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Updated as of 3:49p.m., December 23, 2020 

Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare is doing all we can to respond to COVID-19 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.

COVID-19 Vaccination Information

Can children receive the vaccine? 

The two COVID-19 vaccines that the FDA has authorized for use are not currently approved for use in children under the age of 16 (Pfizer) and under the age of 18 (Moderna). It will not be able to be given to children. Vaccine manufacturers have started to expand vaccine trials to include some children and we expect guidelines for children to be issued following additional data from these studies. 

Can my child get the COVID-19 vaccination at Gillette Children’s? 

Not right now. As noted above, these initial vaccines will not be given to children. The current mandatory guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are initially focused on first vaccinating frontline health care employees. During the first wave of vaccination distribution, Gillette Children’s will not be administering the COVID-19 vaccine to patients or their family members. We will update our patients and families as more vaccines become available and new people become eligible to get it. 

Are employees at Gillette Children’s getting vaccinations? 

Yes. Following MDH guidance, the initial focus at Gillette will be staff and providers who are providing direct patient care and have increased transmission risk.  This includes physicians, nurses and members of our maintenance and Environment of Care staff. We expect to get more shipments of the vaccine for other Gillette employees in the coming weeks and months.  

How can I tell if a Gillette Children’s employee is vaccinated? 

Gillette Children’s employees who have received the vaccine may be wearing CDC provided stickers indicating that they have received the vaccine. You may also ask your care provider if they have received the vaccine.

My child has a complex medical condition and is at a higher risk for developing complications from contracting COVID-19 – will they get prioritization over other kids? 

The current FDA guidelines for the COVID-19 vaccine only authorize use of the vaccine for people 16 years of age or older. Gillette, however, is working to help government agencies understand that ​once the vaccines are authorized for use by children, children with complex medical conditions should be on a priority list.  ​We are also advocating for prioritizing the wide range of direct service professionals who provide health care supports for children with complex medical conditions outside of the hospital and clinic setting.   

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe? 

COVID-19 vaccines are being held to the same safety standards as other routine vaccines. Companies making the vaccines are required to share information with government agencies such as the FDA and CDC that shows how the vaccine studies were designed, what their process was, how they got their data and what the results were.  More information about the vaccine safety protocols can be found on the CDC’s COVID-19 page

Help Gillette Maintain a Safe Environment

keep a safe environment

Gillette is resuming care, including procedures and surgeries, as determined safe by you and your provider. Many of you are in the process of rescheduling an appointment at one of our facilities and may still have some questions and concerns. We understand and want you to know that your safety is the top priority at Gillette. Please review the information below about how Gillette will continue to care for patients and families in a safe environment. Some of our clinics hours and locations are still adjusted so check the clinic page for the latest information.

  • Health and Wellness Screening
    • All of Gillette’s facilities require a wellness screening to check for signs of illness. Before entering our facilities, patients, visitors, employees and medical staff get their temperature checked and are asked questions about their symptoms, including cough, fever higher than 100° Fahrenheit, shortness of breath and other signs. Anyone showing symptoms of illness will not be allowed into our facilities.
  • Visitor Guidelines
    • If you are coming to visit a patient in the hospital or for same-day surgery, visitors are limited to two immediate family members or caregivers aged 18 and older per patient. Please do not bring siblings or other children under 18 years old.
    • If you are visiting for a clinic appointment or other appointment such as a visit to Rehabilitation Therapies, Child and Family Services, or receiving Orthotics, Prosthetics and Seating services, please limit visitors to two for each patient. We prefer visitors to be parents or caregivers older than age 18.
  • Universal Masking
    • Just as providers and others staff members will be wearing masks and gloves (personal protective equipment), every patient who is able to, and every parent or caregiver must also wear a mask while visiting our facilities. This includes when patient and visitors are in non-clinical areas. You are encouraged to bring in your own homemade cloth face covering, but if you don’t have one, you can pick one up at our screening desk at our St. Paul campus. Any visitors who refuse to wear a mask will not be permitted on the facility.
  • Physical Distancing
    • We ask that everyone practice social distancing, which means staying six feet away from other patients and visitors. When you arrive for your visit, you may notice signs, including special floor decals, to help make sure everyone stands six feet apart. You may also notice that seating has been rearranged in our waiting areas to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing
    • While maintaining a clean and safe space has always been a priority, we have enhanced our cleaning measures. All public areas and clinic rooms are being frequently sanitized, and all counters are continuously being disinfected.  We encourage visitors to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use the hand sanitizer provided throughout our facilities.

In-Person Appointments

in-person visits

As more families return to our facilities for in-person appointments, we have taken a number of important steps to make our facilities and your appointment as safe as possible. These measures include rearranging seating in our waiting areas in order to follow social distancing guidelines, and frequently sanitizing surfaces, rooms and other high traffic areas. Please review the policies that have changed since your last visit:

Visitors are limited to two immediate family members or caregivers on any Gillette campus. We recommend you not bring siblings or other children under 18 years old to the medical center if they do not have an appointment.

Every person who enters a Gillette facility must go through a screening station. If there isn’t one at the entrance you use, find the closest station or ask an employee for help locating one. This is where you will have your temperature taken with a no-touch thermometer, answer questions about any symptoms you may have, and receive a mask to wear during your visit. You MUST be screened before you go to any clinical areas.

Every family member must wear a mask while visiting our facilities. This includes when patient and visitors are in non-clinical areas. You are encouraged to bring in your own homemade cloth face covering, but if you don’t have one, you can pick one up at our screening desk. Any adult non-patient who refuses to wear a mask will be asked to leave the facility.

Surgeries and Procedures

Doctors at Gillette will decide whether to do a procedure based on the patient’s individual needs.

All patients coming in for surgery or other procedures will be tested for COVID-19 before their procedure. Our pre-operative nursing staff is proactively reaching out to families who have a surgical procedure scheduled and are offering help in getting COVID-19 testing within 24-48 hours of their scheduled procedure. If you have questions or are unable to get your scheduled test, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890

Based on the test results, the care team will evaluate the procedure and put appropriate protections in place. Your scheduled procedure may take place as scheduled or be postponed, as recommended by your care team.  Emergency surgeries will not be delayed for testing.

Before any procedure, your provider will explain any additional risks associated with COVID-19 based on each patient’s testing result and health history.

Virtual Care

virtual care

If you want to see your provider without coming in to a clinic, virtual appointments allow you to talk with your provider face-to-face from your home using a mobile device. Sometimes, these visits can also take place via telephone if you do not have access to a video-enabled device. We also offer virtual visits for physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Please visit our virtual care page for more information. To schedule an appointment (virtual or in-person), please call 651-290-8707.

Urgent and Emergency Care

If you need care and are unsure of what to do or if you have an urgent medical question, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890 and we will assist you in finding the best option.

If you have an emergent medical need or experience a medical emergency, go to your nearest Emergency Room or call 911.

Hospital and St. Paul Clinic Parking Update

Gillette Children’s entrance on Level B of the West Parking ramp – at 200 University Ave. – has moved to 640 Jackson Street, Regions Hospital West Entrance. This is an effort to keep our patients and employees safe, and better serve our families. When a patient checks into Regions, they will be screened and a member of their staff will direct them to elevators that bring them to Gillette.

For other patients and families, you can access the hospital from the St. Paul Campus West Parking Ramp on level D at all times. This is due to COVID-19 and the need for patient and visitor screening. Level C is closed at all times.

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.

Other 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.

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.  

Gillette does not administer COVID-19 tests at any of their facilities. For those patients who need to be tested, Gillette will recommend a location close to you to complete your testing. 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 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. 

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.

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