Inn Playground Inn Playground

Keeping Families Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Update as of July 2021

The health and safety of all of our families at The Children’s Inn is our highest priority.  To protect our vulnerable, we follow the guidance of the NIH Hospital Epidemiology Service.

The Children’s Inn at NIH requires all staff, patients and caregivers to wear a mask over their nose and mouth and maintain a physical distance of six feet, regardless of vaccination status. Families and staff must also complete a health screening before entering The Inn.

Preparing For Your Stay

  • All family members above the age of 3-years-old are required to take a saliva test at the time of their check-in regardless of their vaccination status. Self-isolation is also a requisite upon arrival.
  • If proof of vaccination is provided to the medical team and The Inn, pre-visit testing is not required.
  • For pre-visit testing, families must work with their medical team to find a community or drive-through test site.
  • Families must provide their medical team with a copy of their test results.  The medical team will then notify The Inn upon receipt. If no test results are provided, the family will not be allowed to stay at The Children’s Inn.

During Your Stay

  • Only patients and caregivers with a reservation can enter The Children’s Inn.
  • No outside visitors are allowed.
  • Two adult caregivers can stay with the patient at The Inn.
  • Families should not leave the NIH campus. Request to leave campus should be coordinated with Resident Services. NIH Hospital Epidemiology must approve these requests.

Our Safety Approach

  • We ensure our staff wears personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Hand sanitizer and wipe dispensers are readily available throughout The Inn.
  • Housekeeping deep-clean rooms once a month for residents staying 30 days or longer.
  • Our Resident Services team conducts a weekly general well-being interview with all families.

If a patient or caregiver were to present symptoms at The Inn, we would ask them to self-isolate. The manager would contact NIH Hospital Epidemiology and then guide the patient to a designated space in the Clinical Center.  Caregivers will be provided with a hotel room and instructions to contact their health care provider.

You would not be allowed to return to The Inn until your test results were known and you were cleared to return by your health care provider.

Patients may be kept inpatient for self-isolation. If a patient under the age of 18 and their caregiver tested positive, the medical team would require another adult to come and care for the patient while the caregiver is in self-isolation. All families must have identified a backup caregiver as a part of their support plan.

As of May 10th, the Clinical Center updated its patient visitor policy. The Inn will continue to follow the guidance of the NIH Hospital Epidemiology Service, which includes the following:

• Pediatric patients ages 18 and under are permitted to have two guests in addition to the patient.  
• Young adult patients ages 19 to 30 are permitted to have one guest in addition to the patient.
• All additional guests must be caregivers only. 
• Minors are not permitted to be at The Inn without a caregiver. 

Regardless of vaccination status, we strongly discourage families from leaving campus for trips into the community due to the risk of exposure. If a family member leaves campus for a non-medical purpose, such as dining out, it will result in needing to quarantine in their room and then completing a COVID-19 test five days after returning to The Children’s Inn. Leaving campus may also jeopardize the family’s ability to continue staying at The Inn.
For the carefully planned, off-campus trips arranged by Inn staff, we work in coordination with the medical teams. We use the NIH’s shuttle to lessen the risk of our families coming into contact with someone outside of their pods. We also monitor physical distancing measures. Most importantly, two Inn staff members attend and supervise off-campus excursions to ensure safety and health procedures are being followed.

  • All family members, including the patient, must self-quarantine in a hotel for seven days and test for SARS CoV-2 at the Clinical Center on day 7. If the patient or visitor develops COVID-19-like symptoms at any point before day 7, testing should be performed in 5SE.
  • If day 7 test results are negative and all family members, including the patient, are asymptomatic, the medical team must inform The Inn. This test will qualify as the pre-visit testing requirement. 
  • All family members, including the patient and visitor, may proceed to Clinical Center appointments and check-in at The Inn. The family will also be required to test upon arrival. 

If you have any additional questions, please email us. Thank you for your continued collaboration in keeping all of our families safe.

Our families' safety is our top priority.

Help The Children's Inn at NIH provide a safe "place like home" to children and young adults with rare diseases whose best hope for a treatment is a NIH clinical research study.