Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information | Screening and Testing

Screening and Testing for Coronavirus

Is Screening the Same Thing as Testing for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

No, screening and testing are different.

Screening is a series of questions about recent travel, contact with people who have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), and symptoms of illness you may have. Screenings help doctors determine if a patient should have further testing if they are sick. Screenings are also happening in person before people enter hospitals and other healthcare areas to identify people who could be sick and should not be around other people

Testing is a laboratory test to find out if a person has coronavirus (COVID-19). To be tested, a person will first be screened and likely tested for other infections and viruses. If a coronavirus test is needed, a long stick will be used to swab the inside of the patient’s sinus area. The sample will then be sent for testing, and a result will come back in a few days.

Is Cincinnati Children’s Screening for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptoms at Entrances?

Yes, in an effort to protect our patients, their families and our staff during the coronavirus outbreak, Cincinnati Children’s is now screening parents, visitors and employees every day before they enter patient care areas. You will also be given a mask to wear while you are at the medical center.

How the screening works: 

Parents, visitors and employees will have to answer these questions: 

In the past 24 hours, have you:

  • Had a fever above 100.4° F (38.0° C)?
  • Had any of these symptoms?
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pain
  • Lost your ability to smell or taste?

If you pass the screening, you will be given a sticker to wear for the day. It should be worn where it can be easily seen. 

If you do not pass the screening, you will not be allowed to come into patient care areas and will be asked to return to your vehicle.

If a single parent is with a child for an urgent visit (Emergency Department, Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute day hospital, dialysis) and does not pass the screening, the parent will be given a mask and allowed to go ahead to the urgent appointment.

Testing for coronavirus.

Can My Child Be Tested for Coronavirus at Cincinnati Children’s?

Patients who have COVID-19 symptoms, and are sick enough that they need to stay in the hospital, will be tested at Cincinnati Children’s.

Patients who have respiratory symptoms will be screened (asked to answer some questions) for contact with people who have the coronavirus to see if testing is needed. If it is, the patient will first be tested for flu, strep and several other viruses. If those tests are all negative, your child may meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing.

Cincinnati Children’s is testing all patients before surgical procedures. Learn more.

COVID-19 drive-thru testing is available at Cincinnati Children's Burnet Campus.

COVID-19 drive-thru testing is available at many Cincinnati Children's locations, including Burnet Campus (where the valet parking lot was).

Can We Do At-Home Screening and Drive-Thru Testing?

If you are concerned that your child may have COVID-19, contact your child’s primary care provider first to discuss your concerns and next steps. 

> Learn how to get started and see our testing locations.

If your child does not have a regular doctor or you need to talk to someone when your doctor isn’t available, you can use the CincyKids Health Connect app to talk to a Cincinnati Children’s provider about next steps. Providers will evaluate each patient using video visit technology. They will screen for travel or contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and direct families to options for further evaluation.

If a patient meets COVID-19 testing criteria, the provider can order a COVID-19 test for a scheduled appointment at a Cincinnati Children’s drive-thru testing location. Note, this testing is available only through a provider’s order and a scheduled appointment. 

Patients who have minor symptoms and do not meet testing criteria at the time of the visit will receive guidance from the provider for monitoring at home and instructions for follow-up, if needed.

COVID-19 screening video visits are free of charge for families. If a patient has a drive-thru COVID-19 test, the testing itself will be billed to the patient’s insurance as applicable. 

Visiting Cincinnati Children’s

What you need to know about visiting Cincinnati Children's during coronavirus.

You likely have questions about visiting Cincinnati Children's as the coronavirus and COVID-19 situation evolves.

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