Children's Hospital Colorado

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing for Kids

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If you’re worried your child might have COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, a coronavirus test will help you and your doctors find out and plan for your child’s care. Children’s Hospital Colorado is offering viral coronavirus testing and coronavirus antibody testing for kids and their parents and caregivers.

Coronavirus testing: PCR vs. antibody tests

There are currently two types of tests for the new coronavirus:

  • PCR testing (viral test) by nasopharyngeal swab: PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction, a type of lab test that looks for small amounts of genetic material from the virus that causes COVID-19. This test looks for signs of active infection and is done by using a nasopharyngeal swab (swabbing the back of the nose where it meets the throat).
  • Antibody testing by blood draw: This test looks for signs of a past COVID-19 infection by trying to find antibodies. Antibodies are proteins in the blood that your immune system makes when it is fighting a virus or bacteria (germs). This blood test checks whether your child had the coronavirus, even if they didn’t have symptoms.

Children’s Colorado has PCR coronavirus testing available by appointment at drive-through sites at locations in Aurora, Broomfield and Colorado Springs. We also offer coronavirus antibody testing Monday through Friday through our lab in Aurora. All testing is done at our Aurora lab, but we can collect a blood sample at any of our lab locations.

To learn more about the coronavirus and keeping your family safe, see our coronavirus resources for families.

How do I get a coronavirus test for my child?

Testing your child for the coronavirus at Children’s Colorado is easy, but it does require a referral from your child’s doctor and an appointment. Unlike some testing sites, we can’t take walk-ins for COVID-19 testing.

Read the information below to learn how to schedule a test and what to expect.

COVID-19 antibody testing for children

Coronavirus antibody testing can tell you if your child had the coronavirus in the past. Your child’s primary care doctor can order a coronavirus antibody test from Children’s Colorado, if appropriate. We process antibody tests Monday through Friday.

Coronavirus testing frequently asked questions

Editor's note: This page was updated on Sept. 1, 2020. Due to the nature of the coronavirus pandemic, recommendations can change quickly. Please follow all rules and guidelines set by state and local public health and safety authorities. Reference the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for immediate updates on COVID-19.