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COVID & Vaccines Updates


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Please check back here regularly for updates. Please note that information is rapidly changing so refer to the most current updates.


Upcoming Booster Clinics

December 6, 2021

We have added additional COVID vaccine booster clinics. The dates are as follows:

Updated CDC Guidelines on Boosters: 

Booster shots are now available to all Connecticut residents 18 years and older. You can receive a booster if it has been at least two months since you received J&J or six months since you received a second shot of Pfizer or Moderna.

Call (860) 368-2285 to schedule an appointment.

Our pediatric offices are now offering the Pfizer vaccine to children aged 5-11, as well as older children. Contact your pediatric provider to schedule.


Boosters Now Available to Everyone Age 18 and Above

November 4, 2021

Booster shots are now available to all Connecticut residents 18 years and older. You can receive a booster if it has been at least two months since you received J&J or six months since you received the second shot of Pfizer or Moderna.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer and Moderna’s requests to expand eligibility of those shots to all adults in the United States.

The “unanimous decision carefully considered the current state of the pandemic, the latest vaccine effectiveness data over time and review of safety data from people who have already received a COVID-19 primary vaccine series and booster,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said.

“Booster shots … are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus as we enter the winter holidays.”

Case rates in Connecticut and the region have edged up recently, prompting state and local officials to encourage fully vaccinated residents to seek a booster shot.

Gov. Ned Lamont and state Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani last week publicly urgedadult residents to get inoculated ahead of the holidays.

“Get it before Thanksgiving, before Christmas, before all those holidays,” Lamont said, “[and] before we see what’s going on in Maine and Vermont, Rhode Island, and New York – all around us. We’ll be ready.”

Prior to Friday’s federal authorization, boosters were permitted for people 65 and older, anyone 18 and older with underlying health conditions, those 18 and older who live in long-term care settings such as nursing homes, and those 18 and older who work or live in high-risk settings. Qualifying work places included grocery stores, educational facilities, public transit spaces, manufacturing facilities and prisons, among other locations.

Our next Moderna Clinics will be offered at 300 Kensington Avenue on:

December 3: 300 Kensington Avenue from 9AM-12PM patients, staff, providers
December 8: 300 Kensington Avenue from 1PM-6PM patients, staff, providers

Patient can call (860) 368-2285 to schedule an appointment.


Boosters & Clinics

November 4, 2021

We continue to offer boosters and have the following clinics scheduled:

Moderna Booster Clinics:
November 10: Wethersfield from 2:30-5PM staff and providers
November 17: Wethersfield from 1-3PM booster for patients
November 22: 300 Kensington Avenue from 8AM-11AM staff, providers, and patients

December 3: 300 Kensington Avenue from 9AM-12PM patients, staff, providers
December 8: 300 Kensington Avenue from 1PM-6PM patients, staff, providers


Pfizer Booster:
November 18: 300 Kensington Avenue from 2-4PM PM staff, providers, and patients  

Scheduling: 
Patient can call (860) 368-2285 to schedule an appointment.
 
Updated CDC Guidelines on Boosters: 
Boosters are recommended as followed:

IF YOU RECEIVED: Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna

You are eligible for a booster if you are:

When to get a booster:
At least 6 months after your second shot

Which booster should you get?
Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States

IF YOU RECEIVED: Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen

You are eligible for a booster if you are:
18 years or older

When to get a booster:
At least 2 months after your shot

Which booster should you get?
Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States


Now Offering the Pediatric COVID Vaccine to Children Ages 5-11

November 3, 2021

After months of testing and careful deliberation by the U.S Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control, the Pfizer vaccine has been granted emergency use for children aged 5-11.

This is exciting news and an important step as we move forward and protect our young and vulnerable population. Our Starling team is very supportive of this decision and is pleased to offer the vaccine in our Pediatric offices. 

Call today to schedule your appointment:

Vernon: (860) 871-2102

New Britain: (860) 224-6282

Plainville: (860) 747-1132

Newington: (860) 666-5167

A parent or guardian must be present.

COVID-19’s impact on children

Since the start of the pandemic, about 1.9 million children ages 5-11 years have been infected, about 9% of all U.S. cases. More than 8,300 have been hospitalized and 94 have died, according to federal data. The death toll in the past year puts COVID in the top 10 causes of death for this age group.

Vaccine found to be safe and effective 

The pediatric vaccine just authorized will be given in two 10-microgram doses administered 21 days apart. The dosage is one-third of the adolescent and adult dose.

Clinical trials in children ages 5-11 years found the vaccine to be 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.  

Safety data from the trials, which included more than 3,000 children who received the vaccine, found the most common reactions were pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. Reactions were mostly mild or moderate. There were no serious adverse events related to the vaccine, including myocarditis or anaphylaxis.

If you have questions, please consult with your Starling pediatric provider. Please click here for more helpful information from the CDC on children and teens and the vaccine.

Source: https://www.aappublications.org/news/2021/10/26/fda-pfizer-covid-vaccine-children-102621


Younger Children and the COVID-Vaccine

October 28, 2021

Children aged 5 to 11 will soon be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine at their pediatrician’s office, local pharmacies, and potentially even their school, the White House announced on Wednesday as it detailed plans for the expected authorization of the Pfizer shot for younger children in a matter of weeks.

So what does this mean for families and the fight against COVID-19?  Here’s what Dr. Richard Besser, former acting CDC director and president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, told “Face the Nation.”  Click here to read the article>


Does your child have a cold, flu or COVID?

October 21, 2021

Your child has a sore throatcough, and a high fever. Is it COVID? Could it be the flu? Or just a cold? With fall season underway and many germs in circulation, it is understanding why there can be some confusion.

All these illnesses are caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract. All are contagious and can spread easily from person to person. And they cause some similar symptoms. Click here to learn more>


Upcoming COVID vaccine dates

October 6, 2021

Oct 27: Moderna 1st and 2nd Dose Clinic

2:30pm-5pm

300 Kensington Avenue, New Britain

You must be a Starling patient

Please call (860) 368-2285 to schedule an appointment

 Those who qualify for the Pfizer booster include:


Booster Dose Recommendations

September 27, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Providers in Connecticut have been approved to administer Pfizer booster doses in line with the FDA emergency use authorization and CDC recommendations.

CDC recommends:  

People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may* receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks

Note that persons who received Moderna or J&J vaccines for their primary doses are not included in the CDC recommendation currently. We expect to receive several continued updates to booster dose guidelines over the next weeks. These will include further clarification of these recommendations; and likely include recommendations related to the Moderna and the J&J vaccines as well as potential expansion of the recommended population groups. 

Starling will communicate shortly about when and where boosters will be available for those who are 65+ and at least 6 months from the second dose of the primary series of Pfizer as well as those who are under 65 and meet the CDC recommendations to encourage them to receive booster doses.

Stay tuned for additional information!


Testing

September 23, 2021

COVID PCR testing is available at 300 Kensington Avenue in New Britain: Mon-Fri, 7:30am-4:00pm. Talk with your provider who can send an order for testing. Appointments are required. Call (860) 368-2271.

Our pediatric practices also offer testing. Contact your pediatrician’s office for scheduling.


Children now represent 30% of all new COVID cases

September 20, 2021

Pediatrician, Dr. Elizabeth Martin, discusses COVID and kids, symptoms, where to get testing, and how to protect your children.


COVID Boosters

September 13, 2021

We know people are anxious to hear about when boosters may be available for the general population. We are currently providing boosters to those who are immunocompromised. But, for all other adults, we are awaiting guidelines from the State of Connecticut regarding the COVID vaccine booster. This is subject to authorization by the FDA and recommendation by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

The FDA is conducting an independent evaluation to determine the safety and effectiveness of a booster dose of the mRNA vaccines. ACIP will decide whether to issue a booster dose recommendation based on a thorough review of the evidence.

Starling will post more information on September 20th and vaccine clinic dates. In the meantime, if you are immunocompromised, talk with your doctor or call our vaccine hotline at (860) 368-2285.


Lose your vaccine card?!

August 25, 2021

If you have lost or need access to immunization records, including the COVID-19 vaccine, you can go online to CT WiZ Public Portal. You can view, download, and/or print your records or the records of a dependent.

Click here to go to the CT Wiz portal.  You must use Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox.


Know the facts about the COVID vaccine!

August 24, 2021

Thank you to everyone who has done their part by getting the COVID vaccine. We know some people still have concerns. In this video, hear 4 of our doctors discuss the facts, address common myths, and share why they think the vaccine is so critical at this point in time.

Guiding Principles for Fully Vaccinated People

August 23, 2021

  • Outdoor activities pose minimal risk to fully vaccinated people.
  • Most indoor activities pose low risk to fully vaccinated people, especially in areas with low or moderate transmission.
  • Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant.
  • Fully vaccinated people who become infected with the Delta variant can transmit it to others.

To reduce their risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially spreading it to others, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people:

  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
    • Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated.
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Get tested 3-5 days after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until they receive a negative test result.
  • Continue to follow any applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.

FDA grants full approval to Pfizer’s COVID vaccine

August 23, 2021

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.” 


CDC Authorizes Booster for the Immunocompromised

August 17, 2021

On August 13, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend a third dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for moderately and severely immunocompromised individuals under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.

Below the FDA acting commissioner explains why:

“The country has entered yet another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the FDA is especially cognizant that immunocompromised people are particularly at risk for severe disease. After a thorough review of the available data, the FDA determined that this small, vulnerable group may benefit from a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Vaccines. This action allows doctors to boost immunity in certain immunocompromised individuals who need extra protection from COVID-19…Other individuals who are fully vaccinated are adequately protected and do not need an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine at this time. The FDA is actively engaged in a science-based, rigorous process with our federal partners to consider whether an additional dose may be needed in the future.”

Connecticut COVID-19 vaccine providers may now provide a third dose to immunocompromised patients who have completed a primary series of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.

This third dose is recommended for the immunocompromised is an additional vaccine dose when the initial immune response following a primary vaccine series is likely to be insufficient or has waned over time.

This includes people who have:

The current recommendation only applies to the immunocompromised. The need for and timing of a COVID-19 booster dose for the general population have not been established but recommendations should be coming soon.

Patients can contact the place where they received their first vaccine or can check with local pharmacies or clinics. The recommendation is to stay with the same vaccine (i.e. Modern or Pfizer) you originally received.

Click here for the CDC announcement.


Unvaccinated individuals are getting much sicker!

August 16, 2021

Vaccinated individuals, even those with preexisting conditions, fare much better than the unvaccinated. Below are two illustrations that show the differences. Some vaccinated individuals, especially those with pre-existing conditions, do get sick from COVID breakthrough cases. But, overall, they are much less likely to be in the ICU on need ventilators. Take the following 3 examples:

Texas:

Georgia:

California:


Vaccine Safety for Of Child-Bearing Years

August 12, 2021

Dr. Peter Doelger is a practicing OB/GYN who has served Greater Hartford for over 35 years. Below he shares some
thoughts on questions and concerns about the COVID vaccine for women of childbearing years and who are pregnant.

 

Is pregnancy a risk factor for COVID complications?

Pregnancy is a risk factor for COVID. I explain to my patients that half of the baby is not them, and the way that the body doesn’t reject the baby is that the immune system has to be decreased. So pregnancy is an immune-suppressed state, and that’s why pregnant women get colds more often, and why they last longer.

Pregnant women are definitely at greater risk for getting COVID. More importantly, they’re at greater risk for getting sick, being admitted to the hospital, ending up on the respirator, and dying.

Below are some frightening statistics:

Can you or your baby die from COVID?

Unfortunately, the answer to this is yes! At our hospital we had a patient with COVID who had to be intubated, and at 22 weeks of pregnancy we did an emergency C-section in an attempt to save the mother’s life. The baby died and two days later the mother died. I had to call the husband and tell him that his baby and his wife died. I hung up the phone and I sobbed like a baby.

We’re at a point now where a story like that is totally unnecessary. So please, please consider, for yourself, for your loved ones, for the people around you, please consider getting this vaccine.

Is the vaccine safe for women who are pregnant, nursing, or thinking of getting pregnant?

Based on what we know about this vaccine, and the studies that we have in pregnant women, the recommendation we give women who are considering getting pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or are pregnant and breastfeeding, is to strongly recommend getting the vaccine. One of the added benefits of the vaccine is we now know that the antibodies the vaccine produces will pass to the baby, and our hope is that this will also prevent babies from getting the COVID virus.

We know that this vaccine does not interfere with a woman’s ability to conceive. We know this vaccine does not increase miscarriage rate. We know this vaccine does not increase birth defects.

Why is getting the vaccine so important at this point in time?

We’re feeling particularly urgent at this period of time because of the new Delta virus, and unfortunately, this virus is much more contagious and dangerous than the previous strains of this virus. We are seeing a gigantic uptick, almost more than doubling every week, in younger patients and pediatric patients, and there are now newborns that are needing to be intubated because of this disease. And I do tell my pregnant patients that not only will they be protecting themselves, but their babies, by getting the vaccine.

Does the vaccine cause infertility?

The vaccine in no way interferes with a woman’s ability to get pregnant. I know it’s difficult if you’re thinking about getting pregnant, and you’ve heard a lot of misinformation about this vaccine. There is absolutely no data at all that this is true.

Before you get pregnant, it’s very important to be as healthy as you can be. We do talk to people about good nutrition, exercise, getting enough sleep, and definitely, women do not want to do anything to increase the chance of adversely affecting their pregnancy.

We know that this vaccine does not interfere with a woman’s ability to conceive. We know this vaccine does not increase miscarriage rate. We know this vaccine does not increase birth defects.

When is the right time to get the vaccine during pregnancy?

We usually recommend that people get the vaccine after the first trimester, and the reason we recommend this is that the normal reaction to the vaccine can include a slight elevation in temperature, and that’s something we usually like to avoid during the first trimester. Talk to your provider about the optimal timing for you.

Can I get the vaccine if I am breastfeeding?

Yes! We now know that the antibodies that the vaccine produces are passed to the baby through breast milk, so it’s a way of protecting a child that’s too young to receive the vaccine. So not only does the vaccine protect the mother, but it protects the baby too.

Do I need the vaccine if I already had COVID?

There is some protection if a patient has had COVID in terms of getting it again. But, with this new variant, the studies have shown that you have 10 times the antibody response from the vaccine than you do from actually having had the disease. So even though you’ve had COVID,  you are much more protected if you go ahead and get the vaccine.

Questions/Concerns About the Vaccine
Can I trust the vaccine?

I think this is a difficult issue for a lot of patients, and I think that’s quite understandable. I can definitely understand people not having 100% faith in the pharmaceutical companies, the government, and even the medical profession. I don’t think we have always earned the trust that we ask of our patients. So I do understand the hesitancy about this vaccine, and I just want to take time to share some of the facts, and some of the concerns that I’m hearing from my patients.

There’s never been a vaccine that we have more experience with than this vaccine.

Was the vaccine rushed?

There’s a question about the vaccine in terms of how quickly it was developed because it came out much quicker than any vaccine in the past. There’s a concern that it was rushed, it wasn’t appropriately tested, and that it’s new technology.

This technology is not new. We’ve been using this technology for 20 years. We’ve been using this technology to teach your cells to fight cancer cells. And what they were able to do, using this technique, is to teach your cells to fight the SARS virus.

People talk about this being a new vaccine, but this vaccine has been received by over 350 million people in the United States and by over 4 billion people around the world. There is nothing new about it at this point.

Does this vaccine stay indefinitely in your body?

There’s a concern about putting something foreign in your body, which is very understandable. There’s a concern about how long the vaccine is in your body. I would like to point out that once it hits your bloodstream, it very quickly disappears. And this technology  teaches your cells to produce a protein so if you ever get the SARS virus, it will be able to remove it from your body. We have studies in pregnant women showing that, within one to three days after getting the vaccine, there is no vaccine found in their breast milk. So we know that the vaccine is in your system a very, very short period of time.

Are there side effects of the vaccine?

You’re definitely going to get some side effects from the vaccine. I got my vaccine and had a headache and some nausea. Being a male, I really felt it was the end of the world – it wasn’t – so I took some medication and I was fine. You want to get a little bit of a reaction after the vaccine, that’s a sign that you’re getting an immune response. So that’s something that you actually should expect, and again, almost always it’s pretty minimal.

Is the vaccine really 100% safe?

The risk of getting COVID during pregnancy is much greater than in the general population. Pregnant women who get the COVID vaccine are at much greater risk for severe complications. Patients often tell me, “Well, I’m concerned about this vaccine, no one knows 100% if it’s safe,” and that’s true – no one knows if anything’s 100% safe.

I point out to them the growing body of evidence about adverse health effects after having COVID. COVID is a disease that affects all the vessels in your body, and we’re seeing people now having significant respiratory issues, kidney issues, lung issues, we have young people having heart failure due to the fact that they’ve had COVID. And some people are sick for months or even a year after having this disease. So it’s not only getting the disease, but it’s possible to have side effects afterwards.

*******

We’re incredibly lucky to have this vaccine. This vaccine is over 95% effective. That’s amazing. Some years the flu vaccine is only 20% effective. It’s truly a miracle of modern science. We’re so lucky to be in a society where we have this offered. Please think about getting this vaccine; do it for yourself, do it for your children, do it for your loved ones, do it for your coworkers, do it for your patients. Do it for the nation. If we had a better vaccine response, we’d be back to normal by now.


Covid Live Updates: C.D.C. Firmly Urges Vaccinations During Pregnancy, Citing New Data

August 11, 2021

A pregnant woman received a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Bogota, Colombia, in July. Credit: Carlos Ortega/EPA, via Shutterstock

Federal health officials on Wednesday bolstered their recommendation that pregnant people be vaccinated against Covid-19, pointing to new safety data that found no increased risk of miscarriage among those were immunized during the first 20 weeks of gestation.

Earlier research found similarly reassuring data for those vaccinated later in pregnancy.

Until now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the vaccine could be offered during pregnancy; the recent update in guidance strengthens the official advice, urging pregnant people to be immunized.

The new guidance brings the C.D.C. in line with recommendations made by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other medical specialty groups, which strongly recommend vaccination.

“At this time, the benefits of vaccination, and the known risks of Covid during pregnancy and the high rates of transmission right now, outweigh any theoretical risks of the vaccine,” Sascha R. Ellington, an epidemiologist who leads the emergency preparedness response team in the division of reproductive health at the C.D.C.

The risks of having Covid-19 during a pregnancy are well-established, she said, and include severe illness, admission to intensive care, needing mechanical ventilation, having a preterm birth and death.

So far, there is limited data on birth outcomes, she added, since the vaccine has only been available since December. But the small number of pregnancies followed to term have not identified any safety signals.

Pregnant women were not included in the clinical trials of the vaccines, and uptake of the shots has been low among pregnant women. The majority of pregnant women seem to reluctant to be inoculated: Only 23 percent of pregnant women had received one or more doses of vaccine as of May, a recent study found.

Dr. Adam Urato, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist in Framingham, Mass., who counsels patients about the vaccine almost daily, said pregnant women are very wary of exposure to synthetic chemicals and want more solid scientific evidence that the vaccines are safe.

“The one question my patients ask me all the time is, are we absolutely sure that these vaccines won’t affect my baby?” he said.

If you have questions about the COVID vaccine and pregnancy, talk to your Starling OB/GYN.

Source: New York Times, August 11, 2021

Update on COVID Vaccine & Testing for Pediatric Patients

August 10, 2021

We are proud to offer the vaccine to children age 12 and up. You do not need to be a Starling patient. Here is how to call and schedule:

Patients of our Starling pediatric practices in New Britain, Plainville, Newington, and members of the community:
Patients of our Starling practice in Vernon and members of the community:
Covid testing for our pediatric patients:

Testing is available in each of our offices, but you must be a patient. Call the office directly to schedule.

New Britain:  (860) 224-6282

Plainville:  (860) 747-1132

Newington:  (860) 666-5167

Vernon: (860) 871-2102

Younger, Sicker, Quicker

August 4, 2021

Many doctors on the front lines say unvaccinated patients in their 20s and 30s are becoming more severely ill, and more quickly.

Doctors have coined a new phrase to describe them: “younger, sicker, quicker.” Many physicians treating them suspect that the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which now accounts for more than 80 percent of new infections nationwide, is playing a role.

As of Sunday, more than 80 percent of Americans ages 65 to 74 were fully vaccinated, compared with fewer than half of those ages 18 to 39, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The vaccines are powerfully effective against severe illness and death after infection with any variant of the virus, including Delta. A vast majority of hospitalized patients nationwide — roughly 97 percent — are unvaccinated.

Starling continues to offer the vaccine. Call and schedule a vaccine today: (860) 368-2271

Source: New York Times 8.3.21

Vaccine Safety: Fertility and Pregnancy

Click on image below to view larger.


Update from Connectiut Department of Health

August 2, 2021

The CDC issued a Health Advisory to notify public health practitioners and the public about the urgent need to increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage. Increasing vaccination coverage is especially urgent in areas where current coverage is low. Unvaccinated persons account for the majority of new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Currently COVID variants of concern, especially the highly infectious Delta variant, are accelerating the spread of infection. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people should practice all recommended prevention measures until fully vaccinated. In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends that fully vaccinated individuals wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of Delta and help protect others.

Connecticut cases are on the rise

COVID-19 case rates are rising in Connecticut. As in-person interactions increase and variants of concern are on the rise, the risk of COVID spread remains, particularly among unvaccinated individuals.

With the Delta variant circulating, vaccination is more urgent than ever
How to stay safe

To reduce the risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially spreading it to others, CDC now recommends that fully vaccinated people:

Anyone with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should get a viral test for COVID-19.

Do your part – get vaccinated!

Any one of the three currently available COVID-19 vaccines approved remain our best defense against preventing the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant. If you have not received your vaccine, call our vaccine line and schedule an appointment today!  (860) 368-2271

Vaccine Clinic August 5th

We will be holding a COVID vaccine clinic on August 5th from 2:30pm-5:00PM at 300 Kensington Avenue in New Britain. We will provide the Moderna vaccine. Call (860) 368-2271 to schedule an appointment. You must be age 18 and above.

Vaccine & Testing Update

July 16, 2021

Vaccines Available: We have doses available of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.  We can provide vaccines, upon request and also will be offering clinics. Call our vaccine hotline at (860) 368-2271. We offer vaccines to anyone in the community, age 12 and above. Those 12 and above will receive the Pfizer vaccine and will need a guardian present. 

Testing: COVID PCR testing is available at 300 Kensington – M,W, F, 7:45am-3:45pm. An appointment is required; please call (860) 368-2285 to schedule.  

Reminder about Masks

Upcoming Vaccine Clinic

June 23, 2021

We will be holding a COVID vaccine clinic on July 15th from 2:30pm-5:00PM at 300 Kensington Avenue in New Britain. We will provide Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Call (860) 368-02271 to schedule an appointment. You must be age 18 and above to receive either of these vaccines.

Update on COVID Testing & Vaccines

June 4, 2021

Starling continues to be your go-to resource for testing and vaccinations.

COVID PCR testing is available at 300 Kensington – 5 days a week. 8am-3:45pm. An appointment is required, please call 860-368-2285 to schedule.

We have doses available of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Limited days available due to demand. We can provide vaccines, upon request, on other days and times. Call our vaccine hotline at (860) 368-2271

We offer vaccines to anyone in the community, age 12 and above. Those 12 and above will receive the Pfizer vaccine and will need a parent present.

We Still Require Masks

May 21, 2021

On May 19, Connecticut lifted the mask mandate for people when they are outside and people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer need to wear masks in several places.

For our patients, we will continue to require masks because we are a Health Care Facility.  If you do not have a mask, please ask our staff to provide you with one.  

Below is some information regarding mask usage from the CDC.

Wearing a face mask has already become part of the daily routine for many Americans, with 97% saying they wear one at least once in a typical week. As more businesses continue to reopen or bring their employees back to the office over the next several months, face masks will likely remain an important preventative measure — especially since both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommend that employers encourage workers to wear them in the workplace to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

MASKS NOT REQUIRED:

MASKS REQUIRED FOR ALL:

IF YOU ARE NOT VACCINATED:

For people who are not vaccinated, masks will be required:

IF YOU ARE FULLY VACCINATED:

Vaccinated people will not be required to wear masks indoors in several settings, but there are some exceptions.

Masks will be required in the following settings:

Businesses, state and local government offices, and events may choose to require universal masking.

Now Vaccinating Those Age 12 and Above

May 12, 2021

Our Pediatrics practices in Vernon and New Britain are now offering the Pfizer vaccine for those age 12+. You do not need to be a patient.

Vernon:

Vernon Pediatrics will run drive-up Pfizer clinics. Clinics will be held on May 18, 19, 20, and 21 starting at 5:30 pm. Please call to schedule an appointment: (860) 871-2102. A legal guardian must be in attendance, or a Minor Consent Form must be completed prior to the appointment time.

 

New Britain: 

Our pediatrics practice in New Britain is also be offering the Pfizer vaccine. Appointments will be scheduled during business hours. Call (860) 224-6282.


Guard Your Card!

May 6, 2021

Below is important information from Medicare.

After you get your COVID-19 vaccine, keep your vaccination card safe — scammers are using the COVID-19 pandemic to try to steal your personal information.

Don’t share a photo of your COVID-19 vaccination card online or on social media. Scammers can use the content you post, like your date of birth, health care details, or other personal information to steal your identity.

Protect Yourself

You should get a COVID-19 vaccination card at your first vaccine appointment. If you didn’t, contact the provider site where you got vaccinated or your state health department to find out how to get a card.

If someone contacts you to buy or sell a vaccination card, it’s a scam.

If you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it online or call 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477). TTY users can call 1-800-377-4950.

Let’s Get Control of COVID!

May 5, 2021

If you haven’t gotten your vaccine yet, now is the time!

Call our vaccine line at (860) 368-2271 to set up an appointment.


Update on Vaccines for Adult Population

April 28, 2021

We are now offering Johnson & Johnson, as well as the Moderna vaccine for those age 18 and above. You do not need to be a Starling patient. For those ages 16-17, see the message below about details on our pediatric clinics administering the Pfizer vaccine.

On Wednesday, May 5th, we will be holding a Johnson & Johnson clinic from 2:30pm-5:30pm. Enjoy the convenience of one shot and done!

To schedule an appointment, please call:(860) 368-2271.


Message from Our Pediatrics Team

April 27, 2021

If you have children or know children who are 16 or 17 years of age, our Pediatrics Department would like to offer to vaccinate your children, even if they are not a Starling patient.

Starling Physicians Pediatric Department at 300 Kensington Ave will be holding Pfizer Covid Vaccine Clinics next week:

Vernon Pediatrics at 357 Hartford Turnpike Vernon will be doing drive-up Pfizer clinics:

These clinics are only for 16 and 17 years old’s.  Appointments are necessary.  Please note, a legal guardian must be in attendance, or a Minor Consent Form must be completed prior to the appointment time.

Now Offering Vaccine Clinics for Age 16 & 17

April 23, 2021

Starling’s Pediatric Department is now offering Pfizer Vaccine Clinics.

he most recent posts.  

New Britain

Tuesday, April 27 –  Friday, April 30

300 Kensington Avenue

These clinics are only for 16 and 17-year-olds. Appointments are necessary. Please call our office at (860) 224-6282 to schedule your appointment.

Please note, a legal guardian must be in attendance, or a Minor Consent Form must be completed prior to the appointment time.

These clinics are open to the public and you do not need to be a Starling patient.


Vernon Pediatrics will be doing drive-up Pfizer clinics for 16 and 17-year-old’s.

Vernon

Tuesday 4/27, Wednesday 4/28, Thursday 4/29, Friday 4/30

Starting at 5:30pm each day

357 Hartford Turnpike

These clinics are only for 16 and 17 year olds.  Please call to schedule an appointment (860) 871-2102. . Please note, a legal guardian must be in attendance, or a Minor Consent Form must be completed prior to the appointment time.

These clinics are open to the public and you do not need to be a Starling patient.

 


Moderna Vaccines Available Week of April 19

April 18, 2021

This week we have received 1000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call: (860) 368-2271. Available to Starling patients and members of the community.


Vaccines Update on Johnson & Johnson and Clinics

April 13, 2021

This morning the CDC and FDA called for an immediate pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. We will hold off on administering this vaccine until further notice.  An emergency meeting of the CDC’s outside advisory committee has been scheduled for Wednesday.

Our Vaccine Clinic will be canceled on April 12th and 15th.  On Saturday, we will be giving the second dose of Moderna.  Unfortunately, we did not receive a vaccine supply for next week although we have ordered Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and will let you know when they are available in our office.

We will keep you updated when we will get an additional supply of vaccines so we can resume appointments.


Vaccine Now Available for Patients & The Community

April 7, 2021

Now offering vaccines to Starling patients and all members of the community! Call (860) 368-2271 to schedule an appointment. Days and times of the week will vary so please call us for options.


Vaccine Clinics

April 5, 2021

We continue to offer clinics for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots at 300 Kensington Avenue in New Britain. You do not need to be a Starling patient. Time and dates for clinics will vary each week.

Please call (860) 368-2271 to schedule a visit. You WILL NOT be given a choice of which vaccine you will receive and must be willing to receive either vaccine upon arrival.

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are approved for individuals 18 years and older.The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for teenagers.  ​Currently, we do not have the Pfizer vaccine.  We will notify you when we receive a supply and can vaccinate those patients age 16 or 17.

On the date of your appointment you will receive an email or text that will require a questionnaire to be filled out prior to receiving your COVID vaccine. This is mandatory for the state.


Upcoming COVID Vaccine Clinics

April 1, 2021

Next week we are offering clinics for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots at 300 Kensington Avenue in New Britain. You do not need to be a Starling patient..

Please call (860) 368-2271 to schedule a visit. You WILL NOT be given a choice of which vaccine you will receive and must be willing to receive either vaccine upon arrival.

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are approved for individuals 18 years and older.The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for teenagers.  ​Currently, we do not have the Pfizer vaccine.  We will notify you when we receive a supply and can vaccinate those patients age 16 or 17.

On the date of your appointment you will receive an email or text that will require a questionnaire to be filled out prior to receiving your COVID vaccine. This is mandatory for the state.


Now Offering the COVID Vaccine

March 30, 2021

We are thrilled to share that the state has finally allocated us a supply of vaccines. You must be a patient of a Starling provider to be eligible.

March 31st: Johnson & Johnson Clinic

We have 200 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines. They will be administered:

Wednesday, March 31

2:30pm-5pm

300 Kensington Avenue, New Britain

Please call (860) 368-2271. The first 200 patients who call will be scheduled. You must be in the eligible group of age 45+ or in a specified eligible occupation. Visit https://portal.ct.gov/vaccine-portal/COVID-19-Vaccination-Phases to see if you qualify.

Clinics Offering Moderna and Johnson & Johnson

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday starting the week of April 5:

2:30pm-5pm

300 Kensington Avenue, New Britain

Please call (860) 368-2271 to schedule a visit. You WILL NOT be given a choice of which vaccine you will receive and must be willing to receive either vaccine upon arrival.

Beginning April 1st, individuals 16 years and older are eligible to receive the vaccine in the state of Connecticut. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are approved for individuals 18 years and older.The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for teenagers.  ​Currently, we do not have the Pfizer vaccine.  We will notify you when we receive a supply and can vaccinate those patients age 16 or 17.

Prior to Your Appointment

On the date of your appointment you will receive an email or text that will require a questionnaire to be filled out prior to receiving your COVID vaccine. This is mandatory for the state.

If you have already received your vaccine, congratulations! Thank you for doing your part to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the community. There is no need to contact us to be removed from our wait list. Please direct questions to our Vaccine Hotline at (860) 368-2271.


Proud to Support Our Community in the Vaccine Effort

March 25, 2021

 

Although Starling has still not received vaccines to administer in our offices, we are pleased to support our community and help residents of Connecticut get vaccinated as safely and quickly as possible.

  • We are proud to work with Rocky Hill, Berlin, and Newington school systems on vaccinating their teachers and staff. While they have their own supply of vaccines to administer, we have worked for weeks to provide oversight, assist with registration, help at their clinics, and ensure that medical care is on hand in the rare instance of a reaction. Our staff has worked many hours and weekends to serve in this critical role to help our teachers get vaccinated.
  • Physicians on our team have donated their time to be on hand at large vaccination sites. They are there to greet patients, provide medical oversight, and ensure that these clinics run smoothly.

Getting our state residents vaccinated is a top priority for Starling. Do your part and when you are eligible, make sure to get your vaccine in a location that is convenient for you!

Vaccine Safety – Know the Facts!

March 22, 2021

We encourage all patients to get the COVID vaccine once you are eligible, wherever it is convenient. We still do not have it in our offices. Here are some helpful resources from the Department of Public Health to reinforce the benefits of getting a vaccine and reassure you about its safety.


Is it a cold, allergy, or COVID?

March 19, 2021

Many patients with known postnasal drip and cough from the allergies have been afraid to be around others due to concern from others that the cough may be secondary to possible COVID. Many of these patients have repeatedly been tested for COVID to rule out possible infection. Therefore, adequately controlling allergies is crucial this year to help avoid some confusion and unnecessary need for COVID testing.

Starling Allergist, Dr.Jigisha Morosky, is available to see patients for consultations regarding allergy testing, treatment, and questions regarding COVID vaccines. She sees patients in Wethersfield, Enfield, and Glastonbury: (860) 749-7001.

Click here for some of Dr. Morosky’s recommendations for over the counter and home remedies>

Accelerated Vaccine Schedule

March 15, 2021

Governor Ned Lamont announced on March 15th that he is accelerating Connecticut’s age-based rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to proceed on a quicker schedule than was originally anticipated when it was announced last month. The revised schedule is as follows:

  • Residents age 45-54 are eligible on March 19th
  • Vaccine tentatively planned to expand to all individuals over the age of 16 by April 5

This news comes as the state was informed by the Biden administration that it should anticipate receiving a significant increase in supplies of all three federally authorized vaccines over the next several weeks.

Connecticut continues to rank among the top five states in the nation in the percentage of population that has been vaccinated.


Vaccine Update

March 15, 2021

Thank you for your patience as we wait for the State of Connecticut to allocate us vaccines. We hope to start in April but are dependent upon the state for our supply. In the meantime, we encourage you to get the vaccine when you are eligible, wherever it is convenient and available.

Once we get approval, we will contact patients who have joined our Vaccine Wait List. Initially, we plan to administer vaccines on weekend clinics in New Britain and Wethersfield and then will expand. Click here if you would like to join our wait list. This is not a guarantee of an appointment,

COVID-19 Travel Advisory Mandate for CT to be Lifted

March 15, 2021

By March 19, Connecticut will take a major step toward getting back to normal as many business restrictions and travel mandates will be lifted.

For anyone traveling to and from the state, this upcoming Friday (3/19) will be the beginning of things looking a bit different.

Part of Governor Ned Lamont’s roll back on restrictions include lifting the state’s travel advisory mandate. It will turn what was a requirement into a recommendation, meaning passengers will no longer be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 10 days after travel.

Officials at Bradley said they plan to keep its original COVID-19 test site in place for now and the state Department of Public Health will reassess in the coming weeks.

Other Mandates Being Lifted March 19

Capacity limits will be eliminated at restaurants, gyms, personal services and houses of worship. Also included in that is libraries, museums and aquariums.

“We’re gonna keep going what works and I think that’s important for your business so that people slowly start coming back in, they’ll feel more confident when they see people wearing the mask,Governor Lamont said.

Even with all the changes, Lamont still recommends wearing a mask, continuing special cleaning and social distancing in public. At Staring, we will continue with out safety measures and ask all patients to continue to be  vigilant.

Source: NBC Connecticut


Pregnancy and the COVID-19 Vaccine

March 13, 2021

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who choose to be vaccinated. While limited, current safety data on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy do not indicate any safety concerns. ACOG recommends that pregnant individuals be free to make their own decision regarding COVID-19 vaccination. Pregnant individuals are encouraged to discuss vaccination considerations with their Starling  OB/GYN team.

Click here for some helpful information on this topic.

 

 


Medicare covers FDA-Approved COVID-19 Vaccines

March 5, 2021

You pay nothing for the COVID-19 vaccine. You won’t pay a deductible or copayment, and your provider can’t charge you an administration fee to give you the shot.

A COVID-19 vaccine helps reduce the risk of illness from COVID-19 by working with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to the virus.

Things to know
  • Be sure to bring your red, white, and blue Medicare card so your health care provider or pharmacy can bill Medicare. You’ll need your Medicare card even if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • If you fill out a form to get the vaccine, you may be asked for your insurer’s group number. If you have Part B, leave this field blank or write “N/A.” If you have trouble with the form, talk with your vaccine provider.
  • Medicare also covers COVID-19 testsCOVID-19 antibody tests, and COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Authorized by the U.S. FDA for Emergency Use

February 28, 2021

U.S. regulators have formally approved the single-shot Johnson & Johnson (J&J) coronavirus vaccine, the third vaccine to be authorized in the country.

The vaccine is set to be a cost-effective alternative to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and can be stored in a refrigerator instead of a freezer.

The new vaccine’s 72% efficacy rate in the U.S falls short of the roughly 95% rate found in Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. However, across all trial sites, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine showed 85% percent efficacy against hospitalization and death.

President Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, advised people to take the Johnson & Johnson shot, when asked about its effectiveness compared with the other two approved vaccines.

Dr. Fauci told NBC: “All three of them are really quite good, and people should take the one that’s most available to them. If you go to a place and you have J&J, and that’s the one that’s available now, I would take it.”


We Will Soon be Offering the COVID Vaccine

February 24, 2021

We are planning to get state clearance within days to begin administering the vaccine.

What You Need to Know:

Roll Up Your Sleeves

February 23, 2021

Our providers want to encourage all patients to get the vaccine, whenever you are eligible and wherever it is convenient. Hear some of our providers  discuss the key role that vaccines play and why getting the COVID vaccine is critical to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the community.


New Vaccine Hotline

February 22, 2021

We now offer Starling patients a Vaccine Hotline: 860-368-2271. This provides the most current information available on our vaccine status. Thank you for your patience as we await more details from the State about when we will have the vaccine available in our offices. Please see the Questions/Answers below to address common questions.  

 


Answers to Questions About the Vaccine

 

February 18, 2021 – PLEASE REFER TO OUR MORE RECENT POST ON VACCINE

When does Starling expect to get the vaccine?

Unfortunately, we don’t have an exact timeline and are waiting for the State of Connecticut to determine when we will get the vaccine, and the quantity we can expect to receive. We are hoping to get the vaccine within the next few weeks but that is entirely dependent upon the state.

Where will the vaccine be administered?

We plan to start with Wethersfield (1260 Silas Deane) and New Britain (300 Kensington Ave.). We then hope to add other locations including Newington, Enfield, and Vernon. The exact number of locations will be determined once we get approval from the state.

When will vaccines be administered?

We will set up clinics specifically designed to administer the vaccine. Clinics will be held throughout the day and hours are currently being determined. Vaccines will not be administered during office visits.

Why was I asked to complete an online registration form?

As we prepare to administer the vaccine, we need to get a count of the number of patients who plan to get the vaccine once it is available. This will allow us to determine the number of locations, hours, and staffing required to meet the demands of our patients. However, once again, the number of vaccines we will have available will be dependent on the quantity provided to us by the federal and state governments. If you did not receive the form, click here to complete it. Or, click on the Vaccine Wait List button on the top of this page.

If I completed the online ‘Reserve Your Dose’ form, am I set to get the vaccine?

No. This form just lets us know you are interested once the vaccine becomes available in our offices. Completing this form is not a guarantee of an appointment.  You will still need to book a vaccine appointment once we provide more information around scheduling.

How will I sign up for an initial appointment?

Once we are ready to book appointments, we will launch an online booking system to set up your appointment. We also will have a phone number for those individuals without online access.  More details will follow about how to book appointments.

How will I sign up for the second shot?

We are finalizing this process and more details will follow.

Should I wait to get my vaccine at Starling?

We encourage you to get the vaccine as soon as possible, wherever it is convenient. If you have the option to get it before we begin administering the vaccine, we advise you to do so.

Who will be able to get the vaccine?

We will adhere to the state’s phase guidelines. Starting February 11, individuals between the ages of 65 and 74 will be eligible. This next phase will also include frontline essential workers and individuals with underlying medical conditions and/or increased risk for severe illness. More details will follow.

Do I have to be a Starling patient?

Yes. We will only administer the vaccine to patients who see a Starling provider – whether it be a primary care provider or one of our specialists. Down the road, we may be able to accommodate non-Starling patients but not at the onset.

Which vaccine will you administer?

At this point, we expect to receive both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. There are only small differences, but both the vaccines that are currently authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are highly effective based on trials.

Patients will not be able to select which type they receive. We have recently installed the necessary refrigeration systems to ensure that we can meet the safety standards for both vaccines.

What can I expect when receiving the vaccine?

We will have carefully trained medical staff administering the vaccine. After you receive the shot, you will be asked to remain in our facility for 15 minutes to ensure that there is no adverse reaction. The CDC recommends 30 minutes of observation for anyone with a history of anaphylaxis.

Common side effects which may occur on the arm where you get the shot including soreness, pain, or swelling. You may also experience fever, chills, tiredness, or headache.

Severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis,  is very rare, and is treatable with epinephrine (a.k.a. an EpiPen) and antihistamines, and the vaccine recipients who experienced it have all recovered.

The CDC provides helpful information about what to expect and how to manage possible side effects here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html.

Can people who have already had COVID-19 get the vaccine?

Yes. The CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19 because you can catch it more than once. You can receive the vaccine any time after your prescribed isolation period and your symptoms have resolved, but since you have antibodies for a 90-day period and re-infection is not likely during that timeframe, you can also choose to wait until after 90 days to get immunized.

If I get a vaccination, where will my information go? Can I be sure it will be kept safe?

Your personal and healthcare information will be kept private and will not be shared outside of your healthcare provider’s office and the Department of Public Health. Personal identifying information such as your name, contact information, and address will be treated as confidential healthcare information and will not be shared with law enforcement or the federal government without a court order or similar legal compulsion.

Where can I go for more information?

We now offer Starling patients a Vaccine Hotline: (860) 368-2271. This will provide the most current information available on our vaccine status.   

We kindly ask that you do not call our offices about the vaccine. Our staff will not be able to answer additional questions at this time. We will continue to share information on this page and on our hotline.

The State of Connecticut COVID portal is a valuable resource. They provide a wide range of information which includes eligibility for each phase, questions/answers, and what to expect after getting the vaccine. Visit https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus.


Double Masking

February 17, 2021

There has been recent news about double masking. Because layering masks reduces the ability of germs to make it through face coverings, it’s more likely to do a better job of protecting you from infectious respiratory droplets. This is especially true with cloth masks which, depending on the material, number of layers, and fit, may be better with an additional layer of protection.

Some may wonder why our providers are not double masking. First, our providers wear medical grade masks that are secure and fit properly. Second, many of our providers are vaccinated. Third, our providers are extremely focused on hygienic and safety measures. If we thought our masking policy for providers in any way posed a risk to our patients, we would re-evaluate.

Here is a helpful article on double masking and when it may be appropriate for the general public.


COVID Testing for Starling Patients

February 16, 2021

We now offer COVID testing for Starling patients at 300 Kensington. A physician referral is required. If you believe you need a COVID test, please contact your provider’s office.


Be Prepared for These Screening Questions

February 12, 2021

We continue to screen patients prior to appointments and upon arrival. Please be prepared to address the following questions before seeing your provider.

 

 

Vaccine Follow-Up

February 9, 2021

We recently communicated that we hope to soon deliver the COVID-19 vaccine in select offices. We asked our patients to complete a brief form indicating whether they would like to receive the vaccine when they become eligible so we could formalize our planning.

We know there are many questions – some of which we can answer at this time, and other information that is dependent on our state government.

We kindly ask that you do not call our offices about the vaccine. Above we have shared some common questions and answers.  We will soon be providing a direct line to contact about vaccine related issues.

Thank you for your patience. We know this is an extremely trying time and we will do our best to communicate as regularly as possible.

Vaccines Coming Soon to Starling

February 8, 2021

We hope to soon acquire doses for our patients, to be given in select offices. For planning, we are now compiling a waiting list of all patients who would like to receive the vaccine once they meet the appropriate criteria for a phase. Eligibility for each phase is dictated by the State of Connecticut.

If you would like to receive a vaccine in our offices, click here to enter some information. We will notify you when we are ready to set up your appointment. It is important to note that complete the form is letting us know you want the vaccine when it becomes available in our offices, It is not a guarantee of an appointment.

There is no need to contact our office to schedule an appointment at this time. We will send updates as we receive information and look forward to seeing you soon!

Update on Where to Book Appointments (age 75 and above)

January 17, 2021

Starling plans to distribute the vaccine once it is made available to us by the state. Until then, we are committed to helping our patients navigate through the vaccine process. Here are some of the most up to date options for securing a vaccine appointment. PLEASE NOTE, SINCE THIS POST THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OTHER OPTIONS AVAIALBE.

UConn Health

  • To schedule a vaccine appointment at UConn Health in Farmington, you must be registered in advance with UConn Health MyChart. Once registered, individuals can self-schedule a date and time through MyChart to receive the first dose of the vaccine. Second dose appointments are made when the individual receives their first dose.
    • Detailed instructions to follow for online scheduling can be found by clicking here.
  • UConn Health phone scheduling: 860-679-5589 (Choose option 2). The program’s general line is 860-679-8888 for general questions or vaccine issues.

Hartford HealthCare 

  • To register online go to hartfordhealthcare.org/vaccines
  • To register by phone, Hartford HealthCare Access Center at 860.827.7690 or toll-free at 833.943.5721.

Online: Just click the tab under “Are you 75 or older” to learn more. For your safety, vaccinations are available by appointment only. Hartford HealthCare is making it easy for you to schedule at one of our vaccine clinics.

You’ll need a MyChartPLUS account to make an appointment.

  • If you HAVE a MyChartPLUS account, just log in, go to “Visits” or “Appointments” and find a vaccine clinic and time convenient for you.
  • If you DO NOT have a MyChartPLUS account, you can set one up on this website: MyChartPlus.org
  • We have step-by-step instructions at HartfordHealthCare.org/instructions

If you have followed the directions and still have issues scheduling your vaccine in MyChartPLUS, the MyChart support line is there to help: call 860.972.4993.

Yale New Haven Health

Trinity Health of New England

  • Trinity Health Of New England is offering those eligible, who would like to be vaccinated, several options for an appointment, which is is mandatory, as the clinics are not able to take walk-ins.
  • Patients may schedule their own appointment using a valid email address via the state’s Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) online Enrollment Portal or eventually through MyCare.
  • For more information on these options, please visit Trinity Health Of New England’s Schedule Your Vaccine webpage: TrinityHealthOfNE.org/Appointment

Schedule through the online Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS)

  • Many providers can be accessed through the VAMS scheduling system including:
    • Trinity Health of New England (hospitals and other locations)
    • Griffin Hospital
    • Nuvance Health
    • Stamford Hospital
    • Bristol Hospital
    • Local Health Departments
    • Federally Qualified Health Centers
  • All information submitted through VAMS or the assist line will be kept private and will only be used to schedule vaccinations. The link also contains a detailed and extensive list of frequently asked questions about the vaccine, helping to ease any concerns members of the public may have.

Those over the age of 75 without the ability to apply online can call the Connecticut COVID Vaccine Appointment Assist Line at 877-918-2224.

  • The line will take calls on Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will offer a call-back option when all contact specialists are busy serving other callers. The team will aim to return calls as soon as possible, with the goal of same-day response.

(The state said more locations will be added in the coming weeks)

Phase 1B: Who is eligible:

  • Individuals 75 years of and older (appointments available now)
  • Individuals between the ages of 65 and 74
  • Individuals between the ages of 16 and 64 with comorbidities
  • Individuals and staff in congregate settings
  • Front line essential workers:
  • Healthcare personnel not included in Phase 1A
  • First responders
  • Agricultural workers, including farmworkers
  • Food service and restaurants
  • U.S. Postal Service workers
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Grocery store & pharmacy workers
  • Food banks and meal delivery services for the elderly
  • Education and child-care workers
  • Solid waste and wastewater workers
  • Inspectors working on site in the above locations
  • Frontline public and social services

For more questions about the vaccine, click here.

The information for this post was provided by WFSB.

Enroll in VAMS for Vaccine Administration

January 15, 2021

The Department of Public Health has an enrollment system for the vaccine. Fill out a simple form to register with the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS). You will need to enter your full name, date of birth, eligible occupation (including “retired”), and email address. The information you enter will only be used for purposes of scheduling your vaccination, and will be kept private.

Once registered, VAMS will email you to guide you through the appointment process for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

At this time, ONLY people eligible under Phase 1a or who are age 75 and over may register here. Please only fill out this form if you are eligible to receive the vaccine.

Click here for the site.

 

 Two Options for Vaccine Appointments

(Please refer to January 17th post for more updated list of options)

January 13, 2021

We are now in phase 1B. Starling will be administering the vaccine once the state provides it to us. Until then, here are some options.

 
Hartford Healthcare
COVID-19 vaccination is now available to the public through Hartford Healthcare for individuals over age 75. You do NOT need a doctor’s note. You can sign up through MyChartPlus which is where you can view your laboratory studies, doctors notes, etc. The link to the Hartford Healthcare website is below for your convenience.
 
https://hartfordhealthcare.org/health-wellness/coronavirus/vaccine/vaccine-for-people-75-and-older
 
Uconn Health
COVID-19 Vaccination is also now available through UConn Health to the general public aged over 75 years. You do NOT need a doctor’s note for this vaccination sign up either. Link provided:
 
https://health.uconn.edu/coronavirus/covid-vaccine/
 
Please visit our Connecticut’s COVID-19 Vaccination Portal regularly for vaccine updates.
 

COVID Vaccine Update

January 12, 2021

Connecticut is currently in Phase 1a of our statewide rollout plan.

According to the Govenor and the State of Connecticut website, we will soon be entering Phase 1b in mid JanuaryThree primary groups will be eligible for the vaccine in Phase 1b:

Information about scheduling a vaccination for those 75 and older is coming soon, and will be  CT’s main COVID-19 Vaccination Portal. Click here for details.

To schedule an appointment through Hartford Healthcare, click here.

Please do not contact your Starling provider and we are not distributing the vaccine, handling appointments, or keeping a waiting list.

For all others: The COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group will next meet on January 14th. We will have more information for employers and other individuals following this meeting. Please visit our Connecticut’s COVID-19 Vaccination Portal regularly for all the latest updates.

Phase 1c 

Updated information will be coming soon!

COVID Vaccine Safety

January 6, 2021

In the coming weeks, we hope that the vaccine will continue to become more readily distributed throughout Connecticut.  We will keep you updated as details are known.

Some people may have questions about the vaccine safety. Here are some things to consider:

Historically, all of the serious side effects associated with vaccination occur within 6 weeks of a dose. All of the trials that have been done have mandated at least a 2 month follow up. So we can now say that the vaccines don’t cause a serious uncommon side effect. But 10,000 people isn’t 10 million people. So we can’t yet say the vaccine doesn’t cause a serious rare side effect. But in the US, now more than 4 million people have been vaccinated. No serious permanent side effects so far. The virus, on the other hand, as we have seen can lead to a serious and fatal disease.

So, these are some of the facts to weigh as you consider your options.

Dr. Walker Interview on Channel 3

December 16, 2020

Dr. Scott Walker talks with Channel 3 about COVID-19 symptoms, testing, and when to contact your doctor or seek care.

COVID Updates On Safety & Testing

December 11, 2020

Connecticut’s positivity rate continues to rise state and nation-wide. Here is some information to help you stay safe and know when to seek care.

Is it Cold, Flu, Allergy or COVID?

December 10, 2020

 Now is a difficult time of year and it’s hard to distinguish. Consider the following:

Click here for helpful chart on symptoms >

Where to Get Tested

December 9, 2020

We know if can be difficult to know where to turn for COVID. Testing is available in many locations throughout Connecticut, free of charge. Some sites, however, will require a medical visit which may entail a charge.

Some helpful options to find a location near you include:

Click read more for a list of sites that Starling staff put together that may be helpful. Due to rapidly evolving situation, it is important to confirm information prior to your visit and this list is not exhaustive. Please note that some sites will not test children under 10.

Testing Locations>

Beware of COVID Scams

December 4, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General continues to alert the public about fraud schemes related to COVID-19.

Fraudsters are using telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits to perpetrate COVID-19-related scams.

These scammers use the coronavirus pandemic to benefit themselves, and beneficiaries face potential harm. The personal information collected can be used to fraudulently bill federal health care programs and commit medical identity theft.

Protect yourself and your loved ones from potential scams. 

  • Be aware that scammers are pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers or are contacting people unexpectedly to offer COVID-19 tests and supplies. Do not respond to calls from or engage in visits with unknown individuals.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited requests for personal, medical, or financial information.
  • Be vigilant and protect yourself from potential fraud concerning COVID-19 vaccines. You will not be asked for money to enhance your ranking for vaccine eligibility. Government and State officials will not call you to obtain personal information in order to receive the vaccine, and you will not be solicited door-to-door to receive the vaccine.

If you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it immediately online or call 1-800-447-8477.

For more information, visit OIG.HHS.GOV.

 

 

No Visitors Please

November 18, 2020

Please be aware that no family members or guests are allowed with patients to visits unless absolutely necessary for translating or help with walking or mobility. We continue to strive to keep our patients and staff safe and appreciate your cooperation.

 

Office Safety Guidelines

September 1, 2020

We continue to take every precaution to make Starling a COVID-19 safe environment for our patients, our providers, and our staff. For patients that are high-risk or are not comfortable coming to the office at this time, we still offer Telemedicine visits.

Please note the following procedures:

Thank you for partnering with us so we can continue to deliver the highest quality care in the safest manner.

What to Know About Contact Tracing

August 20, 2020

If you’ve been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you may be contacted by a contact tracer or public health worker from your state or local health department in an effort to help slow the spread of the disease. Here’s what to know if you get a call:

Be aware of scammers pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Medicare Number or financial information. If someone calls and asks for personal information, like your Medicare Number, hang up and report it to us at 1-800-MEDICARE.

Back to School Concerns

August 10, 2020

Now, more than ever, going back to school is a stressful time! Starling pediatrician, Dr. Jonathan Reidel, shares some helpful articles from physician leaders at Connecticut’s Children Hospital.

Please keep in mind that information is rapidly changing.  For example, children under 12 are capable of spreading COVID, whereas originally that was not thought to be the case.

Returning to in-person instruction is a personal decision. Our goal is to provide you with resources to help you determine what is right for you and your family.

Proper Use of Hand Sanitizer

July 17, 2020

CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands. But if soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.
However, it is very important to use hand sanitizer properly. Here are some recommendations.

To use hand sanitizer correctly, the CDC recommends applying the gel to the palm of one hand, then rub your hands together while ensuring that the gel covers the surface of your hands and fingers until the gel is dry. Doing this for 30 seconds is the best way to get rid of germs, per the study’s findings.

It’s important to note that hand sanitizer does not rid of all germs, and “may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy,” per the federal agency. Additionally, “hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals,” it added.
In other words, handwashing with soap and water should be your go-to, when possible.

 

We are a COVID-19 Safe Environment

June 8, 2020

We have instituted every precaution to make Starling a COVID-19 safe environment. For patients that are high-risk or are not comfortable coming to the office at this time, we continue to offer Telemedicine visits.

Safety continues to be our top priority. Please note the following procedures.

We thank you for strictly adhering to these policies. Together, these measures will keep you, our team, and other patients safe.

Resuming Office Visits

May 29, 2020

We are pleased to announce that we are resuming in-office visits for routine care. We also continue to offer Telemedicine visits. We are committed to maintaining a COVID-19 safe environment and have instituted numerous safety measures including: prescreenings, temperature taking, enhanced cleaning, mandatory masks, and enhanced social distancing in offices.

See below for a helpful video from our Chief Medical Office, Dr. Michael Posner to discuss the new standards of care:

Covid-19 and Children

May 13, 2020

 We’re still learning about the coronavirus and the impact on children. Far fewer cases of the virus have been reported in children, and it seems to usually cause a milder infection in them than in adults and older people. But some kids have developed more serious symptoms.

Many parents wonder what to do if their child gets sick. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus can cause:

Some kids are having symptoms caused by inflammation throughout the body, sometimes several weeks after they were infected with the virus. Research is currently underway to learn more about this condition.

Symptoms of this inflammatory condition may include:

What Should I Do if My Child Has Symptoms?

If your child has any of the symptoms:

Call 911 if your child is struggling to breathe, is too out of breath to talk or walk, or turns blue or has fainted.

How Can I Keep My Family Safe if My Child Has Symptoms?
How Do Doctors Test People for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Testing for COVID-19 is changing. Doctors, hospitals, commercial labs, local health departments, and the U.S. Public Health Service are working together to help get tests to the people who need them.

To test someone for coronavirus, doctors put a long Q-tip into the nose (called a nasal swab) and send it to a lab. If the person coughs up mucus, doctors might send that for testing too. Some areas offer drive-thru testing, which lets people stay in their car during the test.

If you think your child has symptoms of COVID-19, call your doctor or local health department. They will give you the most up-to-date information on testing.

How Is Coronavirus (COVID-19) Treated?

Doctors and researchers are working on medicines and a vaccine for coronavirus. Most people with the illness, including children, get better with rest, fluids, and fever-reducing medicine. Some people with more severe symptoms need treatment in the hospital.

What Else Should I Know?

Keep doing these things to keep your family healthy:

Source: Adapted from kidshealth.org with input from Starling Pediatrician Dr. Noelle Leong.

Updates on Care Delivery

May 4, 2020

As Connecticut prepares to reopen, Starling remains focused on providing the highest quality care in the safest manner.

We continue to have numerous safety measures in place to keep our patients and staff safe. This includes the following.

Our coronavirus hotline is available 7 days a week from 8:30am-4:30pm. Call 860-368-2271.

Please note that our lab hours and locations have recently been updated. Visit https://www.starlingphysicians.com/lab/ for details.

Thank you to our wonderful patients who continue to share their gratitude during this time. To hear what our patients have to share, please visit: https://www.starlingphysicians.com/hereforyou/.

Please stay safe and know we are here for you.

New Symptoms Associated with COVID-19

April 27, 2020

For weeks, the CDC has shared that fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing have been symptoms of COVID-19. Now they have added additional symptoms which include:

  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

 

Face Coverings/Masks Now Required

April 20, 2020

In accordance with state guidelines, starting April 20, all patients in Starling offices must  wear a face covering or mask when coming to see a doctor or walking around our facilities. Below is a helpful video on ensuring a good fit and how to put masks on and off.

Health experts offer some ways to make sure your mask actually works. Medically-approved masks, such as the N-95, should be reserved for health care workers on the front lines.
 
 

Update on Labs Stations and Hours

March 30, 2020

Effective March 31, we will temporarily close our lab draw stations in Bloomfield, Glastonbury, Plainville, and Southington until further notice. We will continue to operate our draw stations in Newington, Wethersfield, Enfield, and New Britain (Lake St. and 300 Kensington) but hours may change.

Please click here for a letter from our lab management >

Click here for our current lab hours and locations >

Loss of Smell and Taste

March 28, 2020

Loss of smell and taste is now added to the list of symptoms that may indicate someone is harboring the coronavirus – even you experience no other or minor symptoms. If you experience this symptom, it important to stay-at-home to prevent the spread of the disease and you should let your doctor know.

Click here for for an article on this topic.

Helpful advice for daily living during coronavirus

March 27, 2020

This is an extremely challenging time.  We have created a new web page designed to help people manage stress by providing useful tips to help with everyday living. We include updates on how to clean your home, grocery shop, and ideas for stocking your pantry.

Click here to visit our new page >

Hear the Latest Updates

March 26, 2020

Starling’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael Posner, talks with WTIC1080 about the latest coronavirus news including symptoms, testing, research, and when to stay home >

Beware of Covid-19 Scams

March 24, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about fraud schemes related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Scammers are offering COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. However, the services are unapproved and illegitimate.

Fraudsters are targeting beneficiaries in a number of ways, including telemarketing calls, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits.These scammers use the coronavirus pandemic to benefit themselves, and beneficiaries face potential harms. The personal information collected can be used to fraudulently bill Federal health care programs and commit medical identity theft. If Medicare or Medicaid denies the claim for an unapproved test, the beneficiary could be responsible for the cost.

Protect youself:

  • Beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare or Medicaid numbers.
  • Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
  • Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites.
  • A physician or other trusted healthcare provider should assess your condition and approve any requests for COVID-19 testing.
  • If you suspect COVID-19 fraud, contact National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline (866) 720-5721 or disaster@leo.gov

Report any scams to: National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline (866) 720-5721 or disaster@leo.gov

Update on Our Pediatrics Department Hours & Locations

March 23, 2020

  • We ARE seeing well newborns up to 4 month olds in our Plainville office
  • We ARE seeing limited sick visits in our New Britain office
  • We currently are NOT seeing patients in Newington
  • All of our providers are practicing telemedicine
  • Vernon will no longer offer morning walk-in sick hour; they are seeing infants for well-visits; limited sick visits; offering daily telemedicine video visits
 
Please check the office/website for daily changes to this schedule

 

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

March 21, 2020

We know that there are a lot of questions and concerns about how to handle the coronavirus. Please be aware that our call volume has dramatically increased. Before calling our office or on-call service, please review the advice below:

Now Offering Telemedicine Visits

March 20, 2020

We remain focused on the health and safety of our patients, staff, and the community. Our providers are now offering Telemedicine visits and providing health consultations by phone or by telehealth/video. We are rescheduling routine office visits or conducting these visits by videoconference or phone. Most specialties and services are available in select locations to care for patients with chronic health issues or urgent health needs.

Important Changes in Our Delivery of Care

March 19, 2020

As the coronavirus and its effect continue to evolve and impact our state, we remain focused on the health and safety of our patients, staff, and the community.

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March 17, 2020

Below are some common questions that people have about the coronavirus and answers from the CDC. Please keep in mind that this information is rapidly evolving and we will inform you of ongoing updates.

Questions & Answers

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”). Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home

Current CDC guidelines are made on a case by case basis and includes meeting all of the following requirements: The patient is free from fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. The patient is no longer showing symptoms, including cough. The patient has tested negative on at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected at least 24 hours apart. Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.
uarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure.
In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.
At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when the weather becomes warmer.
Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily. The latest updates are available on CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website.

There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 available online.

Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness including older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.
If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should: take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others; when you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick; limit close contact and wash your hands often; and avoid crowds, cruise travel, and non-essential travel. If there is an outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible. Watch for symptoms and emergency signs.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it.
Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.

Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever1, cough, and difficulty breathing.

If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider. Older patients and individuals who have severe underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild. If you have severe symptoms, such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips of face, contact your healthcare provider or emergency room and seek care immediately. Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested.
Using the CDC-developed diagnostic test, a negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person’s sample. In the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus will not be detected For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms likely means that the COVID-19 virus is not causing their current illness.
Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.
Other Important Information
Emergency Warning Signs

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Stay home except to get medical care

Separate yourself from other people in your home, this is known as home isolation

If you or someone in your home is sick

Call ahead If you have a medical appointment, call your doctor’s office or emergency department, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help navigate your care over the phone.

Wear a facemask if you are sick
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Clean your hands often
Clean and disinfect

Routinely clean high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom. Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but not your bedroom and bathroom.

High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.

Monitor your symptoms
How to discontinue home isolation

In all cases, follow the guidance of your healthcare provider and local health department. The decision to stop home isolation should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider and state and local health departments. Local decisions depend on local circumstances.

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New Procedures to Maximize Your Safety

March 16, 2020

Please note the new procedures below. We also have signs on our entry door alerting patients of these procedures.

Required Pre-Visit Check-In:

For the safety of our patients and staff, pre-visit check-ins are now mandatory prior to being seen. If you have an appointment, you are now required to check-in for your appointment before coming to the office.

 We offer two ways to complete this check-in:

If one of these steps is not completed, you will not be able to be seen by your provider and will be asked to return to your car to complete the mandatory pre-visit check-in process. No walk-in visits will be allowed at this time.

One Guest Per Visit:

We encourage patients to come alone or limit guests to one. This will be part of our ongoing effort to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus by limiting the number of people that come to the offices. We request that patients sit apart from one another in waiting rooms.

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Please know that we are here for you!  Visit www.starlingphysicians.com/coronavirus for frequent updates based on CDC guidelines.

As the number of coronavirus cases has increased in the United States, we want to let you know that we are actively preparing to deliver care to the community and to our patients who may be affected.

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Preparing for Coronavirus in Connecticut

March 12, 2020

We have been actively preparing to treat patients who may have coronavirus symptoms, while keeping our patient population safe.

Preparations Underway at Starling:

• Stocking up on the necessary protective equipment
• Monitoring the CDC’s communications
• Working with the medical community including our hospital affiliates, to try to keep care coordinated
• Developing procedures and protocols on where to direct people based on symptoms and risk factors

When to Contact Us / Seek Care:

When to Stay Home:

Measures to Stay Safe:

Know the Symptoms:

Coronaviruses cause respiratory illnesses, ranging from common cold symptoms to pneumonia. The virus can spread from person to person. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
The elderly, those with cardiac or lung disease, and diabetics are especially at risk of more severe disease.

Where to Find More Information:

To read more about preventing the spread of COVID-19, click here.

If you are planning any travel outside of the U.S., click here for the CDC’s Travelers’ Health webpage for the latest travel and health notices.

Information adapted from the CDC. To read more on the CDC website, click here.

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What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus

 

March 5, 2020

General background: Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, and they are common sources of infection in humans, generally causing mild disease such as the common cold. This particular variant is new in humans and this novel strain has been named SARS-CoV-2 (not the same as the prior “SARS”). The disease itself is called COVID-19.

Coronaviruses also cause disease in multiple other species. Sometimes these animal viruses can spread to humans, which is currently thought to be the case with this outbreak. MERS and SARS were examples of this.

Method of transmission: The Coronavirus is thought to be spread mainly by person-to-person transmission, which is understood at this time to be by close proximity (6ft or less) and/ or by droplet transmission from coughing or sneezing. It is also possible that one can become infected by touching surfaces or objects containing the virus and then touching one’s mouth, nose, or eyes.

It is currently thought that people are most contagious while symptomatic, but there are reports of persons likely spreading the disease prior to significant symptoms, as well. Certain viruses are spread more easily than others. It is currently thought that the Coronavirus spreads fairly easily, meaning more easily than influenza, although not as easily as highly contagious viruses such as measles. It can sustainably spread in the community.

Quarantine: This is recommended for cases of Coronavirus. Strict guidelines about release from quarantine have not yet been determined. At a minimum, the following criteria should be met:

Current recommendations for post-exposure quarantine is two weeks, which is thought to be the incubation period for this disease based on other coronaviruses.

Symptoms: Illness can vary significantly from nonspecific or mild symptoms to severe illness or death. Some patients have had no symptoms. The mortality rate is not known because the number of cases (the denominator in any calculation) isn’t accurately known. The range is from tenths of a percent up to 2%.

Symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure and usually include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Severe cases can progress to severe pneumonia, respiratory failure, and septic shock with mortality. It is not currently understood which segment of the population is at higher risk for severe manifestations.

Treatment: At this point, treatment is purely supportive. There are no currently available vaccines or antivirals for this virus. Clinical trials are underway.

Specific Recommendations at Our Starling facilities:

Notify us if you are at risk: If you believe you are at risk, have been exposed, or have coronavirus symptoms including cough, fever, or shortness of breath, please contact your provider or let our front desk know when you arrive.

Triage:

Disinfection: Rooms will be carefully wiped with standard disinfectants after visits.

Use of masks: Providers will wear masks with any suspected infection and practice good hand/ contact/ droplet hygiene. Patients with suspicion for Coronavirus or flu will be given a mask, if available, upon entering the clinical space.

Testing for coronavirus: Labs in Connecticut are now fully capable of conducting diagnostic testing for COVID-19.

Click here to know if you are at risk and safety measures you can take.

Click here to learn more about the coronavirus and CDC updates.