The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how each of us interacts with the outside world, including getting the healthcare we need. Given this time of uncertainty, it can be confusing to know when to bring your child to the hospital for care, and whether it is safe.
At MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC), we provide a full range of services for general care and care to COVID-19 patients. Your family's safety is our number one priority and we have taken measures to ensure that both general care and COVID-19 care patients are safe.
During the pandemic, we encourage you to stay in close communication with your child's provider and care team, particularly if your child has a serious illness or chronic disease that requires ongoing care.
Below are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions during the pandemic:
Is MGHfC ‘open’ to see general patients who are not COVID-19 positive?
Yes, we are open to see all patients for necessary general care in the outpatient and inpatient settings. Due to the pandemic and the need to social distance, we are offering virtual visits where possible. Outpatient visits are available for necessary care that requires a face-to-face visit, physical examination, treatment or procedure.
If your child has a serious illness or chronic disease, do not hesitate to contact or call MGHfC for an appointment in Boston or one of our community-based network sites.
How is COVID care provided at MGHfC?
For patients who have symptoms of COVID infection (new fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion, shortness of breath, muscle aches or inability to smell), please contact your MGHfC provider who can discuss COVID testing and care in one of our dedicated ambulatory Respiratory Illness Clinics (RICs).
COVID care is provided for affected inpatients on units with appropriate infection control procedures. In the outpatient setting, you may be seen in a Routine Ambulatory Care for COVID clinic (RAC-C) or other area that has an infection control procedure. Staff in these units have access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including N95 respirators, gowns, gloves and eye shields. Staff receive specialized training in the use of PPE to keep you safe. All locations where COVID care is provided operate under a hospital-approved Infection Control Plan and Procedure.
Am I putting my own safety at risk by coming to MGHfC?
No, our promise to you and your family during this COVID-19 crisis and beyond is to make safety a top priority. To do this, we have taken many safety measures, including:
- Everyone, including patients, staff and vendors, must wear a mask
- No visitors are permitted, with the exception of a few situations
- Staff must attest to being symptom free every day
- Special units for COVID patients (e.g, plexiglass or other protective features); or the department may be working under a special infection control plan or procedure
- Designated elevators for COVID-19 positive outpatients
- Hand sanitizer stations throughout the hospital
- Expanded cleaning protocols throughout the hospital
Can I get my care without going into MGHfC?
Yes, depending on your child's personal needs and preferences, they might be able to have a virtual visit. Virtual visits are held through your phone, electronic device or computer and allow you and your child to see and talk to the doctor face-to-face. Or you may have the option to go to one of our community-based network sites. Together with you and your family, we will determine what is best for your child's specific situation and needs.
Should I delay seeking care?
No. Although you might be tempted to delay some necessary, standard care, please don’t. Your child's condition could worsen, or they may need more aggressive treatments or procedures if you wait.
Medical emergencies are the same as before the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have an emergency, you should come to the MGHfC Pediatric Emergency Department.
MGHfC is an expert at providing all types of general care and COVID care. You and your family's safety is our number one priority and we are here for you.
Please contact your child's provider or contact us via Patient Gateway or call our office. We are here for you and happy to meet your child's medical needs.