1880 Livingston Ave., Suite 102West Saint Paul, MN 55118
Monday 8:30 am to 6:15 pmTuesday -Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm
By Mendakota • July 21, 2020 • Comments Off on Covid-19
July 22, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians:
As each day brings more news about the increasing number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across the United States, we are asked daily about the safety of daycares and the eventual reopening of schools. Studies have shown that daycares that have been open for use by parents who work in healthcare and other essential services have found that it is safe for the children and their families and for their daycare providers.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is highly infectious, more than influenza, but less than measles (which is over 10 times as infectious as COVID-19). Children can get the virus, but they are very unlikely to become seriously ill. Most children who contract the virus have either no symptoms or signs of a cold (fever, sore throat, mild cough). There have been cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Disease related to recent COVID infection (requiring hospitalization and sometimes ICU care), but these cases are extremely rare considering the very high number of infections around the world.
Studies coming out of Europe are showing that those countries which closed schools for a short time (a month in most cases) did NOT see an increase in COVID-19 cases in their schools or communities once the children returned to finish the Spring semester. Germany, France, the Netherlands and Norway in particular have been exceptionally good about following cases among children and all are resuming regular classes in the fall. None of these countries has closed their daycares during the pandemic.
What is extremely important is that daycares and all schools keep high standards of cleanliness, including teaching children how to cough into their elbows, and to wash their hands frequently, especially after blowing their noses or covering their mouths to cough. Children (under the age of 12) should not be made to wear masks during the school day, as it increases the likelihood that they will touch their faces and cause more problems with infection (please see the links below regarding this issue with particular attention to the guidelines from the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children). Taking children’s temperatures when they enter a daycare will help in identifying children who should not be at daycare (no matter what their illness is). However, it will likely not be possible for schools to be doing temperature checks on students given the large number of students entering school buildings and the resultant excessive time spent waiting in lines outdoors. All of this is common sense, but we know all too well that many parents send their kids to daycare or school even if they are sick and even if they have had a fever within 12 hours of going into the classroom. It will be parents’ responsibility to monitor their children’s health closely before sending them to daycare or school.
In short, we believe it is safe for children to return to daycare and to school in the fall. It has been extremely anxiety provoking for both parents and children for the children to be in isolation from their friends and their teachers. From a public health standpoint, children are not the “vectors” for this illness. This is highly unusual in that children are often the vectors for influenza and the common cold, but something about this particular novel Coronavirus causes it not to spread to others from infected children (epidemiology studies show that the children get the illness from adults, not the other way around). There are strong indicators that children’s immature immune systems are, in this circumstance, protecting them from the severe illness that the elderly and those with significant underlying health issues (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease and immunosuppression) are experiencing. On June 25th, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly endorsed schools reopening in the fall. We concur with the opinion of the AAP. Please see the links below for more information.
Dr. Jennifer Gobel
Dr. Leann West
Dr. Rachel DeVries
April 20, 2020
To our families at Mendakota Pediatrics:
The constant changes introduced by the coronavirus pandemic force us all to adapt. In the face of this, our clinic newsletters keep you updated with the newest clinic status, guidelines, and recommendations.
Here is what we are doing to keep your family safe at the clinic:
● Separate entrances for respiratory and non-respiratory illnesses / well-child exams.
● A divided lobby with a floor-to-ceiling plastic barrier ensures physical separation.
● Separate hallway and rooms for sick children and well visits.
● All rooms cleaned and wholly sanitized between patients.
● Rooming staff and physicians are masked for all appointments.
● Virtual visits are available for follow-up appointments such as:
o Mental Health Issues
o Medication Management
If your child or adolescent is sick, they will be safe at Mendakota Pediatrics! If they need well-child exams or vaccinations, schedule an appointment at 651-552-7999. Our front desk staff will direct you if you have any questions about which door to enter for your appointment. We are here and ready to help!
Wishing you good health,
Drs. Gobel, West, DeVries and Wratkowski
|April 8, 2020|
Mendakota Pediatrics is OPEN, seeing both well and sick children. We are the only business that remains open in the 1880 Livingston building. We are rigorously maintaining a safe, uncongested and clean environment. Our clinic is separated into 2 areas, one for well visits and the other for sick visits. If your child has a cough or other respiratory illness and you have requested a clinic visit, we will ask that you call us once you get to our parking lot and we will meet you at your vehicle to give you and your child a mask before entering the clinic. We request that only one parent accompany your child.
It appears that many of you did not receive our earlier email regarding on-going operations here at Mendakota Pediatrics. We have updated our email list! Here is what we sent on March 27, 2020
To our Families:
We understand the anxiety that everyone is experiencing concerning the Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis and the reluctance that parents may feel about coming in to a medical clinic. As a partial substitute for clinic visits, Mendakota Pediatrics will offer “Virtual Visits” to provide care for patients on an as-needed-basis beginning on Monday, March 30. The Virtual Visit allows our families to have a face-to-face appointment via a secure internet video connection.
– Anxiety, depression and other mental health issues
– ADHD follow-up
– Emergency room or hospital follow-up
– Lab results follow-up
– Medication checks
– Sleep problems
A virtual visit isn’t appropriate for all visits including any that would require a hands-on physical exam, such as a procedure, pre-operative exam or a complicated sick visit. Children under the age of 18 months will still need to be seen in the clinic for well child examinations and vaccinations. We cannot risk letting our youngest and most vulnerable children go without their routine visits and vaccinations. Our nurses will continue to answer telephone triage calls during business hours if you need advice about home care or whether or not your child needs to be seen in the clinic.
To schedule a virtual visit with one of our Pediatricians, simply call the clinic at 651-552-7999. When it comes time for your appointment you will receive a text on your cell phone with a link to the video “exam room”. All you need is a web-enabled device with audio and video capabilities (iPhone, iPad, MAC, or PC). We have been told that virtual visits should cost a little less than an office visit. The insurance companies state that they will pay for these visits during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. As always, this varies from one insurance company to another.
Please note that our clinic hours have been changed to: Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We are temporarily suspending Monday and Tuesday evening clinics. We will let you know when we return to extended hours on Monday and Tuesday evenings.
With best wishes for your good health,
Drs. Gobel, West, DeVries and Wratkowski
March 20, 2020
Dear Mendakota Pediatrics Families:
We understand the extreme anxiety that all Americans are feeling right now in the midst of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. Doubtless you have all been inundated with emails from businesses about their closures. Mendakota Pediatrics is OPEN. We will continue to serve all of our families and deliver care in a safe and clean environment. We have taken important precautions to limit the exposure of any sick child (or parent) to other people in the clinic. Our standard cleaning and disinfecting procedures have been amplified as much as is humanly possible.
We strongly encourage families to follow the guidelines for care that can be found on the CDC website. There is a great deal of information here, including “frequently asked questions.” Rather than repeat all of the excellent information that is on the CDC website, let’s address the most common concerns that families have about coming into Mendakota Pediatrics:
Finally, we must stress to you how important it is to our entire healthcare system that everyone with mild illnesses stay out of the Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Centers. Our clinic stands ready and able to care for your children. We are your partners, as always.
Drs. Gobel, West, DeVries and Wratkowski