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Does the office perform testing for COVID-19? 
Yes, our office is able to perform both PCR and Rapid Antigen testing for the COVID-19 virus.  At your child’s visit, the provider will determine if testing is indicated and if so, which type of test.
Our PCR test is a nasopharyngeal swab that is sent to an outside lab.  Results will take 3-4 days.  A PCR test is the “gold standard” for determining if your child has COVID-19.

The Rapid Antigen test is a nasal swab.  This test should be performed only on children with symptoms of COVID-19 virus, and within 5 days of the start of symptoms.  The Rapid Antigen test can only detect COVID-19 if there a lot of viral particles in your child’s nose; the amount of viral particles decreases after 5 days.  So again, this test is for symptomatic patients who have been ill for 5 days or less.  If the Rapid Antigen test result is negative, then a send-out PCR test may be performed on your child.
Please be aware that we have a very limited number of Rapid Antigen tests in the office.  We can not guarantee that your child will be able to be tested with a Rapid Antigen test, and our staff can not schedule your child for a Rapid Antigen test.  The doctors and nurse practitioners will decide on the most appropriate testing for your child after obtaining a history and physical at the office visit.
What are the new quarantine guidelines after exposure to COVID-19?
Recently, the CDC revised the quarantine guidelines if exposed to COVID-19 but do NOT have any symptoms.  The recommended time period for quarantine is still 14 days from the last time you were in close contact with someone with COVID-19.  But you may be able to leave quarantine sooner if you do not have any symptoms.
If you get tested for COVID-19 after at least 5 full days of quarantine, the test result is negative, and you do not have any symptoms, you may discontinue quarantine after 7 full days.
If you do not get tested for COVID-19 and do not have any symptoms, you may discontinue quarantine after 10 full days.
HOWEVER, it is important to continue to monitor your health closely for the full 14 days, wear a mask at all times outside the home, practice social distancing, and avoid crowds.  It is recommended that your child limit his activities outside the home for the full 14 days (for example, no play dates or extracurricular activities).
What are your recommendations for holiday travel and celebrations?
We know that the holidays are a time for families to gather together, but your celebrations may need to look a little different this year.  Please remember that pre-event testing can provide a false sense of security as the test only says that you do not have detectable COVID-19 virus at the time of the test.
Below are two helpful links from CHOA and the CDC with advice on how to celebrate safely:
Is Piedmont Pediatrics going to have the COVID-19 vaccine?
The short answer is not yet.  The vaccines have not been tested in children yet.  We have informed the Georgia Department of Public Health of our intent to vaccinate our patients with the vaccine once it is approved for children and is available to them.  We do not anticipate that this will occur this winter.  We will keep you posted as we learn more.
Can a child get influenza and COVID-19 infections at the same time?
Yes, it is possible to have COVID-19 infection as well as influenza, RSV, and other respiratory viruses at the same time.  So, it continues to be VERY important for all of our patients to receive a FLU VACCINE.  We still have flu vaccine available for our patients; sign up for a flu vaccine clinic time through  our website.


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