Children's Hospital Colorado

Keeping You Safe: Getting Medical Care During the Coronavirus Pandemic

It’s an unsettling time for everyone, and it’s understandable to have concerns about bringing your family to a clinic or hospital. But if your child needs medical care like surgery, urgent or emergency care, mental health care, vaccinations or a checkup for a chronic condition, it’s critical that they receive care from a team of pediatric experts. At Children’s Hospital Colorado, we’re here to guide your family through these strange times so your kids can get the high-quality care they need and deserve. 

Our commitment to patient safety 

Keeping our patients, families, team members and community safe is our top priority. Though we can’t control the world outside, we can (and do) control the environment within our walls.  

Expand the windows below to learn about the specific safety measures we have in place and what to expect from your visit during the pandemic. 

At Children's Colorado, we care for some of the sickest kids in our region. Our medical teams are specially trained on how to identify, isolate and treat patients with contagious illnesses like the coronavirus. This means we have the team, expertise, equipment and facilities to keep your child and your family safe during an appointment, procedure or hospitalization. This was true before the pandemic, and it’s true now.

Answering kids’ questions about coming to the hospital

In the video below, 11-year-old Pauline wants to know if she can still go to the hospital for her treatments during the coronavirus pandemic. Pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Sean O’Leary explains why Children’s Colorado is a very safe place to get treatment.

We’re committed to keeping kids and families safe during a trip to the doctor. Here are the specific measures we’ve implemented at each of our locations: 

Patients and families 

  • Testing patients for COVID-19 before a medical procedure or a stay in the hospital through our in-house lab 
  • Requiring face coverings for all visitors and patients in all Children’s Colorado locations 
  • Implementing visitation policies to limit the number of people in our locations 
  • Encouraging social distancing by providing guides and signage to keep people at least 6 feet apart 
  • Screening all patients and family members for symptoms of COVID-19 before they enter our facility, including questions about symptoms, potential exposure and a temperature check 
  • For outpatient visits, texting patients’ families the day before their visit to inquire about potential symptoms (patients with symptoms of COVID-19 will be contacted and screened or re-scheduled, as appropriate) 
  • Keeping any patient with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in isolation with a dedicated team of doctors and nurses 

Providers and team members 

  • Screening every Children’s Colorado team member before they enter the facility for work 
  • Requiring personal protective equipment (PPE) for team members working in clinical areas and cloth face coverings for those outside clinical areas 
  • Requiring eligible team members to work from home (telecommute) to limit the number of people in our facilities 

Places and spaces 

  • Adapting and redesigning our physical spaces and waiting rooms to limit interactions and keep patients and visitors at least 6 feet apart 
  • Cleaning all kiosks, common areas and patient rooms multiple times per day and between every patient using medical-grade cleaning and sanitizing products 
  • Pausing volunteer, celebrity and community visits to reduce the number of people and potential interactions within our facilities 

Community measures 

  • Providing COVID-19 testing for symptomatic visitors, team members and even first responders to identify those who need to be isolated and to do our part in helping limit community spread

Rest assured that it’s safe to bring your child to our hospital. While we had to adapt when and where we cared for kids throughout the coronavirus pandemic – we never stopped caring for the patients and families who rely on us.

See an updated list of open locations.

Before your visit 

Normal life looks a lot different these days, especially in healthcare. Here are the most frequently asked questions with tips about what to expect during your next trip to Children’s Colorado. 

Yes. Please arrive early to allow plenty of time for parking, screening and check in. Though we will do our best to move families through our entrances efficiently, we will not rush the screening process.  

Please plan on arriving 20 to 30 minutes early to assist with our social distancing measures, such as having fewer people in lines and common spaces. Remember to remain at least 6 feet apart from other patients and visitors while you wait.

Yes. Effective April 28, visitors must wear a face covering at all Children’s Colorado locations. We encourage you to bring a cloth face covering from home. If you bring your own, please be sure you and your child have your face coverings in place before entering the building for screening. 

We do have a limited supply of homemade face coverings for visitors who do not have one.

If you visit any of our locations, you’ll see our doctors, nurses and caregivers wearing different types of masks and protective equipment like face shields, respirators, gowns and gloves. For example, some equipment fits over the head and almost look like an astronaut helmet.  

We recommend talking with your child before your visit and watching the video below about how hospital staff will look. The kid-friendly video helps show your child what personal protective equipment looks like. Explain that other patients and visitors will also be wearing masks and face coverings to help keep one another safe.  

Practice wearing homemade cloth face coverings at home before you visit the doctor so your child gets used to seeing family members with their faces partially covered. (Remember, children under age 2 should not wear face coverings for safety reasons.) If you can, let your child choose the face covering they want to wear to the doctor. Giving kids choices helps them feel empowered and in control of their experience. 

During your visit

Yes, your child will be tested prior to any surgical procedure and/or hospital admission. This helps ensure that we identify and prevent the spread of COVID-19, all while providing the proper precautions for your child.  

Watch this video with your child to learn what to expect from coronavirus testing:


If your child’s test is positive for COVID-19, your doctor will call to guide you and discuss any changes to the plan for their medical care. Most often, we will recommend postponing your child’s surgery or procedure out of an abundance of caution. We are here to help and will recommend what is best for your child’s overall health. 
 

 

Positive test results (confirmed COVID-19)

If the test is positive, we will call you. After we've spoken to you, we will also make test results available through MyChart. In most cases, a positive test means that surgery and other procedures will be postponed.

Negative test results (no COVID-19) 

If the test is negative, we usually do not call, but we make the results available through MyChart about 24 hours after the results are available.

Sign up for MyChart.

Yes. All patients and family members must receive screening before they can enter our locations. 

If you are coming in for an outpatient appointment, you’ll also receive a text message the day before your child’s appointment asking you to call ahead if they are experiencing symptoms. This will help us keep sick patients out of common clinic areas, when appropriate, and allow our team to take proper precautions to keep well and sick patients apart.

Yes. We screen all team members at every Children’s Colorado location before they enter. Screening includes taking the person’s temperature and confirming they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.  

Team members who do not pass the screening are not permitted to enter our facilities until we can confirm they are healthy. 

  • We screen all patients and visitors at the main entrance(s) of our locations. (All other entrances are closed.)  
  • If more than one group is entering at a time, we’ll remind you to stay 6 feet apart from each other as you wait. We have kid-friendly visual cues to indicate where to stand. 
  • We’ll ask you to answer some questions about you and your child, such as: 
    • Are you currently experiencing a sore throat, runny nose, fever or other symptoms?
    • Have you recently been in close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19? 
  • We’ll also take your temperature using either an infrared thermometer or one that touches the neck just behind the ear. (We thoroughly sanitize thermometers after each use.)  
  • If you pass the screening, we will direct you to the check-in area where another team member can assist you.

Note: If you do not pass screening, a nurse will ask some additional questions and contact your provider to determine what to do next. We will explain every step of this process as it’s happening.  

If you or your child has symptoms of COVID-19, we’ll issue a doctor’s order for a COVID-19 test at our drive-through testing site nearby. 

  • After your screening, our team members will help direct you to the appropriate floor or location to check in for your appointment. You’ll see several signs and kid-friendly visual cues like tape and stickers on the floor to help guide you.
  • When you reach the check-in area, continue following the tape. This will help you stay 6 feet apart from others as you wait to check in.
  • Our check-in process remains the same. You can ask for a team member to assist you or check in using the digital kiosk. Note: Desks and kiosks are at least 6 feet apart, and we clean kiosks after each use.
  • Once you are checked in, our team will direct you to the seating area. We’ve divided our clinic waiting rooms into what we’re calling “pods,” or color-coded themes that will help you and your child understand where to go. (For example, we may direct you to the “lion pod,” which will be clearly indicated using colors, text and imagery to match the lion theme.) All pods are at least 6 feet apart.
  • Your care team will call you when it’s time for your appointment.

We’ve assessed each location and common area to determine the number of people we can accommodate while still maintaining social distancing guidelines. We’ve taken several proactive measures in our spaces, including reducing the number of seats and workstations throughout waiting areas, clinics and hospitals.

We follow strict cleaning guidelines for disinfecting equipment and surfaces. Based on the type of surface, our guidelines outline how frequently equipment (such as oxygen tanks and IV poles) and surfaces (such as floors, trash cans and sinks) should be cleaned and with what cleaning product.

Just like before, our dedicated child life specialists are available to help normalize the hospital experience and to help children cope during an appointment or medical procedure. By using techniques like medical play, art therapy and even medical dog visits, our child life specialists can help your child feel more comfortable while they’re receiving top-notch medical care.

Limiting the number of people in our facilities is an important way we can limit the spread of illness and keep everyone safe. See our visitation guidelines.

After your visit

In many cases, yes! Your child’s care team will explain the options available for follow-up visits and care. For checkups that may include a physical component like an exam, dressing change, vaccination or diagnostic test, for example, we may need to schedule an in-person visit. In some cases, one part of your follow-up appointment may take place online with a shorter visit in person. 

Children’s Colorado implemented telehealth nearly a decade ago, which means our providers have experience providing high-quality care no matter the format. Whether your appointment is in-person or virtual, your child’s doctor will recommend the best option for their individual medical needs and on a case-by-case basis.

We’re here to help. If you have questions about the coronavirus after your appointment, please call our coronavirus hotline at 720-777-2221. 

Or, find additional coronavirus resources for parents and families, all in one place.

If you have questions or concerns about your child, don’t hesitate to reach out. Your child’s care team is available to answer questions through MyChart and over the phone during regular business hours.  

If it’s after hours and you have a pressing question, call your doctor's office or our free ParentSmart Healthline™ at 720-777-0123 for advice. They can recommend appropriate care and direct you to a facility, if needed.

We’re proud to be a community leader during the COVID-19 pandemic

We’re immensely proud of our physicians, researchers, leaders and team members for responding to the needs of our community and our nation during this time. We were the first hospital system in Colorado and one of the first in the nation to offer COVID-19 testing. We continue to bring that forward-thinking expertise to everything we do.

We’re also proud to be:

  • One of the first blood centers in the country recruiting donors and processing convalescent plasma as a promising potential treatment for COVID-19
  • An innovator in telehealth, rapidly expanding our established programs and virtual visits to more than 6,000 visits per week
  • A leader and resource for pediatricians and healthcare providers across Colorado and our seven-state region, providing guidance on safety protocols, PPE preservation, telehealth visits, small business grants and more
  • A partner for kids in our neighborhood, teaming up with Food Bank of the Rockies and Aurora Public Schools to distribute groceries to kids who rely on school meals

Editor's note: This page was updated on April 30, 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.

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