Preparing your team/clinic

Clinic and team preparations

You can protect your patients and health care workers from COVID-19 by following these guidelines

Pre-visit preparations to provide COVID-19-related care for children 

  • Consider notifying all families and patients in your practice directly (e.g., via email or text message) about the arrival of COVID-19 and linking them to the CDC Document entitled "Get Your Home Ready"
  • Keep children out of the health care system if direct care is not needed immediately
  • When triaging patients, consider telemedicine and other non-direct care when appropriate and feasible. The AAP website has specific telemedicine guidance
  • Provide visual alerts near sign-in sites as well as in patient rooms to inform staff, patient and parents of symptoms and reminders about cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene
  • Maintain contact with local and State health departments for information about ongoing COVID-19 responses, including local options and arrangements for COVID-19 testing
  • Be aware of your usual referral hospital’s preferences and requirements for COVID-19 referrals AND notify them before transferring or otherwise referring patients
  • Be aware of the latest relevant guidance from the Virginia Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use for office or clinic care of patients with known or suspected COVID-19 (adapted in part from CDC and AAP guidance)

A quick summary is provided below but the detailed guidance, available from CDC and from AAP at should be reviewed.

  • CDC recommends that all health personnel use gowns, gloves and commercial eye protection with such patients
  • Wear a face mask if N-95 or higher level mask/respirator is not available
  • Guidance on - and strategies for - addressing shortages of N-95 masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) are available on the CDC website
  • Use N-95 or higher respirators for procedures that can generate aerosols such as airway suctioning, sputum induction or collecting respiratory specimens. (Face masks can be used for the latter procedure if necessary)
  • To protect caregivers, other staff and other patients, suspected COVID-19 patients should wear face masks and be placed in - and examined in - a private room with closed door
  • Once the clinical history and examination is done, leave the room to complete your documentation elsewhere
  • Any aerosol generating procedures should be done in an isolation or negative pressure room

During office hours

  • When any and all patients and parents arrive, ask about respiratory symptoms and about any contact with known or suspected COVID-19 patients
  • Ask about potential high risk contacts (e.g., grandparents, anyone with chronic underlying disease) living in the same household
  • When each patient and family leaves an examining room, clean all frequently touched surfaces with appropriate disinfectant(s)

Steps in using clinical judgment to decide need for COVID-19 testing 

  • Knowing the most recent local epidemiologic information on COVID-19
  • Confirming the compatibility of the patient’s symptoms and clinical course
  • Obtaining history of ANY contact with known or suspected COVID-19 patient(s)
  • Obtaining history of contact with any ill family members or with others who may not yet be diagnosed with COVID-19 but who have compatible symptoms and history
  • Obtaining history of foreign or domestic travel within last 14 days
  • Obtaining history of adequacy of patient’s social distancing within the last 14 days, including any tie spent with groups of other children
  • Considering and ruling out other (non-COVID-19) respiratory pathogens, e.g., influenza A

Post-visit measures

Adapted from guidance from the AAFP, CDC, AAP, and others. CDC Guidance can be found here.

Community liaisons: We're here to help

Lexi Aman
Outreach and Marketing Specialist, Senior
Northern and Central Virginia
Office: (804) 229-9351




Karol WilsonKarol Wilson, MBA
Outreach and Marketing Specialist, Senior
Central and Eastern Virginia
Office: (804) 239-3819



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