What to Expect in our Network (Primary, Specialty and Urgent Care) During COVID-19
We understand this is a difficult and unusual time, and many families have questions about COVID-19. We want to reassure you that we are confident that we can safely provide the care your child needs.
"Is it safe to seek healthcare for my child?"
Here is some information about the precautions in place at CHOP Primary Care, Specialty Care, and Urgent Care locations that will keep you, your children and our staff safe.
If you're looking for information about a Main Hospital inpatient stay or Emergency Department visit, read more here.
Reducing parent, caregiver and sibling entry
To keep our patients, families and staff safe from the coronavirus (COVID-19) and other respiratory viral infections, we ask you to reduce the number of parents or caregivers as much as possible to all Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia sites. We strongly recommend that only one healthy parent/legal guardian accompany your child. Read more about who can enter CHOP locations.
Parents and caregivers cannot be ill (must be without fever, cough or other concerning symptoms), nor have testing pending for COVID-19. We are not allowing siblings to visit at this time. Breastfeeding infants are permitted to be present with their parent.
REMINDER: If you or your child develops concerning symptoms of cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell, contact your medical provider immediately. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency department, call ahead and tell them about your/your child’s symptoms. They will coordinate safe testing and treatment and get you the care you need.
Your safety: Cleaning, screening, masks and more
We may call you 24 hours or more before your child’s scheduled visit, test, procedure or surgery with further information that is specific to your child. We will let you know at that time if there are extra precautions you need to take when coming to CHOP.
Please allow for extra time to travel to CHOP and reach your destination while maintaining physical distancing. Also, please consider bringing as few belongings as possible to reduce clutter.
We continue to follow all CDC guidelines and have all the necessary supplies to properly perform cleaning.
Watch: A Message from our Clean Team
We use only cleaning products that are effective against the virus that causes COVID-19.
Cleaning of our facilities, including operating rooms, waiting rooms and exam rooms, is performed in accordance with infection control guidelines.
Screening and testing for COVID-19
Screening allows us to provide the best experience and care possible, considering factors like room placement, procedure timing, and isolation and precautions.
- All parents and caregivers are asked screening questions about symptoms, exposures and travel history. In addition, we ask all parents and caregivers to wear a mask upon entering CHOP locations.
- We screen patients by asking questions about recent travel, possible exposure and symptoms when a visit is scheduled and again upon arrival.
We conduct testing for COVID-19 infection according to CDC guidelines. Currently, we test all patients undergoing surgery and some procedures. We test patients in outpatient settings only when certain risk factors have been identified and the patient is eligible for testing.
Masks for everyone over 2
Based on current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, all parents/caregivers and patients over 2 years old should wear a mask over their mouths and noses while they are at any CHOP location. We will supply non-medical masks or you can bring one from home. Please let us know if your child has a hard time wearing a mask. This video can help kids understand why their CHOP providers are wearing masks.
Parents and caregivers need to wear their masks at all times in our facilities, including in your child’s room when a staff member is in the room. Caregivers do not need to wear their mask while they sleep.
Not all masks provide effective protection against COVID-19. All masks should have two layers of cloth that fit tightly over your nose and mouth. It is also important to wear your mask properly, covering both your mouth and nose.
We try as much as possible to have the exam room ready for you so you can go directly to it without sitting in the waiting room.
You may be offered the option to wait in your car or outside and be called or texted when the room is ready, or when your child is out of surgery.
We have reconfigured waiting rooms and public spaces to promote physical distancing of 6 feet, while still providing enough spaces for families to sit. We have posted signage reminding everyone to physically distance and practice good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, including covering your cough. Parents and caregivers should maintain a safe physical distance of at least 6 feet from others, even when masked.
Staff precautions: Masks, gloves, eye protection
The most important precaution we take is hand hygiene. You will see this at all times during your interactions with staff. All staff are also required to wear masks while at work as part of our universal masking policy.
During your child’s care, we may use different personal protective equipment (PPE) — including face masks, respirators, eye coverage, gowns and gloves — depending on the possible exposure of bodily fluids. If you don’t see us wearing gloves it most likely means there is no exposure to bodily fluids. CHOP has sufficient PPE to ensure that our patients, parents/caregivers, and our staff our safe.
The CDC recently put out guidance encouraging universal eye protection for any healthcare worker who has direct patient interactions in communities with widespread COVID-19 transmission. Since we are seeing a rise in cases nationally and locally, CHOP has proactively moved to require healthcare workers to wear eye protection when interacting with patients.
The use of PPE does not replace our other safety recommendations, including universal masking, physically distancing, and staying home when ill. CHOP’s employee sick policy requires that any ill staff member must stay home from work if they are feeling sick. Staff are required to self-monitor for symptoms and report any illness that may develop while at work.
If you are anxious or frightened to bring your child to an appointment
We understand that you may be anxious about coming into the hospital after sheltering in place for many weeks. Emotional reactions or feelings of anxiety are natural. Please continue to ask us questions or tell us about your concerns. If you find you need more support/help please contact one of the following resources:
- Your primary care provider
- Philadelphia 24-Hour Mental Health Delegate Line: 215-685-6440
- Emotional PA Department of Health (DOH) statewide hotline 1-877-PA-HEALTH
- PADOH statewide coronavirus hotline 1-877-PA-HEALTH
- Greater Philadelphia coronavirus hotline 1-800-722-7112
- NJ statewide coronavirus hotline 1-800-222-1222
Accessing ambulatory and outpatient care
Your child’s ongoing care is just as important now as it was before the pandemic began. Don’t delay care. Our Care Network locations are open and safe, and currently seeing patients for all types of appointments. If you’d like to schedule a new appointment or reschedule an appointment that was cancelled or delayed, feel free to call your provider’s office or send a message through MyCHOP.
Telehealth video visits are still an option for many medical appointments, including consultations for a new issue, follow-up visits to see how a treatment or medication is working, urgent care visits and more. Your child’s provider will work with you to determine what visits can safely and effectively be done by video.
If we need to cancel or reschedule your upcoming appointment, your provider’s office will contact you directly.
- We are prioritizing scheduling of well visits and rescheduling appointments for any child who had an appointment canceled due to the initial COVID-19 shutdown.
- We continue to see sick patients when necessary, and offer video visits through MyCHOP for existing patients when it is safe and appropriate to do so. Don't delay care if your child is sick.
- All primary care practices are adjusting appointment scheduling: Well visits are conducted in the morning and sick visits are conducted in the afternoon, with the exception of Broomall, which is seeing only well visits.
- Online scheduling is now available via MyCHOP.
- Elective surgeries/procedures and other visits to our Specialty Care and Surgery Centers that had been postponed are now being rescheduled, and new appointments are available. If you haven't heard from us yet, feel free to reach out to your child's specialist.
- Online scheduling is available in MyCHOP for in-person visits for most specialties. If you would like to discuss appointments or speak with a nurse about your child’s health, or need a MyCHOP account, please contact the specialty directly.
- Our specialists can also offer video visits in many cases. Telehealth options differ by specialty. Your specialist will consider whether telehealth is appropriate for your child when making a decision about your scheduled or new appointment.
Urgent Care and emergencies
- Our four pediatric urgent care locations remain open with regular hours.
- Urgent care video visits are also available if you prefer to stay home. Video visits are helpful for complaints of rash, fever, seasonal allergies, sore throat, minor injuries (sprains and strains), eye problems (pink eye, conjunctivitis), bites and stings or to determine need for COVID-19 testing, among other concerns. To get started, call 610-337-3232 and select option 7 for Urgent Care.
- Our Emergency Department (ED) is open. Please only visit our ED if your child is experiencing a true emergency.
Thank you for partnering with us and trusting us with your child's care.
Updated: December 15, 2020