Children

(414) 266-2000

Urgent Care & ER

Information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

 

Update – 4/3 – Accepting donations of PPE (including handmade masks)

Update – 3/21 – Urgent Care hours and locations

Update – 3/17 – Enhanced visitor restriction

Update – 3/16 – Appointment, surgery and procedure cancellations

 

COVID-19 ADVISORY

If your child has COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath), confirmed exposure or both, please call your child's doctor for guidance. You can also go to chw.org/OnlineUrgentCare for an Online Urgent Care video visit with a pediatric provider.

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.

Your child’s doctor knows them and their medical history best and they will determine if additional steps, including a COVID-19 test, are needed.

Please note: Children’s Wisconsin is not a public testing location for COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 cases in the United States. You can also read our blog post to learn what you need to know as a parent from the Medical Director of our Pediatric Infectious Disease program.

 Concerned your child has COVID-19? Use the following chart to determine the next steps.

Important Updates

 

Urgent Care hours and locations

While some of our Urgent Care locations are closed until further notice, our Mequon, Mayfair, New Berlin and Kenosha clinics are open with regular hours. As always, our Online Urgent Care video visits are available 24/7. Learn more about our urgent care options by visiting chw.org/urgentcare

Appointment, surgery and procedure cancellations

Beginning Tuesday, March 17 until further notice and in accordance with guidance from the CDC, Children’s Wisconsin is suspending all non-time-sensitive surgeries, and cancelling all clinic appointments that can be safely put on hold. If your upcoming appointment or surgery has been cancelled, you will be called directly approximately one week prior. 

What does that mean for you and anything you have scheduled or planned?

1. Newborn appointments and 0 -2 month well baby visits will remain in order to keep those children on their immunization schedule. If your child is sick, please call your child’s doctor for medical guidance or to schedule an appointment.

2. While some of our urgent care locations are closed until further notice, our urgent care clinics in Mequon, Mayfair, New Berlin and Kenosha are open with regular hours. We will continue to provide robust guidance via phone, Online Urgent Care video visits or MyChart message.

3. In our specialty clinics, all non-essential appointments, including lab and imaging, are cancelled at all locations. Your child’s appointment and medical record will be reviewed by their provider to determine if it’s medically necessary at this time and you will be called with the status of their appointment. If you are unsure of the status of an appointment or have a concern, please call the clinic or use MyChart for assistance.

4. If your child has a surgery scheduled or planned in the next two weeks, unless it is a medical emergency, it will be rescheduled for a later date. You will be called with the status of your child’s appointment.

The steps above are important to keep you and your child safe, to preserve critical blood supply in the community and to reduce the risk of infection spreading.

Enhanced visitor restriction

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. Exceptions for the 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.

In all of our urgentprimary and specialty care clinics, only one caregiver (and no siblings) will be allowed to accompany a child to an appointment.

Accepting donations of PPE (including handmade masks)

We are now accepting donations of new and unused personal protective equipment (PPE) at both hospital locations. 

Still want to help but don’t have PPE on hand? Please consider donating to Children’s Wisconsin. Your generosity allows us to place philanthropic support where it is needed most.

Children's Wisconsin Hospital-Milwaukee

Drop off donations at the Corporate Center lobby (999 N. 92nd St., Wauwatosa) from 9 a.m.-noon and from 1-3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Items can also be shipped to:

Children's Wisconsin Volunteer Services
Suite C115
999 N. 92nd St.
Wauwatosa, WI 53226

Children's Wisconsin Hospital-Fox Valley

Drop off donations at the Corporate Center lobby (333 N. Commercial St., Neenah) from 2-5 p.m., Monday through Wednesday. 

Items we will accept include:

  • Any type of surgical masks
  • Any type of N95 respirator masks
  • Any type of clear, plastic face shields
  • Any type of disposable isolation gowns or disposable coveralls
  • Any new lab coats (including homemade)
  • Any hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol
  • Any safety glasses or goggles
  • Handmade masks

Please note: If you or your child has COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath), confirmed exposure or both, we cannot accept your donation at this time.

If you have any questions about donating PPE items, please email us at covid19donation@chw.org.

Homemade mask instructions

Please follow these instructions when making masks to donate to Children's Wisconsin.
 
We also have a handy template to help get you started.  
 
Important reminders
  • Do not make masks for donation if there is anyone in your home who:
    • Smokes
    • Has tested positive for COVID-19
    • Has any symptoms of any respiratory illness
  • Please prewash fabric, wash your hands and work in a clean environment.
  • Work with the supplies you have at home.
    • If you do not have elastic options, you can drop off the masks without elastic and the hospital will add elastic and the filters for the pocket.
    • The hospital is in need of large, thin, metal-free elastic hair ties that are 6” long (pony tail rubber bands with covering).
  • Please do not try the masks on.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

ABOUT COVID-19

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.
 

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?

Thankfully, according to the CDC, children seem to have milder forms of the illness. COVID-19 symptoms in kids range from infection without symptoms to mild upper respiratory symptoms with runny nose and cough, and rarely pneumonia requiring hospitalization.

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.

There have been no reports of children dying from coronavirus.

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. Here are some general recommendations.

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:

Medications
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.

School
Closure decisions are made by local school districts with the help of local public health departments assessing community risk of COVID-19.

Travel
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.

Everyday precautions

  • 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.

Preparations
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.

Illness
If your child has symptoms of a cold but it is not an emergency, you can either use our 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?

This is an emerging and rapidly evolving situation. The CDC will provide updated information and guidance as it becomes available.

Who is most at-risk of getting COVID-19?

Adults over the age of 60 and those with underlying medical conditions have shown more serious symptoms.

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. And that makes them efficient spreaders of the virus, as they might not show signs of being sick. 

This underscores the importance of following the “Safer at Home” executive order that is in place for all of Wisconsin through April 24, and CDC recommendations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses. 

  • ALL individuals should stay at home, with limited exceptions.
  • When not in their home, people should practice social distancing of at least six feet.  
  • 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?

According to the CDC, it is believed that the virus likely spreads through droplets produced when a person coughs or sneezes. Current data indicates that some people infected with COVID-19 can transmit the virus before having symptoms.

If I’m pregnant and get infected with COVID-19, will my baby be affected?

At this time, very little is known about COVID-19 and its effect on pregnant women and infants.


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 call your child's doctor for guidance. You can also go to chw.org/OnlineUrgentCare for an Online Urgent Care video visit with a pediatric provider.

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?

Currently, no treatment or vaccines are available for COVID-19. That means that if you or your child tests positive for the coronavirus, you should focus on alleviating the symptoms with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen and staying at home to decrease exposure to others.

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?

Your child’s doctor knows them and their medical history best and they will determine if a COVID-19 test is needed.

Please note: Children’s Wisconsin is not a public testing location for COVID-19.



IMPACT ON EVERYDAY LIFE

Is it safe to travel?

Because this is a rapidly evolving situation, please check the latest travel recommendations from the CDC.

Should I have an additional supply of prescribed medication on hand?

It is advisable that families have a 2 to 4 week supply of essential medicines, prescriptions and food on hand. Please call your primary care doctor if you have more questions about medication for your child or family.

Should I wear a mask in public?

On April 3, the CDC updated its mask recommendation for the public. The CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. The CDC also adds that the cloth face coverings should not be surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders.

Is it safe to send my child to school or daycare?

Refer to the CDC's existing guidelines for schools and childcare centers. Parents can help by encouraging kids to practice good hand hygiene and keeping them home when they’re sick.

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.

What resources are available in the community?

View a list of resources available in the community that can help families during the COVID-19 pandemic.


INFORMATION FROM CHILDREN'S WISCONSIN

Has Children’s 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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, including universal screening, visitor restrictions, cancellation of all non-time-sensitive appointments and procedures at all locations, and mandatory work-from-home. We also implemented new practices to conserve PPE, and called on the community for additional donations.

While we have adequate PPE to treat patients at this time, we will continue to rely on conservation efforts and donations to have enough supplies for staff and families as this public health crisis continues. Those interested in donating to Children’s, either with in-kind gifts or monetary donations to our COVID-19 Response Fund, can find information online.

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. All families should follow the Safer At Home guidance for social distancing, follow the CDC guidelines for hand washing and prevention, and avoid contact between children and older adults, including relatives. 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.

Is it safe to donate blood and plasma?

Yes, it is safe to donate blood and plasma if you are not experiencing any symptoms and meet all other eligibility criteria. Learn more about donating blood at the Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin.

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. Our other Skywalk locations at the Milwaukee hospital and New Berlin remain open during their normal business hours and also offer curbside delivery.
 
Schedule your curbside delivery 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 the 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.

 

How is Children’s screening their staff?

As COVID-19 becomes more prevalent in our community, we continue to look for ways to protect our employees, providers, patients and families. We have implemented a number of steps that will help reduce the spread of this illness – both within our care settings, and in our homes and community. Our goal is to protect our teams at work and go home clean. All hospital and primary, urgent and specialty care staff and providers will be asked to confirm daily that they have self-screened for symptoms of illness and taken their temperatures.