Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information for Patient Families

Caring Through COVID-19

Learn how we're keeping families safe at Nationwide Children's

Planning for Your Visit

The health and safety of our patients, families and staff has always been our top priority. During the COVID-19 pandemic our mission remains the same. With guidance from public health officials and our own medical experts, we are slowly and carefully opening our services more broadly again.

As you return to our facilities, you will notice many changes we’ve implemented to keep us all safe. First, we ask that you wear your own mask in the parking lot until you get inside the building. There you will be greeted at our masking and screening stations. When you enter the hospital or an outpatient facility, you will be provided with a mask and may be asked some questions about how you are feeling. Here are a few other things you need to know before your next visit:

  • Per state and federal guidelines, all patients and visitors must continue wearing masks within health care facilities. Nationwide Children’s will provide a medical mask to every patient and visitor 2 years and older. The mask must be worn throughout your visit. 
  • Children who are outpatient (those who are coming for a clinic visit or outpatient procedure) may have two visitors.
  • Children who are being seen at our Urgent Care centers or Emergency Departments may have two visitors.
  • Children who are inpatient (those who are staying in the hospital) may have four visitors
  • Children may be required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to a test or procedure. Speak to your child’s care team with questions. Click here for tips on preparing kids for COVID-19 swabs.

Learn more, like how to properly wear a face mask, below.

COVID-19 Vaccine for Patients and the General Public

Patients and the general public who meet certain criteria, as defined by Ohio Department of Health guidelines, are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Click here for more information.

Visitor Guidelines

Visitor restrictions are in place to protect everyone’s health and safety and reduce the number of people in our facilities at any given time. This helps ensure social distancing.

Outpatient Visitor Restrictions

Children who are outpatient (those who are coming for a clinic visit or outpatient procedure) and children who are being seen at our Urgent Care centers or Emergency Departments may have two visitors.

Inpatient Visitor Restrictions

Children who are inpatient (those who are staying in the hospital) may have four visitors.

  • Inpatients may now have four visitors accompanying them on campus. This includes surgery patients who will be admitted after their procedure. Families will still follow the same guidelines previously in place:
    • Four visitors identified for the duration of the stay. A maximum of two visitors may be at the bedside at a time.
    • Certain units - H2, H4, H8, NICUs and Hematology/Oncology – have age restrictions. Visitors should be healthy, free of COVID symptoms and 12 years of age or older. There is no age restriction for visitors on all other units.
    • Masks worn at all times while on campus and visitors remain in the patient’s room during their visit. 

Safety First: Learn how we’re caring for our patients and visitors during COVID-19. 

Masking Guidelines

Did you know that people can spread COVID-19 even if they don’t have symptoms? That’s why it is important to wear a mask in public settings. 

  • Per state and federal guidelines, all patients and visitors must continue wearing masks within health care facilities. Nationwide Children’s will provide a medical mask to every patient and visitor 2 years and older. The mask must be worn throughout your visit. 
  • Children under 2 should never wear a mask. Click here to learn why.

Wear a Medical Mask at All Times

Know Before You Go Masking Guidelines

  • Medical masks include hospital-provided masks, surgical masks and N95 masks (without exhalation valve)
  • Cloth masks, scarves or bandanas cannot be used inside Nationwide Children’s facilities, since stronger protections are required for a health care setting. They are acceptable for other, non-health care public areas.

How to Correctly Wear a Medical Mask

How to Wear a Medical Mask Graphic

  1. Wear the mask over both your nose and mouth.
  2. Pinch the nose bar to fit the mask to your nose.
  3. The mask must stay over your nose and mouth when talking.

More Masking Resources

Little boy wearing a face mask giving a thumbs up

Be a COVID-19 Hero: Your Actions Can Save Lives

Why should we follow the recommendations to wear masks, wash our hands, use hand sanitizer, practice physical distancing and stay home if we are sick or have had contact with someone who is sick? Because preventing even one transmission can dramatically change an outbreak.

Child wearing a face mask

Helping Kids Get Used to Seeing and Wearing Masks

In response to CDC recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many hospitals and businesses are requiring face coverings or masks for anyone over the age of 2 years old. Some children may have difficulty adjusting to seeing others wearing face coverings and wearing them appropriately themselves.

Mom masking a child with special needs

Masks and New Routines: Helping Children with Special Needs During COVID-19

Adjusting to wearing masks or social distancing can be especially challenging for children who have rigid routines or have heightened sensitivity to change. Here are some recommendations to help with communication, understanding and coping for these children.

How to wear a mask

Donning and Doffing a Surgical Mask: The Ear Loop Mask

Learn how to properly put on an ear loop mask.

Cleaning and Sanitizing IconCleaning and Sanitizing

  • Increased the number of times our facilities are being cleaned and sanitized
  • High-touch areas like door handles, elevator buttons and telephones are being given especially frequent attention
  • Appointments are being spaced to allow additional deep cleaning of exam rooms and clinical spaces between patients
  • Encouraging patients and families to use hand sanitizer and practice good hand washing

Social Distancing IconPhysical Distancing Throughout Our Locations

  • Limiting visitors (two per patient for outpatient visits and procedures, two per patient for Urgent Care and Emergency Department and four per patient for inpatient care)
  • Limiting the number of people in elevators
  • Installed Plexiglas dividers at all registration locations
  • Rearranged waiting room seating to allow patients and their visitor to stay 6 feet apart
  • Asking families to wait in their car until we are ready (care teams are sharing details with families)

Scheduling IconScheduling

  • Scheduling fewer patients to maintain physical distancing on-site
  • Continuing to offer telehealth phone or video visits if appropriate

More Resources

Hospital and cleaning supplies

Safety First: How We're Caring for Our Patients and Visitors During COVID-19

Health and safety of patients, families and staff have always been our top priorities and this hasn’t changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. While we paused some of our elective services and clinics as we learned more about COVID-19, we have remained committed to providing essential care.

See How We're Keeping Families Safe

Physician talking with parents

Talking With Parents About COVID-19

Dr. Akua Amponsah reflects on the importance of being a trusted voice for families.

Mom talking about safety

Mom to Mom: About COVID-19

Symone’s mom, Tiffany, reveals why she feels safe bringing her daughter to Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Safety during Primary Care Visits

Primary Care: Patient Safety During COVID-19

Dr. Akua Amponsah discusses her team’s commitment to patient safety during COVID-19.

Checkups During COVID-19

Check-ups During COVID-19

Symone and her mom, Tiffany, discuss why they come to see Dr. Amponsah - even during a pandemic.

Every Well-child Visit is Critically Important. Especially Now.

To schedule an appointment, call (614) 722-6200. Looking for a primary care doctor that’s right for you? We offer 24/7 chat support or call (614) 722-KIDS (5437). Click here to chat now.

More Resources

Spanish video teaser

La Importancia de Mantener Visitas con su Pediatra Durante COVID-19

Es importante continuar chequeos regulares para mantener a su hijo saludable y parar la propagación de enfermedades prevenibles. Aprenda sobre las medidas de seguridad adicionales que hemos tomado.

Doctor and patient in exam room, both wearing medical masks

Why Do Kids Need to Go to the Doctor so Often?

If you’re a parent, I don’t need to tell you how fast children grow – physically and emotionally. And your questions and concerns grow right along with them. This is why well child visits are so important.

Doctor with mother and daughter in exam room, all wearing medical masks

The Importance of Having a Relationship With Your Child's Pediatrician

Find out why seeing a pediatric primary care provider (PCP) - a physician or nurse practitioner who knows your child best - is crucial to your child’s health. 

Young Girl Leaning on Animal Friend

Primary Care

Our Primary Care Centers are in your neighborhood with expert doctors and nurses who care only for children, from birth to age 21. 

Updates and Resources


We are now offering telehealth services for most outpatient services. Learn more here

Financial Assistance

We are committed to providing health care for children regardless of their ability to pay. Click here for more information about financial assistance. 

Traveling Families

Our Global Patient Services team helps connect families to resources to support them during their stay. They can even make hotel reservations on your behalf. Learn more.

Multilingual COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 information and resources in many languages is available from:

Other News

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Donation Drop Off

At this time, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is not accepting handmade fabric masks. For donating fabric masks and where they can be most useful, as a starting point, please contact your local public health department.

In terms of medical supplies, Nationwide Children’s is accepting new, in original packaging, never-used, and unopened N95 respirators, surgical masks, ear loop and duckbill masks of all sizes, face shields, exam gloves, hand sanitizer that has greater than 60% alcohol, hand soap, eye protection, no touch infrared thermometers and more. Donors with less than one car full of items may drop them off in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital main lobby located at 630 Children’s Drive. Donors with more than one car full of items should reach out to Jillean Bastian for arrangements.

Urgent Care Locations Open

All Nationwide Children’s Hospital Urgent Care locations remain open. Due to visitor restrictions, only two adults may accompany a patient to any Urgent Care location. Call your child’s pediatrician or family doctor before seeking urgent care unless your child’s physician is unavailable or your child is experiencing a medical emergency. Click here to find the Urgent Care closest to you and view wait times. 

Nationwide Children's Hospital Patient Stock Photo

The Joining Hands Fund: Helping Kids and Families Face Coronavirus

Donate today to support our employees on the front lines, as well as support children and families affected, research, telehealth, behavioral health services and more.