Children's Hospital Colorado

COVID Testing for Kids

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, we treat the big things, the small things and everything in between.

If you’re worried your child might have COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, a COVID test will help you and your child’s pediatrician find out and plan for their care. Children’s Hospital Colorado offers COVID-19 testing for kids, teens and their caregivers in the Denver Metro and Colorado Springs areas.

Types of COVID-19 testing

Children’s Colorado’s laboratory offers two types of COVID-19 testing: viral diagnostic testing and antibody testing. While viral tests look for signs of active infection, antibody tests look for signs of past infection. Your child’s pediatrician will order the test based on the information they need. Most frequently, this is a viral PCR test at one of our drive-through testing sites to determine if your child is currently sick and able to spread the new coronavirus. We do not offer rapid antigen testing.

Drive-through COVID-19 testing (PCR)

A viral diagnostic test determines whether your child has an active COVID-19 infection and is contagious. At Children’s Colorado, we use highly accurate PCR testing, which stands for polymerase chain reaction. This lab test looks for small amounts of genetic material from SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 testing is available by appointment at our drive-through locations in Aurora and Colorado Springs.

COVID-19 testing is most commonly performed using a nasopharyngeal swab: a long cotton swab to reach the back of the nose where it meets the throat. Certain patients are eligible for saliva testing, which debuted at Children’s Colorado in February 2021. No matter the type, our team takes extra care to make the test as comfortable as possible for your child.

Learn more about scheduling a COVID-19 test and what to expect below.

How do I get a COVID test for my child?

What to expect

New: saliva testing for symptomatic kids ages 4 to 18

Getting tested before a procedure or surgery

Test results and next steps

Additional FAQs

COVID-19 antibody testing for children

Antibody tests look for specific blood proteins (antibodies) produced by the immune system during an infection. A COVID-19 antibody test can help determine whether your child may have had the coronavirus in the past, even if they didn’t have symptoms.

While an antibody test can satisfy some curiosity, it is not always necessary for guiding medical care. If you would like to have your child tested for COVID-19 antibodies, please start with your primary care doctor. They can determine if the test is appropriate for your child and can order the antibody test from our lab just like they would order any other test. Children’s Colorado has multiple lab locations in the Denver Metro Area and in Colorado Springs.

Learn more about scheduling an antibody test and what to expect below.

Appointments and locations

What to expect

Additional FAQs

Young girl wearing a facemask.

Your COVID-19 questions, answered

Parents have questions. Our experts have answers. Find resources and information for kids, teens and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get the latest

Editor's note: This page was updated July 19, 2021. Due to the evolving 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.