COVID-19 Infection Q & A

COVID-19 Infection Frequently Asked Questions

Alternative Testing Location Map

Updated Quarantine (Exposure) Guidelines From MDH

Updated Isolation (+ COVID Test) Guidelines

Do you offer asymptomatic testing?

Yes! We now offer lab-only COVID testing appointments if your child is asymptomatic. This is a great option if your child has been exposed to an individual who has tested positive, there is COVID in your household, or before or after travel. This is only an option if your child has no COVID symptoms as we still want children with symptoms to be evaluated by one of our physicians. C

For patients with symptoms, we recommend evaluation in our office to help determine what is causing your child symptoms. If a COVID test is indicated, we perform COVID PCR testing which typically returns in 24-48 hours. Test results are available on the patient portal.

My child tested positive with at home test. Do I need to confirm PCR?

No! An at home test is a positive test. Please follow the isolation guidelines below.

My child had a COVID-19 test at Southdale Pediatrics. What precautions should we take while we await results? How long until the results come back?

 While awaiting results, your child should not attend daycare or school, and should remain quarantined at home. PCR test results typically take 24-48 hours to return and results can be found on the patient portal.

My child has tested positive for COVID with an at home test OR a PCR test. What next?

   If your child CAN wear a well-fitting mask:

 Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days when around others, even at home. The 10 days start the day after you got symptoms. If you do not have symptoms, the 10 days start the day after you got tested. MDH guidance states that children who can wear a mask can return to school 5 days after a positive test or symptom onset, whichever is first, so long as your child masks for another 5 days.

   If your child CANNOT wear a well-fitting mask:

 This includes people under age 2, people with certain disabilities, and others who cannot consistently wear a mask around others.

Stay home for at least 10 full days. The 10 days start the day after you got symptoms. If you do not have symptoms, the 10 days start the day after you got tested. Count the actual day you got symptoms or got tested as day zero.

    If you have symptoms:

Stay home until all three of the following are true:

  1. It has been five days since you first felt sick. Day zero is the day your symptoms started. Day one is the first full day after your symptoms started.
  2. You have had no fever (your temperature is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or lower) for at least 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fevers.
  3. You feel better. Your cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better. You can resume most activities on day six. If you do not feel better at the end of five days, continue to stay home until all the above are true.

     If you do not have symptoms:

Stay home and away from others for five days after your test date. Day zero is the day you got tested.

If you develop symptoms during this time, you must start over. Day zero is the day your symptoms start. Day one is the first full day after your symptoms started. Refer to the above section above on what to do if you have symptoms.

    After your period to stay home ends, continue to do the following for another five days:

  • Continue to wear a well-fitted mask, even at home.
  • Do not be around others who are at risk for getting very sick from the COVID-19 virus, including older adults, those living in long-term care facilities, and people with health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, or weakened immune systems.
  • Do not go to places where you will need to take off your mask to take part in an activity (e.g., gyms, restaurants) and avoid eating near others at home and work.
  • Avoid travel. If you must travel after your period to stay home ends, wear a well-fitting mask.

Please let your child’s school or daycare of a positive COVID result. This can help to inform close contacts and other families if they need to monitor for symptoms or be tested.

My child was exposed to COVID. What are the next steps?

Please see the latest from MDH to determine quarantine for exposure.

What are symptoms of COVID in children?

Illness in children can range from mild to severe, with the vast majority of healthy children having mild illness. Symptoms that are characteristic of COVID-19 include cough or difficulty breathing, along with at least 2 of the following symptoms: fever, runny nose, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell. Many other illnesses in children cause similar symptoms. Our nurse advisors can help determine whether your child should be seen for a visit, and your pediatrician can help decide what testing is needed.

What should I know about COVID testing? 

There are several types of testing for COVID infection. The most common test, which Southdale Pediatrics uses, is a PCR test which looks for small pieces of viral genetic material. This test is best utilized when someone has acute symptoms of COVID-19, and your child’s pediatrician may suggest this test if indicated. Home antigen tests are also widely available, although they may be less sensitive. They are the best choice for testing if your child has had a positive test for COVID in the last 90 days as the PCR test may still remain positive.

What can I do to minimize chances of infection for my child?

Vaccinate your child against COVID. COVID vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect your child from COVID and lessen the chance of severe disease and long-COVID.

If you are ill, stay home. Don’t be afraid to ask and suggest that your family and friends do the same if they are experiencing any symptoms of illness.

Make sure your child is up to date on their immunizations–our office is open and your pediatrician can ensure that your child is protected from vaccine-preventable illness!

How do I protect my child if someone in my household has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive?

If you or your child is fully vaccinated, home quarantine is not needed. We recommend that household contacts are tested for COVID five days after exposure, sooner if symptoms develop. Unvaccinated individuals or those unable to mask are recommended to quarantine at home for 10 days.

I’ve heard that some children can get very sick due to COVID-19. What symptoms should I watch out for?

There is a rare syndrome associated with COVID-19 infection called Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). It tends to occur several weeks after infection, and is thought to be due to an overactive immune system. Symptoms that are concerning for MIS-C may include high fever for at least 3-4 days, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea, rash, bloodshot eyes, and neck pain. Please call our office if your child has these symptoms, or if they develop these symptoms several weeks after a COVID-like illness. Our pediatricians will evaluate your child to determine the likelihood of this syndrome and determine a plan of care. COVID vaccine has been demonstrated to decrease the risk of MIS-C to less than one per million children.