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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Yes, the ER is Safe (and Essential) for Kids During COVID, so Don't Delay Care

Children's Health
Author name: Lee Health

COVID-19 awareness, precautions, news and other developments continue to ebb and flow with the changing times.

But one thing is clear – even amid more confirmed COVID-19 cases in Southwest Florida: Parents and guardians should NOT delay medical care for their child when they need it.

That means visits to the doctor’s office, but also – most importantly – trips to the emergency department or calls to 911.

Children can have a variety of symptoms and conditions that require immediate attention: high fever, acute pain (such as appendicitis), trauma from an accident or fall, trouble breathing, broken bones, seizures and more.

Of course, one reason many parents may delay bringing their child to the ER is because of COVID-19 concerns or questions about visitation policies.

Armando Llechu, chief administrative officer at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, assures parents and families that the hospital follows strict safety guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And children ARE allowed to have family members with them inside the hospital.

“We’re open, we’re here to serve you,” Llechu says. “Bring your kids to the hospital if you need care, and don’t delay. If you keep your child home sick, you keep your child at great risk.”

Visitation Policy: Two Visitors Allowed with Children

Golisano Children’s Hospital visitation policy states:

  • Each patient will be allowed two (2) designated visitors noted upon admission (over 12 years of age). These visitors can be with the patient, in their room, at all times. This also includes the Sedation, Outpatient, Pediatric Oncology, and the Pediatric Perianesthesia areas.
  • Exceptions apply to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

The policy means that children won’t be facing potentially scary situations without family members right beside them. Our dedicated professionals at the Golisano ER are also highly trained in helping to ease anxiety and making the hospital as comfortable as possible.

Safety Precautions

Parents, guardians and families should know that that every single Lee Health facility follows strict safety guidelines to keep all of us safe: At the very least, this means practicing social distancing, wearing face masks, and regularly cleaning and disinfecting all spaces.

But we do more than that. Here are a few of the highlights to give you better peace of mind:

  • All staff members wear masks.
  • Doctors, nurses and other clinicians wear masks, gowns, and gloves when examining patients.
  • Every staff and clinical member starting their shift at any Lee Health facility have their temperature checked before they enter the building. They are also screened through a series of questions to rule out COVID-19.
    • Any employee who tests over 100°F is sent home immediately and not allowed to resume work until medically cleared.
  • All patients must wear masks for the ENTIRE time they are inside our facilities.
  • Every patient is screened for symptoms of COVID-19 upon entering the building.
  • Waiting rooms are realigned so that chairs are 6 feet apart, per social distancing guidelines.
  • Patients with COVID-19 who are admitted to a hospital will continue to be separated from other hospital units.

And, our cleaning crews are busy working night and day to clean, scrub and disinfect.

“We’re taking extreme measures to obsessively keep all patient and work areas clean and sanitized,” says Dr. Alex Daneshmand, chief quality and patient safety officer at Lee Health. “Our commitment is hard and fast because we know these precautions protect and support our patients, colleagues, and caregivers while we determine the safest way to phase back in important procedures and other medical services.”

So remember: In an emergency, time is critical. It may even save a life. Although COVID-19 has taken over our lives in a lot of ways, it has not interfered with the level of care, the dedication to safety, and the expert service we can provide to your children.

Please don’t delay care in an emergency – Lee Health and Golisano Children’s Hospital are here for you.


Read more Healthy News articles about COVID-19 on our Coronavirus category page.

An ER Designed Just For Kids