Recently, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced new, more aggressive, recommendations for COVID-19 testing. This represents a major change from previous recommendations and coincides with increased movements to “reopen” the state.
The current recommendations call for COVID-19 testing for ALL SYMPTOMATIC INDIVIDUALS defined as those having any of the following:
- Shortness of Breath
- Sore Throat
- Body Aches
- Loss of Sense of Taste or Smell
- Certain Rashes (ie: “COVID toes”)
If your child has any of the above symptoms (even if mild), please call our office. We will be recommending a visit (most likely a virtual visit over telehealth) in order to make sure there are no other symptoms or concerns, order COVID testing, and discuss what to expect and when to seek additional care.
In addition, the DPH has recommended that all close contacts of known COVID cases be tested. Close contacts are defined as:
- Being less than 6 feet away from a patient with documented COVID-19 for at least 10 minutes
- Close contact can occur while the patient was symptomatic or within 48 hours before symptom onset
If your child is a close contact of a known COVID-19 patient (or if you are not sure), please call our office. If you are without symptoms, we have protocols in place to order COVID-19 testing and discuss necessary management without a virtual visit. Of course, if you would like a virtual visit, this is possible as well.
In their recommendations, the DPH state reinforced that antibody testing should not be used for diagnostic purposes as, “in order to be appropriately interpreted, more data are needed on the performance characteristics of these tests, the immune response to COVID-19, the timing and duration of antibody response, and how antibodies correlate to protective immunity.” As a result, we will be continuing our previous policy of NOT ordering antibody testing for patients at this time.
We will continue to provide updates for this evolving situation as they come along.
All of us at Westwood-Mansfield Pediatrics