A note from Children’s Respiratory & Critical Care about COVID-19

March 12, 2020 2:19 pm

To our valued Patients and Families,

We are receiving many phone calls, portal messages, and emails about what to do to keep your child safe from coronavirus (COVID-19). We are recommending all of our patients follow the CDC guidelines. To provide the best care, we are encouraging you to call only if your child is sick.

We, along with the infection prevention and control team at Children’s Minnesota, have been keeping a very close watch on the situation and actively preparing. Please find the resources we are using for the advice below. The CDC website is your best source of information as it is updated regularly:

CDC COVID-19 Homepage

CDC Travel Summary

Children’s MN – Coronavirus: What parents need to know


We cannot specifically advise for or against travel. Travelers need to make specific decisions on their travel plans, which can be assessed by frequently checking www.CDC.gov/travel/notices. If COVID-19 is spreading at your destination, but not where you live, you may be at a higher risk of exposure if you travel there. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded settings, particularly closed-in settings with little air circulation. Very few children have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The reason for this is not clear at this time.

Most cases have been in adults, about half with preexisting conditions. Case reports of children who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have described milder disease. The CDC is currently recommending that persons of any age with serious chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes) avoid all cruise travel and nonessential air travel. Travel within the U.S. is not specifically limited at this time, but the number of states with COVID-19 cases continues to grow.


There are currently no recommendations from the CDC or MN Department of Health about school avoidance. We recommend you pay attention to any communication provided to you from your district. As confirmed COVID-19 cases increase this recommendation will likely change.


To prepare for COVID-19 in your home:

• Make a plan for what you will do if parents or grandparents are sick and can’t take care of your child.

• Stock up on staples as if you can’t gather in a crowded store for 3-4 weeks

• Fill prescriptions with a 90-day refill instead of 30 days so you don’t have to wait in line at a pharmacy

  • Please make this request through your pharmacy

About the Virus:

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. Other forms of coronavirus that always circulate in the community cause symptoms of the common cold. There seems to be a range of illness from mild respiratory illness to severe, life-threatening pneumonia, especially in the elderly. 80% of patients have mild disease, 15% have moderate-severe disease, and 5% have severe disease. The incubation period (time from exposure to infection) is thought to be 2-14 days with 95% being symptomatic by day 12, and the average is five days from exposure to infection onset.


• The prevention strategies for COVID-19 are similar to influenza and other respiratory viruses.

Wash hands for 20-30 seconds frequently and perform proper hand hygiene.

• Soap and water, and alcohol hand gel are appropriate for hand hygiene.

• Avoid touching face, eyes, mouth.

• Avoid handshaking; try an elbow bump or simple wave instead.

• Stay home when you are sick and encourage other sick persons to stay home.

• Avoid contact with sick persons.

• The CDC is not currently recommending that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from COVID-19.

• Disinfect high-touch surfaces with household disinfectants.

• Teach kids to cover their cough.

We cannot stress enough, because this is a rapidly changing situation, the CDC website is recommended for the most up-to-date information. It will provide more accurate information

that our doctors and nurses are able to provide. We will continue to stay up to date internally but strongly recommend following the CDC as your best source.




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