COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Last updated August 21

Care at Children’s Minnesota during COVID-19

I think my child has COVID-19.

We urge you to stay home and call before coming to an emergency room or clinic, and know that we are ready to help if you do need to come in.


If your child is a patient of Children’s Minnesota (or a Children’s Health Network clinic), please call our free COVID-19 Nurse Line for assistance:

If not, please call the MDH hotline at 651-201-3920.


COVID-19 testing is available at most primary care clinics for:

  • Children with symptoms, who can be swab tested based on the provider’s recommendation at the office visit.
  • Children who had symptoms that resolved at least 14 days ago, who can get an antibody test (blood test). Schedule an in-person or virtual care visit with a provider first to confirm your child’s need for testing.

CDC COVID-19 symptoms

  • Loss of sense of taste or smell.
  • Scratchy throat.
  • Body aches.
  • Headaches.
  • Cough.
  • Fever.

My child needs emergency, primary, or other care.

Our pediatricians urge families to not wait to get care like critical vaccinations and treatment for injuries. Families may be worried about bringing their children to a hospital or clinic to receive care. But we want you to know that we’re here for you and have taken many extra steps so we can safely care for your child, including virtual care options.

Emergency rooms

Our emergency rooms are open and safe to come to. Do not delay emergency care, since doing so can be dangerous.

Walk-in / Urgent care

We offer walk-ins for ill visits at some locations. Please call before coming in and limit who comes with your child.

Primary and specialty care

In-person and virtual visits are available at many clinics, and some have set hours to care only for kids who are feeling well.


We offer a new drive-up vaccine service for children over the age of 2 who are due for critical immunizations.

Well-child check-ups

You can still bring your child in for well-child check-ups, which are essential to the growth and development of children.

Behavioral health

Virtual visits are available for many appointments, and in-person visits are available for other urgent care.

What is Children’s Minnesota doing to keep families safe?

At Children’s Minnesota, we have taken additional precautions to prevent the spread of diseases like COVID-19 (coronavirus) within our locations, and within the community. Children’s Minnesota is committed to caring for all children in the community, as well as to ensuring the safety and well-being of patients, families, staff and guests.

If your child needs to come to Children’s Minnesota, we’re here for you and we’ll keep you safe.”

– Marc Gorelick, CEO of Children’s Minnesota

Hospital visitor standards

Two consistent legal guardians may be at the bedside during a patient’s stay. No other visitors will be permitted, including siblings. Compassionate exceptions may be possible and must be arranged ahead of time. Also visiting adults must be well, will be screened for wellness, and will be required to wear a cloth mask which we can provide.

Amenities such as cafeterias and group spaces have also changed.

Clinic visitor standards

When bringing your child into the clinic we highly advise that only one parent or guardian accompany them. If possible, we ask that you do not bring your child’s siblings to the appointment. Everyone over the age of 2 must wear a mask while in the clinic.

A clean, empty waiting room

Enhanced sanitization including surface cleaning, processing fresh air through UV light, rapidly expelling air with potential droplets, and disinfecting rooms with UV light

Signs showing separate non-respiratory and respiratory waiting rooms in the Emergency Department

Dividing Emergency Departments into respiratory and non-respiratory patient zones, and enforcing social distancing in lobbies

Children's Minnesota staff giving child a vaccine from parent's car

Separating sick and well visit times at clinics, with screenings prior to entering clinics and drive-up vaccinations available

A nurse uses a telebuddy in a hospital room.

Providing virtual care visits to keep families home, and using “telebuddies” to let doctors visit with hospital patients remotely

Children's Minnesota staff in PPE, including face shields and masks

Following PPE best practices, including universal masking for all staff and face shields for all patient-facing staff

Children's Minnesota staff donning PPE

All staff self-screening before coming to work and being screened on-site, and many non-clinical staff working from home

COVID-19 information from our pediatric experts


Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is an illness that looks similar to common respiratory diseases like the common cold, influenza or pneumonia. Experts believe the virus spreads person-to-person through close contact. It can also spread through surfaces, especially if a person touches something with the virus on it then touches their mouth, nose or eyes before washing their hands.

Most people with COVID-19, including children, do not have serious problems. After seeing a doctor, most get better with rest and fluids. People who are very ill get care in a hospital with breathing help, IV fluids and other treatments.

Children can get COVID-19 but generally experience milder symptoms than adults do. Their symptoms are more like the common cold.

While experts do not yet fully understand the relationship, they currently believe that the virus may cause a rare inflammatory response in a child’s body, resulting in what is being called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). Read more about MIS-C.

Caring for kids with preexisting conditions can be extra stressful during the time of COVID-19. Experts from our clinics that specialize in the care of kids with asthma, cancer and blood disorders, diabetes, and HIV have compiled resources for your family during this difficult time.

Read more and download these resources in other languages.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid others who are sick.
  • Clean surfaces in your home with usual household cleaners and disinfectants.
  • Social distancing is important. Try and stand 6 feet away from others, do not shake hands and avoid crowds.

Handwashing 101 – good vs. bad techniques

Tips to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Handwashing 101 – soap vs. sanitizer

News and articles from Children’s Minnesota experts

Voice for Children

Children’s Minnesota is dedicated to improving children’s health by providing the highest-quality, family-centered care. Times like this can be especially hard for kids who need extra support for their mental, behavioral and emotional health. The experts at Children’s Minnesota are committed to be the Voice for all Children.

Equity in the time of coronavirus

Dr. Marc Gorelick shares how COVID-19 can bring us together, but can be divisive as some choose to put individual interest above the collective good. Read more »

Support our work

Children’s Minnesota needs your philanthropic support more than ever.

Please consider donating to Children’s Minnesota’s Urgent Needs fund. This allows us to place philanthropic support where it’s needed most, as soon as we receive the funds. Some examples of how we are using funds right now:

Personal protective equipment icon

Supplies to keep our patients and staff safe and healthy.

Virtual care icon

Technological support for services like virtual care to allow patients to heal from the safety of their own homes.

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Financial support for families who have a child with health needs but are also facing the reality of being out of work due to the virus.

Give Now

to immediately support the most urgent needs at Children’s Minnesota during this critical time.