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Coronavirus: Parkside’s Response

By: Stephen Jones, MD

As pediatricians, we commonly see a multitude of different respiratory viruses each year from October through March.  Although this Coronavirus appears to have the potential to be more severe than many of the more common respiratory viruses we encounter each winter, we recommend much of the same approach to prevention regardless of the respiratory virus.  Here’s a simple list to help you and your family stay healthy during this sick season.

  1. Wash your hands!  I can’t stress this one enough.  It’s important to wash thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you’ve been in a public location. If soap is unavailable, then a second best method to clean your hands is an alcohol based (at least 60%) hand sanitizer.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. This is a tough one, but can make a big impact on the spread of this illness.
  3. Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or hands and wash your hands immediately afterwards.
  4. For older children and adults, consider wearing a cloth face covering, especially when visiting places where social distancing may be difficult such as the pharmacy or grocery store. Learn more here.
  5. If you’ve been sick, stay away from others.  If you know someone who has been sick, it’s best to stay away from them until they have fully recovered.
  6. Wipe down commonly touched surfaces (cell phones, tv remotes, door handles, light switches, etc…) with antiseptic/antiviral wipes on a regular basis—at least daily, or more regularly if needed.

Presently, there are over 2,000 cases of COVID-19 in SC—the burden of disease in the upstate of SC is currently moderate but seems to be changing daily. We all need to do our part to help stop the spread of this illness.  Our recommendation is to try and be smart and careful to limit exposure, but not to live in total fear—we must not let this coronavirus drive us all to a place of crippling anxiety and hysteria. Take time each day to count your blessings and focus on the good in each day’s circumstances and opportunities.  Call a friend, read out loud with your kids, play board games, and connect with family members through Skype or Facetime.  View this time as less of a disruption and more of an opportunity to slow down and reconnect. 

At Parkside, we’re taking extra measures to help keep you safe! We are actively limiting the potential for exposure within in our offices by…

  1. Reserving the patient rooms within our offices for Well Visits ONLY. In fact, we have not seen sick patients inside any of our facilities since school was released over 3 weeks ago. Patients coming in for preventative care are screened for illness before entering our building and are called directly from their car, bypassing the waiting room and escorted directly into an exam room.
  2. Cleaning exam rooms. Our routine procedure is to wipe down all door handles, TV remotes, mirrors, faucets, etc. between each patient visit. We have also added extra cleaning measures within our offices at the end of each work day.
  3. Providing Curbside Care for ALL sick visits at one location. Our Verdae location is your one stop outdoor shop for any and all sick visits. Providers come and assess your child while you remain comfortably in your car.
  4. Beginning Virtual Visits for sick visit rechecks and more! We will now be able to see your child for certain visits in the comfort of your home through our secure patient portal on the Healow App.
  5. Wearing masks during all interactions. Providers, Medical Assistants, and Front Desk Associates will all be wearing masks no matter the reason for your child’s visit.
  6. Washing hands before each new interaction. As usual, all of our providers wash their hands before and after each patient encounter and regularly clean equipment used during their physical exam.

I’m confident that we will get through this together, hopefully sooner than later! Have more questions? Call our office or check out the links below for more information regarding this coronavirus outbreak from trusted medical organizations.

  1. CDC
  2. SCDHEC
  3. AAP

Until next time,

Dr. Stephen Jones

Parkside Provider, father of three, and aspiring chicken farmer

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