Northern Berkshire Pediatrics (NBP) Guideline and Protocols for Coronavirus

Northern Berkshire Pediatrics (NBP) Guideline and Protocols for Coronavirus (COVID -19) Sept, 2020

We at NBP hope you are all staying healthy, physically and mentally, during these trying times! We hope you’ve been getting your families out for fresh air as often as possible. Our community seems to be doing a great job fighting the spread of COVID-19; thank you for doing your part! As it’s been a while since we posted, we wanted to update you on what’s been happening at our offices.

We remain open 364 days a year

We have almost daily Flu Vaccine clinics (by appointment to maintain social distancing).  Thanks to our staffs' and your efforts we will soon have delivered a flu vaccine to over 25% of our patients -- and it's not even October yet!  This massive effort will help keep our kids safe, our schools open and our community happy this winter!

We have been carefully seeing most Well Child visits and problem-focused visits that require an exam in-person in both our main North Adams office and our Williamstown office. Only patients, parents, and staff members that screen negative for Covid-19 symptoms are allowed to come to the main offices, and temperatures are taken for all upon arrival to ensure that they do not have fevers. Because we all know that people can spread this infection without showing symptoms, every staff member wears a mask and eye protection at all times.  We've re-arranged our waiting room and check out protocols to keep social distance.

We ask that parents and children over age 2 wear a mask as well, since of course you’ll be within 6 feet of our providers and staff members. If you forget yours, we will provide one to better protect everyone. Ideally, we are limiting the number of people coming to each visit to only one parent or guardian and the patient.

If your child’s visit doesn’t need to be in person, you could have a Virtual Visit. We connect to these through our patient portal - MyChart. This is a secure way of having an appointment online using video and audio so that we can talk to you and see you. If you don’t have a MyChart account, we recommend that you call the office to have an account set up.   We are also giving more medical advice via telephone or secure email (through MyChart) than in the past.  These are now documented similarly to in-person visits and are part of your medical record.  This allows us to better keep track of your health, and, ultimately, to "Care for Your Kids."

What about if your child is sick and needs to be seen by their doctor? For patients who are having fever, cough, sore throat, breathing problems, or other symptoms that need medical attention, we have worked with our landlord Craig Barnum to open a new wing across the hall from our main North Adams space.  Sick patients are seen by providers in full PPE in this entirely separate area with a separate check-in space.  We are following MA state guidelines: we test for COVID whenever warranted -- we want to identify and isolate any COVID case quickly!  Much more commonly, we safely clear our patients from quarantine and get them back to school as efficiently as possible. 

Of course, all of our offices and all of the exam rooms are cleaned multiple times a day and again every night. Our management & providers are meeting regularly and will change these policies if new information suggests changes should be made. With all of these measures described above, we will continue to do everything we can to protect our patients, staff, providers, and the community. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Please continue to check our Facebook page and website often for additional updates.

Below are some useful links that provide up to date and accurate information:  

CDC 

Healthy Children.org 

How to talk to your children about Coronavirus

NPR

Mass.gov

World Health Organization (WHO)

NY Times - how to talk to your kids about Coronavirus