Latest CDC News and Guidance:
Pre-appointment Screening Questions
- Do you or your child have any of these symptoms?
- Fever greater than 100 degrees (Fahrenheit)
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- New loss of smell or taste
- Newly developed fatigue
- Does anyone in your household have COVID-19, or have you or your child been in contact with someone who you know has COVID-19?
- Is anyone in your household in quarantine due to a possible COVID-19 exposure?
- Has anyone in your household recently been tested for or is anyone in your household awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test?
If you answer “yes” to any of the above, please contact our office for next steps.
All patients and family members or guardians accompanying a patient to his/her appointment must wear masks in the office.
COVID-19 Test Results
Quest Diagnostics handles the PCR tests administered in our practice. Please understand that laboratories like Quest have seen significant increases in tests volume and while results had normally taken 2-3 days, they may take up to 5 days during this current Omicron wave. Please know that we will contact you when results come in. If you are registered for our patient portal, results will also be posted there. You may also use the following options:
- Calling Quest at 866-697-8378
- Logging into the MyQuest portal at https://questdiagnostics.com/MyQuest
We’re now taking appointments for the COVID vaccine, ages 6 months and older! Please contact our office to schedule an appointment.
We have been asked which vaccine we recommend for children. We only recommend that children receive a COVID vaccine, but we do not have a preference for which one they get. We will, however, only have the Pfizer vaccine in our office.
The disease in children is generally mild and not unlike the other cold and flu infections you may have helped your children through in the past. Serious complications including the possibility of a post Covid-19 multisystem inflammatory response remain rare.
Any one of the following symptoms in a child can be consistent with Covid-19: runny nose or congestion, headache, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea or vomiting, poor appetite or poor feeding, diarrhea, loss of smell or taste. These symptoms are the same as seen in multiple other infections making it impossible to distinguish who has Covid-19 vs another viral or bacterial infection. Children can also be asymptomatic yet shed the virus and infect others.
Multisystem inflammatory disease is a severe illness marked by high fever and often intense abdominal pain. Patients are often very weak and appear very ill. It is felt to be a complication that arises from an immune reaction several weeks after a Covid -19 infection as patients usually test positive for antibodies to the virus and not the virus itself.
We are NOW able to do asymptomatic screening in our office. The current Waukegan testing site, as well as few others, will also do these tests. Testing sites are available at https://www.lakecountyil.gov/4435/COVID-19-Testing That page includes the testing criteria for each site.
Testing has become more available over the past months and is available at our office (as long as our supplies are available) as well as various sites across the county. While having a positive test will not alter any treatment, it has become important as daycare and schools reopen to guide them when an ill child may return. Testing will also become important for contact tracing as that ability increases in the coming months. Our testing supplies are limited by national shortages and we cannot guarantee this ability on any given day but so far, we have been able to obtain them. Supply issues may worsen as the need for testing increases with the reopening of schools and daycares.
A NEGATIVE COVID TEST IS REQUIRED FOR ANY ONE OF THE ABOVE LISTED SYMPTOMS IN ORDER TO RETURN TO SCHOOL OR DAYCARE PER THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH as even very mildly ill children can be positive and can shed virus for up to 10 days even if they have recovered from very brief symptoms. The child and family members should quarantine pending the test results which can take several days. A diagnosis of an ear infection or a positive test for flu or strep throat does NOT rule out Covid-19 as many patients have been found to have both infections at the same time. Covid-19 testing and quarantine are still needed even with these diagnoses. There will be VERY few children that can be sent back to school or daycare with an alternative diagnosis and no Covid-19 test. We understand this will be frustrating for families but the public health department feels this if the best way to keep our schools and daycares safe and open.
We offer in-office same day test for Covid-19. The test we offer is the BD Veritor rapid antigen test (as long as our supplies continue). This gives a result in about 30 minutes and can be used for most symptomatic children. It is less accurate for asymptomatic screening or when symptoms have been present for more than 5 days. Some schools and exposure situations require the PCR test, which we send to Quest Diagnostics, which has a turnaround time of 3-8 days, depending on their backlog at the time.
While the rapid test is not as accurate as the PCR test, the ID specialists at Lurie Children’s feel it is a reliable test in children as they have higher viral loads than adults. In certain, higher-risk situations, a backup PCR test may be recommended if the antigen test is negative.
If we knew contracting Covid-19 would give you lifelong immunity to this virus, an accurate verified test to see if you are immune would be extremely useful to us all. Unfortunately, all the tests have some false negative and false positive rates and may cross-react with other strains of coronaviruses. We also do not know if these antibodies we are testing for are the ones that give you immunity and even if they are, we do not know how long that immunity will last. Immunity to some of the other strains of coronavirus shows immunity starting to decrease after about 4 months with no immunity remaining after several years. We also do not know what level of antibodies will give you protection-you may test positive for a low level that will not protect you.
As we learn more and verify some of these tests, they will at first be helpful when testing large numbers of people to have a rough idea of how many people have been infected in a given area. Until we know a lot more, they will not be helpful for a given individual and we are not recommending them.
In order to keep staff and patients safe we have instituted separate procedures for sick children and have them wait in their cars until their room is ready. They then enter the building through a separate entrance than well children do. These hours are currently at the end of each morning and the end of each afternoon in Lake Bluff and Lindenhurst. Vernon Hills currently is well visits only but will offer late morning ill appointments and early evening well visits. Illness hours will be expanded as needed once we are into cold/flu season. Testing is available at our office but is not guaranteed due to national shortages of supplies.
We are taking numerous precautions to protect your well child while visiting the office. We are contacting each patient shortly before their appointment to assure no one is ill in any way nor been exposed to anyone with Covid-19. We are asking that only one parent and no siblings come in with the child if possible. Our waiting areas have adequate spacing for social distancing.
Sick patients will wait in their cars until their rooms are ready and enter the office through a separate entrance. Rooms are being thoroughly wiped down between all patients. Providers will be wearing gloves, masks, gowns and goggles where appropriate with ill children to prevent any spread of the virus.
Well visits are considered essential care and we especially do not want anyone to fall behind on their immunizations. We are seeing all ages in all of our offices. Well visits will be either at a separate time of day or in a separate area of the office than ill children. Weekend appointments are available and we will also begin to have some early evening well appointments starting in October at our Vernon Hills office Monday through Thursday.