Flu Shots, COVID 19 Precautions, and High Call Volumes

Flu shots are now available for all of our patients, and – new for this year! – we are offering the flu shot to parents who accompany their child. All parents must be registered and make an appointment prior to arriving at the office. We cannot accommodate walk ins or add on appointments. There are weekend flu clinic dates available through September and October! Alternately, a patient and accompanying parent can receive the shot at their regularly scheduled well visit or in-office illness/injury visit, if appropriate. Parents interested in receiving a flu shot must register and make an appointment.

Your scheduler will walk you through updating demographics and insurance information for each person receiving a flu shot. On the day of your flu clinic appointment, you will find labeled parking spots, numbered 1 to 15 on weekends and 1 to 4 on weekdays. Choose an open spot and call our office to check in (phone numbers are listed on the sign). Weather permitting, a nurse will come out to your car and administer the vaccines. In the event of inclement weather, we have an alternate plan in place which will be communicated at check-in.

You can prepare for the flu shot by making sure the injection site is easily accessible. You may need to remove outer layers of clothing or jackets. In general, children over 4 and adults will receive the immunization in their upper arm. Most children under 4 will receive it in their upper thigh. Please ensure anyone in the vehicle 3 years or older is wearing a mask before your nurse approaches!

With the addition of registering parents for flu shots and checking appointments in over the phone to minimize potential COVID-19 exposure, we are receiving a particularly high volume of calls coming into our system. You may experience longer than normal hold times as you try to reach us over the next few weeks. Please bear with us – our staff is working tirelessly to take each call as quickly as possible. We appreciate your continued patience as we strive to bring you more than medicine.

COVID19 UPDATES for Appointments

GREETINGS! CHAPEL HILL PEDIATRICS-ADOLESCENTS COMMUNITY

The Novel Coronavirus Covid-19 has been keeping all of us at CHP on our toes working to ensure the well-being and safety of our patients! Working within the parameters of transition and change is the norm as we strive to balance recommendations designed to support our patients and their families. We are in uncharted territory as we move forward. Our goal is to stay informed and put scientifically based knowledge into action that will elevate our compassionate pediatric care — the hallmark of our clinic’s desire to offer “more than medicine.”

In mid-March, as we prepared for the unknown threat that Covid-19 would bring, we delayed many appointments. We know that rescheduling these appointments is challenging to all involved, so we appreciated your understanding then and ask for that understanding now.

The Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have recommended that Pediatric Well-Child Care be continued when provided within Covid-19 safety guidelines. Falling behind on routine care increases the risk of negative consequences involving growth, development, vaccine protection, emotional health, and physical well-being. These consequences affect young and older patients as well as those involved in athletics.

After thoughtful deliberation and planning, we believe that we can begin safely rescheduling well-child visits and physical examinations.

We ask that you comply with and support our adjustments to enhance safety as follows:

  1. Every person will be screened for symptoms via questions and temperature checks before entering our offices,
  2. Face coverings are required for everyone above 3 years.
  3. We will have separate exam rooms and pods for well children versus sick visits.
  4. The MDs seeing children with respiratory symptoms will wear PPE and will not be assigned to see well children on that same day.  Sick children may be seen in their cars in the parking lot.
  5. All MDs and nurses will wear face coverings and gloves.
  6. Toys and books have been removed from exam rooms. However, parents can bring children’s personal items from home.
  7. Appointment times will be staggered to support social distancing.
  8. Topics outside of the well child physical exam such as ADHD medicine checks, allergies, asthma, constipation, atypical sleep patterns, headaches, etc. may be scheduled for telehealth appointments to allow for thoroughness and respect for social distancing.
  9. We have amplified triage and exam room cleaning between appointments. Furthermore, a professional cleaning group will be deep cleaning the office every night.
  10. Your vehicle in our parking lot will serve as the “waiting room.” Please check in via phone by dialing 919-942-4173 and alerting our office staff of your arrival.
  11. A nurse or MD will call to gather pre-visit details before you enter the office.
  12.  One caregiver is invited to join each patient (one month and older) for a scheduled appointment in the office. Infants less than one month may have two adults accompanying.
  13. Hand sanitizers and washing stations are available in each exam room.

Nurses, doctors, and other staff members recognize the toll that social distancing has taken on everyone, and we are confident that this preventative mandate has been protective and is reducing transmission of COVID-19. Therefore, we encourage families to respect this distancing. Please be assured that Chapel Hill Pediatrics will continue to protect children and families during this challenging and unprecedented time. We welcome any suggestions you may have.

No After Hours on Weekdays

Starting this evening, we will no longer offer after hour appointments. Our office will close at 5pm on weekdays. We will still offer appointments on the Saturday and Sunday from 9am-2pm. We are still not currently accepting walk-in appointments. Thank you for your understanding as we go through this challenging time.

Scheduling changes for the week of March 16, 2020

For the continued health of our patients, starting the week of March 16, 2020 we are continuing to not accept walk-in appointments. We have also changed our schedule to see all of our well patient appointments in the morning until 2:30pm At 2:40pm each day we will start seeing our sick visits. We ask that no patients or family members with cough and fever come in during our well patient visits. If you have any questions or to schedule an appointment please call us at 919-942-4173. We will keep you updated with any other changes as they occur. Thank you for understanding during this every changing time.

Chapel Hill Pediatrics Coronavirus Information

Chapel Hill Pediatrics Coronavirus Information

Many of you have questions and concerns about the new coronavirus infection, also known as COVID-19.

At Chapel Hill Pediatrics, we are closely monitoring this rapidly changing situation in order to provide you with up to date, accurate information along with the very best care.

We are also going to help you protect yourselves and your families as we protect our patients and staff.

COVID-19: A Novel (new) Coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that commonly cause mild or moderate illness such as the common cold.  At some point in our lives, almost all of us get infected with a virus in this family. 

COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that had not previously caused illness or infection in humans.  However, now it has become capable of infecting humans.  It was first discovered in China in December of 2019 and has now spread internationally, including to the United States and North Carolina.

National, state and local health officials are actively investigating this virus and learning more about its impact.  While we know that it is contagious, children do not seem to be at higher risk for severe disease.  In fact, children who tested positive in China had mild illnesses.

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe and include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, body aches, fatigue, sore throat, headache and diarrhea.

What we are doing

Chapel Hill Pediatrics has implemented a screening process based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations.  When you call to make any type of appointment, you will be asked the following:

  1. Does your child have fever OR respiratory symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath?
  2. Has your child traveled to an infected geographic area within the past 14 days?
  3. Has your child had close contact with a person known to have COVID-19?

These questions will help us determine whether you should be seen in our clinic, in an emergency room or if it is best for you to remain at home.  Some responses will warrant further discussion with a physician who will determine the best way to provide care for your child.

If you arrive at our office and are found to meet the above criteria, you will be asked to return to your car and call our office for a telephone assessment.  Our physicians will then determine the next steps in your evaluation.

Testing

At this time, testing is available on a limited basis for patients based on the CDC recommendations.  Persons are not tested who do not have symptoms.  Decisions about testing will be made on a case-by-case basis.

If you or your child has been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, or you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, please call us immediately at 919-942-4173.

What you should do to protect your family

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to the virus.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that is 60% or higher alcohol-based
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Keep your children away from others who are sick
  • Keep your children home if they are sick
  • Teach your children to cough and sneeze into a tissue (and throw it away after each use) or cough and sneeze into their elbow or arm, not into their hands
  • Clean and disinfect your household surfaces and objects
  • Limit the number of caregivers bringing your child to the office
  • Bring only your child with an appointment to the office, no siblings, when possible
  • Caregivers over 60 years old should avoid the office unless there is absolutely no alternative

Further questions/additional information

We will continue to update our posted information as new updates and instructions become available.  You can check our website and call our office to speak to one of our advice nurses during office hours if you have specific questions about your child’s health.  Please remember that we have a high call volume and we are working diligently to respond in as timely a manner as possible.

If you have general questions or concerns about COVID-19, the North Carolina Division of Public Health has established a call line at 1-866-462-3821 to address general questions about coronavirus from the public.

Additional resource links are below. 

Thank you for entrusting your child’s care to Chapel Hill Pediatrics & Adolescents.

Healthy Children.org:

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.aspx

NC Department of Health and Human Services

https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-response-north-carolina

Centers for Disease Control

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

http://www.chapelhillpeds.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Coronavirus-email.pdf

Chapel Hill Pediatrics Preparations for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Chapel Hill Pediatrics is aware that there is heightened concern for the potential spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus within the United States. To date, there are no known cases of the disease in North Carolina. We are closely monitoring the health alerts and following the infection surveillance and prevention recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Continue to practice good hand washing routines and return to our website and Facebook for updates regarding this infection.

Links to local Health Departments

Orange County: https://www.orangecountync.gov/204/Health-Department

Durham County: https://www.dcopublichealth.org/

Chatham County: https://www.chathamnc.org/services/health/coronavirus/

Flu Season


Its a given that we ALL want to stay healthy and not come down with flu or other respiratory viruses. But what is the best way to prevent illness? Does wearing a mask actually help?


Surgical masks are physical barriers that can offer “some protection” against a visible splash or spray of fluid or large droplets.

You may notice that our office does provide surgical masks to wear in our waiting room IF your child is actively sneezing or coughing which cause spread of illness through respiratory secretions. Transmission of respiratory viruses can occur through direct and indirect contact with infectious respiratory secretions, such as by hands that touch surfaces and then deliver the germs to the eyes, nose or mouth. So hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is still the NUMBER ONE way of preventing spread of disease. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Should a person with no symptoms wear a mask? Currently the CDC does NOT recommend that people who are well wear a mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases including COVID-19 (coronavirus). So we recommend that a well parent or sibling not wear one of the provided masks when accompanying your child to our office. Instead, have your child (if possible) wear a mask in the waiting room if they are actively sneezing or coughing which then in turn will protect others. If they are unable to wear the mask, use tissues to have then sneeze or cough into and then dispose in nearest trash can. And remember, masks are single use and can come off in the exam rooms.

We are all wishing for an end to this flu season, keep washing those hands!

Inclement Weather

❄️ Due to possible inclement weather, we will not have urgent care appointments after 5pm today, Thursday Feb 20th. Both our Chapel Hill and Durham offices will also have a delayed opening tomorrow, Friday Feb 21st. starting at 10am. Please stay safe! ❄️

MLK Day, January 20, 2020

In observance of MLK Day, Monday, January 20, 2020, our Durham office will be closed. Our Chapel Hill office will be open for urgent care appointments from 7:30am – 5pm. Regular office hours will resume for both office on Tuesday, January 21st. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!