Coronavirus Update:What patients and families need to know
Visiting Hours and Guidelines
We Will Get Through This Together
We understand that things can be stressful for you and your family during the pandemic, especially with the new restrictions in our visitation policy and changes to how we provide care. Our Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) has a special message for you.
Last Updated: December 15, 2020
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Children’s National is taking extra steps to protect our patients, families and staff. We screen patients and parents/caregivers for the following COVID-19 symptoms at our Welcome Desks and check-in areas at all locations: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and/or respiratory symptoms. In addition, all staff, families/caregivers and visitors must wear a mask at all times while in any Children’s National facility to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For guidance on what masks to use, please refer to the CDC guidelines. View our mask disclaimer.
- No more than two healthy parents or caregivers (18 and over) can visit patients in the hospital or accompany patients to any appointment at a Children’s National location. We ask that, when possible, only one caregiver accompany their child to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Due to limited space, we ask that only one adult/caregiver accompany their child to the Emergency Department, Radiology, Laboratory Medicine and all Children's National Pediatricians & Associates locations.
- The visitation for patients with suspected or COVID-19 infection is limited to one designated parent or caregiver who must be able to remain in the patient’s room for the entire visit.
Please read the specifics below, as we continue to evaluate and adjust the visitor policy to ensure the safety of patients, families and staff. While the decision to restrict our visitation policy was difficult, we thank you for helping us keep our community safe.
COVID-19 Family and Caregiver Visitation Policy
- Parents/caregivers who are sick with COVID-19 or live with someone who is sick with COVID-19 should follow the CDC’s recommendation and stay home for 14 days from their last exposure. These parents/caregivers may not visit the hospital during this time.
- As a parent/caregiver, if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your health care provider immediately.
- All parents/caregivers with COVID-19 tests pending cannot be in the hospital or any other Children’s National location.
- If both parents/caregivers are not healthy, please notify your child’s care team immediately.
- When arriving at Children’s National for your visit, please follow signs for visitor parking and use the elevators to enter the hospital.
- Parents, caregivers and visitors must proceed to Visitor Screening before checking in at the Welcome Desk.
- At screening, we will check your temperature and ask a few questions regarding your health. Based on the results of the screening process, you will be able to continue to the Welcome Desk to check in.
- Everyone must go through screening and check in, even if they have long-term visitor badges.
The health and safety of our patients, families and staff is important. Therefore, everyone must wear a mask at all times while in any Children’s National facility to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For guidance on what masks to use, please refer to CDC guidelines. View our mask disclaimer.
Please help us keep everyone safe by:
- Wearing a mask when entering any Children’s National building, as mandated by area officials. This includes all public places, such as the hallway and cafeteria.
- Wearing a mask at all times when you are around other individuals, including your child’s care provider. Our staff may remind you to put on a mask when you are around others without one.
Upon arrival, please visit our Welcome Desk to get a mask if you do not already have one.
Visit childrensnational.org/coronavirus for the most up-to-date information.
- No more than two healthy parents or caregivers can accompany patients to any appointment at a Children’s National location. We ask that, when possible, only one caregiver accompany their child in the effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- A caregiver must be an adult over the age of 18.
- Siblings under 18 cannot enter at this time.
- Children’s Health Center's: No more than two healthy parents or caregivers (18 and over) can accompany their child to any of our locations in an effort to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Children's National Pediatricians & Associates: Due to limited space, we ask that only one adult/caregiver accompany their child to all of our locations.
- All families can identify two parents/caregivers for their child’s inpatient visitation list. A caregiver must be an adult over the age of 18.
- Only one of those caregivers can be at the bedside at a time.
- Siblings under 18 cannot enter at this time.
- Parents/caregivers with symptoms will not be able to enter the inpatient area.
- Visitors will be screened daily for COVID-19 symptoms by inpatient unit staff.
Children’s National Hospital has implemented strategies to limit the spread of coronavirus in our community. As a precaution to protect our patients, families and staff, we are following the recommendations from the CDC.
You may visit our Emergency Department (ED) to get rapid COVID-19 testing 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We recommend your child is tested by your pediatrician, if they are conducting tests. However, if you choose to come to our ED, no referral is needed and your insurance will be billed for an emergency room visit. Out of pocket costs will vary based on your individual insurance.
Our ED also offers nasal swab testing and saliva testing for COVID-19. Saliva testing is available for children over 5 years old who are able to spit on demand. It can take approximately 1-2 days to receive nasal swab or saliva test results.
All families must identify one parent/caregiver to accompany the child for the entire Emergency Department visit. A caregiver must be an adult over the age of 18. Siblings under 18 cannot enter at this time.
To protect our patients, families and staff, advance coronavirus testing is required for all patients scheduled for a procedure. Testing allows us to identify children infected with coronavirus so that we can either postpone the procedure or take extra precautions to provide care for them in the safest way possible.
Pre-procedural coronavirus testing will be arranged by appointment only. If your child is scheduled to have a procedure at any Children’s National location, you will be contacted by surgical schedulers to arrange the testing. Directions to testing sites and other information will be provided.
Additional Information for Visitors
Children’s National uses an Elevator Destination system. This system enables visitors to enter the floor they are traveling to, and the elevator system will alert them to which elevator cab will be traveling to their destination. This system enhances our visitor’s experience by enabling patients, families and visitors traveling to destinations in our main building to reach their floor in a more efficient and timely manner.
Please note: Due to COVID-19, we are limiting elevators to 4 people per elevator.
This dispatching system directs passengers to the elevator that will get them to their destination with the shortest travel time. By grouping people together based on the floor they are traveling to, the number of stops are reduced, thereby improving the efficiency of the building's elevators. There are two touch screens located at the Costco Wholesale Atrium elevator bank, and touch screens are located at every floor in the main building. If you have questions about using the elevator system, please see the Welcome Desk.
- If you are sick, please do not visit, unless you are the parent or guardian and must come to the hospital to get care for your child. This helps us prevent the spread of illness to other patients, families and our employees. If you are sick and must be here to get care for your child, please let the Welcome Desk or a nurse on your child’s unit know.
- Children’s National is a smoke-free environment. Smoking is not permitted inside the hospital and is not permitted anywhere on the hospital campus. Additionally, smoking is not permitted in any of Children’s specialty care locations or in any of Children’s clinics.
- Alcohol and drugs are not permitted in the hospital.
- Please leave electrical equipment, such as hair dryers and radios, at home.
- You may use cell phones and wireless devices throughout the hospital. Please keep conversations quiet to respect other patients and families.
- You may not use camera phones or other cameras to take pictures within the hospital; this is to protect the privacy of others.
- If family or friends want to send gifts, flowers or mylar balloons (no latex balloons) to a patient, they must order from an outside vendor. Items can be sent to the hospital’s address (111 Michigan Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20010) with the patient’s name and room number.
- Please keep valuables at home. We try to maintain a secure environment, but cannot guarantee the security of valuables left in waiting areas, playrooms or patient rooms.
It’s important to help fight the spread of infection. All visitors should:
- Clean your hands thoroughly before and after you visit a patient. Also clean your hands before touching or eating food, after you use the bathroom and after you sneeze or cough, especially if you have covered your mouth with your hands. Remember, hand washing is the single best way to prevent the spread of infection. All visitors are welcome to use any sink or waterless gel dispenser to clean hands at any time.
- If your hands are visibly dirty, it is best to use soap and hot water, and to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. If hands are not visibly dirty, you can either wash with soap and water or use waterless gel. Waterless gel is available for your use throughout the hospital. You can find wall units of gel throughout the units, at the nurse stations and in patient rooms. It is best to rub your hands together with the gel for at least 20 seconds or until the gel is gone.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Use tissues, throw them away and then clean your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or elbow. If you use your hands to cover your sneeze or cough, wash them right away with soap and water or use waterless gel if soap and water are not easily available.
As a precaution to protect our patients, families and staff, Children’s National Hospital has suspended hospital tours and changed the format of pre-surgical tours to video access only
. This is part of our efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community.
Children's National Hospital and its affiliates do not restrict or deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.