With school and fall underway, COVID cases have been rising in our community for several weeks. Hamden Pediatrics is preparing for a new season of illnesses including COVID-19 and influenza, and our office continues to be committed to keeping your family safe, healthy and informed.
While the Public Health Emergency ended on May 11, 2023, the guidance for management of COVID-19 has not changed. However, access to testing has become more limited. If your child is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or was exposed to COVID-19, we recommend testing with at least 2 rapid COVID-19 tests spaced 48 hours apart. Free tests are once again available through the United States postal service. While PCR tests are still the gold standard, access to these tests is limited. Yale New Haven Hospital closed most of its Drive-Thru testing sites as of April 2023 and no longer accepts self scheduling for PCR tests. Our office requires a telemedicine visit for patients requesting a PCR test. For patients seen in our office, we still offer rapid COVID-19 testing. Please check with your insurance to determine what your out-of-pocket costs may be for any testing prior to your visit.
The CDC still recommends isolating for at least 5 days if you are diagnosed with COVID-19, and continuing to mask for 10 days. Isolation periods should continue until your child’s symptoms are improving and they are fever-free without fever-reducing medication for 24 hours. We recommend wearing a high quality mask for the following 5 days to protect others. For those unable to mask, the recommendation is to isolate for the entire 10 days. Please reach out to your child’s school or daycare for their specific policies.
Currently, our office does not require mask wearing for well visits and well visitors. We still request that patients and visitors who have any symptoms of illness wear a mask. We will be monitoring COVID-19 community levels and consider reinstating a mask policy during COVID-19 waves.
We are excited about the new COVID-19 vaccine targeting the XBB strain! We are offering this vaccine in our office for all of our patients between the ages of 6 months and 18 years old. We have the Moderna vaccine available. If you have an upcoming well visit, we will offer you the vaccine at your appointment. If you do not have an upcoming visit, please call the office to schedule your vaccine. All patients who have had at least one prior COVID vaccine need only one of the new vaccine shots. If your child is 5 years old or older, only one vaccine is needed even if it is his/her first vaccine. If your child is under 5 years old and has not received any prior COVID vaccine, then he/she will need 2 vaccines separated by 4-8 weeks to provide optimal immunity. For children 5 and under, it is recommended that the child receive the same brand of COVID vaccine for this round of vaccination as prior shots (ie. If your child received a Pfizer vaccine, this vaccine should preferably also be Pfizer). If you have recently had a COVID infection, we recommend you wait at least 3 months before getting the current COVID vaccine. If you have any general questions, please call the office. If you have specific questions regarding your child, we are happy to set up a visit with your provider.
Mark your calendars. This year we will be hosting two full day drive-thru flu vaccine clinics on Saturday October 14 and one Sunday November 5. Children receiving their first flu vaccine should schedule their flu shot to be done at the office with a nurse or their doctor. We request that parents make every attempt to attend one of our drive-thru clinics. If you are unable to attend either clinic, please call the office for more information.