TRANSCRIPT: GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT ADDRESSES RECORD COVID-19 CASE GROWTH

17 NOVEMBER 2020

Montpelier, Vt. – At a press conference Tuesday, Governor Phil Scott and members of his Administration outlined the trends that informed new mitigation measures enacted last week.

A full transcript of the Governor’s remarks is embedded below. Click here to view the full press conference.

Transcript:

Governor Scott: As you’ve seen, our cases have continued to grow, and Commissioner Pieciak will present more on that in a few minutes. This growth has led to some big steps to slow the spread which we announced on Friday and are now in effect.

As I said last week, each of these steps are targeted to address the areas that our contact tracing data tells us are driving this spike. What was found is that it’s mostly adults from multiple households getting together with friends, inside and outside, and it usually involves alcohol and food with little, if any, mask wearing and distancing. After we urged against these activities and advised limiting them to one or two trusted families, these gatherings – like Halloween house parties and beers with friends after games – continued. And it’s led directly to our record growth.

So, as a result, in addition to requiring quarantine for all non-essential travel, we unfortunately had to ban multi-household gatherings. I know this is incredibly difficult and frustrating, especially with the holidays right around the corner, but it’s necessary and we need Vermonters’ help to get this back under control.

***

I’d like to take a minute to address some of what we’ve heard since we made this announcement, including questions and concerns from people who believe there is inconsistency in our approach, and from people who would prefer we shut down restaurants or schools, or close businesses like gyms and salons but not restrict private social gatherings.

So, let’s talk about consistency. The steps we took were based on data from the contact tracers because from the beginning, we have consistently used data and science to guide our decisions.

I understand it may seem counter-intuitive that restaurants remain open and yet you can’t have neighbors over for dinner. But the fact is, rom October 1 to the time of Friday’s announcement, 71% of outbreaks were linked to social events, parties and people hanging out at a home or at bars and clubs. We’re just not seeing these types of outbreaks linked back to people dining at restaurants or working out at gyms. This tells us the protocols at these businesses are, for the most part, working.

And while we have a number of cases that have shown up at schools, we have very few schools that have experienced transmission from one person to another, which means schools are not driving this either.

***

And this brings me to the next point: In the environment we’re in, we’ve got to prioritize “need” over “want.”

In my view, in-person education, protecting our healthcare system and keeping people working (as long as we can do it safely) are things we need. Parties and cookouts, hanging out with people just to socialize, may be fun, but these things are “wants” not “needs” and they put a lot of people at risk.

Put a different way, with pediatricians making it clear that in-person education is critical to the well-being of our children, I’m going to prioritize keeping kids in school. And, again, schools are not the root of the problem.

I know for many, getting together with family and friends over the last few months has been so important. But I’m hoping by laying out what’s at stake, it will motivate Vermonters to follow this guidance so we can get back together again soon, and safely.

***

I also want to speak to the skeptics again. Make no mistake, I understand that if you want to ignore the science or choose not to believe it for one reason or another, there’s not much we can do to stop you.

But I want to be clear: The number of people in hospitals is growing because some care more about what they want to do rather than what they need to do to help protect others, keep kids in school, keep people working and prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed to the point where care is being delivered in makeshift hospitals. It’s a fact that the consequences of an overwhelmed healthcare system will have a far greater impact on our economy and our well-being than all the prevention and mitigation measures in place across the country.

So, again, the skeptics are right. They can do what they want. But please don’t call it patriotic or pretend it’s about freedom. Because real patriots serve and sacrifice for all, whether they agree with them or not. Patriots also stand up and fight when our nation’s health and security is threatened, and right now, our country and way of life is being attacked by this virus, not the protections we put in place.

***

Look, I understand getting together with family, especially during the holidays, is important. And I understand how hard it is to be asked to keep making sacrifices. As I said last week, I haven’t seen my mom or my daughter in nearly a year. But right now, we’re in the middle of a pandemic and we’re seeing record growth.

And this growth is not because of tourists. It’s not because of restaurants. It’s not because of gyms. It’s not because of schools. It’s because adults continue to get together with other adults – multiple households, inside and outside – in situations, usually involving alcohol, where they stop taking precautions. And then they’re going to work, sending their kids to school, visiting another neighbor who works in a nursing home and spreading the virus at each stop. I don’t believe anyone is doing this on purpose, but it is what’s happening.

I hear the anger out there, the frustration, the anxiety and the sadness. And I get it. So, if you need to take it out on someone, send it my way – I can take it. But what I can’t take is seeing this continue to grow, because it’s putting our healthcare system, our economy and many lives at risk. So, you can question our methods but I’m asking you to please do your part to help.

And by Friday, we’ll be providing more clarity on social gatherings based on questions we’ve gotten to help folks understand what we need from them.

***

I also want Vermonters to know we’re stepping up at the state level as well because this is not all on your shoulders. As we announced last week, we’re continuing to expand our testing and tracing capacity which will help slow this further and hopefully without more restrictions.

Even though Vermont already does more testing per capita than any other state, our goal is to make testing more easily available. To start, we’re opening five testing centers this week in Burlington, Middlebury, Waterbury, Rutland and Brattleboro, which will operate seven days a week. By opening these centers, two-thirds of Vermonters will be within a 30-minute drive of a testing site, and we’ll continue to build on this.

Additionally, we’ve started offering testing for all teachers and school staff, with about 1,700 tested yesterday, and that will continue throughout the week. We’ve also brought on additional contact tracing staff, with 40 now working full time, and we’ll be adding approximately 20 Vermont National Guard members and 10 Department of Public Safety staff over the next two weeks.

***

Please remember, that even during these tough times, there is reason for optimism. We continue to see progress and good news about vaccines. As Dr. Fauci said recently, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

And we know we can change our trajectory when we all pull in the same direction because we’ve done it before, and we can do it again. Once we do, we’ll get back to where we were and safely roll back these latest restrictions while we await a vaccine.

https://governor.vermont.gov/governor-scotts-blog/transcript-governor-phil-scott-addresses-record-covid-19-case-growth

 

Reminder Regarding Flu Vaccines

Dear patients,

Coleman Pediatrics is currently administering flu vaccines to our patients for the 2020-2021 season.  Annual flu vaccines are recommended as part of routine preventive care for everyone over six months of age. Children less than eight years old that have not received the flu vaccine previously will require two doses given one month apart. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges that ideally this should be completed by the end of October. We are encouraging our patients to make an appointment to receive their annual flu vaccine as soon as possible, if you have not already.

Flu Clinic appointments are available for patients that ONLY need a flu vaccine. We will not be able to address any other concerns during Flu Clinics. If you have other concerns to address, or have previously experienced – fainting, extreme anxiety, or any other adverse reaction to vaccines, please notify our staff so that you are scheduled during the regular office schedule. We will NOT be offering Flu Mist this season.

Flu Clinics will be held in a separate suite located in the basement level at the rear entrance of our building (first door on the right). You will receive a screening questionnaire prior to your appointment that will be required to be completed before the appointment date.

For the safety of our patients and staff we ask that you notify us prior to your appointment if anyone is not feeling well, has had symptoms of illness within the last ten days, or if any member of the household has had symptoms of illness within the last ten days, so that we can reschedule the appointment. Face coverings are required for anyone entering the building over two years of age. We appreciate your cooperation as we work hard to make sure that all of our patients are able to receive this year’s flu vaccine in the most safe and efficient manner possible.

Sincerely,

Drs. Coleman, Thillairajah, & Greenberg

Important Announcements About Flu Vaccines and COVID-19 Testing

Important updates regarding flu vaccine and COVID testing

 

Flu vaccine information:

 

Coleman Pediatrics now has flu shots available for the 2020-2021 season. You may call the office at (301)468-9225 to schedule an appointment. Please note that “Flu Clinic” appointments are available for patients that ONLY need a flu vaccine. We will not be able to address any other concerns during Flu Clinics. If you have other concerns to address, or have previously experienced – fainting, extreme anxiety, or any other adverse reaction to vaccines, please notify our staff so that you are scheduled during the regular office schedule.

 

Flu vaccines are strongly recommended for everyone over six months of age. Children under eight years old that have not received the flu vaccine previously will require two doses given one month apart. We will NOT be offering Flu Mist this season.

 

Flu Clinics will be held in a separate suite located in the basement level at the rear entrance of our building (first door on the right). You will receive a screening questionnaire prior to your appointment that will be required to be completed before the appointment date. For the safety of our patients and staff we ask that you notify us prior to your appointment if anyone is not feeling well, has had symptoms of illness within the last ten days, or if any member of the household has had symptoms of illness within the last ten days, so that we can reschedule the appointment. Face coverings are required for anyone entering the building over two years of age. We appreciate your cooperation as we work hard to make sure that all of our patients are able to receive this year’s flu vaccine in the most safe and efficient manner possible.

 

 

COVID testing information:

 

We have recently partnered with Privia Medical Group Lab to provide patients with access to testing for COVID-19. If you think your child may need to be tested please contact the office to schedule a virtual visit with our physicians. They will be able to determine if testing is appropriate and provide the order needed for testing.

 

Privia Medical Group Lab is providing testing for patients with an order from our physicians. They are located at: 203 Perry Parkway Gaithersburg, MD 20877. Their hours are Monday –Friday 8:30am – 11:30am. Park in the lot and follow signs to the black tent. In case of inclement weather please call ahead at (201)466-0189 to confirm hours of operation.

 

Drs. Coleman, Thillairajah, & Greenberg

Important Announcements from Coleman Pediatrics

As circumstances with the health pandemic have evolved Coleman Pediatrics has made modifications to our office space, added protocols for staff/patients, and implemented new office policies in order to continue providing the best medical care in the safest environment possible. It is important that we recognize the team effort required between our staff and families within the practice to help protect each other’s health. The most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding COVID-19 can be found on their website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

Our physicians continue to be available as needed for patients requiring care related to illness, injury, medication management, and developmental/behavioral concerns during our regular business hours Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5pm. One of our physicians will also be available for virtual visits on Saturdays from 8:30am to 12pm.

Well visits and vaccines may be scheduled as in-office appointments Monday through Friday. Well visit and vaccine appointments are not currently being offered during Saturday hours. Preventive visits are a critical part of overall patient care. Patients between birth and twenty one years of age may schedule routine well visits as per the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, which can be found at https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/health-management/Pages/Well-Child-Care-A-Check-Up-for-Success.aspx.

Important office policy reminder for patients:

  • Patients scheduled for in-office appointments will receive a screening call from the practice prior to their visit.
  • We ask that you notify us of any recent symptoms of illness, exposure to, or diagnosed illness of any members in the household prior to coming to the office.
  • Please notify the office if anyone in the household has traveled within the two weeks prior to the appointment.
  • In-office appointments should be scheduled at least two weeks after return from travel or any symptoms of illness have resolved.
  • At this time only one parent/guardian will be permitted to accompany the patient into the office.
  • Face coverings must be worn by everyone entering the building. (age 2 years +)
  • Check-in, registration, pre-visit questionnaires, and other documentation may be done in advance through the Privia Patient Portal. If you have not yet registered for the portal please contact the office for assistance.
  • Any patient requiring forms to be completed must have been seen by the practice for a well visit within the previous year (unless form states a specific time frame).
  • Forms to be completed should be submitted as an attachment to a message within the Privia Patient Portal. There is a charge for completion of forms, more information about forms fees can be found at https://www.coleman-pediatrics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/4261_001.pdf. Forms will be returned via the patient portal once they have been completed and payment has been received. Please allow up to seven days for return of completed forms due to volume during peak times.
  • Annual flu vaccines are recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. Patients receiving their first ever flu vaccine will require two doses given one month apart. We will send another notice to patients as soon as the flu vaccine becomes available for the upcoming season so they may schedule appointments during one of our flu shot clinics or receive it during their upcoming well child visit. More information to follow.

Coleman Pediatrics is always available to address the healthcare needs of our patients. We encourage you to contact us at (301)468-9225 or through the secure Privia Patient Portal at https://8042-1.portal.athenahealth.com/ for assistance.

 

Sincerely,

Coleman Pediatrics

Drs. Coleman, Thillairajah, & Greenberg

Important Announcement from Coleman Pediatrics 5-7-2020

Dear patients of Coleman Pediatrics,

As we all continue to navigate the numerous changes that have come since the Coronavirus outbreak, we want to make sure that our patients are aware of their options for receiving medical care, as well as our new office policies designed to keep everyone healthy.

Our physicians continue to be available to provide virtual visits for all illness, injuries, ADHD, anxiety, depression, developmental/behavioral concerns, asthma, medication maintenance, and any other health concerns you may have. To schedule a virtual visit with your provider please go to:  https://www.coleman-pediatrics.com/patient-resources/virtual-visits/ or call the office at (301)468-9225.

All patients, of any age, are now welcome to schedule in-office preventive care visits by calling (301)468-9225. Online scheduling for in-office well visits has been temporarily disabled, but our staff is currently available to help you with any in-office scheduling needs.

In an effort to provide increased access to important preventive care, some insurance carriers have recently made changes to their coverage policies. At this time Carefirst, Cigna, and United Healthcare have announced that they are temporarily allowing coverage of well visits provided via virtual visit for patients over two years of age. Patients two years old or less must still be seen in-office to receive immunizations and monitor development. Patients seen for virtual well visits may still need to come into the office at a later time (as arranged with their physician) to complete physical exam and any other missing portions of the preventive visit not able to be completed virtually.

We have begun to receive forms to complete for many of our patients. The patient must have had a current well child visit in order for our office to complete any forms. Please send all forms via the patient portal as a message attachment. If you are unsure when the last well child visit was performed please contact the office and we will be happy to assist you.

Our staff will be wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and following additional cleaning protocols to provide a safe environment for in-office care. The nurses will continue to contact patients to screen for symptoms of illness, or any known exposure, prior to their scheduled appointment.

For the health and safety of all of our patients and staff we request that all patients:

  • Call before coming to the office if you, anyone in your household, or anyone you have had close contact with experiences any symptoms of illness, or has been recently diagnosed with an illness.
  • Wear required face covering for anyone that will be entering the office over age two years unless they are unable to for medical reasons.
  • Have only one adult accompany the patient being seen into the office for their visit. Additional visitors and siblings will not be able to come to the office at this time.
  • Register for our secure patient portal to receive important communications from our office, schedule appointments, electronically complete registration forms and pre-visit questionnaires.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation, which will allow Coleman Pediatrics to continue to provide the safest environment possible for our families. We believe it is especially important to maintain frequent communication with our patients at this time and are available to address any questions or concerns you may have.

 

Sincerely,

Coleman Pediatrics

Drs. Coleman, Thillairajah, & Greenberg

Important Announcements for Patients of Coleman Pediatrics

Dear patients,

Preventive care visits are a crucial part of maintaining overall health and well-being. Coleman Pediatrics is making every effort to ensure that our patients are able to receive this necessary care as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). We are providing in-office well visits for patients aged twelve years or less, and continuing to administer vaccines per the AAP’s vaccination schedule, while following all of the most recent protocols and guidelines.

Due to current circumstances, some insurance companies are now covering well-child preventive visits provided via virtual visit. Patients two years and under will still need to come into the office to receive their preventive care. Certain portions of well visits for older children, such as vaccinations and/or physical examinations, may still need to be completed in the office – possibly at a later date to be determined with your physician.

Both Carefirst and Cigna have recently made changes to their coverage policies, allowing well visits to be provided via our secure virtual visit platform at this time to increase patient access to important preventive care. For insurance carriers other than Cigna or Carefirst, please direct all questions regarding your policy’s coverage of well-child visits performed virtually to their member services department (this number is typically listed on the back of the insurance card).

All patients will need to complete registration, any required forms, and age appropriate pre-visit questionnaires prior to their scheduled appointment. Registration and forms can be completed electronically via our secure patient portal: https://8042-1.portal.athenahealth.com/ . If you need assistance registering for the patient portal please contact our office. Age appropriate pre-visit questionnaires for well-child visits can be found at: https://www.coleman-pediatrics.com/patient-resources/health-maintenance/ . Completed pre-visit questionnaires can be sent to your provider through the patient portal as an attachment under “Messages” prior to the appointment.

A secure link to each of our virtual visits will be sent from noreply@priviamedicalgroup.com to the email that has been provided for the patient/family member. This link must be opened using the Google Chrome browser only. Google Chrome will need to be added to the device you are using if not already installed.

Patients scheduled for virtual well visits or medication follow-ups will be required to provide their current height and weight. If possible, please also provide blood pressure and pulse. Virtual visits should take place with the patient in a well-lit location that allows adequate privacy. This is particularly important for our teenage patients to be able to discuss confidential matters with their physician.

We encourage our patients to use the scheduling flexibility offered at this time to ensure that preventive care and all other medical needs are met throughout this evolving situation. To schedule an in-office well-child visit please call (301)468-9225. If your health insurance covers virtual well-child visits you may schedule online at: https://www.coleman-pediatrics.com/patient-resources/virtual-visits/ or call the office. Virtual visits for all problems, sick visits, medication follow-ups, behavioral, and developmental issues can also be scheduled using this link, or through the office. As always, we are available to address routine care as well as any concerns you may have about your child’s physical or emotional health.

Sincerely,

Coleman Pediatrics

Drs. Coleman, Thillairajah, & Greenberg

Epipen and Epipen Jr. Manufacturer Recall

Epipen and Epipen Jr. prescriptions filled between March 2019 and March 2020 have been recalled by the manufacturer due to the potential for failure of these medications from that time period. Patients that had Epipen or Epipen Jr. prescriptions filled from March 2019 to March 2020 should contact Mylan Customer Relations at 800-796-9526 to get a replacement at no additional charge.

COVID-19 Office Policies Effective 3/24/2020

Coleman Pediatrics is committed to providing a safe environment and the best care for our patients. We are always here for you, and can be reached at (301)468-9225, as well as through our patient portal. In order to protect our patients and staff throughout the current COVID-19 situation, we request your cooperation and understanding as we work through this together.

We have modified the care we provide in the following ways:

  • Anyone who is sick, or has had someone in the home that was sick within the last seven days, should call us at (301)468-9225 before coming to the office. Virtual visits will be scheduled, as needed, after speaking to our front desk or nurse.
  • We strongly encourage you to register for a patient portal account if you have not already done so. This will allow us to provide secure communications and care to all patients efficiently. Please contact the office if you need assistance.
  • We will continue to see patients between birth and twelve years of age in the office for their well visits in order to provide vaccines as per the American Academy of Pediatrics vaccination schedule. One caregiver should bring the patient to the appointment. Siblings and/or additional persons will not be able to come to these visits at this time. Please call prior to your appointment if anyone at home has been sick in the last seven days, or if you have any questions. You can also self check-in prior to your appointment via the patient portal.
  • Existing appointments with Dr. Coleman for well visits in the next two weeks will need to be rescheduled with one of our other physicians, or for a later date, as needed. Dr. Coleman will be available for virtual visits (as they are appropriate) during this time. Please contact the office to schedule.
  • Our office is still completing forms for medications, daycare, camp, school, sports, etc. These can be sent and received through our patient portal as an attachment under “Messages”. All forms to be completed should be sent to the office through the patient portal. In order for us to complete forms the patient must have had a well visit within the last year. Please call the office for assistance with scheduling annual well visits, registering for the patient portal, and/or submitting forms to be completed.
  • We will be offering virtual visits for established sick patients only during our regular Saturday hours. We ask that all other matters be handled Monday-Friday during regular business hours.

For virtual visits you will need to do the following:

  • Register/confirm your email with our office. Register for patient portal access.
  • Log in to patient portal and digitally sign consent forms.
  • If using a cell phone for virtual visit you must download and install the “My Privia” app from the app store on your phone.
  • Virtual visits require Google Chrome browser. Please make sure you have this browser installed and open all links from us using Chrome only.
  • Please make sure your device has the camera and microphone turned on and enabled.
  • Once a virtual visit has been scheduled you will receive an email from “noreply@email.priviamedicalgroup.com” containing the link for the visit. Some patients have reported this email going to spam/junk folder. If you do not receive the email within a few minutes of scheduling (up to one day before scheduled appointment time) please check your spam/junk folder. The sender “noreply@email.priviamedialgroup.com” can be added to your contacts to prevent this in the future.
  • Follow the email link in Chrome to “Start My Check-In” at least ten minutes prior to your appointment time. Confirm insurance or self pay information, digitally sign consent to treat/agree to the terms of use, and test technology for audio/video/connection.
  • Please be prepared for the virtual visit by having the patient in a private, well-lit room (particularly for older kids and teens).
  • Follow the link in Chrome to “Start My Virtual Visit” within ten minutes prior to scheduled appointment. The provider will join the visit at the appointment time. You will be able to see and hear your provider, and they will be able to see and hear you.
  • If the virtual visit is for a sick patient please take their temperature prior to visit. If a rash is involved please send a clear picture of the rash as an attachment under “Messages” in the patient portal prior to virtual visit.
  • For medication refills please get patient’s height/weight prior to virtual visit (if possible, also provide pulse and blood pressure). Be prepared to provide this information to your physician.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns we are here to address them for you. Thank you for allowing us to continue to provide excellent care for your family.

 

Coleman Pediatrics

Drs. Coleman, Thillairajah, & Greenberg

Important Announcement for Patients of Coleman Pediatrics

We are closely monitoring the status of the novel Coronavirus. Most people who have contracted Coronavirus have mild illness. Children, in particular, have a milder course. Testing is not generally useful or recommended.
As of March 17,2020, in order to keep the community as safe as possible, we are advising rescheduling well child checks and converting non-urgent appointments to telemedicine (video) visits as needed. Newborns and babies who need checkups and immunizations are an exception. Please know that we are here for you to meet all of your needs as safely as possible.
Please note: If you or members of your family are experiencing fever, cough, difficulty breathing, vomiting, or diarrhea, it is very important that you call the office before coming in for your appointment.  We ask that, when you do come in for an appointment, please arrive with just one parent or guardian and the child who needs to be seen.
Sincerely,
Coleman Pediatrics
Drs. Coleman, Thillairajah, & Greenberg

Coronavirus Announcement

Dear Valued Patients,

As Coronavirus (COVID-19) remains a frequent topic of global news, we want to reassure you that our practice is monitoring the situation closely.

The following preventive measures should be taken to help reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).

Visit our Newsletter page for COVID-19 resources.

Public Information Sites:

New After-Hours Phone Triage System

Dear Patients and Families,

As of January 1, 2020, Coleman Pediatrics will be transitioning to a new after-hours phone triage system. When you call the office, you will be connected with an answering service. They, given the need, will transfer you to a triage nurse. The nurses are very well trained and will provide answers to your urgent needs. Dr. Coleman, Thillairajah, or Greenberg will be contacted immediately if needed. All the messages received will be seen by the on-call physician and will be responded to by one of the physicians or nurses at Coleman Pediatrics.

Again, this system is for urgent issues that can’t wait until the next business day. It is not for appointments, prescriptions, billing, or other non-emergent needs as these call will not be addressed.

If you have questions, please call the office to discuss with any of the doctors or nurses.

Drs. Coleman, Thillairajah, and Greenberg

We encourage you to call us BEFORE you seek treatment elsewhere

We strive to be available 24/7. We understand that there are off hour
needs and that going to other facilities may at times be convenient and/or
necessary. However, continuity and coordination of care are important. We
encourage you to call us BEFORE you seek treatment elsewhere: we can offer
timely counseling of the problem, minimize unnecessary use of after-hours
urgent care visits, or call ahead and direct you to the proper source of
care. We want to remind you again that we have online scheduling available
for sick and well visits.

– Drs. Coleman, Thillairajah, & Greenberg

We Are Members of Privia Medical Group

As of February 26, 2018, we are proud members of Privia Medical Group!