How Children's Wisconsin is keeping your family safe during COVID-19

Your safety is our top priority

At Children's Wisconsin, 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. Nothing will change our commitment to your safety.

What you can expect from us

As one of the top pediatric health systems in the country, Children's Wisconsin has a team of nationally recognized infection prevention experts guiding our COVID-19 response. We are also following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to ensure the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff. Below are some of the safety measures you can expect at all of our Children's Wisconsin locations:


Universal masking:
Everyone you see will be wearing masks at all our locations. You and your child will need to wear a mask and are encouraged to bring your own, but we will provide them if needed.

 

 


Protective gear:
In addition to masks, you will see staff wearing other protective gear to keep everyone safe. You and your child should be prepared to see some staff wearing face shields, eye protection, or gowns.

 

 

 

Cleaning:
We care for kids with some of the most complex health conditions, so our cleaning process is already very thorough. During COVID-19, we have not compromised on our standard of cleaning and have increased the frequency of cleaning being done.

 

 

 

Physical distancing:
We are taking steps to separate patients, no matter their symptoms, at all our locations. This includes steps to maintain physical distancing in waiting rooms and getting kids into private exam rooms as quickly as possible.

 

 


Limited visitors:
To help keep families and staff safe, we have adjusted our visitor guidelines at all our locations. For appointments at our clinic locations, including primary care and specialty care, only one caregiver may accompany the child who has the appointment. If siblings have back-to-back appointments, you can contact the clinic to ask if an exception to the rule can be made. For inpatients at our Milwaukee and Fox Valley hospitals, our Milwaukee Emergency Department, and for surgeries, two caregivers (over the age of 18) may come with the child who is being cared for.

 

 


Health screens for everyone:
For the health and safety of everyone, families should be screening themselves for symptoms daily. Anyone with symptoms should not leave the house without talking to a doctor. For your protection, all Children's Wisconsin employees are expected to do the same.

 

 

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COVID-19 and access to care

Children’s Wisconsin continues to provide safe and timely access to care through in-person, online and video visits. To further ensure your family’s safety, we have implemented changes to some of the ways our patients and families typically access our medical care and resources in the community. Learn more

Safety at clinic locations, including primary care and specialty care

Our primary care and specialty care clinics are taking the following steps to keep you and your child safe:

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 prior to your appointment and/or upon arrival at the clinic. All Children’s Wisconsin employees will also be screened daily. This allows us to separate patients who have COVID-19 symptoms and to keep sick employees home.

Waiting rooms: Our goal is to minimize time in waiting rooms and to get you and your child into a private room as quickly as possible. You will also notice that we have added some friendly reminders to help maintain 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.

Telehealth: Our pediatricians and specialists are now able to provide video visits through MyChart in place of some in-person visits. You can ask if a video visit is an option when you call your clinic for an appointment. If you haven't yet, make sure you activate your MyChart account — it's easy and free.

Vaccinations: Since immunizations are important for the health of your child, we are committed to keeping children on their immunization schedules.

Safety at urgent care locations

Your child can access urgent care from Children’s Wisconsin at our walk-in clinics or from the comfort of your home via online video. If you choose to visit any of our urgent care walk-in clinics, rest assured we are taking the following steps to keep you and your child safe:

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.

Protective gear: 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 rooms: Our goal is to minimize time in waiting rooms and to get you and your child into a private exam room as quickly as possible. We encourage families to reserve a time online to avoid spending time in our waiting room. If you do have to be in our waiting room, 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.

Safety in the emergency room

As the only Level I pediatric trauma center in the region, our emergency room in our Milwaukee hospital remains open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for critical care. As always, you should call 911 for emergencies. Our emergency room is taking the following steps to keep you and your child safe:

Separating patients: Our goal is to minimize time in the waiting room and get you and your child into an exam room, which are all private, as quickly as possible. If you need to wait, there will be clear and friendly reminders to maintain social distancing practices.

Protective gear: 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 procedure being done and is decided by our Infection Prevention experts.

Telehealth: To help limit the number of people your family interacts with, some doctors may communicate through an iPad while in the emergency room. This helps support social distancing and reduce exposure to COVID-19. It also helps conserve masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment. For follow-up care, we are expanding the use of phone and video so we can limit the amount of time you need to spend in our facilities, while still providing access to some of the top pediatric specialists in the country.

COVID-19 testing: If your child needs to be admitted to the hospital or have a surgery, they will be tested immediately for COVID-19.

Safety in hospitals, including surgical visits

We know what it takes to care for kids, no matter what, particularly in the hospital. Because of COVID-19, we’ve made some changes so that our hospitals in Milwaukee and Neenah continue to be the safest places for kids. There are many steps you may not notice because we’ve done them for a long time, while other steps will be more visible and new. Below are some of the things we are doing to keep you and your child safe:

COVID-19 testing: COVID-19 symptoms are typically mild in kids, so we test all kids who are coming in for surgery or being admitted to the hospital to ensure the safety of your family and our staff.

Separating patients: Kids scheduled for surgery will be tested for COVID-19 one or two days before the procedure. If a COVID-19 test is positive, any surgery will be postponed or moved to an operating room solely used for patients who test positive. Kids in the hospital who test positive are also placed in specialized rooms on a COVID-19 designated patient care unit in the hospital.

Specialized infection-prevention rooms: As a top pediatric hospital, our hospital is designed and equipped to help reduce infections. Air pressure and air flow in certain operating and patient rooms can be managed to reduce the potential spread of viruses, including COVID-19. While we’ve had very few patients with COVID-19, when we do, the air pressure in these rooms prevents air from leaving the rooms, even when the door is opened.

Protective gear: 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 procedure being done and is decided by our Infection Prevention experts.

Telehealth: To help limit the number of people your family interacts with, some doctors may communicate through an iPad. This helps support social distancing and reduce exposure to COVID-19. It also helps conserve masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment. MyChart messages and phone calls may also be used during a child's hospital stay, or to support follow-up care. If you haven't yet, make sure you activate your MyChart account — it's easy and free.