Weiss Pediatric Care’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Stay Home. Use the Phone. Contact Us First.

At Weiss Pediatric Care, our goal is to keep your children out of urgent cares and the emergency room whenever possible. Today, more than ever, we want to make sure that you call us first when your kids are sick. We want to be your first point of contact.

If your child is sick let us answer your questions by phone. Together we’ll decide whether you can manage the symptoms at home or if it makes sense to schedule an appointment.

We continue to schedule well visits. Staying up-to-date on vaccines and other important preventative measures is vitally important to keeping children healthy and safe.

To help our families stay informed and up-to-date on our efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy, we will continue to share changes in office policies with you. We are staying current on all Center for Disease Control (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations as they continue to change, often daily.

7/28/2020 UPDATE:

COVID-19 Scheduling Update: The pandemic and summer physical season have conspired to create a perfect storm …of the scheduling variety. Just when we are at our busiest, we are challenged with significant scheduling restrictions to ensure the safety and health of our families. What that means for you, our patients, is that we may have changed your previously scheduled appointment to allow extra time for:

  • in-car check-in procedures;
  • spacing of visits to maximize physical distancing;
  • separating sick appointments from well appointments;
  • accommodating telehealth appointments for sick children;
  • enhanced sanitizing procedures.

We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced as a result of the scheduling gymnastics that we are performing on a daily basis to keep you safe and healthy. We are especially grateful for your understanding and your willingness to make changes along with us.

Thank you for your patience as we strive to continue to keep your children healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

COVID UPDATE 07.01.2020

HOW WE’RE KEEPING YOU SAFE

We continue to adjust our guidelines to ensure your safety as more information is made available by the CDC.

  • We are still offering telehealth for all respiratory conditions and illnesses
  • We have designated appointment times for well visits and designated times available for in-office non-respiratory sick appointments.
  • We are screening all patients and accompanying adults for COVID-19 exposure and active symptoms before allowing entry to the office.
  • We have suspended walk-in hours indefinitely so that we can offer you the most appropriate appointment when your child is sick, either in-office or via telehealth.

COVID-19 TESTING

At this time, we have no plans to offer COVID testing in the office. However, here is what you need to know about testing in our area.

Anyone who wishes to be tested can be tested without a physician’s note and without symptoms.

When considering whether or not to seek testing, here are a few questions to guide your decision:

  1. Were you in direct contact with someone two days prior to their testing for COVID-19 and whose results were positive or who had active symptoms?

Close contact is defined by the CDC as being within 6 feet of that person for longer than 15 minutes. If your exposure doesn’t meet the definition of close contact then your risk is low.

  1. If you were in close contact, has it been longer than 10 days since you were with that person?

If it hasn’t been longer than 10 days, testing is recommended. If it has been longer than 10 days, then ask yourself the next question.

  1. Do you have symptoms such as a rash on hands and feet, shortness of breath, or a persistent cough?

If the answer is YES, then going to the hospital or being tested is recommended. If the answer is no, then ask yourself the next question.

  1. Do you have fever, sore throat, headache, red eyes, body aches or muscle pain, chills or fatigue, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting?

If the answer is YES to two or more of these symptoms, then testing is recommended. If the answer is NO or yes to only one symptom, then testing is optional.

If you have had direct contact or any of the current symptoms of COVID-19, please call us to review the exposure and provide recommendations and guidance.

For a list of current symptoms of COVID-19, visit the CDC website.

TESTING LOCATIONS

RL Taylor Community Center Complex is the only local testing facility available for children. Adults can also be tested at this facility. Testing is free. No appointment necessary.

RL Taylor Community Complex Drive-Thru Testing
7 days/week 8am-5pm
1845 34th Street
Sarasota, FL 34234
Nose swab. Need valid photo ID. Results 2-4 days.

Plan on long lines at this facility and others in our area. A portion of your wait time will be outside of your vehicle. It is a good idea to bring water and snacks and some entertainment while you wait. There are a limited number of tests available per day, so plan to arrive as early as possible to avoid being turned away.

For additional testing locations, you can contact the COVID hotline at 941-861-2883.

What Else Should You Know?

We encourage everyone to continue to social distancing and follow all the CDC recommended guidelines to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

If you have any questions, concerns or just want general information about COVID-19, we are here for you and doing everything we can to answer all of your questions as quickly and as accurately as possible.

We apologize for all the inconveniences created by this pandemic and thank all of you for your continued trust in us as we work together to keep everyone healthy.

Update: 6/9/2020
WELL VISITS: KEEPING EVERYONE SAFE

Our busy summer physical season is now in full swing! By following our new protocols, you can help us keep everyone safe during their visits to our office. Please read the important details below:

  1. Only one person should accompany the child who has the appointment and only children with appointments should come into the office whenever possible.
  2. Everyone who enters the office who is over the age of 2 is required to wear a mask for the duration of the visit.
  3. If anyone in the home is feeling ill DO NOT COME to your child’s well appointment. Call the office to discuss any symptoms and discuss making alternate arrangements.
  4. If you are in a quarantine period as directed by a healthcare professional for yourself or someone in your household DO NOT COME. Call the office.
  5. There will be no waiting room. When you arrive, please call from your car to let us know you are here. We will notify you when your exam room is available.
  6. Please put on your mask before you enter the office. We will take your temperature and escort you directly to an exam room.
  7. Prepare your young children for what they will see: everyone in masks, no books or toys.
  8. Complete your surveys on the portal PRIOR to the visit so that we do not have to share devices for completing them in the office. Visit our website for instructions logging into your portal and contact our office if you are not able to login. Access your portal here: https://www.weisspediatriccare.com/patient-portal/
  9. Call to confirm your child’s appointment 24 hours in advance. If you are uncertain of your next appointment time, feel free to call us at any time.
  10. Bring any school/camp forms with the parent portion completed so we can complete them in a timely manner. All form requests will be completed within 2 to 3 business days and uploaded to your patient portal. We are unable to fax or email completed forms.
  11. Please keep your well appointments so we can provide appropriate care and vaccines to protect your child and our community.
  12. Call the office if you need to reschedule at least 24 hours in advance so we can offer that appointment to another patient.

Thanks for working with us to keep your children and our community protected and safe!

5/18/20 Update:
Telehealth is here to stay! OUR KIDS are taking classes at home, YOU are working from home, and NOW, you can see US from the comfort of YOUR HOME. We are offering telehealth to sick patients and for other appointments such as asthma, ADHD and allergy follow-up. Call us to schedule a virtual visit.

We continue to see children for well visits, while also offering limited in-office sick appointments at separate times for issues that cannot be addressed via telehealth such as ear pain and urinary symptoms.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is encouraging everyone to keep their well visit appointments. Well visits are an important opportunity to make sure that your child is growing and developing normally, to provide immunizations, to administer age appropriate screenings, and to identify and treat any health problems. In addition, they allow both you and your child an opportunity to ask questions related to their physical and emotional health and well-being.

Call us today to schedule your child’s well visit and beat the summertime rush!

We are taking extra steps to make sure you and your children are safe when you come to see us.

  • We screen all patients prior to scheduling appointments and then again upon checking-in from their cars. We ask questions about coughing, fever, or shortness of breath; travel in the past 14 days; and potential contact with anyone with a presumed or confirmed case of coronavirus in the past 14 days.
  • Everyone is wearing facemasks – staff, parents, and kids over two, though we know that little ones often just won’t or can’t wear a mask.
  • Staff temperatures are taken and documented at the beginning of each shift; Parents’ and children’s temperatures upon entering the office.
  • Only one guardian accompanies each child for a visit, though we understand that some of you may feel strongly about both parents being present.

To minimize time in the office and to limit exposure, much of what you used to do while in our waiting room you can now do while waiting in your car for a room to become available. Call us when you arrive so that we can help you:

  • answer pre-visit screening questions;
  • address any payments;
  • complete surveys via your patient portal using your smart phone;
  • review what to expect at this visit and when your next appointment is scheduled.

Now more than ever, it’s very important that families stay connected to their pediatrician and their medical home. We care about the health of your baby, child or teen and are happy to talk to you about anything from medicines and illnesses to injuries and behavior issues.

We thank you in advance for your understanding as we have been moving appointments (unfortunately sometimes more than once) in order to adjust our office schedule to make sure our patients can receive the safest care possible.

We are starting to plan for the next three months and will make accommodations to keep all of our community as safe as possible. Thanks for working through this with us! We will make it through together.

04/29/20 UPDATE

Summer is almost here!

We’re working hard to make sure we have availability for everyone’s well visits while continuing to follow guidelines to keep everyone safe.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • To create separate well and sick visit times, well visits will be offered in the mornings and early afternoons throughout the summer. Sick visits will be scheduled via telehealth with Dr. Weiss and in-office during specific afternoon hours for non-respiratory illnesses.
  • Because Dr. Weiss is taking the lead on our telehealth appointments, his availability to see kids in the office will be somewhat limited this summer. However, our amazing Nurse Practitioners will be here, as always, to take excellent care of you.

As we shift things around to accommodate new protocols and staff availability, it is possible that your child’s previously scheduled summer well visit appointment time has changed and maybe even which provider your child was scheduled to see. Please give us a call to confirm your child’s next well visit appointment, if we haven’t already called you, to make sure to secure a day and time that works best for you.

While we are separating well and sick appointments by modifying how we schedule, we are also continuing to follow guidelines to further limit everyone’s exposure.

  • That’s means we’ll be asking you to call us from our parking lot upon arrival so that we can check you in and make sure we have a room waiting for you.
  • We’re also asking that whenever possible families have only one adult accompany a child to their appointment.
  • And we’re asking that everyone older than 2 years of age who visits our office wear a face covering.

As for us, we’ll be greeting you with masks on, and offering you hand sanitizer upon entering the office and just about everywhere else you turn. We’re sanitizing like we always have but with even greater vigilance, if that’s possible.

While things are surely not back to normal, our care for your children is all that you have come to expect.

Our team is looking forward to seeing you now and over the summer so that everyone is ready for a healthy start to a new school year.

Please visit our website for real time information on how we are working to protect you and your family at https://www.weisspediatriccare.com/coronavirus-updates/

04/02/20 UPDATE

As an essential service, Weiss Pediatric Care remains open, even as Governor DeSantis has issued a stay-at-home order. We’re here, working hard to answer your questions over the phone, and to provide safe care for well and sick children in our office and through Telehealth appointments.

It is especially important that infants keep their well visits and get immunizations on time. We don’t want to have an outbreak of measles or another preventable illness during this time when hospitals are trying to prepare for a surge of ill COVID-19 patients.

Since many children and parents are home during this stay-at-home period, we encourage you to schedule and keep well visits now to avoid the inevitable summer rush. Many of our student athletes will need sports physicals in the fall. Now’s the time to get in before the rush. We are confident that our office remains a safe place to receive appropriate care.

We are scheduling well visits until 3:00 pm daily, and seeing children with non-respiratory illnesses in the office between 3:00-4:00 pm.

With the introduction of Telehealth, we’re pleased to be able to schedule most sick visits virtually. Telehealth visits are available every weekday from 9:30 am – 4:40 pm.

Effective immediately, we have dedicated exam rooms that will be used ONLY for well visits. We will, of course, continue to clean and sanitize all rooms to the fullest possible extent after every patient visit.

Our staff are wearing masks and face shields for all visits and we’re thoroughly cleaning rooms between patients.

We’re asking all patients to call us from their cars upon arrival. We’ll take care of check-in by phone and let you know when your room is ready. No waiting in the waiting room for now.

We also ask that, whenever possible families have only one adult accompany a child to the office so that we can limit the number of people in the office and exam rooms at any one time.

Please call us first whenever your child is sick and before going to an urgent care or emergency room. Let us help you choose the safest place for care, as the urgent care or ER may increase your family’s risk of exposure.

We continue to provide care for your children – well or sick. Call us first!

3/23/20 UPDATE
WELL VISITS: please keep your appointment. Bring only the child with an appointment and one parent (feel free to have the other parent join the conversation on speaker phone). AND IF YOU DON’T FEELWELL DON’T COME. Please call to reschedule.

SICK VISITS: All sick visits will be screened by the nursing team and then rescreened by Dr. Weiss or a Nurse Practitioner to decide whether an in-office visit is necessary and/or can be accomplished by Telehealth.

3/19/20 UPDATE
COVID-19 Testing
We are unable to test for COVID-19 in our office. Suspected cases are being referred to our local health department who will advise if a person is a candidate for testing. Currently only patients who have symptoms including fever, cough, trouble breathing AND known travel or exposure to a confirmed case are being tested.

3/18/2020 UPDATE

  • WELL VISITS ONLY scheduled in the morning; SICK VISITS ONLY after lunch.
  • Staff will wear masks for sick visits.
  • Telehealth is coming soon so stay tuned for opportunities to schedule virtual visits.

3/16/2020 UPDATE

  • Walk-in visits and extended Monday hours are cancelled.
  • No waiting in the waiting room. Call from your car upon arrival so we can let you know when your room is ready.
  • Please leave siblings and other family members at home, whenever possible. Only bring the child being seen accompanied by one parent.

COVID-19 BASIC FACTS
Viral illness: fever, cough, difficulty breathing; symptoms can be mild to severe.
Spread: person to person, through respiratory droplets; new cases are emerging showing community spread meaning no known contact with an infected person and no recent travel to endemic areas.
Testing: in-office testing is not available suspected cases are being referred to the Sarasota County Health Department.
Treatment: current treatment is supportive care; rest, fluids, fever medications; it is not know if current anti-viral medications are effective against COVID-19
When to call the doctor: if your child is having significant shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or fever over 100.5 for more than 4 days, contact us.
Reducing the spread of viral illnesses:

  • Good handwashing is key!
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Do not share eating utensils (e.g., spoon, fork).
  • Stay home if you feel ill.
  • Healthy eating, exercise and adequate sleep are all cornerstones of staying healthy.
  • The use of masks in public does not keep you from picking up respiratory illnesses. Masks can help (but not completely prevent illness) protect those around you if you are sneezing or coughing.

Remember children with coronavirus generally have MILD symptoms but it is important to keep them from spreading to the more vulnerable people in our community. Social distancing and handwashing are key. If your child is having respiratory symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat) but is not experiencing any distress it is best to STAY HOME!

For trustworthy, current information about COVID-19: