For Patients and Families
Information About COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)
Our experts are working closely with national and local health agencies to protect and care for our patients, families and staff. As part of our standard infection prevention protocols, we have put policies and strategies in place to identify, treat and limit the spread of this disease in our community.
Call center for Seattle Children’s patients and families
If you are a current patient of Seattle Children’s, their family member or a parent of a child under the age of 19 in our community, members of our team are available to answer your questions or connect you to someone who can. Call us toll free at 1-833-987-2100 or fill out a contact form with your questions and we will call you back. Contact form
If you need an interpreter, call 1-866-583-1527. Tell the interpreter that you need extension 7-2100 and the message you would like to leave.
Information this call center does not provide:
- Test results or other information about COVID-19 testing. If your child was recently tested for COVID-19 at a Seattle Children’s location, please wait for us to call you with the results or other information.
- Symptom checks or medical advice. If you have questions about symptoms or seeking medical advice, call your primary care provider.
Changes to appointments
The latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all elective and non-urgent care be put on hold so healthcare organizations can focus resources on urgent needs and minimize social interactions to slow the spread of the virus. Here is how these guidelines may impact you:
- Effective immediately, we are cancelling all elective and non-urgent surgeries. At this time, we do not have a timeline for rescheduling these surgeries. As soon as we are able to do so, our scheduling team will call you to find a new reschedule date. We understand that cancelling surgeries will have a major impact on the lives of our patients and families and deeply appreciate your patience and understanding while our community is going through this public health emergency.
- Clinic appointments that can be safely postponed will also be cancelled.
- You do not need to call us to cancel or reschedule your appointment. We are contacting patients and families whose clinic appointments must be postponed or changed to a different location or a phone visit.
- Over the coming days and weeks, we will consolidate some of our regional clinic locations. This means that some of our regional clinic locations may be temporarily closed to in person visits. Families who have appointments at some locations may be asked to move the date, location or visit type to a phone or other virtual visit.
- We will limit all new appointments to urgent and medically necessary clinic visits and surgeries. Everything else will be delayed until we are able to resume normal scheduling.
What to do if you have an upcoming appointment at a Seattle Children’s clinic
- Only one parent or caregiver can come with a patient to an appointment. Everyone else, including siblings of any age, may not come along. Limiting the number of people who enter our building helps us limit the spread of the virus.
- If you and your child do not have symptoms such as a new cough, fever or shortness of breath, you do not need to do anything before you arrive for your appointment. When you get to our front door, a member of our staff will perform a health check and ask you a set of questions before you may enter. It is very important that you answer their questions completely and follow their instructions.
- If you or anyone in your household has symptoms such a new cough, fever or shortness of breath, call your clinic before coming and tell us about your symptoms. We will ask you additional questions and give you instructions for next steps.
Important things you should know about COVID-19:
- The virus is thought to spread mainly through respiratory droplets, which means that others can become infected when they inhale particles from the air when a person with the disease coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread by touching surfaces that have been contaminated by droplets of body fluids like nasal mucus.
- There have been no deaths reported in children under the age of 10 worldwide. This means that younger ages are probably less likely to have a severe infection. However, it is still possible to spread through children and it is important that we all follow recommendations to limit the spread.
- As is true for any respiratory virus, people with lung disease are at a greater risk for complications from COVID-19 such as pneumonia. However, they are not more likely to be infected by COVID-19 than with another respiratory virus.
- If your child has a fever and cough and appears to have trouble breathing, call your nearest emergency department and let them know that you are coming in with these symptoms. They will follow special isolation procedures.
General recommendations for avoiding viral infections
- Wash your hands often, especially before eating or touching your face. If you cannot use soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Tips for teaching children about handwashing.
- Clean common area surfaces like keyboards, door handles, desktops and mobile devices frequently with alcohol or bleach-based disinfecting sprays or wipes.
- As much as possible, avoid sharing items like eating utensils or things you touch often, like mobile devices.
- Keep yourself and your child away from people who have symptoms such as cough, runny nose, sore throat.
Additional resources for families
- What to do if you have been placed on home isolation or quarantine
- Supporting mental wellness and family life during COVID-19
- What to do if you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19
- What to do if you think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19
- What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19 (such as cough and fever) and have not been around someone with COVID-19
- School-related resources and support from our educators
Commonly asked questions about how Seattle Children’s is working to protect our patients, families and staff
Seattle Children’s follows a strict set of infection prevention protocols determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as Public Health – Seattle & King County to identify and treat this and other diseases. Watch how Seattle Children's has prepared for Covid-19.
No. You should only go to the Emergency Department if you are experiencing an emergency. This will help limit the spread of the virus in our community, as well as allow our emergency departments to care for patients with the most critical needs first.
If you believe that you may have been exposed to the virus, or are concerned about your symptoms, first call your primary care provider and follow their instructions.
COVID-19 may continue to spread in our community. To keep our patients, families and staff from getting an infection, we have decided to limit the number of visitors entering our building.
No. We are currently limiting all visiting to just one parent or primary caregiver. No one else may visit or stay with a patient at any of our locations.
No. All requests for health information or medical records must be made electronically or by mail. Call HII at 206-987-2173.
Many classes and events at Seattle Children’s locations have been cancelled until further notice. If you are unsure about the status of your class or event, please contact the organizer.
If you do not have cold or flu-like symptoms, you will continue to receive the care you need without change. If your child is hospitalized here and you have symptoms of fever or cough, please do not visit. The clinical staff and providers at Seattle Children’s are trained on the identification, isolation and treatment of this and other infectious diseases.
To protect our patients, families and staff from a possible exposure to COVID-19, we currently allow only one primary caregiver to stay with or visit a patient. If you or your child are receiving inpatient care at Seattle Children’s, please tell your household contacts to follow these guidelines.
The CDC advises only people who have symptoms to wear masks. If you are healthy and have not been around anyone with symptoms, you do not need to wear a mask.
Coronaviruses are typically spread through respiratory droplets in close contact to someone who is coughing or sneezing. They can also spread through direct contact with someone who has an infection (like touching or shaking hands) or touching something that someone with the disease may have touched, and not washing your hands right away.
To help limit your exposure to this virus, wash your hands often and especially before touching your face or eating. Clean all surfaces like counters, doorknobs, phones, keyboards and any areas that you touch by using a household disinfectant or a cleaner that contains bleach.
In the midst of the pandemic, generous community members have reached out to Seattle Children’s offering help. We are so grateful for this outpouring of support. Learn more about ways to support our COVID-19 efforts, as well as our patients, families and staff.