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COVID-19: Information for Patients, Parents and Visitors

Published on 
March 21, 2020

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Many families are worried about the spread of the novel coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19, and may have questions about their safety, including if it is safe to bring their children to our hospital or clinics for appointments. 

We want you to know that Children’s Hospital Los Angeles' top priority is the safety of our patients, families and team members.  

This page has information about how our hospital is preparing, preventing and responding to this ongoing public health incident. 

What is CHLA doing to keep my kids and the hospital safe? 

Children’s Hospital has launched several measures to protect patients, families and team members. We are also following the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including screening and testing efforts.  

The hospital is following all Los Angeles County Public Health Department treatment guidelines and protocols to care for patients and protect the medical staff. We are also in constant contact with local and state health authorities. The hospital’s team has rigorously trained and prepared to manage infectious disease cases, and we adhere to strict infection control protocols while treating patients. Our staff is highly trained to provide the safest care possible for our young patients. 

Here are some of the measures we’ve put in place: 

  • Increased screening at CHLA entrances – Families are being screened at the front desk, access center, specialty care clinics and Emergency Department.

  • Employee screenings – All team and faculty members are required to pass a health screening before entering our main campus buildings. These screenings will help reduce the chance of team members exposing each other and our patients to illness, and help prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.

  • Enhanced visitor guidelines – We have strengthened our visitor guidelines to help protect our patients. Only one parent or guardian without symptoms of illness is allowed to visit inpatients and outpatients at a time. One caregiver will be allowed only if a parent or guardian is not available due to illness. Outpatient visitors should avoid bringing siblings or other family members to appointments. Non-family visitors will not be permitted. For full details, please see our Visitor Guidelines.

  • Isolation-ready areas – CHLA has designated areas in the hospital that it may use for isolating COVID-19 patients from other patients and families.  

  • Readiness drills – In preparation for a potential surge of patients, team members have run drills throughout the hospital, including setting up triage facilities.  

  • Continuous collaboration – We have been in close contact with local, state and federal authorities, including the Los Angeles County Public Health Department, to stay up to date with the latest outbreak information and ensure we're following the best practices to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Should I keep my child's appointment for care? 

In the majority of cases, you should plan to keep your child’s appointment—particularly if the care needs are urgent, emergent or will worsen without timely attention from a health care provider. In some cases, appointments or procedures can be safely postponed. Our expert team members are reviewing clinic visits and procedures now and, if you have an appointment that can be postponed, a member of our team will contact you. In the meantime, you may contact your child’s clinic or doctor’s office if you have questions.  

Is it safe for me and my child to go to the hospital? 

Yes, all areas of the hospital and specialty care clinics remain in operation. Children's Hospital Los Angeles is following all Los Angeles County Public Health Department treatment guidelines and protocols to protect the health of patients and their family members as well as our clinical team and faculty members.  

We are in constant contact with local and state health authorities. The hospital’s team has rigorously trained and prepared to manage infectious disease cases, and we adhere to strict infection control protocols while treating patients—all to help keep you and your family safe and healthy.  

Is the COVID-19 test for everyone? 

No. As with any illness, testing is done if a person shows symptoms of a disease. Call your pediatrician if your child has symptoms of COVID-19 or has been directly exposed to someone with the illness.

If my child is sick and I suspect COVID-19, what should I do? How do I get my child tested for this virus? 

We advise parents or guardians to call their child’s pediatrician first to discuss their child’s symptoms.  

I saw a medical test result that lists “coronavirus.” What should I do? 

Keep in mind that "coronavirus" is actually a broad term that describes a whole family of viruses, many of which result in the common cold. The current global outbreak is caused by a specific "novel" coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19.  

The vast majority of coronavirus diagnoses will be the equivalent of being told that you have a common cold or flu, so a positive coronavirus test result is not a cause for alarm. This can be very confusing, so please talk to your doctor or care team if you see this word used. 

Should I be concerned about the coronavirus? How dangerous is it? Is it treatable? What are the symptoms? 

CHLA has a separate blog post that helps explain the basics of the novel coronavirus available here: What You Should Know About the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)