Parents of Peachtree Park Pediatrics,
We continually strive to provide you with most up to date information on the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on for more on the CDC’s updated quarantine guidelines, vaccine distribution, mask mandates, and more!
CDC Shortens Duration of Quarantine
As reported in USA Today, the CDC has revised its guidelines about quarantine after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Instead of 14 days, close contacts of individuals can now leave quarantine after 10 days if they remain without symptoms. This can be further reduced to 7 days with a negative COVID-19 test at the end of the quarantine week.
The antigen rapid test for COVID-19 that we use in the office is not appropriate for asymptomatic patients. If you want your child to get a PCR test to end quarantine after 7 days, you can arrange for them to be tested at a retail-based clinic or other testing location. If you want the test to be collected by the CHOA collection site on Satellite Boulevard, please contact the office to schedule a Telemedicine visit so we can schedule the test.
Nursing Home Residents and Health Care Workers to Receive Vaccine First
The New York Times reports that, as expected, “an independent panel advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted Tuesday to recommend that residents and employees of nursing homes and similar facilities be the first people in the United States to receive coronavirus vaccines, along with health care workers who are especially at risk of being exposed to the virus.”
No further information has been released about the next groups who will receive vaccine when the supply increases. Since vaccine trials involving children are just beginning, it is expected that COVID-19 vaccines will be available for most adults before they are approved for children. PPP has informed the Georgia Department of Public Health that we are interested in providing COVID-19 vaccines. As soon as we have more information about vaccine approval and availability for children, and if we will be able to provide it at the office, we will update parents through this newsletter and Facebook.
Mask Mandates are Effective
The CDC recently shared data about COVID-19 cases in Kansas during the summer, comparing counties that adopted a mask mandate vs. those that did not.
“24 of Kansas’s 105 counties did not opt out of the state mandate or adopted their own mask mandate shortly before or after the state mandate was issued; 81 counties opted out of the state mandate, as permitted by state law, and did not adopt their own mask mandate. After the governor’s executive order, COVID-19 incidence…decreased (mean decrease of 0.08 cases per 100,000 per day; net decrease of 6%) among counties with a mask mandate (mandated counties) but continued to increase (mean increase of 0.11 cases per 100,000 per day; net increase of 100%) among counties without a mask mandate. The decrease in cases among mandated counties and the continued increase in cases in nonmandated counties adds to the evidence supporting the importance of wearing masks and implementing policies requiring their use to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2.”
Regardless of mandates in Georgia or your community, encourage your children to wear masks when in public places. Consider instituting a family mandate to encourage mask use.
Peak Contagion is in the First Five Days of Symptoms
The Lancet recently summarized studies showing that people with COVID-19 are most contagious early in the illness.
“High titres of SARS-CoV-2 are detected early in the disease course, with an early peak observed at the time of symptom onset to day 5 of illness.”
Contact tracing studies show that “the highest risk of transmission occurs very early in the disease course (a few days before and within the first 5 days after symptom onset).”
Like other respiratory illnesses, the contagious period for COVID-19 starts 1-2 days before symptoms begin. The safest course is to take universal precautions, assuming everyone may be contagious regardless of whether they have symptoms.
We encourage everyone to continue to use good hand hygiene and practice social distancing as much as possible. Please contact our office with any further questions or concerns.
Peachtree Park Pediatrics
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Peachtree Park Pediatrics strives to deliver up-to-date primary care to our infant, child, and young adult patients in a welcoming and family-friendly environment. The practice has deep roots in the Atlanta community, and it is our continued honor to be entrusted with the health care of our next generation.