An open letter from Silver Spring Pediatrics:
Dear Patients and Families,
The COVID-19 situation has evolved and will continue to evolve rapidly. Information from Europe in addition to the experience of Asian countries including China, South Korea, and Thailand, has emphasized the importance of social distancing. As this information has come in from Europe, US health officials have tightened and lengthened the recommendations on social distancing, school closures and the size of gatherings.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, believes the next few weeks are crucial to slowing the spread of coronavirus, frequently referred to as "flattening the curve." Fauci urges, "Everybody has got to get involved in distancing themselves socially," adding that "we feel that with rather stringent mitigation and containment. . . we would be able to prevent ourselves from getting to where, unfortunately, Italy is now."
We at Silver Spring Pediatrics believe in following the CDC, WHO and the Maryland Department of Health recommendations as closely as possible. We are frequently monitoring all of these expert opinions to be able to share the latest, safest guidance with you and provide the best care possible. However, these organizations have failed to elaborate or advise on areas where we get the most questions--daycare, playdates, returning to work when COVID-19 hasn't been confirmed, etc. The following guidance incorporates the expert opinions and what we feel is safest for our patients, as well as most responsible from a public health perspective.
We currently recommend the following:
1. Follow all CDC, federal, state and local guidelines.
2. If you are sick, STAY HOME until you are fully recovered.
3. Avoid all public gatherings of more than 10 people.
4. Limit non-essential public activities as much as possible.
5. If possible, keep children home from daycare.
6. Avoid all play places (indoor and out), museums, gyms, pools, etc.
7. Avoid non-essential domestic air travel.
8. Avoid playgroups and playdates.
We believe these efforts are required to mitigate a potential public health crisis and to protect you and your family.
We regret that there are not more concrete guidelines about returning to work, if you are still working outside the home. There are guidelines for those who have had a known COVID-19 diagnosis.
New as of 3/26/2020: Guidelines from Maryland Department of Health for people with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but who are not tested. Self-isolation is to be continued at home until:
(1) At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory
symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
(2) At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
New as of 4/3/2020: The CDC recommends the use of masks (cloth) in public settings, e.g grocery stores. They should be breathable, multiple layers and be able to be laundered. Cloth masks are recommended to ensure adequate supply of N95 and other surgical masks for health care workers. See here for more information: CDC Cloth Face Coverings
We are here to help you and your children during this trying, uncertain time. Please call us with questions or concerns.
Drs. DeConcini, Schooler, Zang, Wang, Yee & Marcus
Silver Spring Pediatrics