Most children who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, such as fever and cough, and do not require medical care.
At Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, we understand that parents with sick children at home may want their child to be tested for COVID-19. However, most children who are mildly or moderately ill with cold-like symptoms do not need to be tested. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), diagnosis through laboratory testing for COVID-19 does not change the care a patient would receive. So, whether your child tests positive or negative, or unless your child is very sick, your healthcare provider’s treatment will remain the same.
Note: Your child should not be taken to one of our Emergency Departments or Urgent Care Centers for routine COVID-19 testing. For most children with mild symptoms, testing is not necessary and does not alter the course of clinical management or at-home supportive care. Children’s will reserve specimen collection at our Emergency Departments, Urgent Care Centers and ambulatory clinics for diagnostic testing of children whose disease management will be impacted by results or for whom our public health partners deem testing is needed.
As our capacity to test changes, laboratory testing can be an important step in understanding and containing COVID-19 and protecting vulnerable populations. Your child can be tested outside of Children's at one of the following alternative COVID-19 testing locations. Note: Children's provides these testing sites as a recommendation, not an endorsement. We have not yet validated the type of test performed at each site.
Remember that good hand hygiene, as well as masks and social distancing when possible, remain the best ways to prevent infection with and spread of COVID-19.