By now most schools have resumed classes. Some schools offer only remote learning due to city ordinance, while other schools offer a choice of remote, on-site, or a hybrid of the two learning modes. Parents have to decide which mode of learning is best for their children, trying to balance safety concerns because of SARS-COV2 with advantages of learning and socialization in a school setting. As mentioned in our last newsletter, the best scenario that we can hope for is that everyone follows the guidelines of wearing mask at all times in public, keeping physically distant, and washing/disinfecting hands often. Then we may expect to see very few sick patients from SARS-COV2 and other respiratory illnesses.
In the month of August and first half of September, we have seen a “near normal” number of well visits, while the number of sick visits remained low. Because of the reduced sick visits, we have decided to cut back on the evening hours. Starting the week of 9/14, the office will close at 7 PM, Monday through Friday. Saturday hours are 9 AM-1PM. Sunday hours are 9AM-1PM for sick visits by appointment only. We may close early (e.g. 11 AM or12 PM) on Sundays if there are no calls by then for sick visits. Therefore, we encourage parents/patients to call early and schedule for an appointment if a child has a fever, rather than waiting till 12PM and call for an appointment at that time.
As many of our patients already know, we have decided to keep our front door locked so that any visitor is first screened negative by phone for any history of contact with COVID19 and any symptoms of COVID19, before the visitor is allowed entry. A door bell with camera has been installed at the entrance. Any patient who has a positive screen and needs to be seen will be led by a staff member to come in by the back entrance to the second floor, which our landlord has allowed us to use for sick visits.
Our first shipment of flu vaccine has arrived. We are vaccinating all children 6 months and older against influenza. We encourage patients to call and schedule an appointment for the flu vaccine. Because of our locked-door policy, patients who come for the flu clinic will need to wait in the parking lot until our nursing staff let them in.
For patients who come without a car, whether for a sick visit, a well visit, or flu clinic, please inform our staff and we will make sure that they are not left outdoors for long.
We continue to encourage patients and parents to sign up for access to MyChart, the patient portal to our electronic medical record system. Parents of children between 13-17 years can have a limited access to the record based on our adolescent confidentiality policy. However, having access to MyChart also means you can communicate with us by email, including sending photos of any skin conditions of concern, and setting up virtual visits via Zoom application. We can also send notifications to you, such as this newsletter. Therefore, please inform your friends who are also patients of this practice and who have not yet signed up for MyChart. Simply call us at (781) 322-5101 and provide us with your email address, and we will send instructions and an activation code to you.
Pediatric Associates of Malden