COVID-19 Update:Learn more about how we are protecting our patients, families and staff, as well as other important facts about COVID-19.
Testing for Coronavirus (COVID-19)
How to Prepare Your Child for the COVID-19 Test
Here are some things you can do to prepare your child for a COVID-19 test, in order to help ease their fear and anxiety.
The Omicron variant has become the most common COVID-19 virus circulating in the United States. It is being transmitted quickly throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region, and the region is now experiencing the highest rate of infection in the U.S. Recently, Children’s National Hospital Emergency Departments and our primary care practices have experienced overwhelming demand for COVID testing for children with and without symptoms.
We understand what a stressful and challenging time this is for parents and families, as well as their medical care providers. As we continue to commit to the best care for our community, Children’s National must prioritize our services and testing for children who are ill with possible COVID-19 and need our medical attention. We cannot serve as the test center for those without symptoms who need to get tested because of suspected exposure, return to school, travel and other situations that do not require medical treatment.
To help you navigate the current situation, please use our COVID-19 testing chart (PDF) and follow these instructions:
- Use over-the-counter rapid antigen tests when children need testing due to mild disease.
- Save visits to the doctor’s office or Emergency Department for situations where your child has more severe symptoms such as trouble breathing or shortness of breath, persistent chest pain or pressure, dehydration (no urine in 8 hours), weakness or difficulty waking up, bluish color to lips, skin or nail beds.
- Follow your school system’s guidelines with regard to return-to-school after a COVID infection. Some schools, including District public schools, are distributing over-the-counter rapid antigen tests for this purpose. The CDC’s new rules for shortened periods of isolation after testing positive for COVID do not apply to K-12 schools and childcare centers.
- Children under the age of 2 require a PCR COVID test administered by a physician or health department, as they are too young for over-the-counter rapid antigen tests.
Please consider vaccination for your child age 5 and above. If they are eligible, please get a booster when the time is right, as this is particularly important for continued protection from the Omicron variant. As always, continue to wear a mask and maintain social distancing.
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COVID-19 Testing Available at the Curative Kiosk
Residents can receive PCR COVID-19 testing at the new Curative kiosk located in the north parking lot of the Children's National Research & Innovation Campus. The kiosk is open Monday - Saturday, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Walk-ins and on-site registration are available at the kiosk.
When you arrive, please park in the north parking lot where the kiosk is located. The kiosk may cause an increase in traffic in and around the Campus, so allow additional time for parking.