What You Need to Know
COVID-19 Resource Center
To our community:
We are living in strange and unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered the way we live, work, socialize and care for our families. Most of us are doing our best to stay at home and practice social distancing in order to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19. But for others, including medically fragile children and their caregivers, staying home simply isn’t an option.
Many of these children are hospitalized right now. Others must visit our main campus or other sites of service frequently to get the care they need. These are children who need chemotherapy, babies in our NICU, and kids who require lifesaving surgery and other treatments. They are the most vulnerable among us – and they rely on their doctors, care teams and families to protect them.
Phoenix Children’s has implemented a series of measures to ensure we do everything possible to keep our patients and health care workers safe amid the COVID-19 emergency. All of our efforts align with best practices issued by national and local health authorities. As a result, they may be modified in the coming weeks and months as we learn more about the disease.
Patient and visitor guidelines
- Pre-visit screening: Phoenix Children’s is now performing pre-visit screening for all patients coming to our campus for an ambulatory clinic visit, surgery or radiology procedure. We ask if the child or any adult caregivers have experienced fever and/or cold or flu-like symptoms. Those who answer “yes” to any of these questions are offered the opportunity to reschedule to a later date or to have a telemedicine visit instead of an in-person visit. If neither is an option, we ask that, if possible, a healthy adult caregiver accompany the patient for the visit.
- On-site screening: All patients and visitors to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, urgent care centers, specialty clinics, surgery centers and all other sites of service are required to wear a mask if they have a fever or are experiencing cold symptoms. Requiring accompanying adults to wear a mask will help protect all of our patients, their families and our staff.
- Main hospital visitors: Phoenix Children’s will allow each inpatient to have two healthy primary caregivers identified who are allowed to visit. However, only one adult may be in the patient’s room at a time.
- Emergency Department and Ambulatory visitors: Only one healthy primary caregiver will be permitted per patient.
- Hospital patients: Children who are inpatient at Phoenix Children’s are not allowed to visit the cafeteria, gift shop and/or lobby areas of the hospital.
Why are we taking such precautions?
It takes more than just hand washing. Good hand hygiene is our first order of defense against COVID-19 and other illnesses – but it’s not our only defense. Other precautions, combined with hand hygiene, improve our ability to protect children with chronic and complex illnesses.
It’s more than just a cough. For some, COVID-19 is very curable. For others, including the medically complex patients we treat at the hospital, the virus is much more serious.
It’s not only a threat to people who have traveled recently. COVID-19 is being transmitted through community spread, which means that people don’t have to travel to get it. Individuals who don’t know they have the COVID-19 are spreading it. This is another reason to stay home when we feel sick and practice social distancing whether or not we have symptoms.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 will spike. The number of confirmed cases in Arizona may seem relatively low, but we anticipate an increase once testing is more widely available. Based on the spread of the virus in other communities, we know there are thousands more Arizonans who have likely been infected but haven’t yet been tested. We must do everything in our power to safeguard our children, families and our community.
Thank you for your partnership in protecting children fighting serious or life-threatening conditions. Working together, we can make a difference in curbing the spread of this disease – for the patients and families in our care, our employees and for our entire community.
With gratitude and well wishes,
Kelly R. Kelleher, MD
Chief Quality & Safety Officer, Phoenix Children's Hospital