Children’s Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic
New Visitor Restrictions at All Children’s Facilities
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep patients, families and staff members safe, Children’s has changed its visitation policy to allow only one visitor at a time to any facility. Two caregivers will continue to be designated as visitors for each hospitalized child; however, only one may visit at a time. Exceptions will be made for end-of-life care, parents of neonates less than 72 hours postpartum and other specific circumstances.
In addition, no sick caregivers will be allowed on our premises. If a parent is symptomatic, another caregiver should accompany the patient. If a caregiver with symptoms arrives with a child at the Emergency Department, Respiratory Access Center or any other location, they will be masked and wait for another caregiver to arrive. We thank our patient families for their flexibility and cooperation at this unprecedented time.
Children’s Launches Respiratory Assessment Center
Children’s Hospital & Medical Center has launched a dedicated Respiratory Assessment Center to address symptoms of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in children and teens. The Respiratory Assessment Center is located on Children’s main campus at 84th & Dodge Streets. Please enter off of 84th Street at the Specialty Pediatric Center entrance, make an immediate right and park; the center’s entrance is south of the main Specialty Pediatric Center entrance.
Symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are: fever, cough, shortness of breath and/or sore throat. If your child has these symptoms or you are concerned about a potential exposure, please call your primary care provider or Children’s COVID-19 Help Line at 402-955-3200. If this is an urgent matter and your child needs immediate care on nights or weekends, please go directly to the Respiratory Assessment Center—not Children’s Urgent Care. Children’s Urgent Care will be sending patients with potentially infected respiratory symptoms to the center for care.
For Non-Urgent Appointments:
As part of our ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Children’s has begun cancelling non-urgent and non-emergency surgeries at all locations. Please be assured we will be rescheduling all cases as soon as it is safe to do so. We will contact you directly if an appointment needs to be postponed. Please know that we are continuing appointments for urgent treatments.
For Urgent Appointments:
If you are unsure if you should cancel an essential clinic or treatment appointment (chemo, dialysis, etc.), please know that we can assure you that Children’s continues to adhere to strict quality, safety and infection prevention protocols to ensure your and your child’s safety. We want to encourage you to bring your child in for this essential appointment.
- Having staff self-monitor every day before coming to work
- Pre-screening all patients and families before arrival at the clinic
- Social distancing patients and families as they arrive to the clinic area
We are working diligently to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our patients, families, staff and community. We are all responsible for protecting each other at this unprecedented time. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we put safety first.
In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community, Children’s is taking an innovative leap forward into Virtual Care. Our telehealth model offers not only convenience for your family, but also enhanced safety for our patients, families and care teams.
Patients who are eligible for a virtual visit are being contacted directly by Children’s staff to schedule a virtual visit. Once scheduled, families will receive an email confirmation with a unique Zoom link to access their virtual visit scheduled with their child’s physicians or provider. The following tip sheet includes information about clinics currently scheduling Children’s Virtual Visits and tips for connecting: view tip sheet.
Visitor Screening Update
All individuals entering Children’s facilities will be screened for travel and wellness upon arrival.
Children’s is not screening the general public for COVID-19 at this time.
Donations & Community Support
Children’s is deeply grateful for the kindness and support of the community we serve. Thank you for thinking of our patients, families and staff at this challenging time.
If you are interested in supporting Children’s at this time, through donations of food or supplies, please call Children’s Foundation at 402.955.6851. Many of you have expressed the desire to help the hospital with personal protective equipment by making masks for us. At this time we have plans in place to conserve personal protective equipment and have sufficient hospital-grade materials. We thank you again for your thoughtfulness.
Children’s Physicians Information
Children’s Physicians to Temporarily Restructure Office Visits
As we continue our efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep children, families and communities safe, Children’s Physicians is temporarily restructuring visits to its offices. This restructuring is effective immediately and continues through April 30, or until we can safely return to normal practices.
Well-check appointments – both routine and urgent – will be held at Children’s Physicians, Bellevue, Dundee, Eagle Run, Mission Village and Spring Valley (scheduled appointments only). The capability to schedule well-check appointments in Children’s Connect has been reactivated.
Children’s Physicians, Creighton, Dundee Flats, Val Verde and West Village Pointe will be designated for sick visits. To schedule a sick visit for your child, please call your regular Children’s Physicians office to make the appointment. Your regular office staff will assist you in scheduling the appointment at your appropriate location. We have done our best to make the new alternative location closest to your original home office.
The Council Bluffs, Kearney and Plattsmouth offices will continue operating with well-checks in the morning and sick-visits and walk-in visits in the afternoon.
The Children’s Physicians Gretna, Embassy Park and UNMC offices will temporarily close through April 30. If you have an April appointment scheduled at these locations, a Children’s Physicians staff member will contact you with rescheduling options at one of our other locations.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding of the safety measures Children’s Physicians has implemented on behalf of our patient families and the community.
Visitor Protocols at Children’s Physicians, Urgent Care & Specialty Clinic Locations
All individuals entering Children’s facilities will be screened for travel and wellness upon arrival.
Urgent Care Notice
In an effort to conserve our clinical staff resources—and in response to lower patient volumes, we will be temporarily consolidating our Urgent Care services to one location. Starting Saturday, March 21, Children’s Urgent Care at Dundee and Val Verde will be closed; Urgent Care at West Village Pointe will be open. This is a temporary change due to the current health care climate, and we will keep you posted when we return to normal Urgent Care operations. We apologize for any inconvenience, and thank you for your flexibility in this challenging time.
Children’s to Modify Some Outpatient Specialty Clinic Visits
In our continued effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep patient families safe, Children’s will be modifying visit schedules with our pediatric specialists through July 1, 2020. Our specialists will see urgent visits (those needed in the next 7 days) as scheduled, but will also consider making the following modifications:
· Virtual Visits wherever appropriate
· Rescheduling non-urgent visits to the summer months
Each specialty has a specific plan based upon the patient needs and staff support required, and will work to modify the schedule two weeks at a time. Staff will contact patient families directly as needed to communicate and coordinate care.
Children’s Infusion Center and Dialysis clinic will continue regular operations. Sleep Lab and Neurodiagnostics will postpone non-urgent procedures. Our Spring Ridge outpatient specialty clinic will be closed until further notice. Our outpatient specialty services in Sioux City will be suspended, as well, with the exception of Cardiology services. Modifications at our Specialty Pediatric Clinic in Lincoln will occur and be communicated on a specialty-by-specialty basis.
Again, these modifications are being made to keep our patients, families and staff safe and healthy. We thank our patient families for their patience and cooperation at this unprecedented time.
Protecting yourself and your child from COVID-19
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus is a family of viruses that causes many cold and respiratory symptoms. The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that has been declared a world health emergency is a new virus strain that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath.
What can I/my child do to avoid getting COVID-19?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing:
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Information & Resources
Tips for Adding Structure to Your Family Routine
Amidst school closures, schedule changes and working from home, there are lots of ways parents can introduce more structure into the family routine. Check out helpful tips and advice from Mike Vance, Ph.D., Children’s director of Behavioral Health.
Need ideas on what to do with the kids at home?
Check out Go Noodle, a great resource for videos, activities, and resources you can do at home! Including non-screen activity sugestions.
COVID-19 Health Links: