Seattle Children’s has added the following information to our Provider FAQs – COVID-19.

Temporarily Canceling Elective Surgeries and Procedures

Based on new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for Seattle-King, Pierce and Snohomish County, Seattle Children’s will cancel all elective surgeries and procedures until further notice. The temporary cancellation of elective surgeries has gone into effect and we have been calling patient families to notify them. PCPs will be notified through our standard channels. We will continue to perform urgent surgeries and procedures during this time. We understand canceling surgeries will have a major impact on the lives of patients and families and appreciate your support while our community is going through this public health emergency.

Q: Will there be changes to ambulatory visits?

A: In response to the updated CDC recommendations, we are reaching out to families to offer telephone (i.e. non-video) or telehealth appointments, or cancel non-urgent ambulatory appointments that can be safely postponed. We will limit all new schedules to urgent and medically necessary clinic visits.

Q: Does Seattle Children’s offer drive-through testing for staff with symptoms of COVID-19?

A: On March 13, Seattle Children’s began offering testing for workforce members who have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing). At this time testing is available to Seattle Children’s workforce who have a badge.

Q: Will Seattle Children’s offer drive-through testing for families with symptoms of COVID-19?

A: Seattle Children’s is exploring drive-through testing for families. We will provide an update when we have more information.

Q: Who is being tested for COVID-19?

(Note: we posted this Q&A previously but the italicized information has been added).

A: Current capacity for testing is limited. Seattle Children’s is testing the following for COVID-19:

  • Admitted patients with any respiratory symptoms or fever of unclear etiology
  • ED/Urgent care patients with acute respiratory symptoms or fever of unclear etiology with high risk travel or a known COVID-19 exposure
  • Seattle Children’s ambulatory patients with acute respiratory symptoms or fever of unclear etiology and high risk travel or a known COVID-19 exposure.

At this time given the number of countries affected globally, we consider ANY international travel except Canada as ‘at risk’.

We DO NOT test asymptomatic patients. The reliability of the test is unknown in this setting.

The following may be tested for COVID-19:

  • ED/urgent care patients: with acute respiratory symptoms or fever of unclear etiology
  • Seattle Children’s ambulatory patients not meeting the above, but who fall into the following categories:
    • New respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath, with or without fever) AND being in ANY ONE of the following groups:
      • Other underlying medical conditions that place a patient at high risk for complications from a viral respiratory illness, such as immune compromised state, chronic cardiac conditions, chronic pulmonary conditions, diabetes, etc.
      • Patients frequently cared for at SCH and anticipated to have multiple visits at SCH in the following 2 weeks

Seattle Children’s guidelines for testing will be updated as the situation changes.


Thank you for reading these updates to our Provider FAQs – COVID-19.

As a reminder…

If families have questions about the coronavirus, please have them call Seattle Children’s only if their question relates specifically to an upcoming appointment with us.

Thank you for your continued partnership.