August 4, 2020
Though Summer is in full swing, Fall and the new school year (whatever that may look like) will soon be upon us. While we may welcome the cooler air and the beauty of the season, the dramatic rise in the number of people coming to our region will also bring an increase in the risk of contracting COVID-19. It is therefore vitally important for everyone to play a role in limiting the spread the virus, and in keeping eachother safe. That means mask wearing must become universal. Recognizing the importance of this simple measure, the Board of Health for the Town of Amherst has issued an emergency order mandating the wearing masks in the downtown area.
Map showing boundaries of the COVID-19 Required Face Covering and Mask Area:
Likewise, to keep our staff and patients safe, no one age 2 years and above will be allowed to enter our office without an approriate face covering.
Please drive the following deep into your consciousness and share with everyone you meet:
Practice the 3 W's
1. Wear a mask at all times when you may come within 6 feet of someone outdoors, or 10-12 feet indoors.
2. Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer when not near a source of soap and water.
3. Wait at home if you're sick.
Avoid the 3 C's:
1. Closed spaces with poor ventilation.
2. Crowded places with groups of people.
3. Close-contact settings, such as one-on-one conversations.
As more and more people seek and require testing, our regional testing capacity has become more strained. At the moment, Amherst Pediatrics recommends the following options for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 testing:
Symptomatic testing - Anyone with possible symptoms of COVID-19 will need to be tested either offsite (see below) or in our outdoor facility at Amherst Pediatrics. Our capacity to test symptomatic patients at Amherst Pediatrics is very limited, and will be determined by our clincal team. COVID-19 symptoms include:
Asymptomatic testing - An increasing number of individuals are seeking or requiring testing in order to begin school, to work, to see relatives, or to travel. Amherst Pediatrics has a limited on-site capability to perform coronavirus nasal swab testing. Please call well in advance to schedule a testing appointment. If we are unabke to provide on-site testing for your particular needs, we will arrange for off-site testing (see below).
Off-site testing locations
Baystate Medical Center - Testing can be performed at several Baystate locations. Appointments are arranged by Amherst Pediatrics, but the location and time is set by Baystate. Appointment information will be sent to you as a portal message. The current Baystate locations are Springfield, Greenfield, Ware, and Westfield.
Cooley Dickinson Hospital - Drive-through testing as well as urgent-care evaluation and testing can be performed at CDH in Northampton. Scheduling is initiated by Amherst Pediatrics and patients are then called by CDH to complete the scheduling process.
Turnaround time for receiving test results varies by location and testing demand, and is beyond our control. As of now, results are typically available within 24-48 hours.