • Living in or travel from a city, country or other geographic area where there is documented person-to-person transmission (community spread) of confirmed COVID-19 carries a small risk. This risk increases in areas of major community spread as listed by the CDC at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
  • Activities that do NOT cause COVID-19 infections (low risk):
    • Being in the same school, church, workplace or building as one person with COVID-19 (as long as there is not close contact as described above).
    • Walking by a person who has COVID-19.
    • Close contact with a person who was exposed to COVID-19 more than 14 days ago and never developed any symptoms.
    • The virus is not spread by skin contact alone (hands), it must enter via direct contact with mucous membranes (mouth, nose, eyes) or via airborne droplet inhalation.
  • How to protect yourself from getting sick:
    • Avoid contact with people known to have COVID-19 infection (e.g., talking to, sitting next to, same room)
    • Try to avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing.
    • Cough and sneeze into your shirt sleeve or arm rather than into your hand or the air.
    • Wash hands often with soap and water, especially before you eat.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water is not available.
    • Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth unless your hands are clean. Germs on the hands can get into your body this way.
    • Do not share eating (e.g., spoon, fork) or drinking utensils. Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
    • No longer shake hands with people. Greet others with a smile and a nod.
    • The CDC does not recommend wearing a face mask, unless you are sick.
    • Get adequate sleep and stay well hydrated.
  • Testing for Coronavirus
    • Pediatric Partners will begin testing for coronavirus early next week when test kits are made available at our Palm Beach Gardens office location by appointment only.
    • We will only test patients that meet the CDC recommendations for testing which requires illness or history that puts patients at risk.

Please do NOT go to the Emergency Department without calling us first. Our offices will remain open to provide routine care, newborn care, physical examinations, consults, med-checks and sick care (for all reasons, not just coronavirus). Our behavioral health team is also here to provide you with the support you may need.

I want to reassure you that I, along with my terrific team of pediatricians, nurse practitioners, nurses and our entire staff at Pediatric Partners will continue to be by your side as we partner together to help your child remain safe and healthy.

Pediatric Partners is with you, for your child, for years to come…..

Dr. Tommy