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COVID-19 (Coronavirus): What You Need to Know

Updated March 31, 2020

In Effect Now

Children’s Mercy is implementing full visitor restrictions to keep you and your child safe:

  • No visitors, including sibling visitors
  • Parents/guardians are not considered visitors
  • Parents/guardians must be free of respiratory symptoms and fever to be in the hospital

In order to help keep our patients as safe as possible, we are working to reschedule some of our specialty clinic visits, non-urgent imaging procedures and elective surgeries. If your child’s appointment needs to be changed, our team will be reaching out to you directly. We appreciate your understanding as we work to keep our patients and staff as safe as possible from the spread of COVID-19.

Important information from Children's Mercy

Children’s Mercy is taking all precautions to protect our patients, families and staff. We are working with public health officials to help protect our community.

Below is some important information to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Coronavirus: Wellness at Home during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Coronavirus: Social Distancing

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

Children's Mercy leaders are meeting twice daily to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that we are providing the best care for patients, families, employees and community.


Has there been any confirmed COVID-19 cases at Children’s Mercy?

We are communicating information on testing and positive cases of COVID-19 on our FAQ for Physicians & Providers page.

Is there anything else patients/families should know?

Influenza and other viruses are still circulating in our community. We recommend that everyone who is eligible receive a flu vaccine.

Can adults get tested at Children's Mercy?

Children’s Mercy is unable to provide COVID-19 testing to adults. 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Patients with COVID-19 can have mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. To date, children have had milder symptoms than adults.

How can I help protect myself and my child?

The best way to prevent infection is to be prepared. You and your child should: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

What should I do if I think my child has COVID-19?

If your child has a mild illness, we recommend staying at home. Consider using treatments that you would use for the common cold, including fever reducers (ibuprofen and acetaminophen), humidified air, and cough suppressants for age-appropriate children.

When should my child see a medical provider?

Children with mild illness do not need to see a medical provider. If you have questions about whether your child needs to see a medical provider, please call your primary care physician or call our COVID-19 Hotline at (816) 302-8800.

View more on medical care and treating symptoms of COVID-19

Please note this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. We are regularly updating this page with key information as we receive it, but we encourage you to refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a reliable source for the most updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.

For the latest information, please refer to the CDC.

Q&A with an Infectious Disease Specialist


Jennifer Schuster, MD is an Infectious Disease Specialist at Children's Mercy. Here she answers some questions we have been receiving. 

The best way to protect your child either at day care or out and about is wash their hands, and teach them how to wash their hands. We recommend washing your hands for 20 seconds – so the length of time it takes you to sing "Happy Birthday."

Wash your hands before you eat, before you come into the house and after you’ve been out and about. This is the best way to prevent getting any sort of virus.

We also recommend coughing into your elbow, sneezing into your elbow and curbing any droplets that may be coming out of your mouth or nose.

We don’t recommend wearing masks out in public because they haven’t been shown to be effective at preventing coronavirus. In fact, there’s data to suggest that they actually increase your risk of disease by giving you a false sense of security.

Novel coronavirus spreads similarly to other respiratory viruses such as influenza. So, coughing and sneezing or touching surfaces that contain the virus. Which is why it’s really important to wash your hands.