What to Expect in our Network (Primary, Specialty and Urgent Care)

At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), our priority is to provide high-quality, safe and effective care to all our patients and families.

Measles cases are increasing in the community and viral illnesses are on the rise. For the protection of our patients, families, visitors and staff, the following guidelines apply to all CHOP locations at this time:

Masks are required for:

  • All Emergency Department spaces (entrance, hallways, waiting rooms, exam rooms, bathrooms) on both CHOP campuses.
  • Anyone with fever or respiratory symptoms (cough, runny nose or sore throat) in all CHOP locations. Masks must be worn in waiting rooms, exam rooms, and all other public areas.

Masks are strongly recommended for:

  • All patients, families and visitors in all public areas, including waiting rooms and hallways.
  • Immunocompromised or high-risk individuals (per CDC guidelines) in all settings.

Masks are always available for anyone who wants to wear one. If you need a mask, please ask a staff member for assistance.

If you're looking for information about an inpatient stay at one of our hospitals, or an Emergency Department visit, read more here.

Prepare for your visit

When coming in for an appointment, we recommend you bring any food, drinks, toys or entertainment necessary to make your wait as comfortable as possible, and please follow our current visitor and masking guidelines

Right care, right place

Getting patients directed to the right level of care from the start of their illness helps reduce wait times for everyone.

If you’re unsure whether your child’s symptoms can be managed at home or require a trip to the doctor, try our symptom checker as a starting point. This can help determine what type of medical care your child may need, if any, or if their symptoms can be managed at home.

We have created this library of information and resources to help you prevent common bugs and treat your child's illness at home when it is appropriate to do so. Save this page to return to when you need it!

Remember, you are always the best judge of your child's needs.

Visitor guidelines

Who can visit

We understand how important the presence of families and visitors are to the health and well-being of our patients and families. We continually review and adjust our visitation policies. At this time, in continued efforts to keep our patients, families and staff safe from the flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections, our limited visitor policy is in place. 

Please review these guidelines carefully before coming to one of our facilities

Respecting each other

CHOP is a place of healing and compassion. As we navigate this challenging time together, we expect our patients, families and staff to act in a respectful manner — allowing everyone to be part of the conversation.

Inappropriate language, discriminatory slurs, threats and/or aggressive behavior will not be tolerated.

Your child’s health and safety are our top priority, along with the safety of our staff and of everyone in our facilities. We appreciate your patience and thank you for trusting us with your child’s care.

Ensuring everyone’s safety: Important reminders for while you’re in any of our facilities

Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

Please help us prevent the spread of germs by practicing good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, including masking if you have respiratory symptoms, frequent handwashing, covering coughs and cleaning surfaces such as phones.

Staff precautions

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 in direct contact with patients.

Other safety recommendations include 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 and mask upon return to work for 10 days following the onset of respiratory symptoms. Staff are required to self-monitor for symptoms and report any illness that may develop while at work.

What to expect in outpatient care settings

  • Please be sure to follow the instructions from your specific care team before any scheduled visit.
  • No matter what type of visit you’re coming in for, we recommend you bring any food, drinks, toys or entertainment necessary to make your wait as comfortable as possible, and please follow our current visitor guidelines.

Telehealth video visits may be an option for some medical appointments, including consultations for a new issue, follow-up visits to see how a treatment or medication is working, and more. Your child’s provider will work with you to determine what visits can safely and effectively be done by video. *Please check with your health plan to confirm that your insurance covers video visits with your own CHOP providers.

Primary Care 

Appointment scheduling at our primary care practices is optimized to allow for us to see both well and sick children safely.

You can find ways to schedule appointments on your primary care practice website as well as through the MyCHOP patient portal.

Specialty Care

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 some cases. Telehealth options differ by specialty. Your specialist will consider whether telehealth is appropriate for your child when scheduling or changing an appointment.

Urgent Care and emergencies

Our emergency rooms and urgent care centers are experiencing an extremely high volume of patients. Please be aware that this has resulted in longer-than-normal wait times. 

When coming to one of our Urgent Care centers, we recommend you bring any food, drinks, toys or entertainment necessary to make your wait as comfortable as possible, and please follow our current visitor guidelines.

More tips:

  • Getting patients directed to the right level of care from the start of their illness also helps reduce wait times for everyone. Please only visit our ED if your child is experiencing a true emergency.
  • If you’re unsure whether your child’s symptoms can be managed at home or require a trip to the doctor, try our symptom checker as a starting point. This can help determine what type of medical care your child may need, if any, or if their symptoms can be managed at home.

Remember, you are always the best judge of your child's needs. Do not hesitate to go to an Emergency Room if you think your child is experiencing an emergency. 

Read more about what to expect in our Emergency Departments »

Thank you for partnering with us and trusting us with your child's care.

Updated: January 6, 2024


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