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COVID-19: Information for Patients, Parents and Visitors

Published on 
September 17, 2020

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Children’s Hospital Los Angeles' top priority is the safety of our patients, families and team members. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things may look a little different than your last visit to one of our locations.

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

What to expect when you come to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles 

  • All visitors are being screened at the entrances for symptoms of COVID-19:
    During the screening your temperature will be taken, and you will be asked a few questions. 
    To help you get through the line more quickly, you may also answer screener questions on your phone after you arrive on campus. The link to the online screener will be provided to you before you check in, and the questions are available in multiple languages. 
  • You will be asked to wear a mask at all times in public spaces in the hospital, and in your child’s hospital or exam room if anyone other than the child is present. We strongly encourage you to wear a mask at all times in the patient’s room to help keep everyone safe. If you don’t have a mask, one will be provided for you. This is required for everyone over the age of 2.  
  • Everyone is required to maintain six feet of physical distance between non-family members. Waiting rooms and  hospital settings have been adjusted to help make this easier.
  • We are reminding everyone to wash hands and use hand sanitizer frequently to prevent the spread of germs. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the buildings.

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

Our team members are specially trained to provide the safest care possible for our young patients, and we are following all Los Angeles County Public Health Department treatment guidelines and protocols to care for patients and protect the medical staff. We are also following the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including screening and testing efforts. The hospital’s team has the training to manage infectious diseases, and we follow strict infection control processes while treating patients. 
Children’s Hospital has launched several efforts to protect patients, families and team members. Here are some of the things we’ve put in place: 

  • All visitors and staff are being screened for symptoms of COVID-19.  
  • All staff, visitors and patients age 2 and above are required to wear a mask in CHLA clinical buildings. Masks will be provided to all visitors. 
  • We are testing all patients who are admitted to the hospital , or who are having  procedures that require placement of tubes in the mouth, nose or throat.  
  • 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.
  • CHLA has designated areas in the hospital that it may use for isolating COVID-19 patients from other patients and families.  
  • We have increased our thorough cleaning processes to protect patients, families and team members.
  • Team members have run drills throughout the hospital to help prepare for all aspects of the pandemic.  
  • 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  follow the latest practices to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Should I keep my child's appointment for care? 

It is safe to bring your child to the hospital, and important for them to receive necessary medical care. 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. CHLA is currently reaching out to patients and families to confirm appointments. Some clinics are also offering telehealth visits at this time; the clinic will let you know if this is an option for you.

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, CHLA does not routinely test for COVID-19. Children with symptoms may be tested if it is determined medically necessary by the treating provider, or if they are admitted to the hospital for care. 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 cause 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)