Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Testing of Children Admitted to the Hospital

Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Testing of Children Admitted to the Hospital

Why is my child being tested?  Is everyone that comes to the hospital tested?

We are committed to protecting the health and well-being of our patients and team members. As you prepare for your child’s hospital stay, the care team is here to ensure your child has limited risk of exposure to COVID-19 while with us. One way we do this is by providing COVID-19 testing to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms and all patients who are being admitted to the hospital. Knowing your child’s COVID-19 test results gives us important information that allows us to provide the care needed while keeping your child, your family and our team members safe.  There is no charge for the test.

Why does my child need to be tested if they don’t have symptoms?

COVID-19 testing protects patients, their families and the healthcare team. Patients who have the virus, even if they don’t have symptoms, can spread it to others.

What is the test like?

COVID-19 testing is generally done for children by using a standard oral swab in the back of the mouth and throat, similar to a test for strep throat. A healthcare team member gently uses a long cotton swab to reach the back of the mouth and throat. This test is relatively quick. Your child may feel some temporary discomfort.  Gagging and eye tearing is possible.

How “good” is the test? If it returns negative, how certain are you about the result? Will my child need a repeat test?

The test is generally accurate during the time when symptoms are present. Before symptoms begin or after symptoms go away, the level of the virus may be lower, which can make the test less accurate. Most people do not need repeat testing, but in some cases, your child’s doctors might decide to test again.

How quick do the results return? Does my child need to stay in the hospital until the results turn negative?

Time for the care team to receive the results vary based on many factors. Currently most test results are available from 24 - 48 hours.  If the test is positive (the child is infected with COVID-19), the doctors will determine when your child may return home. Most people can be discharged back to home quarantine.

How will I be notified of my child’s test results?

Results will be released to MyChart.  You will be notified by the health care team if your child’s results are positive.  Please ask the health care team about your results if you have questions.

Where can I get more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing?

Information on COVID-19 is available at the CDC Website.

For everyone’s safety, we remind patients, families and healthcare staff alike, to wear a mask and cleanse their hands.