May 06, 2020
Caring for kids during COVID-19: Safety at clinic locations and urgent care
Our clinics, primary care offices and urgent care locations are still helping families because kids don’t stop — they will always get rashes, colds, ear infections and sore throats, and need important vaccinations and specialty care.
All our clinics are staffed so the doctors and nurses you’ve come to trust and rely on are only a phone call away. In-person visits are being limited to certain locations. We will open more locations and increase the amount of in-person visits based on the availability of things like masks, the ability to test patients and staff for COVID-19, the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community and other factors.
We know you want to see your child’s doctor or specialist. No matter what, know that we are taking these steps to keep you and your child safe at our clinics and primary care offices:
- Universal masking: If you come in for a visit in person, everyone will be wearing a mask. You and your child are encouraged to bring your own masks, but we will provide masks if needed. It’s important for your safety and the safety of the staff and doctors.
- Health screens for everyone: You and your child will be screened for respiratory symptoms before you enter the clinic. All Children’s Wisconsin employees will also be screened when they arrive to work. This allows us to separate patients who have COVID-19 symptoms if needed and to keep sick employees home.
- Waiting rooms: When a visit needs to be in person, we are going to work with families to limit the amount of time in our waiting rooms. You will also notice that we have added some friendly reminders to help maintain social distancing.
- Cleaning. Our staff wipe down and clean each room between every patient, including high-touch areas like chairs and door handles. Our facilities also get thoroughly cleaned every day by trained environmental service staff who follow criteria that have been reviewed by our Infection Prevention team.
- Telehealth: Our nurses are available to discuss health concerns you may have and provide advice over the phone. Our pediatricians and specialists are now able to provide video visits through MyChart in place of some in-person visits. You can ask if telehealth is available when you call your clinic and clinics may call you to suggest a video visit instead of an in-person visit. If you haven’t yet, make sure you activate your MyChart account — it’s easy and free.
- Vaccinations: Immunizations are important for the health of your child. Our primary care providers are committed to keeping children on their immunization schedule. We are currently getting kids 2 years and younger into a primary care location for vaccinations and will increase the age as we open more locations.
Be assured that your doctor or specialist is reviewing all upcoming appointments, including immunizations, and will be in touch about making up any missed schedules as soon as it’s safe to do so.
Our urgent care providers continue to be available for families and you can see what conditions can be evaluated through video on the Children’s Online Urgent Care website. We have expanded the amount of doctors providing urgent care video visits, limiting the families who need to come to physical office for an exam. Some of urgent care locations are closed, so please check our website to find an open location and to reserve a time online.
- Universal masking: If you come in for a visit in person, everyone will be wearing a mask. You and your child are encouraged to come with your own masks, but we will provide masks if needed. It’s important for your safety and the safety of the staff and doctors.
- Masks, gowns, gloves and eye protection: In addition to masks, care teams may wear additional protective gear including gowns, eye protection or face shields. The equipment they wear depends on the type of symptoms a child is experiencing.
- Waiting room: We are committed to limiting the time you need to be in the waiting room. We encourage families to reserve a time online and are committed to getting families into exam rooms as quickly as possible. If you do have to wait, you will notice we’ve added some friendly reminders to help ensure everyone is following social distancing practices.
- Cleaning: Our staff wipe down and clean each room between every patient, including high-touch areas like chairs and door handles. Our facilities also get thoroughly cleaned every day by trained environmental service staff who follow criteria that have been reviewed by our Infection Prevention team.
You’re not in this alone
While COVID-19 typically presents mildly in children, it’s natural to have questions and concerns. All you want is what’s best for your child. That is our goal, too.
Please do not hesitate to call your child’s doctor’s office, use MyChart messaging or call your clinic.
Additional information about steps Children’s Wisconsin has taken to respond to COVID-19 and to keep kids and families safe is available at childrenswi.org/coronavirus.
Information on other Children’s Wisconsin locations
Visiting a Children’s Wisconsin location might look a bit different due to COVID-19 and we want you to be prepared. Learn more about what can expect at our different locations.