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  • Writer's pictureDr. Speir

Covid surge! Tips on how to self-isolate from your baby or family members.

This week, and it is Tuesday, has already been the worst week of Covid cases for our practice. This reflects the overall surge in cases throughout the country and I urge you to not let down your guard -- Trust no one! As hope for the vaccine gets nearer, everyone needs to remember they require 2 doses 3-4 weeks apart this means we are still months away from having some herd immunity for this deadly and terrible disease. Please follow the guidelines of social distancing and mask wearing, only socialize outside with a mask!

Let's go over the basics :

If you have any of the following symptoms please get a COVID test ( available at Rite-Aid, CVS, the Great Park in Irvine if you are resident, and most urgent cares). There are rapid tests and tests which usually take 24-48 hours. Symptoms can show up between 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

* FEVER is the most common symptoms, anything > 100.4 but sometimes even a low grade fever or chills


*Shortness of Breath


*Muscle Aches


*New loss of taste or smell

*Congestion or runny nose

*Nausea and vomiting


If you have any of the symptoms please report them before you come to the office or on your way to the hospital or at the entrance of the hospital. Your baby will not be taken away from you or any of medical care. It helps us provide better care and protect the staff at the hospital. The symptoms mimic the common cold or flu, please let us know if you have any of those.

If you are diagnosed with COVID here are some strategies to use to help protect your family:

Best Way to Isolate at Home?

•Stay in one room, away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom if you can.

•Stay separated for meals. If possible, the other person in your home can bring meals to the door of your room. Eat in your room if you can.

•Wear a facemask, if you can, when around other people (e.g., sharing a room or car).

•Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; and clean hands at once as described below.

•Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

•Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Another method to clean hands is with hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Soap and water are best if hands are visibly dirty.

  • Key times to clean hands include:

    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

    • After using the restroom

    • Before eating or preparing food

    • After contact with pets.

•Clean “high touch” surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, TV remotes, toilets, faucets, sinks. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions.

  • Do not leave home, except for getting medical care.

  • Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

  • Wear a mask in the car on the way to and from your medical appointment.

•Try to get help from a healthy relative or friend to bring food and supplies. Have them come to the door and not step inside.

What is the Best Way to Protect the Baby Without Isolation?

•Minimize contact with your baby as much as able.

•When in contact with the baby, wear a mask if able.

•Before touching the baby, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

•Follow the measures listed under “How Do I Isolate At Home?” if you able.

•When in the same room as the baby, try to keep baby 6 feet away when possible.

•If there is another asymptomatic caregiver at home, try to have this person perform baby care when possible.

When Can Mom Stop Isolation at Home?

  • If mom had a positive COVID test but no symptoms: 10 days after testing positive. If mom had a positive test and the following symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath):

    • •At least 10 days from the first symptoms

AND 3 days (72 hours) after all your symptoms have improved; including no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications

  • More testing is not needed after this time.

  • **NOTE: Even if you have stopped isolation, your baby still needs to be in isolation for 14 days unless he/she has had two negative COVID tests in a row. The reason for this is because the baby has been exposed to the virus and can still get sick and/or infect other people.

Breastfeeding - How Should Mom Breastfeed Safely?

• It is well known that breastmilk is full of ingredients that all work together to help babies develop a strong immune system and fight infections in their immediate environment.

  • Chen et al found no evidence of COVID-19 in the breast milk of 9 infected women. Breastfeeding is encouraged and is a potentially important source of antibody protection for the infant.

• Breast-pumping milk for the baby is recommended. The CDC recommends that during temporary separation, women who intend to breastfeed should be encouraged to express their breast milk to establish and maintain milk supply.

  • If possible, a dedicated breast pump should be provided. Before expressing breast milk, women should practice appropriate hand hygiene.

  • After pumping, all parts of the pump that come into contact with breast milk should be thoroughly washed, and the entire pump should be appropriately disinfected per the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Expressed breast milk should be fed to the newborn by a healthy caregiver.

• For women and infants who are not separated, the CDC recommends that if a woman and newborn do room-in and the woman wishes to feed at the breast, she should put on a facemask and practice hand hygiene before each feeding (

  • Careful factors need to be taken to make sure babies can breastfeed safely:

•When not breast-pumping, keep mother’s breasts covered so they don’t become polluted from droplets from your nose and mouth. If these droplets do get on your breasts, wash them with soap and water or a germicidal wipe.

•Moms should wash hands for 20 seconds and put on a mask before touching her breasts.

•If using a breast-pump, follow directions for pump cleaning after each use.•If possible, have someone who is not sick feed pumped milk to your baby.

What is the Best Way to Breastfeed the Baby?

When near or breastfeeding the baby:

•(1) FIRST perform excellent hand washing (

•(2) THEN put on a mask to help contain secretions from your nose and mouth.

•(3) AFTER being with baby, take off the mask and wash hands again

Abstracted from: Protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 (6-27-2020)

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