African mother opening the tap for her kids to wash their hands in the kitchen.

COVID-19 Information for Parents

(757) 668-7000

We are committed to protecting the health of our patients, families, visitors and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working with federal, state and local governments; the Virginia Department of Health; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish best practices for our delivery of care.

Safety You Can Count On

At CHKD, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our patients and their families. That’s why we are doing everything we can to make it safer and easier to get the care your child needs, from the CHKD doctors you trust.  

  1. Face coverings are required for anyone entering a CHKD facility. Children under age 3 or those who are not developmentally or medically able to wear a mask are exempt.
  2. All staff and visitors are being screened for COVID-19. Anyone who is sick is immediately isolated.
  3. We are limiting the number of people in our facilities.
  4. Physical distancing precautions are being taken in all locations.
  5. We are following strict guidelines for disinfecting equipment and surfaces.  

If you do not have a face mask or cloth face covering, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for these easy directions on making a no-sew cloth face covering from a T-shirt or bandana.

Have an Appointment with Us? Please Call Ahead

Parents, please help us provide the best care to your child and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. If you or your child has a cough and fever, please make sure you talk to someone in your doctor’s office before your appointment. We may need to give you special instructions for your arrival.

Visitor Limits, Masking, and Screening 

Visitor Limits:

  • Only one adult may accompany a patient to a specialty, surgery, urgent care, therapy, or General Academics Pediatrics’ appointment.
  • For CHKD pediatric practices, families as asked to limit the number of people accompanying a patient to their visit as much as possible. All walk-in hours have temporarily been suspended. Additional pre-scheduled appointments are available.
  • Outpatient surgery patients will be allowed one parent or designated caregiver in the surgery waiting rooms the day of their procedure.
  • Children in the emergency department, or who are admitted to the hospital may have two parents or designated caregivers named as visitors for the duration of their hospital stay. Both may visit at the same time. Admitted patients who are positive for COVID-19  or are suspected of having the virus may only have one parent or designated caregiver for the duration of their hospital stay.
  • No siblings or other children are allowed to visit.
  • No one should visit if they are sick.
  • Visitor restrictions apply to the hospital lobby as well. Families who wish to meet with friends or extended family should do so outside of the hospital.

Masking and Screening:

  • Anyone entering a CHKD location is required to wear a face covering. Children under age 3 or who are not developmentally or medically able to wear a mask or face covering should not do so.
  • All patients and visitors to our emergency room, hospital, health centers, and physician practices are being screened to appropriately isolate anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Please be sure to wear your mask/face covering so that it covers your mouth and nose at all times.
  • N95 respirators with valves are not a good alternative to cloth face coverings or masks. The valve allows virus droplets to escape into the air and infect others.

Telehealth Appointments Available

CHKD pediatricians, specialists, and surgeons are offering telehealth visits for patients who qualify. This means your child can get the care they need from the CHKD doctors you trust – all from the safety and comfort of your home. Click here to learn how it works.

COVID Testing at CHKD

Can my child get a COVID-19 test at a CHKD facility?

Yes, if a CHKD provider determines that your child needs a test based on his or her symptoms and exposure history, that provider can collect the specimen during a patient visit to one of our pediatric practices, urgent care centers or emergency department at the main hospital.

Special Circumstances

CHKD is requiring children who have a procedure or surgery scheduled at CHKD, to have a COVID-19 test prior to their procedure, even if they do not have symptoms or a history of exposure. These tests must take place within a specific time frame. A staff member from the surgery department will call you with details about when and where to get your child’s test.

What counts as an exposure to COVID-19?

There is a great deal of confusion and misinformation about this topic, but the science is actually very specific. A true “exposure” only occurs when someone is:

  • within six feet of a person who tests positive for COVID-19,
  • for at least 15 minutes,
  • and neither of them are wearing masks.

All three of the above must be true for an encounter to be considered a true exposure.

What should I do if my child was exposed according to the definition above?

Call your child’s regular doctor for advice.

If your child does not have symptoms, they will probably recommend quarantine. That means keeping your child at home until 14 days after their last contact with the person who has COVID-19. During quarantine, you should keep a close eye out for symptoms and check your child’s temperature twice a day. As much as possible, keep your child away from anyone in your home who is at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as elderly relatives.

If your child was exposed and has any of the symptoms listed below, call your pediatrician for advice. Your practice will likely offer you an appointment for testing, and give you information to keep your child comfortable as well as any symptoms that could indicated more severe illness. They will also help you understand the importance of isolating your child from people who are not sick. This will be particularly important if your child’s test is positive.

Thankfully, COVID-19 is usually a mild illness in children. Because it is caused by a virus, the main treatments are rest, fluids and time.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • fever
  • cough
  • any new shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • chills
  • repeated shaking with chills
  • muscle pain or body aches
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • new loss of taste or smell
  • diarrhea
  • nausea or vomiting
  • congestion or runny nose
  • fatigue

What if my child visited a friend who had a true exposure before the friend was quarantined? Can I get a test for peace of mind?

This would not constitute an exposure for your child, unless the child your child visited tested positive for COVID-19, and they were in close contact (within six feet), for more than 15 minutes, and neither child wore a mask. Another way to think of it is: an exposure to an exposure is not an exposure. To responsibly manage limited testing resources, we are not offering tests for peace of mind only. We are only testing those whose symptoms and/or exposure history warrant testing.

My child needs proof of a negative test for school/daycare/sports? Can I get this test at CHKD?

If your child is a patient at a CHKD Medical Group primary care practice, and you have a letter or form from the school/daycare/sports league stating that the test is required, you can get the test at the practice.

CHKD’s Urgent Care centers and Emergency Department are not performing school/daycare/sports testing at this time.

In general, CHKD discourages this sort of entrance testing because it can give a false sense of security to those who test negative. The test only measures your COVID-19 status at the time the specimen is collected.

Consolidation of Services

Throughout this pandemic, every area of the CHKD organization has worked to provide accessible care in a way that best meets the needs of our patient families. We have temporarily consolidated some of our in-person care delivery sites to be more efficient in deploying our personnel and resources.

The following locations have temporarily moved services to nearby locations.

  • Health Center at Butler Farm – All services. 
  • Harbour View South –Physical, occupational, and speech therapy. 
  • Landstown – Urgent Care is closed. All other CHKD Urgent Care Centers are open for in-person visits.

Hague Pharmacy

Hague Pharmacy at CHKD is now offering lobby and curbside pick-up and drop-off for your child’s prescriptions. Call them at (757) 811-1126 or text to (757) 320-4153 to make arrangements.

Hospital School Program

Due to Governor Northam’s ordered closure of school throughout Virginia, the Hospital School Program is unable to provide in person school services at CHKD for the remainder of the school year.

To support students throughout this closure, we have created a list of online educational resources you can use with your child if interested. We are also available to offer virtual instructional support to inpatients and virtual educational consultation services to outpatients as needed. To access this list or submit a request for support, please visit the school's website here.

For additional information, click here.

Our COVID Response

As with all infectious disease outbreaks, we have taken special steps to handle the care of any children who may come down with COVID-19. We are confident in our ability to treat patients with this or any infectious disease, while keeping others safe.

CHKD Health System established a coronavirus committee in March that meets often to ensure our facilities are kept as safe as possible for our patients and families during this ongoing pandemic. Among the actions we’ve taken are the following:

  • We have asked families to notify us before coming to any scheduled appointment if their child develops a fever and cough.
  • We are screening all staff and visitors who enter a CHKD facility for signs of illness and immediately isolating those who are sick.
  • We are limiting the number of visitors to the hospital, our health centers, and our physician practices.
  • We are reducing the number of people in all CHKD locations and incorporating physical distancing in our lobbies, lines, and waiting rooms using visual markers and signs.
  • As always, we are requiring adherence to our hand hygiene and sanitation policies.
  • We have instituted travel restrictions and reporting policies for CHKD staff members.
  • We are monitoring all coronavirus reports and working with our campus, regional, state, and national partners on additional steps we should take to provide the care children may need during this time.

Coronavirus: What parents need to know about COVID-19

COVID-19 is an infection caused by a virus. Other examples of illnesses caused by viruses are influenza (the flu) and the common cold.

Is there any information on COVID-19 that is specific to children?

The COVID-19 outbreak hasn’t been affecting children at the same rate as adults. At this time, reported infections among children are remarkably low.

  • The overwhelming majority of confirmed cases have been adults, and the majority have had only mild symptoms.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the limited reports of children who had been affected, most had only mild symptoms such as runny nose, fever and cough.

How do people catch Coronavirus?

COVID-19 is spread through “droplets.” When a person who has the illness coughs or sneezes, they expel tiny droplets that contain the virus. If the droplets land on you, or a surface that you touch, and then you rub your eyes, nose, or mouth, the virus can enter your body and you can become sick.

Are there any special steps I should take to protect myself and my family?

The best way to avoid getting sick with COVID-19 is to avoid close contact with others. That’s the basic benefit of all the “social distancing” we’re doing by closing schools and businesses. When you do go out, wear a face covering and stay  at least six feet away from other people whenever possible. Keep your hands clean and away from your face.

Even when you’re at home, remember to do the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Make sure everyone in your household does, too.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you believe you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • As always, talk to your primary care provider about any symptoms or questions.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms are fever, tiredness, and cough, with or without shortness of breath. Most people experience mild symptoms, but some become more severely ill.

Who is at high risk for more serious illness with COVID-19?

People at high risk of more serious illness include:

  • People age 65 and older.
  • People with lung disease, including moderate to severe asthma.
  • People with serious heart disease.
  • People with weakened immune systems, including cancer and transplant patients.
  • People with severe obesity.
  • People with diabetes, renal disease ,or liver disease that is not well controlled.

What is the treatment for COVID-19?

As of now, there are no specific treatments that can attack the virus itself. Treatments are designed to ease the symptoms while the body recovers. Most people require no treatment other than rest and time. For those with more severe symptoms, treatments can help with breathing difficulties.

Is there anything else I should know?

In general, coronaviruses are not new. They are part of a large family of viruses that are common in people and animals. Chances are that you’ve had a coronavirus infection in the past but just called it a cold. Coronaviruses can infect the respiratory tract and cause symptoms like a runny nose, cough, sore throat, and fever. There are six different coronaviruses that can infect humans, and most often the symptoms are mild to moderate and last for just a few days. So, keep in mind, it’s possible for someone you know to have a common coronavirus that is not COVID-19. For more information about coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

How Do I Know if my Child Needs to be Tested for COVID-19?

If your child has a fever and a cough and has been in contact with someone with COVID-19, call your healthcare provider before seeking medical attention. If necessary, your provider will take steps to safely evaluate your child while keeping others from being exposed.

While children can get COVID-19, they have not been as severely affected by it as adults. Most get better with rest, fluids, and fever medication, just as they would if they had a cold or flu. As is true for any respiratory illness, individuals with lung disease or whose immune system is compromised are at a greater risk for complications from COVID-19. Call your doctor’s office for guidance as to whether your child needs medical treatment.

How Do You Test for COVID-19?

To test for coronavirus, healthcare providers take a mucus sample from the nose and back of the throat for testing in a lab. 

CHKD's lab will only perform COVID-19 testing with a doctor's order. We are not a community screening site. In most cases, specimens must be collected in the doctors' office and sent to the CHKD lab for processing.

Children who come to CHKD's emergency department or one of our urgent care centers with active symptoms of COVID-19 will have specimens collected at the time of their visit. The CHKD lab also collects specimens for children who are being tested for COVID-19 prior to surgery. 

When to Seek Emergency Care

Go to the emergency department or call 911 if your child shows any of the following symptoms of respiratory distress:

  • Signs of breathing problems – look for muscles pulling in between the ribs or the nose puffing out with each breath.
  • Turns blue.
  • Becomes confused or very sleepy.

What Else Should I Know?

Keep doing the things you do every day during cold and flu season to keep your family healthy. This includes washing hands well and often, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding contact with people who are sick. Also, be sure to maintain social distancing and follow the current guidelines of our state and local public health districts.

What if Someone in My Household Has a Suspected or Confirmed Case of COVID-19?

If you, or someone in your household, has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19:

  • Stay home, except to get medical care.
  • Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Get rest and plenty of fluids.
  • If someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, the entire household should stay home.
  • You should be contacted by your local health department after your positive test.

At Home:

  • Separate yourself from others in your home. Stay in a specific room and use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw them in a lined trash can. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water. If soap and water is not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.


  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, going to the bathroom, and before eating or preparing food.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home.

Monitor your symptoms:

  • Seek medical attention if your illness gets worse, such as difficulty breathing.
  • Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have COVID-19.
  • If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have COVID-19.
  • Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day, including counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.

Discontinuing home isolation:

If you have been directed to isolate at home, do so as long as your medical provider or local health department directs you to, and until these conditions have been met:

  • No fever for at least 72 hours.
  • Other symptoms have improved.
  • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Helping Kids Cope During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Parents are the most important resource for children every day, but especially in stressful situations. Parents and caregivers may wonder what’s the best way to emotionally support a child during the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are a few resources from our experts:

Offers of Support from Our Community

We are receiving generous offers of financial contributions and donations of medical supplies from the community daily. Please know that we are so grateful for these offers and are responding as they come in. As we are unable to accept drop-off donations at the main hospital during this time, please contact us at (757) 668-7070 or by email to, if you have supplies you wish to donate.

To make a monetary contribution, please do so online at If you'd like to restrict your gift to our COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund, please indicate your preference in the comments section of the form.

Now, more than ever, we will do our part to demonstrate resolve and optimism for brighter days ahead. Most importantly, we wish for you to be safe and well as we weather this storm together. Thank you for your support!

Additional Resources from CHKD, CDC and VDH

(757) 668-7000