COVID-19 Testing: Frequently Asked Questions

Which children are tested for COVID-19?

We are testing every child who is admitted to the hospital, whether through the ED or directly from a referring physicians.

We also test every child who comes to our facility for a scheduled surgery or procedure with us. You will be notified of the testing process when a nurse calls for your information prior to surgery.

Why does my child have to be tested for COVID-19?

COVID-19 testing of all inpatient and surgical patients is a precaution to keep our staff, providers, patients and families safe. When we know a child has COVID-19, we can take the proper precautions to isolate and care for them appropriately. This helps to limit the exposure that others have to COVID-19 and prevent further spread of the virus.

What happens if my child tests positive?

If your child tests positive inpatient, we have dedicated areas of the hospital for our COVID-19 patients where they can receive the best care from our experts.

If your child tests positive before surgery, depending on the procedure, we may have to reschedule your child’s surgery.

What is the test process?

The COVID-19 test consists of inserting a swab into one nostril and rotating for ten seconds. The test can be uncomfortable because the swab must be inserted a certain length into the nose. If your child is unable to stay still during the test you may be asked to assist in holding your child still.

A throat swab version of the test is available only when a child is unable to complete a nasal swab test for medical reasons.

At this time, Le Bonheur does not offer drive-thru testing and children must enter the hospital for their test.

Does a parent/legal guardian have to be present for the test?

A parent or legal guardian is not required to be present for the test, but they must be able to be reached by phone to give consent for testing.

At this time we are only testing patients, not parents or other family members.

My child was already tested, does he/she have to be tested again?

Any child who is admitted to the hospital is required to undergo a COVID-19 test regardless of previous test results.

Pre-surgical patients are required to undergo another test if the test was done more than 72 hours prior to the surgery. Pre-surgical patients may have a test completed at an outside facility only if it was completed within 72 hours of the surgical date. Outside tests must be faxed to the prescreening department for review before the day of surgery.

How fast will I get my child’s results?

Inpatients should expect to get results within 24 hours of testing.

Children undergoing testing before surgery will only be notified if the test returns positive. We ask that the patient self-isolates after testing until the day of surgery to prevent the risk of exposure.

What if I don’t want my child to be tested?

COVID-19 testing is required of all patients entering the hospital. Any patients who refuse testing will be treated as if they were COVID-19 positive and isolated on one of our COVID-19 specific units.

If a patient is not tested prior to surgery, you may not be able to proceed with the surgery depending on the procedure.

If you have further concerns about the test, please talk to your child’s care team.