Coronavirus FAQs

Last updated: October 23, 2020. Before you visit, please read our updated visitor restrictions

There’s a lot of information out there about the current outbreak of coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19.

To help our patients, families and communities get answers to their questions, Connecticut Children’s Physician-in-Chief Juan C. Salazar, MD, MPH, joins the blog.

Please note: What we know about this disease is rapidly evolving. For the latest information and advice, refer to the CDC >>

What is Connecticut Children’s doing to respond to coronavirus?

Connecticut Children’s is working around the clock to maintain a safe environment for our patients, families and team members. No matter what kind of care your child needs, or which Connecticut Children’s location you visit, you can count on us to keep your child safe and sound. Learn how we’re keeping kids safe during COVID-19.

We also launched a Pediatric COVID-19 Hotline for the community, available 24/7 at 833.226.2362.

If you’re coming to Connecticut Children’s for care, please review our current visitor restrictions.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. In milder cases, it can present like a common cold and may include diarrhea and gastroenteritis symptoms. Some individuals have experienced a loss of taste and smell.

How is this coronavirus outbreak affecting children?

Children of all ages can become infected with the virus and can spread it to others. Most children with confirmed COVID-19 experienced mild symptoms, similar to a common cold, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported.

In late April, health systems in the U.S., U.K. and Europe began reporting cases of a new inflammatory illness in kids, which appears to be linked to coronavirus. This new illness – known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) or pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PMIS) – is very rare, but can be serious if left untreated. Learn more.

What do I do if my child has coronavirus symptoms, like a runny nose or fever?

Keep them home and away from others as much as possible, and contact your pediatrician for medical advice. You can call Connecticut Children’s COVID-19 Hotline, available 24/7, at 833.226.2362. Our clinicians are available to answer your coronavirus questions, and if appropriate, can help you schedule a Video Visit with one of our pediatric experts.

Even if you think your child probably just has a cold or allergies, it’s important to keep them home and call their doctor. COVID-19 can be hard to spot. Especially in kids, it often shows up as very mild (or no) symptoms. So you’ll need to take extra precautions right now.

> Related: What Should I Do When My Child Has a Common Cold During COVID-19?

How does coronavirus spread?

Coronavirus spreads very easily from close person-to-person contact. The most common way is when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes at close range (six feet or closer), and tiny respiratory droplets from their mouth or nose land directly in another person’s eyes, nose or mouth. In certain situations, droplets may even remain in the air for a period of time, and infect another person later. It’s also possible, but less common, to catch coronavirus by touching a surface with infected droplets on it, and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Once a person has been infected, it takes several days for symptoms to appear – and many people experience such mild symptoms they never feel sick. So it’s important to remember that even someone who appears healthy may be contagious.

How can I prevent the spread of coronavirus?

Masks, social distancing and good hygiene are our best protections until we have a vaccine.

  • When you’ll be around people outside your household, always wear a mask, maintain at least six feet of space between you and other people, and as much as possible, keep activities outdoors.
  • Wash hands often and well: Wash with soap and water for 20 seconds, the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Make sure you supervise younger kids, because hand sanitizer can be poisonous if ingested.
  • Avoid sick people, and self-quarantine at home if you’re feeling sick. (If you need groceries or a prescription, have another family member drop them off, or order them for delivery to your doorstep.)
  • Regularly clean household surfaces that get a lot of contact.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Follow local executive orders, such as when communities are being asked to stay home and limit your contact to family members who live in the same household.

Should my family wear face masks?

  • Yes. Masks are one of our best methods for keeping ourselves and others safe – so your family should always wear masks in public settings, even outdoors.
  • Note: Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Keep in mind: Masks alone do not prevent the spread of coronavirus. Please always practice social distancing and good hand hygiene.

Should my family change their travel plans?

I recommend avoiding travel as much as possible. Airplanes and busy rest stops can expose your family to coronavirus, and contribute to its spread. For more information, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers.

Where can we find more information?

  • Call Connecticut Children’s Pediatric COVID-19 Hotline at 833.226.2362. The hotline is staffed by our healthcare professionals and available 24/7.
  • For the latest information about Connecticut, call 211, text CTCOVID to 898211, or visit ct.gov/coronavirus
  • We’re working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nation’s leading public health institute. We recommend their website for the latest news and advice from public health experts: cdc.gov/coronavirus
  • Our experts share helpful answers and advice about coronavirus on the Connecticut Children’s blog, Growing Healthy. Check out all of our COVID-19 posts.

Related links

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