Coronavirus FAQs

UPDATE: Starting March 16, 2020, there are new rules and restrictions for patients and visitors at all Connecticut Children’s locations. Before you visit, read about rules and restrictions

There’s a lot of information out there about the current outbreak of coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19 and 2019-nCoV.

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 prepare for coronavirus?

We’re taking special steps like stocking up on the necessary supplies we need to keep everyone safe, and screening patients, families and visitors who’ve recently traveled. If you’re coming to Connecticut Children’s for care, please call ahead to let our team know about any coronavirus symptoms.

How is this coronavirus outbreak affecting children?

So far, coronavirus cases in children have been very rare. The overwhelming majority of confirmed cases have been adults. The limited number of children who were affected only experienced mild symptoms, similar to a common cold.

Is your child receiving immunosuppressant medication? Download this info sheet, especially for them.

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.

Unless your family has recently traveled to a high-risk area of the world (see cdc.gov for a current list) or has been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of coronavirus, these symptoms are most likely the result of a common cold or flu. See below for details about what to do if your child has these symptoms, and who is at higher risk.

What puts my child at highest risk?

Contact your medical provider immediately if

  • Your family’s been in close contact with someone with a confirmed case of coronavirus.
  • Your child has a fever and respiratory symptoms such as a cough or shortness of breath and has recently been in an area with ongoing spread of coronavirus. Visit to cdc.gov learn about affected areas.
  • If your child falls into one of these high-risk scenarios, then call ahead to the doctor’s office to tell them about exposure, recent travel and symptoms. They will help make decisions about if testing is needed and where that testing will occur. (Most children will not need testing.)

What if my child hasn’t traveled or been around someone with coronavirus, but is still showing symptoms?

Keep them home from school, and contact your pediatrician for medical advice.

How does coronavirus spread? How can we avoid it?

Coronavirus seems to spread by respiratory droplets that are transmitted through close person-to-person contact.

When a sick person coughs, sneezes or talks at close range (six feet or closer), they may produce droplets that can land in your eyes, nose or mouth. These droplets don’t pass through skin and aren’t believed to be airborne like measles or smallpox; in other words, they have to travel directly, in droplet form, into the eyes, nose or mouth.

How to avoid this kind of exposure: Stand at least six feet away.

Coronavirus can also spread if a sick person coughs or sneezes on a surface that you then touch, because you may accidentally transfer infected droplets from the surface into your eyes, nose or mouth.

How to avoid this kind of exposure: Even if you touch an infected surface, you can eliminate your risk of infection simply by washing your hands before touching your face.

To stay healthy:

This is all similar to how colds and flus spread, so the best tips to prevent coronavirus are the same common-sense precautions you use during flu season:

  • 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.)
  • Avoid sick people, and stay home if you’re feeling sick.
  • Regularly clean household surfaces that get a lot of contact.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Stand at a distance of six feet when talking, and instead of shaking hands as a greeting, use a fist bump, nod or nothing at all.

Should my family wear face masks?

No. Unless you’re already sick with symptoms of a respiratory illness, or wear a mask for another health reason, you should not wear a face mask.

Public health experts do not recommend that people who are healthy wear face masks as a way to protect themselves from coronavirus, or other respiratory illnesses.

Instead, focus on handwashing and good hygiene habits (see above).

Should my family change their travel plans?

The CDC has advised against all non-essential travel to certain high-risk areas. For the most current list, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers.

Where can we find more information?

  • 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

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Coronavirus FAQs

UPDATE: Starting March 16, 2020, there are new rules and restrictions for patients and visitors at all Connecticut Children’s locations. Before you visit, read about rules and restrictions

There’s a lot of information out there about the current outbreak of coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19 and 2019-nCoV.

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 prepare for coronavirus?

We’re taking special steps like stocking up on the necessary supplies we need to keep everyone safe, and screening patients, families and visitors who’ve recently traveled. If you’re coming to Connecticut Children’s for care, please call ahead to let our team know about any coronavirus symptoms.

How is this coronavirus outbreak affecting children?

So far, coronavirus cases in children have been very rare. The overwhelming majority of confirmed cases have been adults. The limited number of children who were affected only experienced mild symptoms, similar to a common cold.

Is your child receiving immunosuppressant medication? Download this info sheet, especially for them.

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.

Unless your family has recently traveled to a high-risk area of the world (see cdc.gov for a current list) or has been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of coronavirus, these symptoms are most likely the result of a common cold or flu. See below for details about what to do if your child has these symptoms, and who is at higher risk.

What puts my child at highest risk?

Contact your medical provider immediately if

  • Your family’s been in close contact with someone with a confirmed case of coronavirus.
  • Your child has a fever and respiratory symptoms such as a cough or shortness of breath and has recently been in an area with ongoing spread of coronavirus. Visit to cdc.gov learn about affected areas.
  • If your child falls into one of these high-risk scenarios, then call ahead to the doctor’s office to tell them about exposure, recent travel and symptoms. They will help make decisions about if testing is needed and where that testing will occur. (Most children will not need testing.)

What if my child hasn’t traveled or been around someone with coronavirus, but is still showing symptoms?

Keep them home from school, and contact your pediatrician for medical advice.

How does coronavirus spread? How can we avoid it?

Coronavirus seems to spread by respiratory droplets that are transmitted through close person-to-person contact.

When a sick person coughs, sneezes or talks at close range (six feet or closer), they may produce droplets that can land in your eyes, nose or mouth. These droplets don’t pass through skin and aren’t believed to be airborne like measles or smallpox; in other words, they have to travel directly, in droplet form, into the eyes, nose or mouth.

How to avoid this kind of exposure: Stand at least six feet away.

Coronavirus can also spread if a sick person coughs or sneezes on a surface that you then touch, because you may accidentally transfer infected droplets from the surface into your eyes, nose or mouth.

How to avoid this kind of exposure: Even if you touch an infected surface, you can eliminate your risk of infection simply by washing your hands before touching your face.

To stay healthy:

This is all similar to how colds and flus spread, so the best tips to prevent coronavirus are the same common-sense precautions you use during flu season:

  • 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.)
  • Avoid sick people, and stay home if you’re feeling sick.
  • Regularly clean household surfaces that get a lot of contact.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Stand at a distance of six feet when talking, and instead of shaking hands as a greeting, use a fist bump, nod or nothing at all.

Should my family wear face masks?

No. Unless you’re already sick with symptoms of a respiratory illness, or wear a mask for another health reason, you should not wear a face mask.

Public health experts do not recommend that people who are healthy wear face masks as a way to protect themselves from coronavirus, or other respiratory illnesses.

Instead, focus on handwashing and good hygiene habits (see above).

Should my family change their travel plans?

The CDC has advised against all non-essential travel to certain high-risk areas. For the most current list, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers.

Where can we find more information?

  • 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

Share This Post

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