For Patients and Families
What to Expect at Seattle Children’s During COVID-19
As COVID-19 continues to surge in our community, we are following strict guidelines to keep your in-person visit and hospital stay as safe as possible. Here’s what you need to know about your visit to any of our locations:
We have several safety measures in place, including:
To maintain the social distancing guidelines that have been proven to help slow the spread of COVID-19, we have limited the number of people who enter our buildings.
Upon arrival, patients and families are asked screening questions. Based on their responses, we conduct further screening and/or COVID-19 testing of the patient. Some patients are proactively tested prior to their clinic appointment or inpatient admission.
Everyone, including patients, families and visitors are required to wear a mask at all times. If you do not have your own mask or face covering, we will give one to you as you enter the building.
We have signage and instructions for social distancing at areas of our hospital and clinics where people might congregate. Places like our family lounges and waiting rooms are being restructured to allow people to keep physical distance of at least 6 feet.
All patients are tested for COVID-19 before their surgery or procedure. If a patient tests positive for COVID-19, their attending surgeon and our Infection Prevention specialist will make a determination about next steps.
We are screening all of our staff upon entry for signs of illness. If an employee is found to have signs of illness, they are referred to COVID-19 testing and asked to follow our standard work restriction policy as it applies to them.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
You may have some questions about vaccinations against COVID-19. Here is the information we know so far:
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of vaccines developed by the drug companies Pfizer and Moderna under what is known as an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
- Before being approved for use, the vaccine went through the appropriate rigorous trials.
- Seattle Children’s is following the vaccine distributions guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH).
- At this time, the vaccine is only available to healthcare workers who are at higher risk of being infected and people who live in long term care facilities such as a nursing home.
- The vaccine is not yet approved for administration to people under the age of 16.
- We do not know when we may be able to start offering the vaccine to our patients and families. As this changes, we will update our information.
- Although the vaccine is an important step toward ending this pandemic, it is still extremely important for all of us to continue following infection prevention guidelines such as wearing a mask, avoiding large gatherings, observing hand and other hygiene, staying away from others when we’re not feeling well and staying physically distant whenever we have to share a space with people who don’t live in our home.
To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit these trusted sources of accurate information:
Seattle Children’s is now starting to provide vaccines to pediatric doctors, pediatric long-term care facilities and other affiliated entities and vendors in our community who provide patient care or contact. Expansion to individuals and the larger public community will be based on vaccine supply.
- If you represent a group of frontline healthcare workers in Washington state’s Phase 1A, you can submit a request for vaccination at Seattle Children’s through this email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To learn when you or a family member are eligible, go to https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/Immunization/VaccineLocations.
Information about Getting Tested for COVID-19 Before Surgery
We require all surgery patients to get a COVID-19 test two days before their surgery or procedure. We will call you to help you schedule your testing time and place. In some cases, we will also require the parents or caregivers to be tested for COVID-19, in case the patient is admitted to a shared room after surgery. This test is a requirement for all patients and failing to get tested may result in the surgery being cancelled or postponed.
Testing Locations, Hours and Contact Information
Before going to any of the testing sites listed below, first make sure that you have gotten the referral and the appointment has been scheduled.
Hours: Monday through Saturday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations in Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way and Seattle
Hours for all Urgent Care locations:
Monday through Friday: 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Learn more about Testing and Follow-Up for COVID-19.
Access to the care you need, when you need it
As we continue to strive to decrease the number of COVID-19 cases in our community, we are taking steps to increase in-person visits to our hospital and clinics. We are also increasing our telehealth capabilities for most of our clinics so that we can continue to serve patients for whom a virtual appointment is best. Our scheduling teams will contact patients and families to offer reschedule dates for the appointments we had to postpone as part of our response to COVID-19.
Seattle Children’s remains open for patients with urgent and emergent needs during this COVID-19 outbreak. If your child needs urgent medical care or is experiencing an emergency, take them to your nearest emergency department without delay. For many patients, delaying care can have serious complications. Our Emergency Department in Seattle and Urgent Care clinics in Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way and Seattle are ready to care for your child. If you’re not sure where to bring your child, use our emergency or urgent care guide. If the issue is less urgent, call your child’s primary care provider.
Seattle Children’s is committed to keeping our patients, families and workforce safe from exposure to COVID-19. In addition to our existing robust infection prevention strategies such as strict focus on hand hygiene and isolation protocols, we have implemented additional safety measures.
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.
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.
You should only go to the Emergency Department if you are experiencing an emergency. This will allow 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.
Limiting the number of people who enter our building helps us keep our patients, families and staff from possibly being exposed to the virus.
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 this time.
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.
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.
Yes, as much as possible. Universal masking helps us limit the spread of COVID-19. When you arrive at any of our locations, you will be given a mask and instructed to keep it on throughout the duration of your visit.
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.
Yes, we are working with scientists in various fields to study this virus from all angles to understand why it affects children differently from other populations. What we learn will help reduce the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Insights will also allow us to prepare for a potential repeat outbreak of COVID-19 or another novel respiratory virus that targets children and other vulnerable populations. Learn more.