We’re taking extra precautions during COVID-19 to care for the most amazing people on earth – Kids!
Every day at Children’s Minnesota we think about your child’s safety. From our infection prevention team to our patient safety and environmental services staff and all of our employees, your child’s safety is of primary importance to us.
Many parents and families are feeling increased anxiety during this time of coronavirus (COVID-19). Families may be worried about bringing their children to a hospital or clinic to receive care, whether it’s for a fall resulting in a broken bone, or critical immunizations like the MMR (measles) vaccine. But we want you to know that we’re open for business, as always, it’s safe to come here and we’re even taking extra steps to make sure your kids stay safe and get better when they are in our care.
Here are some of the extra actions we’re taking at Children’s Minnesota to keep kids safe from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
Separating sick and well visits at clinics
Our primary care clinics have changed their operations so that clinics will see either sick patients or well patients during certain time frames. In order to offer a safe space where families will feel comfortable receiving care, some clinics have set aside time where only patients who are feeling well may receive care. During these times, each patient will be screened for wellness prior to entering the clinic.
We have also implemented a new drive-up vaccination service, which allows kids to get critical immunizations without stepping into a clinic.
Some clinics may also offer virtual visits so patients and families can receive care from the comfort of home. Ask if virtual care is available when you schedule your child’s appointment.
Zoning in emergency departments and clinics
Our emergency departments in both Minneapolis and St. Paul have been divided into respiratory and non-respiratory zones. We have spacious separate waiting rooms for respiratory and non-respiratory patients. Our triage process is designed to ensure that children with respiratory symptoms are identified and place into patient rooms promptly. This approach means that if your child does not have any respiratory symptoms, they will be cared for near other children who also do not have respiratory infections. Likewise, our clinics have sections for well-baby visitors and ill visit patients.
Now, more than ever, it’s important that you don’t shy away from getting health care when you need it. We assure you that it’s safe to bring your children to Children’s Minnesota clinics and emergency departments.
Enhanced visiting standards
Children’s Minnesota has led the way for many years in ensuring visitors are screened and well enough to visit. During this time of COVID-19, we implemented enhanced visiting guidelines at our hospitals to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes allowing just two consistent parent/legal guardians who are feeling well at a patient’s bedside during their stay. All other visitors, including siblings, will not be permitted at this time. We ask all parents/legal guardians to screen themselves for symptoms such as a fever, body aches, cough, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhea or vomiting and not visit when ill. Parents will be screened upon arrival to our hospitals for these same symptoms before being given their daily badge.
Rigorous cleaning standards
The virus that causes COVID-19 is easily killed by usual hospital disinfectants and processes
Our daily cleaning practices are thorough and the products we use are very effective at killing the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition, we have been implementing enhanced sanitization efforts at all of our hospitals and clinics:
- We enhanced all surface cleaning immediately after any aerosol-generating procedure – procedures that often cause the patient to expel more respiratory droplets than they typically would while coughing, sneezing, talking or breathing.
- Our air handling systems filter and process all fresh air intake through UV light, which kills viruses in the air before the air is moved through the hospital.
- We have high room air exchanges in places like our emergency departments and operating rooms that keep fresh air moving into rooms and air with potential droplets rapidly moving out.
- Our Xenex machine UV light “robot” is also being used to disinfect common areas and after room cleanings as an added measure.
Your safety, your child’s safety and our employee’s safety are our priorities. Children’s Minnesota continues to evaluate best practices for safety so we can do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 throughout our community. If your child needs a visit to Children’s Minnesota, we are here for you and can safely see you.
More information about COVID-19, including what you can do to help prevent or slow the spread of the illness, can be found here: childrensmn.org/COVID19.
A message about safety at Children’s Minnesota
Marc Gorelick, president and CEO, and Dr. Gigi Chawla, chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota, talk about the importance of safety at Children’s Minnesota.