September 23, 2020 -- Flu vaccine for ALL children 6 months and older now available (both Medi-Cal and private insurance)! We now have a supply of flu vaccine for children aged 6 months and older with either private or Medi-Cal insurance. We are giving flu vaccines on Thursday afternoons. Please call our office at 916-421-8245 to schedule a flu vaccine appointment. If you are unable to bring your child on a Thursday afternoon, we will try to find an alternate time for your child to receive a flu vaccine. Due to more complex scheduling issues because of COVID-19, online self-scheduling for flu vaccines will not be available this year. Our doctors strongly recommend an annual flu vaccine for all children 6 months and older. Flu vaccines are particularly important this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will help keep your child as healthy as possible during a time where it is important to avoid preventable illnesses like the flu. Please remember that a flu vaccine appointment allows only enough time for your child to receive the flu vaccine. If your child needs to be seen by the doctor for any issues other than simply receiving a flu vaccine, please call our office to make a regular ill visit or well check appointment instead. For more information on what to expect when you bring your child in for a flu vaccine, please see #3 and #4 in the August 31, 2020 update below.
August 31, 2020 -- Office update during COVID-19 pandemic -- Here’s an update on the modifications we have made at our office due to COVID-19.
1) In-office appointments: we continue to do regular in-office appointments for all well visits as well as ill visits that are not done as a telehealth visit. Per the official recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, you shouldn’t postpone your child’s well visit if they are due for one. We encourage you to schedule a well visit for your child if you have been waiting to do so, especially if your child is due for immunizations. We are continuing to do all well checks in the morning and all ill visits in the afternoon in order to further separate well children from ill children. This change in scheduling will be in place until the COVID-19 situation improves. For more information on the safety of in-office visits, read Is it OK to see my pediatrician during COVID-19?
2) Telehealth: we are doing telehealth (live video) visits daily during office hours and things have been going well! Parents have given us overwhelmingly positive feedback so far, and Dr. Sato and Dr. Kimura have gotten pretty comfortable doing these appointments as well. If you haven’t already done a telehealth visit with our doctors, visit our Telehealth page for more information. To schedule a telehealth appointment for your child, give our office a call at 916-421-8245.
3) What we are doing to keep our patients, families, and our staff safe during the pandemic: we are requiring universal masking for everyone 2 years and older, promoting physical distancing in our office, doing daily temperature screening and COVID-19 screening questions of all staff and visitors, and performing enhanced cleaning of our exam rooms and waiting areas.
4) What to expect for ALL in-office appointments: 1) Before your appointment, you’ll be screened for COVID-19 with a few questions by phone. 2) When you arrive for your appointment, you will be asked to call us from your car before entering the office. A staff member will come out to your car and ask the screening questions again as well as take the temperatures of everyone who will be entering the office. 3) Also, our staff will ensure that all individuals are wearing a mask or personal face covering over their nose and mouth. If you don’t have a personal face covering or mask, we’ll provide a disposable mask for you to wear. 4) As soon as an open exam room is available, our staff will escort you and your child directly into the exam room. This minimizes the number of people in the waiting area and promotes physical distancing. Our doctors and staff are wearing face masks and protective eyewear for all appointments. When bringing your child to the doctor, please limit the number of other people coming as much as possible to reduce exposure.
5) How we are handling ill patients who need to be seen in the office: If your child is ill, call our office first before coming in to the office. If your child needs an in-office appointment, we will go through the steps listed in #4 (above) when you arrive. Following screening and masking, you and your child will be escorted directly into an open exam room as soon as one is available. Anyone with possible COVID-19 symptoms will be isolated away from others to minimize exposure. Every exam room is disinfected thoroughly between patients. We’re using physical distancing protocols everywhere possible.
6) Why are we requiring everyone to wear a face mask or face covering? Our priority continues to be the health and safety of our patients and staff, and these masking procedures help support safe care. COVID-19 is prevalent in our community and can be spread unknowingly by people who don’t have any symptoms. In addition, Sacramento County has implemented a mandatory Health Order requiring members of the public to be masked at all times in public settings. Everyone 2 years and older needs to wear a face mask when entering the office, with very rare exceptions that must be cleared by our office first. If you don’t have a personal face covering or mask, we’ll provide a mask for you to wear. For mask wearing tips for children, check out Healthychildren.org’s Cloth Face Coverings for Children During COVID-19. We thank you for cooperating and wearing a face mask when inside our office!
7) What should you do if your child is sick? If your child is showing signs of illness and you need advice, please call our office and our doctors will be happy to advise you, or see your child with an in-office or telehealth appointment. Except to seek medical care, people with ill symptoms should stay at home until they are completely symptom-free to avoid exposure to others who may be vulnerable.
8) How can you protect your family from COVID-19? Wearing a mask or face covering, social distancing, and frequent hand hygiene are the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19 through our community. Everyone 2 years and older should wear a face mask over their nose and mouth while in public. Maintain at least 6 feet between your household contacts and other people and help your children avoid touching surfaces that could be contaminated with the virus, including playground equipment. Wash your hands and your children’s hands frequently or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Remind your child to avoid touching their face. If you or your family members are sick, even with mild symptoms, stay home until the symptoms are completely gone.
9) COVID-19 information is changing frequently. Please call our office if you have questions, or check the CDC website for the latest information on COVID-19 and Healthychildren.org’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus page which contains links to many articles addressing questions and issues for parents and children regarding COVID-19.
June 19, 2020 -- Free testing available for COVID-19 through Sacramento County Public Health! If you or your child has been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms suspicious for COVID-19, you can now get free testing for COVID-19 through the Sacramento County Public Health Department. There are a number of sites that will test persons of any age if they are a resident of Sacramento County. For a current list of testing sites, visit Sacramento County Public Health COVID-19 Testing Sites page at https://www.saccounty.net/COVID-19/Pages/Symptom-Screening_MobileTestingSite.aspx and scroll down to “Community COVID-19 Testing Site.” All sites require an appointment for testing that can be scheduled by phone or online and most sites offer testing on certain days of the week only. Be sure to read the details for each site to make sure they accept children of any age. We are referring any of our patients who need COVID-19 testing to these sites because they are specifically set up for safe testing and so Sacramento County Public Health can perform any necessary tracking of positive tests. This will also help to limit exposure to our patients and staff.