COVID-19 Update

Employees wearing masks and cleaning PPE

COVID-19 testing can be scary for both children and parents, especially when testing methods are meant more for adults than kids.

Does Children’s offer COVID-19 testing?

To provide testing that is specially designed for children from birth to age 21, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta has set up an appointment-only, drive-thru testing site.

We are one of the only drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in Georgia that uses pediatric nurses and supplies to test children and teens.

Where is Children’s drive-thru testing site located?

We are currently offering drive-thru testing for kids in Atlanta, located in the parking lot of Children’s at Satellite Boulevard. Testing is offered by appointment only.

Is my child eligible to be tested for COVID-19 at Children’s?

Children and teens from birth to age 21 are eligible to be tested at our appointment-only collection site.

The following symptoms may warrant COVID-19 testing:

  • Cough
  • Brief episode of fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal pain
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache

Appointments will be confirmed only after an order is provided by a community physician and a Children’s scheduler reaches out to a parent or guardian.

Can my child get tested if he has mild symptoms or has no COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes. Kids from birth to age 21 with or without symptoms can get tested; however, a physician order is required for scheduling.

How do I make an appointment for drive-thru COVID-19 testing at Children’s?

Here’s how it works:

  • Your community provider will need to send an order to Children’s for your child to be tested.
  • After Children’s receives the order, a scheduler will reach out to schedule a time for your drive-thru testing appointment.
  • Follow the instructions provided in the email to activate your MYchart account. You will need to activate MYchart in order to obtain your results.
  • Complete the online consent form in MYchart.
  • Complete the electronic check-in instructions prior to arrival.

What do I need to bring to the appointment?

  • Photo ID
  • Cellphone
  • Printed copy of your child’s appointment confirmation

Plan to arrive on time for your child’s appointment. We also ask that you do not bring any pets with you to the testing site.

Where is the testing site?

The appointment-only drive-thru testing site is set up in the parking lot of Children’s at Satellite Boulevard located at 2660 Satellite Blvd., Duluth, GA 30096. It is located outside, not inside the Urgent Care Center.

How long will the appointment take?

Appointments will last approximately 10 minutes from the time your car enters the drive-thru testing site to the time you leave.

What is the COVID-19 testing process like?

A Children’s nurse will conduct a nasopharyngeal swab, meaning she will swab deep inside your child’s nasal cavity to collect a sample and send it for testing at the Children’s laboratory. Our nurses use kid-size swabs and are trained to explain the process to children and teens so that they feel comfortable and safe during the test.

Inform us before the test if your child has any issues or concerns with having a nasal swab. While your child might experience slight discomfort with this testing, it is necessary to collect an accurate specimen.

  • When you arrive for your appointment in the Children’s at Satellite Boulevard Urgent Care Center parking lot (2660 Satellite Blvd., Duluth, GA 30096), look for signs that read “Appointment-Only Collection Site.” Traffic and directional support personnel will be on-site to assist.
  • Place your car in park or turn it off at each stop during the testing process.
  • Keep your windows up until you are instructed to roll down your child’s window for testing. For your safety, remain in your vehicle at all times.
  • For faster specimen collection, position your child’s car seat behind the driver or passenger seat.
  • The intake coordinator will verify your appointment, electronic check-in and consent from MYchart. Bring your appointment confirmation message in MYchart ready to show at the entrance. After you provide your information to the intake area, follow signage to the registration area.
  • You will then drive to the specimen collection area, where a nurse will verify the patient and ask the driver to roll down the child’s window to conduct a nasopharyngeal swab. This means the nurse will swab deep inside your child’s nasal cavity to collect a sample to send for testing at the Children’s laboratory. While your child might experience slight discomfort with this testing, it is necessary to collect an accurate specimen.
  • Proceed to exit.
  • You should receive a notification of your child’s test result within 48 hours. Children’s will be delivering the positive or negative results to you through MYchart. Your child’s provider will also be notified of the result. Call your provider for questions.

Siblings will require separate appointments and orders from your community provider or pediatrician. If you have multiple children in your car but only one scheduled appointment, only the child with a confirmed appointment will be swabbed on-site.

How long will it take to get my child’s COVID-19 test results?

Results are expected within 48 hours. Your child should remain at home and not come in contact with people other than household members until results are received. Follow the updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines both before and after the test results are received.

If my child receives a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, should we go to the doctor?

If your child tests positive, he needs to remain at home in isolation until at least 10 days from the first date of your child’s symptoms, or 10 days from the date of your child’s test if there are no symptoms, and 24 hours without fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines, and after improving symptoms. Follow the updated CDC guidelines for more information.

We do recommend you call your provider and let her know that your child tested positive.

Most children with COVID-19 infections have mild symptoms and do not require medical care. For the safety of your child—and so we can continue to focus on treating children who need care most—consider managing your child’s symptoms at home. Supportive care at home includes keeping your child hydrated, using fever-reducing medicine (children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen) and encouraging bed rest.

If your child develops symptoms that require medical care, including difficulty breathing, inability to take fluids or symptoms that concern you, contact your child’s pediatrician or call 404-785-KIDS (5437).

If your child is having difficulty breathing, or if you feel your child has a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.