Hospital Admission for COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019)

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Coronaviruses (KUH-RONE-A VI-RUS-ES) are one of the causes of mild respiratory disease, such as the common cold. Your child has been hospitalized with COVID-19, which is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus 2). This type of coronavirus can be more serious than some other coronaviruses, so your child has been admitted to the hospital for additional care and monitoring.

What to Expect in the Hospital

  • Nursing staff will be checking on your child often. Staff will wear masks, gowns, gloves and eye protection. This will help prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Some rooms have an intercom system that allows your care team to talk without coming in the room. Your nurse will help you use the intercom if needed.
  • Staff will check your child’s temperature, heart rate and blood pressure often. They will be watching your child’s breathing closely and watch for problems, such as fast breathing or increased effort when breathing.
  • Doctors may order lab tests and other treatments, such as medicines to lower fevers or help with breathing.
  • Your child should be able to eat a regular diet. Your nurse will let you know how to order food for your child.
  • This virus is very easily spread from person-to-person (contagious), so your child must stay in the room. If your child needs to leave the room for tests or procedures, they will wear a mask.
  • Handwashing for patients and visitors is very important. You will see your health care team wash their hands or use sanitizer often. It is important for you to wash your hands often, too.

Follow these guidelines:

  • Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Rub your hands together, making sure to scrub all parts, especially between your fingers and under your nails.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good choice, too. Again, rub your hands together, making sure to cover all surfaces. Allow to dry.


Visitors must follow the policies for infection prevention in order to visit. The following are all necessary steps to slow the spread of infection.

  • The hospital is limiting visitors in all areas.
  • Visitors are to stay in the patient room as much as possible.
  • If a visitor has symptoms of illness or COVID-19, they cannot be at the hospital and should contact their health care provider. All visitors should check for the following symptoms before coming to the hospital:
    • fever (temperature of 100 degrees F or greater)
    • new or worsening chronic cough
    • sore throat
    • muscle soreness
    • shortness of breath
    • vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Anyone with a high risk for having problems (complications) from COVID-19 should not come to the hospital. This includes people who:
    • have a lowered immune system
    • have lung or heart problems
    • have diabetes
    • are elderly
  • Leaving to get food inside the hospital is not allowed, but you may be allowed to bring in food on some units. You can ask your nurse about this. Meals can also be delivered to the room through Kaleidoscope Cuisine. Staff will give you a guest menu. You will dial 25852 from the phone in the room OR use the GetWell Network (on the TV) to place an order. It is best to use a credit or debit card in order to limit contact with others. If cash or a Kaleidoscope card must be used, we will use extra precautions.
  • The visitor may use the bathroom facilities in the patient’s room, if available.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes masks, gloves and gowns.

  • Visitors must always wear a mask when in the patient’s room except when eating, drinking or sleeping. The mask must also be worn when a staff member is in your child’s room except when you are sleeping.
  • Masks must be worn when a patient is being transported outside the room.
  • When certain procedures are done in the room, the visitor may be asked to wear extra PPE.

How to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Monitor yourself and any other people at home for the symptoms described in the “Visitors” section. If symptoms start, notify a healthcare provider. Be sure to let the care provider know about contact with a person who has COVID-19. This will help the provider decide the safest way to give care.

  • Other than coming to the hospital, stay at home. Do not go to work or school and avoid large groups. This includes public areas and public transportation.
  • Be sure to wear a mask when you leave your house. You may still be able to spread the virus even if you do not have symptoms.
  • You and your household members should wear masks when you are in close, confined spaces with each other, such as the car.
  • All household members should stay at home until the quarantine period is over or cleared by your local health department. They should practice distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from each other as much as possible. This includes staying in a separate room and using a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Limit the number of people in your home that have exposure to you, including visitors.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, phones, keyboards and tables every day. Use a disinfectant spray or wipe.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Throw away the tissue and wash your hands immediately. If you do not have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your elbow and wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, and mouth) as much as possible.
  • Stay away from others who are sick. Anyone who is sick in the home should stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom, if possible. Be sure to wash your hands and clean high-touch surfaces often.
  • Do not share household items, such as dishes, towels or bedding until items are washed. Wash dishes and laundry in hot water.
  • When your child is discharged, we will give you the Helping Hand I-467 Hospital Discharge for Coronavirus (COVID-19). This will give you instructions on what do to at home.

Resources for More COVID-19 Information

  • See the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website ( for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19. The main page has a link for all COVID-19 topics. 
  • The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) website ( has a phone line you can call with any COVID-19 questions at 1-833-427-5634.

The 700 Children’s Blog is another resource that can help answer your questions. You can find it on our website ( Once you are on the main hospital page, search for COVID-19.

Admission for Coronavirus (COVID-19) (PDF), Arabic (PDF), Nepali (PDF), Somali (PDF), Spanish (PDF)

HH-I-468 Copyright 2020, Nationwide Children’s Hospital