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Coronavirus/COVID-19

At Akron Children’s Hospital, our top priority is the health and safety of patients, staff and visitors. As the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation evolves, we invite you to visit this website often for updates.

Clinical Service Cancellations and Closings

Non-urgent clinical services that can be delayed with no harm to our patients are being canceled. They include:

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation – audiology, physical, occupational and speech therapy, and sports rehabilitation
  • Testing – including the closing of outpatient labs at the North Canton, Mansfield and Boston Heights Health Centers effective March 24. Outpatient lab services are still available at our Akron and Beeghly campuses and the Warren Health Center.
  • Outpatient visits
  • Primary care wellness visits for kids 30 months and older are being rescheduled
  • Celeste Myers Dental Clinic – emergencies only
  • Quick Care in Boardman – closed effective April 2

Providers are considering each patient's care individually. Families will be contacted if their appointments are being postponed.

MyChart Telehealth (Video) Visits

Akron Children’s Hospital now offers telehealth visits – using mobile devices and computers with webcams – through MyChart. 

Department representatives are reaching out to families to offer these visits as an alternative to in-person appointments. Families can also call their provider’s office to ask if a telehealth visit is right for their children. MyChart telehealth visits are available to current and new Akron Children’s patients – and patients without a MyChart account can get temporary access for their telehealth visit. If you’re interested in a telehealth visit, please contact your provider’s office. If you have a telehealth visit scheduled, get instructions on apps to download and how to join a telehealth visit.

New Visitor Restrictions

Effective Monday, March 30:

  • Inpatients under age 18 may have up to 2 adult caregivers designated as visitors for their hospital stay, but only 1 may be bedside and in the hospital at a time.
  • For outpatient visits, only 1 caregiver may accompany the patient.
  • Do not visit if you have cold or flu symptoms.
  • Visitors must be 18 or older unless a parent/guardian of a patient.
  • Patients in the intensive care units – PICU, NICU, Burn Unit – and on the hematology/oncology floor are at even higher risk for infections, so additional restrictions may apply.

Click the tabs below for frequently asked questions.

What is coronavirus?

It’s a family of viruses, some of which can infect people. The viruses can cause the common cold or more severe diseases including COVID-19, which first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms can include fever, a cough and shortness of breath. Most people develop mild symptoms. Some people, usually those with other medical problems, develop more severe symptoms.

What does the COVID-19 name mean?

The name of this disease is “coronavirus disease 2019,” abbreviated as COVID-19.

  • CO stands for “corona,” the Spanish word for crown, due to the crown-like shape on the virus surface.
  • VI stands for “virus.”
  • D stands for “disease.”

There are many types of coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.

Who is most at risk?

Anyone who has fever and symptoms such as cough and difficulty breathing and has either traveled outside of the United States over the past month or come in close contact with a person who is being tested for COVID-19.

People meeting these criteria should call before going to their doctor’s office or urgent care center. Showing up without taking the proper precautions puts other patients and health care providers at risk.

Where can I go for additional information about COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization websites are trusted sources of information. If you have specific questions, call the Summit County Public Health line at 330-926-5795 or the Summa Health hotline at 234-867-6314. 

The Ohio Department of Health is also operating a hotline for questions about COVID-19. The number is 833-427-5634 or 833.4.Ask.ODH. The hotline hours are 9 a.m.-8 p.m., seven days a week.

Is my child at risk?

Based on current evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some kids have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases.

Can my child be tested for COVID-19 as a precaution?

No, testing is not available as a precaution or for mildly ill patients. Patients are only being considered for testing if they are hospitalized with respiratory disease. Exceptions to this may be considered in certain high-risk situations including cancer chemotherapy, other immunosuppressive conditions or chronic disease. This is in accordance with the Ohio Department of Health recommendations due to significant shortages of testing supplies.  

How can I keep my family healthy?

The best way is to avoid being exposed to respiratory diseases such as coronavirus. Here are some tips:

  • Suspend all non-essential activities, and stay at home with only your close family circle. To do otherwise may put you or your loved ones at risk. 
  • Your first choice for hand hygiene is to wash your hands with warm water and soap. Check out this CDC video on handwashing
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Watch Akron Children's physician Mike Bird, MD, demonstrate the proper technique.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick, especially if you have a fever. Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without using fever-reducing medicine.
  • Practice physical distancing, staying at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Droplets from coughs and sneezes can travel about 3 feet. Avoid the spread of droplets by coughing and sneezing into your elbow – or use a tissue and immediate throw it away.
  • Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces with household cleaning sprays or disinfecting wipes.
  • Avoid sharing household items including dishes, cups and eating utensils. 
  • Keep your immune system strong by eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water and getting ample rest.
  • If you suspect you have coronavirus, call your health care provider to see what precautions should be taken before you visit the doctor’s office.

What should I do if I or someone in my family gets a fever and cough?  

If you or a family member become ill with onset of fever and cough, please do not seek immediate attention unless you feel a life-threatening situation exists. Please call your doctor’s office. They will have options for you to be seen virtually (by video) if indicated or in person if needed. Respiratory illnesses of this sort should be considered to be COVID-19. That means staying at home and isolating the ill person within your home. Others in the household should consider themselves exposed and should therefore remain in quarantine for 14 days. Specific instructions can be obtained by calling your doctor's office – or call the Ohio Departent of Health COVID-19 hotline at 833-427-5634 or 833-4-Ask-ODH. The hotline is open daily from 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

Should I wear a mask?

Only wear a mask if you are ill or caing for someone who is sick. Otherwise, healthy and symptom-free people do not need to wear masks.

Do antibiotics help to prevent or treat COVID-19?

No. Antibiotics fight bacteria, not a virus like COVID-19.

Does gargling with salt water, using essential oils, eating garlic or taking vitamin C reduce your risk?

Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. Taking vitamin C and using essential oils have immune boosting and healing properties. However, there is no evidence that these methods protect people from COVID-19.

Should I cancel my family's travel plans? 

Yes, you should postpone any non-essential travel plans. If you must travel, the CDC has a COVID-19 travel page with a global map and geographic risk assessment as well as points to consider for traveling in the United States.

How do I talk to my kids about this situation without scaring them?

We encourage parents to:

  • Provide simple information and reassurance.
  • Consider monitoring or limiting media exposure.
  • Correct misinformation.
  • Try to keep routines as much as possible.
  • Remind children of the actions they can take to keep themselves and their community safe like handwashing and covering coughs.

Is there anything else my family and I should know about COVID-19?

While it can be scary when a new virus is discovered, hospitals, health care providers, the CDC and public health officials are working hard to identify at-risk people and keep the public informed. In addition to this website, visit the CDC and World Health Organization websites for updated, reliable information. If you have specific questions, call the Summit County Public Health line at 330-926-5795 or the Summa Health hotline at 234-867-6314. The Ohio Department of Health operates a hotline for questions about COVID-19: call 833-427-5634 or 833-4-Ask-ODH daily from 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

What is Akron Children’s doing to prepare for COVID-19?

We have emergency preparedness plans in place for a variety of situations, including a disease outbreak. For COVID-19, we are:

  • Collaborating with local health departments and the Ohio Department of Health, while monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Meeting multiple times a day with medical and operational teams to discuss protocols, needs and concerns.
  • Retraining caregivers on the use of personal protective equipment and hand hygiene, including the World Health Organization’s “My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene.” 
  • Providing a new course for clinical staff on how to care for COVID-19 patients, should that situation arise. 

What is Akron Children’s doing around its facilites in response to the virus?

To protect our patients, visitors and staff, we are: 

  • Cleaning common areas such as hospital waiting areas and welcome desks more frequently.
  • Postponing non-urgent services for 60 days that can be safely delayed with no harm to patients: surgery, rehabilitation, testing and outpatient visits - along with rescheduling primary care wellness visits for patients 30 months and older. Providers are considering each patient's care individually, and families will be contacted if their appointments are being rescheduled.
  • Temporarily closing some services inluding the Celeste Myers Dental Clinic (emergencies only) and Quick Care in Boardman.
  • Limiting entry points at the Akron and Boardman campuses in order to ask screening questions and take the temperature of patients, visitors and staff.
  • Screening at entry points at our health centers, Akron Children's Hospital Pediatrics offices, urgent care locations and specialty offices. In addition to the screening taking place at our physical facilities, we ask screening questions when primary care patient families call for same-day sick appointments.
  • Temporarily closing the Kids Café, Kay Café and Smucker's Bistro. Room service will be available to patients and families.
  • Using large, heated tents at Akron Children’s emergency rooms in Akron and the Mahoning Valley to expand capacity as needed. 
  • Suspending our volunteers and Doggie Brigade teams.  
  • Canceling or postponing a number of events and activities to limit large groups and promote physical distancing
  • Using teleconferencing as much as possible.
  • Canceling non-essential vendor visits - and screening vendors/couriers who deliver to our store rooms. 

Are visitors permitted at Akron Children’s Hospital?

Effective March 30: 

  • Inpatients under age 18 may have up to 2 adult caregivers designated as visitors for their hospital stay, but only 1 may be bedside and in the hospital at a time.
  • For outpatient visits, only 1 caregiver may accompany the patient.
  • Do not visit if you have cold or flu symptoms.
  • Visitors must be 18 or older unless a parent/guardian of a patient.
  • Patients in the intensive care units – PICU, NICU, Burn Unit – and on the hematology/oncology floor are at even higher risk for infections, so additional restrictions may apply.

Where are patients and visitors screened at the Akron and Mahoning Valley campuses?

We are screening patients and visitors at the following entrances.

Akron campus:

  • Exchange Street parking deck - Level 3 bridge - 24/7
  • Emergency Department entrance for ED patients only - 24/7
  • Considine Professional Building - valet entrance and Level 3 entrance from Bowery parking deck - Monday-Friday: 5 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday, 7 a.m.-1 p.m.

Mahoning Valley campus:

  • A Building - south entrance - Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • B Building - Emergency Department entrance for ED patients only - 24/7
  • D Building - lobby entrance - 24/7

Departments closed to the public

  • Health Information Management (Medical Records) is closed to the public until further notice. Authorization to release records forms will be available to complete and return in the supplied postage-paid envelope. You may also fax or email the authorization using the contact information supplied on the form.
  • The Smucker's Bistro in the Considine Professional Building is closed until further notice. 

MyChart Telehealth (Video) Visits

Akron Children’s Hospital now offers telehealth visits – using mobile devices and computers with webcams – through MyChart. 

Department representatives are reaching out to families to offer these visits as an alternative to in-person appointments. Families can also call their provider’s office to ask if a telehealth visit is right for their children. MyChart telehealth visits are available to current and new Akron Children’s patients – and patients without a MyChart account can get temporary access for their telehealth visit. If you’re interested in a telehealth visit, please contact your provider’s office. If you have a telehealth visit scheduled, get instructions on apps to download and how to join a telehealth visit.

Thank you to community members and business owners who have expressed interest in helping Akron Children's Hospital in these challenging times. If you have a stock of the most-needed items below, we will gladly accept your donation. Please email COVID.Resources@akronchildrens.org to give details on the items you want to donate, along with your name and phone number. We will let you know when and where you can have the supplies delivered.

Again, please email us at COVID.Resources@akronchildrens.org to make arrangements for delivery.