Keeping Our Staff and Families Safe and Healthy During COVID-19
Update as of December 2022
The health and safety of our staff and families remain our top priority. To minimize the risks related to the spread of COVID-19, we follow the guidance of the NIH Hospital Epidemiology Service.
Regardless of vaccination status, The Children’s Inn at NIH requires all staff, patients, and their family members to wear a mask over their nose and mouth and maintain a physical distance of six feet. Families and staff must also complete a health screening before entering The Inn.
We are adjusting our protocols to align with those of the Clinical Center. To that end we are making the following changes:
- As of Monday, December 12, 2022, The Inn will no longer require families to provide pre-visit PCR test results 72 hours before their visit. We strongly recommend that families have a PCR test completed before they travel but their reservation and stay at The Inn will not depend upon it.
- Families will continue to complete the health screen upon arrival at The Children’s Inn and will be required to complete a saliva collection COVID test.
- Families will be required to quarantine in their rooms while waiting for Saliva test results unless traveling to the Clinical Center (Building 10) for appointments. As reservations and arrivals dates are scheduled, please note that test results can take up to 48 hours to be returned. Therefore, avoiding arrivals on Fridays and Saturdays will reduce the amount of time families are on quarantine. The Children’s Inn staff will work with families to ensure that meals and activities are delivered to their rooms during the quarantine period.
- If a family or family member tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of their check-in date, they will not be required to complete the saliva collection COVID test upon their arrival.
- For any family or family member that meets the 90-day window criteria, their medical team must provide The Children’s Inn with documentation that confirms the positive result and/or the date of the result. Any guests in the party that has not previously tested positive for COVID-19 will still be required to complete the saliva collection COVID test upon arrival. In this circumstance, all family members, including anyone not required to complete testing, will be required to follow quarantine procedures pending all test results.
- At this time The Inn cannot accommodate families who test positive for Covid-19. In these cases, the medical team will still be required to make alternative arrangements for the family.
During Your Stay
- Only patients and caregivers with a reservation can enter The Inn.
- Families staying at The Inn can have up to two visitors per visit.
- Pediatric patients aged 18 and under are permitted to have two adult caregivers.
- Young adult patients aged 19 to 30 are permitted to have one adult caregiver.
- Families are discouraged from leaving campus due to the risk of exposure. If a family member leaves campus for a non-essential purpose, such as dining out or visiting a museum, it increases the risk of exposure and may jeopardize the family’s ability to remain at The Inn.
- Families may leave The Inn to attend medical appointments at the Clinical Center.
Our Safety Approach
- Our primary goal is to keep you safe and healthy while ensuring the smooth continuity of our daily operations. As we continue to monitor the developments brought upon by COVID-19, we have implemented the following:
- We promote mask-wearing, social distancing, and proper hand-washing.
- Hand sanitizer disinfecting wipes are readily available throughout The Inn.
- Our housekeeping service follows enhanced cleanliness and safety protocols.
- Out of an abundance of caution, some community spaces and programs are currently closed and/or are operating with reduced capacities. Please check with our programming and resident services teams.
- We continue to provide distance-learning opportunities to minimize the risk of close personal interactions.
- To check on our families’ well-being and needs, our staff does a weekly check-in.
- With your health in mind, we have re-envisioned our meal services. We currently provide individually packaged and catered meals.
If a Patient/Caregiver Tested Positive for COVID-19 Within the Last 90 Days
All incoming patients and their caregivers who have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of their check-in date will not be required to complete saliva testing upon their arrival.
For any family or family member that meets the 90-day window criteria, their medical team must provide The Children’s Inn with documentation that confirms the positive result and/or the date of the result. Any members in the party that has not previously tested positive for COVID-19 will still be required to complete the saliva collection COVID test upon arrival. In this circumstance, all family members, including anyone not required to complete testing, will be required to follow quarantine procedures pending all test results.
• You would not be allowed to return to The Inn until your test results are confirmed and you are cleared to return by your medical team.
• Patients may be kept inpatient for self-isolation.
• If a patient under the age of 18 and their caregiver tested positive, the family must work with their medical team for alternate housing accommodations.
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 self-isolate in their room and then completing a COVID-19 saliva test five days after returning to The Children’s Inn. Leaving campus will 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.
If you have any additional questions, please email us. Thank you for your continued collaboration in keeping all of our families safe.