COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. It causes an illness with symptoms similar to the common cold or flu, including fever, cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing. Additional symptoms may include body aches, chills, headaches, nasal congestion or runny nose, loss of sense of taste and/or smell, and vomiting and diarrhea. Some people may show no symptoms.
Most children will have a mild illness and will recover at home without the need for medical intervention. Severe illness is often found in older adults or in people with high-risk conditions.
We support the executive order that mandates a mask be worn while indoors in public places, even when playing sports. Wearing a mask in public reduces the spread of COVID-19. Studies have shown that oxygen and carbon dioxide levels remain stable among people wearing masks. We do not provide mask exemption letters.
- Wearing a Mask While Playing Sports (Central & Priority Pediatrics)
- Masks & Sports (The American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Mask Wearing In School (American Academy of Pediatrics: Minnesota Chapter)
In-clinic testing is available (often it’s available same-day). Results will be available on the Central Peds patient portal. If you don’t already have an account, set one up here. Testing is also available through the Minnesota Department of Health and the Wisconsin Department of Health. Guidelines for when to get tested are available from The Minnesota Department of Health.
What to do while you wait for the test result:
Stay at home and away from others. If it is necessary to leave the home, wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from others. Monitor symptoms. If worsening, contact your healthcare provider and make sure they know that a COVID-19 test was done. It is good to start making a plan for what you and your family will do if the test is positive. If you were tested because you have symptoms, siblings should remain at home as well until test results are available. If possible, adult household members should stay home also.
What to do when you get your result:
- Stay at home in isolation for at least 10 days from the time symptoms started until symptoms have improved AND there is no fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications).
- Siblings and household or other close contacts stay home and quarantine from all activities for 14 days from last contact with the positive individual. If the COVID positive person cannot be adequately quarantined from other family members in the home, the 14 day quarantine would start at the end of the patient’s 10 day quarantine (on day 11). Household members should consider getting tested 5-7 days after contact or if symptoms develop.
A negative result means you do not currently have COVID-19 infection. What you need to do next depends on whether or not you have had CLOSE CONTACT with a known COVID positive person(s). Close contact is defined as a person who was within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes in a 24 hour period of someone who is infected:
- If you were tested because you have symptoms but no known close contact: Stay home until you are fever free for a 24 hour period without the use of fever reducers and your other symptoms have improved. You may have another viral illness and you don’t want to spread that to others. Siblings and other well household members may return to school and other activities.
- If you were tested because you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive: You must STILL stay home from all activities and away from others (quarantine). This is true even if you have no symptoms of COVID-19 (asymptomatic). COVID-19 can take up to 14 days to make you sick, and some people with COVID-19 never feel sick, so you need to separate yourself from others so you don’t spread the virus without knowing it. The length of the quarantine will be AT LEAST 7 days but up to 14 days (see below). If you go on to develop symptoms of COVID-19 a repeat test should be considered. Siblings and household contacts do not need to stay home or quarantine if they are well.
A 14 day Quarantine is the Safest Option
You should stay home and away from others for 14 days and if ANY of the following are true:
- Someone living in your home has COVID-19.
- You live in a building with other people, where it is hard to stay away from others, like a congregate living setting (such as a long-term care facility).
You may consider being around others after 10 days if ALL of the following are true:
- You do not have any
- You have not had a positive test for COVID-19.
- No one in your home has COVID-19, and you do not live in a congregate living setting.
You may consider being around others after 7 days if ALL of the following are true:
- ALL of the 10-day conditions are met AND
- You get a PCR COVID-19 test at least 5 full days after you had close contact with someone with COVID-19, and that test is negative.
EVEN AFTER a 7 or 10 day quarantine YOU MUST STILL:
- Watch for any symptoms through day 14. If you have any symptoms, stay home and away from others, and get tested right away.
- Continue to wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from other people.
Care for Coronavirus
- Virtual visits: Telemedicine is here! In many cases, our board certified pediatricians are available to see your child at home using a camera and microphone. Please call our office to determine if this service is appropriate for your child. Telemedicine is also available for medication checks, mental health visits, and more.
- Visits in our offices: Please call to make an appointment.
- Home care for COVID-19 symptoms:
- Many symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other common colds or flu, including cough, nasal congestion, sore throat and fever and fatigue. Additional symptoms may include body aches, headache, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of taste and/or smell.
- Most children and young adults will have a mild course of illness, or even asymptomatic illness, and will recover at home without the need for medical intervention.
- Encourage fluids and plenty of rest.
- Either acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) may be given as directed for fever or discomfort.
- If you have concerns please contact us by telephone or through portal messaging.
- If there is trouble breathing, blueish lips/face, lethargy/difficulty awakening, or other signs of serious illness or life threatening emergency, call 911.
- Caring for your family’s mental health.
Preventing spread of COVID-19 when someone in your home is ill:
- Follow quarantine guidelines strictly. While they may be very disruptive to our life routines, they are essential in helping prevent the spread of this illness.
- Maintain as much separation between household members as possible. If separation is not possible, masks should be worn while in the same room (for children over age 2).
- Practice good hand hygiene. Wash hands often and well with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, coughing or sneezing, and before making food.
- Avoid touching your face or the front of your mask where droplets may soak through.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizers (with 60-90% alcohol) are also a reasonable option. Avoid any products containing methanol.
- Use a tissue to cover coughs and for nose wiping and wash hands afterward. Be sure to dispose of tissues promptly.
We are taking additional steps in our clinics to keep your family safe.
- Please limit clinic visitors. We ask that only one adult accompany each patient. If possible, please do not bring your child’s siblings to the appointment.
- If your child is scheduled for a well visit and also has symptoms of an illness, we ask that you reschedule your appointment (if parents bringing the child in have illness symptoms, we also ask that you reschedule the appointment).
- Enhanced cleaning efforts are taking place clinic-wide.
- Books, stickers, and crayons have been removed.
- We urge families to practice social distancing, especially in our lobby area (Ideal distancing is 6 feet apart or more).
- We continue to screen all individuals who come to the clinic for symptoms and exposure history.
- You may notice increased use of paper forms and handouts. This is a temporary change we are making to reduce the use of “high touch” items such as ipads.
- For patients over the age of 2 as well as caregivers, face coverings should be worn for the duration of your visit. We understand that there may be developmental and behavioral challenges with wearing a face covering and that this may not be practical for all patients.
- For well children visiting our locations: All patients and accompanying adults will be screened for symptoms of illness or exposure upon check in. Patients will be asked to reschedule if they or the accompanying adult have symptoms of illness or a positive exposure.