Is Cincinnati Children’s screening for COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes, in an effort to protect our patients, their families and our staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cincinnati Children’s is screening parents, visitors and employees every day. You may be offered a mask to wear while you are at the medical center.

Patient, Family and Visitor Screening:

Most patient, parent and visitor screening takes place at registration and welcome centers. When you arrive at a Cincinnati Children’s location, please wear a personal mask from your car. Proceed to the registration area for your child's appointment where an employee will ask you the screening questions listed below, or you will respond to the questions on a screen if you use a kiosk to register.

In the past 24 hours, have you or anyone with you had any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (temperature above 100.4° F)
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of your ability to smell or taste

If a parent or caregiver does not pass the screening and there is another caregiver with the patient, the flagged parent will not be allowed to come into patient care areas and will be asked to return to their vehicle.

If a single parent is with a child for a medically necessary visit (Emergency Department, Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute day hospital, dialysis) and does not pass the screening, they will be allowed to go ahead to the appointment. Inpatient families are screened daily on their child’s unit. Ask your child’s nurse if you have questions about how it is handled on the unit.

Employee Screening:

All employees complete a daily screening before their scheduled shift. Many employees complete the screening online before their arrival. Others screen at clock-in stations when they arrive. Employees answer the same set of questions as our patients and families. If an employee has symptoms or answers yes to the exposure questions, they do not report to work.

Note that these employee screening practices are not visible to families but are highly effective. Be assured that employees you encounter have been screened each day.

Testing for coronavirus.

When should my child be tested for COVID-19?

If your child has COVID-19 symptoms, reach out to their pediatrician or primary care provider first. That provider will determine if the patient should be tested.

If your child is having difficulty breathing or you think she or he needs emergency care, do not wait to talk to your pediatrician, go straight to the ED for care. Patients who need to stay in the hospital will be tested at Cincinnati Children’s.

If your child does not have symptoms, it is important to remember that a test is only a snapshot and does not mean that the patient is “clear” if they have had an exposure. A negative test does not mean it is safe to spend time with other people and it does not mean that you can cut a quarantine short.

How can my child be tested if we do not have a primary care provider to call?

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 testing location. Note, this testing is available only through a provider’s order and a scheduled appointment.

Learn how to get started and see testing locations.