Updated as of 3:00 p.m., March 31, 2020
Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare is carefully monitoring and preparing for COVID-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus) and taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our patients and employees. Below you will find the latest information on our efforts, but we also encourage you to visit the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the latest updates.
We will continue to update this page as new information is made available.
Temporary Clinic Changes
Our outpatient services remain important to our patients and the state as a whole. The unprecedented pandemic has created a need for us to alter our operations. These changes are intended to be temporary and will be regularly evaluated. Please visit your clinic location page for more information.
Updated Visitor Policy
No children or infants under the age of 18 will be allowed to accompany Gillette patients to outpatient or inpatient appointments, effective March 20, 2020. Visitors have to be 72 hours fever free without fever-reducing medications.
Visitors can only be two immediate family members or caregivers per patient on any Gillette campus per 24 hours.
We realize that this may cause an inconvenience, but this is an important precaution we're taking to better ensure the safety of our patients, their families and our staff.
Visitors who have a cough, shortness of breath or fever within the last 72 hours will not be permitted in any Gillette Children’s facilities. Additionally, individuals who have visited a CDC Level 3 Country in the last 14 days will not be permitted on any Gillette campus.
Changes to Patient Movement, Food Ordering
In an effort to help curb the spread of COVID-19, we’re asking inpatient and outpatient families to adhere to new restrictions on movement and ordering food in the main hospital.
Monday through Friday we kindly request that inpatient and outpatient families do NOT travel outside of Gillette inpatient rooms and designated spaces for outpatient appointments on our 3rd and 4th floor. On Saturdays and Sundays families are allowed to move freely throughout the Gillette spaces. Patients should speak to Gillette inpatient staff about ordering trays of food from Regions.
Important Changes to Clinic Appointments and Scheduled Procedures
In an effort to ensure we are taking all necessary steps to protect our patients during this time, Gillette providers and staff are reviewing all upcoming visits and surgical procedures to determine the medical necessity. If any changes are recommended to care and if delaying scheduled procedures or appointments is needed, someone from Gillette Children’s will be contacting patients and families to discuss.
We will be evaluating these visits and appointments to ensure we are protecting our patient community, particularly those at high risk as determined by Centers for Disease Control Guidelines.
We are also evaluating those appointments that we're able to conduct virtually via video during this time. During these virtual consults, you will be able to see, hear and interact with our providers from the comfort of your home, or wherever is most convenient for you, as long as you have a mobile device or PC.
A discussion with your provider will be a part of this decision process. If you are not contacted prior to your appointment date, we are not suggesting any changes to your upcoming visit. Please come in as scheduled.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 651-229-3890.
Please know we are doing all we can to ensure the safety and health of our patients and will continue to provide updates as new information regarding COVID-19 emerges.
Hospital and St. Paul Clinic Parking Update
The University Avenue entrance to Gillette Children’s is now closed due to visitor screening for COVID-19 and access to both Gillette and Regions Hospital has been restricted to protect our patients, visitors, and staff.
If you come to Gillette Children’s with an oversized vehicle or utilize a mobility service through Metro Transit or other providers, please use the Regions Hospital West Entry located off of Jackson Street.
Additionally, below are the entrances to Gillette Children’s and Regions Hospital that will remain open during regular visitor hours (8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.):
- 4th Floor Gillette Main Entrance / Level ‘D’ of the West Parking Ramp
- Regions Hospital West Entrance
- Regions Hospital South Entrance
Look for more information as we develop additional resources for our families.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please call Gillette Telehealth Nursing (651-229-3890) for questions regarding the specific health needs of your child. We encourage families to visit the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites for further questions.
My child may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, what should I do?
If you are experiencing a fever, or cough or shortness of breath, or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please stay at home and contact your primary care provider.
Should I come to Gillette Children's to be tested for COVID-19?
No. If you or your child are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your primary care provider, let them know that you have symptoms and they should be able to provide you with additional resources.
The MDH recently announced that testing, for now, will be restricted to hospitalized patients, health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, and others at highest risk for spreading the virus or suffering the worst complications from it. For more on the announcement, visit their website.
What can I do to protect my child if they have a complex medical condition or compromised immune system?
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is urging children who have complex medical conditions or who have compromised immune systems to practice social distancing—staying six-feet or more away from another individual—and to keep your child home if they are sick.
The State of Minnesota has also closed K-12 public schools through March 27 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Children who have compromised immune systems should also avoid public gatherings or other situations with potential exposure, including travel.
You can also reach out to your Gillette Children’s provider with specific questions.
What is “social distancing” and how can I practice it?
The MDH encourages you to limit interaction with others and avoid sustained close contact to others. Social distancing encourages you to keep 6 feet apart from other people as much as possible. Shopping for groceries and other items is not affected by these recommendations, although it is a good idea to limit close contact when doing so—and people who are sick should not be shopping or using transit. They should stay home until they recover.
What is “self-quarantine” and what does it mean?
Self-quarantine means staying away from other people, as much as is possible, for a period of 14 days. You should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home and use a separate bathroom, if available.
How do I know if I should self-quarantine?
Individuals who are at high risk of having or developing COVID-19 (the disease caused by coronavirus) are advised by the CDC to self-quarantine. The CDC has identified two groups of individuals who fit this description:
- If you recently traveled back from a Level 3 country (for example: China, Iran, most of Europe and South Korea).
- If you live with, or are intimate with, someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus and you have taken no steps to protect yourself.
If you determine that you are at high risk for having or developing symptoms of COVID-19, self-quarantine immediately and contact your primary care provider.
COVID-19: Prevention and Preparation
Gillette providers are advising families to take precautions. To start:
For the latest updates, please visit Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You can also call MDH's COVID-19 Hotline at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903. The hotline will be staffed 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
COVID-19 – Staying Safe Without Going Stir-Crazy
Many of us will be spending more time at home during the outbreak of COVID-19 (the disease caused by coronavirus), and for those with young children, you may have to get a bit creative to keep them entertained during this time. To try to help, we sat down with the Child and Family Services Team at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare to get some tips on ways you can practice proper social distancing, stay home and safe without going completely stir-crazy in the coming weeks.
The COVID-19 outbreak poses new concerns, especially for children who have complex medical conditions. Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare complex care pediatrician, Art Beisang, MD answers some frequently asked questions (FAQ) from parents concerned about caring for a child who has special medical needs.