Northern Berkshire Pediatrics (NBP) Guideline and Protocols for Coronavirus

Northern Berkshire Pediatrics (NBP) Guideline and Protocols for Coronavirus (COVID -19) March 13, 2020

We would like our patients and families to know about NBP’s policies and preparations for a possible coronavirus outbreak in our community.  Coronaviruses have been around for decades and will usually cause common cold- and flu-like symptoms.  COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that was first discovered in China and is now spreading throughout the world.  We now know that COVID-19 is in our community, but we do not know how many people might be affected by it.

The good news is that in children, COVID-19 has almost only caused mild symptoms! 

To prepare for every situation, we have implemented the following protocols to ensure that your visit to our office is as safe as possible and also that we are taking the best care of those patients who might have this disease and need medical care.  

  • As of Thursday, March 19th we will be changing our schedules so that appointments for Well Child Checks and other non-sick appointments take place only in the mornings. Children with any type of illness (respiratory, fever, headache, pink eye, stomach, etc) will be seen in the afternoons. This will be in place at least through until April 6th. 
  • As of Monday, March 16th our walk-in clinic is on hold until further notice. Please call ahead to schedule an appointment. Our phones will now be on at 8:00 am Monday thru Friday.
  • If you call our office for a sick appointment you will be asked a few simple screening questions regarding symptoms, travel, and possible exposure to COVID-19.  Answering these questions will help us determine if we should have you enter the office through a different door to reduce the exposure to our other patients. 
  • While we are always available to see your sick children when needed, we may recommend that you stay home with your child who does not need medical attention.
  • Testing for this virus is determined solely by the Department of Public Health and we will contact them to get instructions if testing is indicated.  

We want to emphasize that a vast majority of children infected with COVID-19 will likely be able to be treated at home in the same manner that you currently treat children with common respiratory illnesses (colds). 

Our management & providers are meeting regularly and will change this policy if new information suggests changes should be made.  Please feel free to call or message our office through the patient portal if you have further questions regarding your child’s health or the potential spread of this virus.  We are here to help you!

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