[Dec. 27, 2021] The CDC made a major announcement today based on what we have learned over the past almost 2 years, and also in response to the staggering case numbers (mostly mild so far) and the impact on the work force.
It’s imperative that we stop using the words “ISOLATION” and “QUARANTINE” interchangeably. ISOLATION refers to the measures that a person who is confirmed POSITIVE takes to prevent spread during the time they are contagious. QUARANTINE refers to the measures that an EXPOSED person takes to minimize the chance that they will spread infection during the incubation period or before they realize they are ill.
First ISOLATION: There is ONE rule (as there always has been), and it applies to anyone and everyone who is tested positive. Under the new guidelines, if you have COVID, you need to stay home and ISOLATE (ideally stay in a room/bathroom with no outside contact) for 5 DAYS (shortened from 10). THIS ASSUMES THAT THE PERSON HAS NO SYMPTOMS REMAINING AT THE 5 DAY MARK. The person should then MASK IN PUBLIC for the next 5 days. This is based on an enormous amount of data gathered that shows that people are the most contagious and thus most transmission occurs in the day or so before symptoms start and for the first 2-3 days after.
Now on to QUARANTINE: This one has two rules, depending upon how vaccinated a person is.
- Option 1 – Maximally vaccinated people do not have to stay home or officially quarantine but mask in public for 10 days. This means boosted individuals, or those who are less than 6 months out from their second mRNA vaccine dose (or less than2 months since J and J). Overall these people have roughly 75% protection even against Omicron – not 100% but substantial. This is not very different from what has been the rule for vaccinated individuals already, except it now only applies to maximally vaccinated people.
- OPTION 2 – People who are UNvaccinated or those who are more than 6 months out from second dose (or more than 2 months after J and J) and who are NOT BOOSTED must quarantine at home for 5 days and then mask for an additional 5 days. There is also language that if this is not “feasible“ then they should wear a “ well fitting mask” strictly for 10 days. The CDC also says that the best practice for EVERYONE is also a negative test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 after exposure. This is very important we should all try really hard to get this done.
[June 3, 2021] We just received our large shipment of the Pfizer vaccine. We are happy to immunize our patients and their parents in our Fannin office. You can get your child’s (12+) dose on your next visit, or you can call and we will make you an appointment to come in just for the vaccine. For the moment we will only be giving them in the Fannin office. Just call (713) 795-9500 and we will find a time that’s most convenient for you and your teen.
[August 12, 2020] Starting today, gaiter-type, single-layer face coverings will not be allowed in our office. We will supply you and your child over 2 years old with a mask if you need one.
[July 6, 2020] If your child has come for a COVID test that was done with the front of the nose swab, PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE OFFICE FOR RESULTS UNLESS WE HAVE NOT CALLED YOU IN 1 WEEK.
They take 3-5 business days or possibly longer (5 business days is a full week).
You may also see the results yourself at the SAME moment we can by setting up an account with LabCorp and adding your child as a dependent via this link.
Our office staff cannot handle the volume of calls and still call each patient when the results get to us, which we have committed to do.
Please be patient and kind on the phone. Anyone who has undergone this test should have received the information for the portal. If not, please visit the link. Thank you.
[June 27, 2020] If you’ve been following the news and our daily Facebook updates, you have likely heard that the current situation in Houston is not favorable. The updates from Drs. Birx and Fauci at the end of last week were all about Texas, Florida and a few other states. Four out of the five metro hot spots in the country are in Texas, and Harris County is now second in the U.S. for rapid acceleration of cases and hospitalization.
This is alarming and we can do better.
Because of the new numbers, and in order to keep our office safe, we are implementing some temporary adjustments in procedures beginning Monday, June 29.
The following things will not change:
- Everyone over the age of 2 must be masked in our office.
- Except for newborn visits, only ONE adult may be in our office per child being seen.
- All physician schedules are adjusted such that the waiting room is essentially empty.
- We are completing VERY frequent and thorough disinfection of exam rooms (after each patient) and all common areas.
A few new things:
- For the next two weeks, we will suspend any check-ups that do not require vaccines, with the exception of newborns. (Note: We are aware that you may have school forms due, and for the moment, we will complete forms based on the 2019 check-up visit and can amend the forms if needed.)
- We will internally separate rooms used for sick and well visits and will continue to thoroughly disinfect every room after each patient regardless if sick or well.
COVID DRIVE-THRU TESTING AT FANNIN LOCATION –Beginning Monday, June 29 at the Fannin location, for our established patients only, we will offer drive-up COVID testing for asymptomatic kids whose parents would like them tested.
These must be scheduled by phone through the office like any other appointment. Your child must have no symptoms or be ill in any way. This is for asymptomatic kids only. The test will be administered by one of our physicians in the valet parking area near the old emergency room facility.
Please respect the guidelines outlined above. We are doing this to further decongest our office to keep it safe for everyone. At this point, these changes will stay in effect for the next two weeks.
Wear your mask. Wear it for your kids, so they can start school in the fall, play sports and other activities, and see their friends. Wear it for your friends and families so they do not find themselves in our crowded hospitals. Wear it for our community, so more people do not lose their jobs, their businesses and their livelihoods. And lastly, wear it for yourself.
[May 17, 2020] We wanted to take a moment to remind you of the measures we are taking to keep you and your child safe for needed well and sick visits. There is a lot of concern in the pediatric community because many children are not receiving their routine immunizations. We’ve discussed it here before but this simply has to be corrected. Our office has been and will continue to follow the MOST stringent guidelines to allow us to continue to care for your child.
Before you even arrive, your appointment will be made onto the doctor’s schedule which has been dramatically changed. Appointment times are spaced out so that there is essentially no time spent in the waiting room. Each of our offices has plenty of exam rooms to bring you back very quickly after your arrival.
You will be asked to wear a mask over your mouth and nose as will any child over 2 (unless medically unable). We will provide a covering to use if you do not have your own. You will be asked to wear this the entire time you are in our office.
All of our staff is masked; the physicians and medical assistants are wearing higher level masks depending on the type of visit and any procedures they are performing.
Each exam room is disinfected thoroughly after EVERY patient, even well visits.
The entire office is cleaned during the middle of the day as well as at the end of the day.
There are hand sanitizer dispensers along the walls throughout the office, and you will be handed a hand sanitizer wipe to use on your way out which can also be used to press elevator buttons and open doors on the way back to your car.
ALL of our employees are screened daily for signs of illness and sent home immediately for ANY symptom. Thus far we have had NO employees who have become ill with COVID-19.
We hear each day that parents were nervous to come to the office, and we absolutely understand, but we know that once they see how the office is being run, they feel comfortable.
Please do not put your child at risk by delaying well visits or vaccines, and please do not allow minor illnesses to become serious because of concern about our office.
This recommendation is in line with the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for the continuing care of our children.
If you have ANY questions or particular concerns, we are happy to help reassure you further. As always, we want to keep your children healthy and happy even in these strange times.
[April 27, 2020] This week is feeling like the beginning of a SLOW move toward re-opening. We have all heard how important testing is for this effort.
Click here for an interactive map of Texas showing testing sites. Simply put in your address or zip code and it will show you testing sites near you. In addition, Governor Abbott is set to have a press conference at 2:30pm today to update us on plans for our state. We can all feel cautiously optimistic. Let us know how we can help you.
[April 18, 2020] Today we have usual Saturday morning office hours for sick kids. We also have a physician doing morning telemedicine appointments.
We are cautiously adding 1-2 physicians back into the daily schedule this coming week, while keeping the schedule spaced out to avoid crowding the waiting room.
Dr. Haque will be in our Memorial City office on Monday, April 20 with well appointments during the morning and sick in the afternoon.
For this coming week, we are still doing only well checks that require vaccines. We hope to resume all ages starting Monday, April 27, as well as resume all physician normal office hours… if we can do it safely. We will keep you posted.
We are still following all CDC and AAP guidelines for infection control including universal masking, one adult per child being seen, and more spacing between appointment times.
Please continue your efforts at mitigation. Our area is getting close to phase 1 of the reopening plan, so we can’t get sloppy! Thank you for your efforts and loyalty as we get through this together.
[April 17, 2020] Last night during the briefing, Dr. Birx gave an overview of the plan to re-open our country.
The most important things about the plan are:
- Safety is THE most important factor.
- It is data driven.
- It is adjustable to the actual situation on the ground.
- It will be implemented in each location at a time and speed most appropriate to that exact area.
It’s not easy; we are all going to have to continue to follow the strict guidelines of hand washing, covering our cough, avoid touching our faces, disinfecting surfaces as much as possible, and wearing a mask or face covering in public. These rules must be followed strictly until we are way into the plan.
Basically there are some thresholds that an area must see before advancing into each phase. These fall into three categories, but essentially we need to have seen 14 consecutive days of declining cases, and our hospitals need to be able to handle any possible surge. Then if there is no bump in cases, the area can proceed to the next phase, and so on.
Each phase allows increasing ability for people to gather and increasing types of businesses that can open. Examples:
- Phase 1: 10 people can gather, gyms can open if spacing possible, outpatient elective surgeries can restart, dine-in restaurants can open with spacing, work can resume but common spaces like lounges stay closed.
- Phase 2: Up to 50 people can gather, non-essential travel is okay, schools, camps, daycare, etc., can open, sports, movies, religious venues can open with spacing guidelines, some bars can open.
- Phase 3: Visits to senior living can resume, larger gatherings, more bars can open and restaurants can somewhat relax spacing.
So you may be thinking… “okay, what about us?” Houston is in pretty good shape; we are fine on the hospital-related gating criteria and we are probably getting close to a day when we can start counting 14 consecutive days. If we all keep up what we are doing for now! That is really crucial. If we get sloppy now, we will never get to phase one. If we keep doing a good job, then hopefully by early May we will be able to start phase 1. So stay strong, keep it up, and know we are here for you.
For a full copy of the guidelines, click here.
[April 9, 2020] As of this morning, local health authorities, including Texas Children’s Hospital, have recommended that even in outpatient settings, ALL adults and children over 2 need to wear a cover over their mouth and nose.
This can be a cloth mask, scarf or bandana. If you do not have something to use, we will supply a temporary covering to you upon arrival to use while at our office. Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.
[April 6, 2020] If you come to the office, please prepare your children for the fact that all our staff will be masked, mainly for your protection. Although everyone is screened carefully for symptoms before starting work each day, since we know that this virus can be spread before symptoms begin, we have to take this precaution. In addition, our doctors and nurses will be wearing even more protective gear including eye protection and gowns.
We are sorry that this has become necessary, but as we have said from the beginning, we are following the recommendations of the CDC and local health officials and will continue to do so.
Please stay strong, keep up the hard work, we heard a few positive notes from Dr. Birx on case number stabilization in some hard hit areas last night. Houston and Texas are behind those areas, meaning we have a BETTER chance, an INCREASED likelihood of flattening our curve and SAVING lives of those closest to us.
Thank you, everyone, in our extended Bootin and Savrick family.
[March 30, 2020] Starting Tuesday, March 31, our Memorial City office will be closed. We are doing this to divide our physicians into two teams to minimize exposure and reduce the risk of our physicians being exposed and therefore unable to work.
Other than the possibility that you will be making an appointment with one of our doctors who is not your child’s primary (and no one will be scheduled on Memorial City for at least two weeks), you will not notice a difference in the other measures we have implemented for the safe care, excellent service and highest possible level of infection control we can achieve.
We will also have numerous doctors available daily for telemedicine visits and encourage you to utilize this service if appropriate for your child.
We apologize for all the changes, but we must be flexible and keep the big picture in mind. Remember to keep calm, stay diligent and realize that the long view is the one that’s important. It won’t be long until our precious kids will be back to their activities, and all of our lives will get back to normal. We appreciate all that you are doing to keep your family healthy, and to help us stay healthy to care for your child for many years to come.
[March 24, 2020] Starting today, all doctors will have availability for TELEMEDICINE appointments for APPROPRIATE sick visits. This is in addition to our current schedule of well visits in the morning and sick visits in the afternoon in each of our three offices.
As many of you have likely seen if you have been in our office, we have also made many changes to help minimize exposures:
* Enhanced disinfecting schedule including thorough cleaning of each exam room after every patient;
* Physician schedules have changed to enable very short, if any, time in waiting rooms, and if indicated, some patients will be masked upon arrival screening;
* Lollipops are now handed out as you leave instead of in the bins;
* Yesterday we started distributing a hand sanitizer wipe as you leave our office which can also be used as you open the doors and push elevator buttons on the way to your car.
We hope that these measures, with the addition of telemedicine visits during this crises, will enable you to continue to feel safe, allowing us to care for your child. Please remember, telemedicine visits are not appropriate to all sick visits, especially in pediatrics.
[March 19, 2020] We now have things organized well so we can resume well child visits. We have taken steps with the schedule to assure the waiting areas stay decongested, and will continue to screen all patients by phone and upon arrival. We also want everyone to know that we have a facility in the building at our Fannin office to safely see any patient that is suspicious of having COVID or that meets criteria for testing as to completely avoid bringing these children into the office.
Following AAP guidelines, we will see well child visits REQUIRING VACCINES (and newborns) in the morning hours. We will also do well checks on children who are behind on vaccines trying to catch up.
All sick child visits will be scheduled in the afternoon hours.
We hope this helps everyone get their children’s medical needs taken care of safely and efficiently. Thank you again for your loyalty and patience. We are so proud to be able to serve our amazing patients and their families during this time.
[March 16, 2020] STARTING IMMEDIATELY, ONLY ONE ADULT PER PATIENT BEING SEEN WILL BE ALLOWED INTO THE OFFICE. NO SIBLINGS. WE CANNOT MAKE EXCEPTIONS TO THIS. We must keep the waiting room decongested. We know this is difficult with kids out of school, but we must keep things as safe as possible for everyone. Thank you.
[March 10, 2020] Regarding COVID-19, Bootin and Savrick will follow the CDC guidelines exactly. These are fluid and we monitor for updates daily. We will order tests ONLY on patients who meet CDC criteria. The supplies are in short supply and cannot be used unnecessarily; so please do not ask for it otherwise, as we will not order it.
As a reminder, children are known to generally have VERY mild symptoms (nasal congestion, mild cough, etc.) or NO symptoms. So in general, as pediatricians, our patient population is not high risk. If you think your child DOES meet criteria, please call our office, let the operator know, and a physician will call you back to help.
Remember, at this time, ANY patient who does meet criteria must self quarantine for two weeks in their home. For further information, visit the CDC website here.