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CHKD Blog

Patient Family Being Screened for COVID-19 in the Lobby at CHKD

Protecting the Health and Safety of our Patients Amid a Pandemic

CHKD is committed to taking the best care of our community’s children while helping slow the spread of COVID-19.

In early March, CHKD established an Incident Command team, which is the structure hospitals across the country use to coordinate their responses to emergencies, internally and in concert with other facilities and agencies. This group meets daily to identify precautions to keep our settings as safe as possible for patients and families during the pandemic. That includes everything from screenings for fever at the entrances of our facilities to providing Telehealth appointments to patients who can be treated at home.

We’re doing everything possible to make sure children continue to get the treatment they need when they need it. This is especially important for children who have chronic health conditions who need continuity of care, and kids who develop health problems that need to be addressed as soon as possible. We also want to make sure children receive preventive care, such as vaccinations, to protect them from other diseases.

Some of the measures require a change of routine, so we’d like to take a moment to share them with you.

Keeping you safe at our facilities

Screening: We are screening patients and caregivers upon entry to our facilities to identify those exposed or currently sick with COVID-19 to properly isolate them in separate waiting areas and treatment rooms.

At the main hospital in Norfolk, screening takes place in the lobby from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. From 11 p.m. until 5 a.m., all patients and visitors enter through the emergency department for screening.

Our staff members currently self-screen for fevers and other COVID symptoms, and a plan is underway to begin an additional pre-shift screening for all staff similar to our visitor screening. In addition, all staff members are required to wear masks while at work.

Limiting visitation: Only two parents or caregivers are allowed to accompany a child during a CHKD hospitalization or an inpatient surgery. No other visitors, including siblings, are allowed.

Only one caregiver is allowed to accompany a child to any outpatient appointment, including outpatient surgery, appointments with CHKD Medical Group; CHKD Surgical Group; Children’s Specialty Group; CHKD mental health providers; and CHKD physical, occupational and speech therapists.

On-site precautions: Our pediatric practices have temporarily suspended all walk-in hours, but additional pre-scheduled appointments are available, along with Telehealth options.

All patients and caregivers who come to our facilities are asked to wear face masks. We provide those who arrive without them with cloth face masks at the entrance.

Our waiting areas have also been reconfigured to allow for six feet of social distancing. Please follow instructions on signs and pay attention to stickers on the floor that show proper spacing.

Telehealth Options for At-Home Appointments

CHKD’s pediatricians, specialists, surgeons, and urgent care providers are all offering telehealth appointments. This means your child can get the care they need from the CHKD doctors you trust, from the safety and comfort of your home. Read more about how the make the most of your telehealth appointment here.

Don’t Delay Care

We’d like to emphasize the importance of children continuing to receive needed medical care during the pandemic. Waiting too long to address a new medical condition can create more problems down the road. Also, children with chronic health conditions should not delay critical treatments and check-ups that keep them healthy.



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About Elizabeth Simpson Earley

About Elizabeth  Simpson Earley Elizabeth Simpson Earley works in the marketing and public relations department at CHKD. She handles calls from the media, and helps to promote CHKD and children’s health. A former health reporter at The Virginian-Pilot, Elizabeth has two grown daughters who were treated at CHKD on a regular basis.