Your safety is our top priority
Our high standard of care has always required an uncompromising approach to safety. And during this COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to ensure every visit, appointment, procedure and surgery offered across all our Children’s Wisconsin locations is safe.
To learn more about specific safety measures we have in place and what you can expect across all our locations, visit our safety during COVID-19 web page.
We are here for you
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Children’s Wisconsin has implemented changes to some of the ways our patients and families typically access our medical care and resources in the community. But rest assured, we are here for you. We continue to provide safe and timely access to care through in-person, online and video visits — and our emergency room is always available for more serious illnesses and injuries.
If you or your child have COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath), visit Children's Online Urgent Care or call your child's doctor.
On this web page, we’ve organized answers to commonly asked questions as follows:
ACCESSING CARE FROM CHILDREN’S WISCONSIN
What if I have an immediate need for care?
Our emergency department continues to be open 24/7 for emergency needs. While some of our urgent care locations are closed until further notice, most locations remain open with regular hours. As always, video visits from Children’s Online Urgent Care are available 24/7. Learn more about our walk-in urgent care locations and hours.
How can I contact my child’s doctor?
Are video visits available?
What are your urgent care hours and locations?
What is the status of my child’s appointment, surgery and procedure?
Call your doctor or clinic if you have questions about the status of your child’s scheduled appointment, surgery or procedure.
What visitor restrictions do you have in place?
In our hospitals in Milwaukee and Neenah and at our Surgicenter, patients can only have one individual who is a guardian or over the age of 18 in the building at a time. Visitor lists in Epic will be limited to two names. These two names must remain the same for the entire stay. Exceptions for patients admitted to our hospitals are end-of-life situations and infants whose sole source of nutrition is breastfeeding. All other exceptions must be approved by unit leadership during weekdays and the patient care manager in house evenings and weekends.
How is Children’s screening their staff?
Is the Skywalk Pharmacy still open?
The Skywalk Pharmacy West Allis location is closed to the public, but continues to focus on medication home delivery throughout Wisconsin. The Skywalk Pharmacy location in New Berlin remains open during its normal business hours, while the location in the Milwaukee hospital is reducing its hours and will be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Curbside pickup is available at both the Milwaukee and New Berlin locations.
Schedule your curbside pickup today:
- At the Milwaukee location, call (414) 266-1893, to pick up at the Skywalk entrance on the second floor of the visitor parking structure (north of the hospital and clinics building) where a team member will deliver your prescription to you.
- At the New Berlin location, call (262) 432-7613, and pull up to the front entrance where a team member will delivery your prescription to you.
For all refill requests, please use Skywalk Pharmacy mobile app (select Delivery) or call (414) 337-3333 to schedule your home delivery.
We encourage families to use the home delivery option for refills during the COVID-19 outbreak. Patients can call ahead to put payment securely on file. This will help expedite any curbside or home delivery needs.
Please note that the Simplify My Meds program patients may receive a call from Skywalk Pharmacy. These calls may come from unknown numbers, and are legitimate and safe to answer.
Do we have to wear a mask when visiting a Children’s Wisconsin location?
Has Children’s Wisconsin treated any hospitalized patients with COVID-19?
Management and treatment of infectious disease is something that Children’s Wisconsin does every day. We are in frequent consultation with the CDC and our own internal experts, as well as local and state health departments. Our priorities include the health of the children in our care, the safety of our frontline care teams, and preventing the spread of disease in our community. Positive test results will be shared with local and state health departments, while also respecting the privacy of the patient and their family.
In preparation and response to COVID-19, Children's Wisconsin implemented various precautionary measures. We also implemented new practices to conserve PPE, and called on the community for additional donations.
Children’s Wisconsin reminds the community that the symptoms of COVID-19 in children are usually mild but that children with underlying health issues remain at higher risk. We encourage families to follow social distancing guidelines, wash hands regularly and avoid contact between children and elderly adults, including relatives. Anyone over 2 years of age should wear a mask when they leave their home. Children can be carriers for COVID-19 without showing symptoms. If you have questions about your child’s health, please contact your child’s pediatrician or contact Children’s Online Urgent Care.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus is not new—there are many types of coronaviruses that commonly cause mild illnesses in humans. However, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new version that we haven’t seen before, and it’s highly contagious and spreading rapidly throughout the world. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Others can get sick when they inhale those droplets or touch their mouth, nose or eyes after touching a surface where those droplets have landed.
You can learn more about COVID-19 on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath.
People develop symptoms 2 to 14 days after exposure to COVID-19.
Most people will get better within a few weeks, but those with a severe case of the disease may take a month or more to recover.
How does COVID-19 affect babies, children and teens?
In general, babies can be at a higher risk for respiratory infections. According to the very limited data available about COVID-19, current literature suggests this illness has been mild for babies.
How does COVID-19 affect children who are immunocompromised or have other chronic illnesses?
Children with certain underlying health conditions may be at higher risk to contract COVID-19. Contact your child’s pediatrician if you have any concerns.
Examples of conditions include:
- Chronic lung disease
- Heart disease
- Neurologic conditions (including muscle disorders)
- Immunodeficiency conditions
- Organ transplant
- Cancer treatment
- Treatment with medications that lower the immune system
If your child has any of the above conditions, below are general recommendations:
Do not stop using any long-term medications. Keeping chronic conditions under control is one of the best strategies to avoid more severe infection. It will also help prevent unnecessary trips to the hospital, where your child may be more likely to come in contact with a sick individual. We recommend making sure you have at least a two-week supply of your child’s medications on hand.
Closure decisions are made by local school districts with the help of local public health departments assessing community risk of COVID-19.
The CDC has recommended high-risk patients avoid non-essential air travel and cruise ships. Areas of the United States and other countries experiencing high numbers of people with COVID-19 or active community spread of the virus should be avoided. If the area where you live has active community spread, avoid crowded places.
- Wash hands often or use hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your face, nose, mouth or eyes as much as possible.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible.
- If you provide care for your child that involves contact with the head and neck, wash hands thoroughly before providing care.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces.
If there is more active spread of the virus in your community, the outbreak could last for a long time. Public health measures may be put in place to reduce likelihood of person-person contact, such as school closures and cancellation of events with large crowds.
Staying home may be the safest option to avoid exposure, so ensure you have sufficient stock of prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, medical supplies, household items and groceries.
If your child has symptoms of a cold but it is not an emergency, you can either use Children's Online Urgent Care video visits or call your child’s pediatrician. Remember that influenza and other respiratory viruses that are not COVID-19 are still making children ill and are the most common causes of fever and respiratory symptoms. An online visit or call with your doctor can help identify the cause of your child’s symptoms.
Most patients with COVID-19 are not sick enough to require hospitalization or an emergency department visit and can be managed at home. It is best to keep your child away from the hospital unless there is a medical emergency.
Families with children with a central line should continue to follow normal guidelines for management of fever.
What is the current COVID-19 situation in the United States?
Who is most at-risk of getting COVID-19?
How can I protect myself, children and other loved ones from COVID-19?
This is an important question. While children have the same risk of contracting COVID-19, data shows they will often experience milder symptoms than adults. That can make children unknowing spreaders of the virus.
Children’s Wisconsin encourage families to follow social distancing guidelines, wash hands regularly and avoid contact between children and elderly adults, including relatives. Anyone over 2 years of age should wear a mask when they leave their home.
- Families should still limit when they leave the house. When not in their home, people should practice social distancing of at least six feet and wearing face masks, including for kids 2 years and older.
- Practice good hand hygiene.
- Wash hands often and thoroughly with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available.
- Remind children to do this after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your cough and sneezes.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Get the flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces.
How do you get infected with COVID-19?
TESTING AND TREATMENT
What should I do if I’m concerned my child may have been exposed to COVID-19?
If your child has COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath), confirmed exposure or both, please stay at home and call your child's doctor for guidance. Your child can also get COVID-19 symptoms evaluated through a video visit from Children’s Online Urgent Care.
Please do not come to a Children's Wisconsin location without calling first.
For most kids, the symptoms of COVID-19 are mild and your child’s doctor will likely recommend they stay home, limit their contact with others (especially at-risk populations such as the sick or elderly) and treat the symptoms with over-the-counter medication.
You only should go to the emergency department if you are experiencing a medical emergency or are directed to go there by a medical provider. If you need immediate medical attention, please call ahead so the medical providers can take precautions to help prevent the spread of disease. 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.
Is there a cure for COVID-19?
Researchers are currently conducting clinical trials to learn more about how to treat COVID-19. Several research groups are also actively working on the development of a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, but this is many months away.
Should my child be tested for COVID-19?
Please note: Children’s Wisconsin is not a public testing location for COVID-19.
HOW TO HELP
Can I donate personal protective equipment (PPE), including homemade masks?
Is it safe to donate blood and plasma?
IMPACT ON EVERYDAY LIFE
Is it safe to travel?
Should I have an additional supply of prescribed medication on hand?
Should I wear a mask in public?
Is it safe to send my child to school or daycare?
How should I talk to my child about COVID-19?
Chances are, your child has heard about COVID-19 — whether it’s at school or by overhearing news coverage or grown-up conversations. Fortunately, most parents have all the skills necessary to help kids deal with questions and calm their fears. The CDC has tips for talking to children that may help.
Here are some additional tips:
- Ask questions. No matter the age, start by asking the child what they already know or have heard. Then ask what questions they have.
- Keep it simple. In general, it is best to share basic information only and skip the graphic or unnecessary information.
- Avoid overexposure. Try to keep younger children away from repeated graphic images and stories on television and social media. Often, the same stories are shared numerous times on different broadcasts or sites, and while we can understand that it’s the same story told again, children can easily misinterpret these stories as separate and as happening more often than they actually are.
- Watch what they watch. With older children, try to make sure you are watching these news stories with them so you hear the information they are hearing and can observe their reaction. This way, you can discuss it with them in real time, which can be more impactful.
- Normalize their feelings. You can help your child process their feelings by letting them know that what they’re feeling is normal. For example, “It is normal to feel sad and worried, or maybe even a little mad that this has happened. I feel that way, too.”
- Wrap up with the good. Like Mr. Rogers always said, “Look for the helpers.” Let children know that there are people in our community helping — firefighters and EMTs, doctors and nurses, police and government officials who are working hard to keep people safe, and families, friends and caregivers who are taking care of their loved ones.
- Be patient and repeat if necessary. Children often ask questions over and over. Yes, they’re listening, but they need that repetition to understand and feel comforted.