Staying at the Hospital: COVID-19 Testing FAQs

COVID-19 Service Changes

Why is my child being tested? Is everyone that comes to the hospital tested?

All patients staying in the hospital are currently being tested for COVID-19. This helps us keep your child, your family, and our team members safe.

If you're coming with your child to the hospital, we'll ask you screening questions before you enter. We'll also take your temperature. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, have someone else come with your child. See our visitor policies.

Do we have to pay for the test?

No. We won't charge you for your child’s test.

Why are you testing my child if they don’t have symptoms?

Sometimes, people have the coronavirus but never have any symptoms of COVID-19. Even so, they can spread it to others. Testing makes sure patients get the exact care they need. It also helps protect their families, other patients, and our team members.

What is the test like?

The test is quick. We use a long cotton swab to reach the back of your child’s throat. It’s a lot like a test for strep throat.

It doesn’t hurt, but your child may feel a little discomfort. They may gag a little or have teary eyes.

How “good” is the test? If it returns negative, how certain is the result? Will my child need a repeat test?

If your child has COVID-19 symptoms, the result is generally accurate.

The test may be less accurate if your child gets it too early or too late. There might not be enough virus in their body before symptoms show or after they pass for a clear result. 

Most children won’t need repeat testing. But, your child’s doctors might decide to test them again.

How quick do we get the results? Does my child need to stay in the hospital until the results turn negative?

If your child doesn’t have symptoms, test results come back in 24-48 hours. If the test shows your child does have COVID-19 (returns positive), their care team and the Department of Public Health will let you know what the next steps are. You may need to quarantine at home after leaving the hospital.

How will I be notified of my child’s test results?

You’ll see the test result in MyChart. If your child’s test result is positive, the care team will let you know as soon as possible. Talk with your child’s care team if you have any questions about the results.

Where can I get more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing?

More information on COVID-19 is available from the Centers for Disease Control.

We also have guidelines on: