Information for Patients and Families

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What to Know About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Visitation Policy Notice
For the health and safety of our patients while coronavirus (COVID-19) is present in Florida, we are limiting visitors in the inpatient, outpatient and emergency center settings. Patients are allowed one visitor on campus at a time. Visitors should be parents or legal guardians and must be in good health. Patients may name two caregivers, but only one visitor will be allowed on campus at a time. The named caregivers cannot change for the duration of the patient’s stay. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we work to protect our patients, families and community.

Outpatient Notice
Our providers are actively reviewing outpatient appointments and may reschedule some patients. If you have questions related to your care or an upcoming appointment, please reach out to your provider.

While coronavirus (COVID-19) has been less common in children, many families may be concerned after hearing about confirmed cases in Florida. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital wants to share key information and provide answers to common questions related to this disease to help inform and ease the minds of families. Johns Hopkins Medicine also has set up coronavirus (COVID-19) website sharing information for the public and our patients as a guide for what to do.

Facebook Live: Coronavirus with Dr. Dumois

Watch our Facebook Live with Infectious Disease specialist Juan Dumois, MD to hear answers to common questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19).

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms can be similar to other respiratory virus symptoms such as the flu. Symptoms appearing 2-14 days after exposure can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

What should I do if I suspect my child or I have symptoms?

The symptoms of novel COVID-19 are the same as for the flu and most other respiratory viruses. People should call their doctor if they have the symptoms listed above and have traveled to or been in contact with someone who traveled to one of the countries at high risk as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or in contact someone known to have the COVID-19 virus. They may also be tested if they are hospitalized with a respiratory illness.

If your doctor recommends that you visit a local emergency center, call ahead so the team at the hospital can prepare for your arrival. It’s important to know that, at this time, there are a limited number of testing sites available.

Keep in mind that so far, infections in children have been less common and there is no evidence that children are more susceptible to this virus. The CDC has answers to many questions about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and children.

How can I prevent viruses?

Clean your hands and high-touch surfaces in your home frequently. When using soap and water, use enough soap to lather the front and back of both hands and in between the fingers while cleaning under running water. To clean your hands effectively, it should take at least 20 seconds, which is similar to singing the ABC song at a normal tempo or the happy birthday song twice. If using hand sanitizer, use enough so that it takes at least 15 seconds before both sides of both hands are completely dry.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, stay home. While masks can be helpful in preventing the spread of illness, they should only be worn by someone who has symptoms to help lessen the chance of infecting others.

Should I be concerned about travel?

Vacation plans depend upon the destination. People may want to cancel plans to the countries currently listed as having outbreaks and monitor the CDC’s travel advisories. Other plans depend upon the particular destination, whether there are any people with a weakened immune system in your family, and the likelihood of exposure to large groups of people. Vacation plans in sparsely populated destinations, such as national parks or mountain cabins, may present less risk of exposure to viruses than travel to large amusement parks.

Regardless of the destination, it is appropriate to teach and monitor good handwashing among all members of your family, especially before eating, drinking or touching your face. Have hand sanitizer readily available at all times, and do not forget to use it frequently and correctly.

What is the hospital doing to prepare?

The Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital infection prevention team is closely monitoring the situation daily and working with Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, as well as following guidance from the CDC. We are actively screening patients for symptoms and travel according to CDC guidelines. Our staff are trained in infection prevention and safety procedures and we are in communication with local emergency management officials on our preparation. We have also reviewed and updated our facility map to determine the best place to isolate and treat patients, should we get any patients presenting with symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

For the health and safety of our patients, we are limiting visitors in the inpatient and perioperative (pre-op, operating room and post-op) settings to parents and guardians while coronavirus (COVID-19) is present in Florida. Other family members, friends and general visitors will not be permitted at this time. Also, we recommend parents and guardians only bring the child seeking care to our Emergency Center and Outpatient Care locations. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Only the Florida Department of Health can confirm a case and any public information would be limited.

Where will patients with the COVID-19 be cared for in your hospital?

The current CDC recommendations are for patients who do not have severe illness to quarantine themselves at home. Based on the current information available, patients who require hospitalization should be cared for in a designated isolation room  and staff will be following  infection control practices as outlined by the CDC.

Important Links/Resources

Read more:

Crayons and Kindness

Students at a local elementary school show their support for caregivers at the local children’s hospital.

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Coronavirus – School is Out, Now What?

Jennifer Katzenstein, Ph.D., shares tips for families on maintaining structure while staying safe at home.

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5 Coronavirus Myths

A pediatric infectious diseases expert debunks some of the myths circulating about coronavirus.

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Best Practices for Sanitizing Your Home

Juan Dumois, M.D., pediatric infectious diseases specialist, explains the difference between cleaning and sanitizing, and tips for disinfecting frequently touched surfaces in your home.

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How to Talk to Your Kids about Coronavirus

Jennifer Katzenstein, Ph.D., ABPP-CN, talks about how to share information with your children to help them stay physically and mentally healthy.

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How to Wash Your Hands, a Key to Preventing Infection

How to wash your hands properly has come into focus in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19). A Johns Hopkins All Children’s walks you through the process.

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