Boston Children's response to COVID-19

Coronavirus, COVID-19

What is coronavirus, SARS CoV-2, and COVID-19?

The CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. This virus causes an illness called COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019). The novel SARS CoV-2 coronavirus emerged in the city of Wuhan, China last year and is currently spreading throughout the globe. The first case in the United States was confirmed on January 21, 2020.

How does COVID-19 spread?
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
What is the treatment for COVID-19?
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

COVID-19 prevention and testing

What is social distancing and why is it important?

Social distancing means staying at home except to run essential errands, such as going to the grocery store and pharmacy. When you do go out, maintain a distance of at least six feet between you and other people. Unfortunately, you should not arrange play dates with children who don’t live with you until the outbreak is under control. You can, however, go outside and play with your child, as long as they maintain a distance of six feet from other people.

Because the virus is spread from person to person, social distancing is critical to avoiding infection. To that end, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s issued a stay-at-home advisory on March 24, 2020.

Teens, social distancing, and anxiety in the time of COVID-19

Many teens are unnerved by COVID-19, social distancing, and the disruption they bring, and struggle with being stuck at home, unable to visit their friends.

How can I protect my family?

In addition to social distancing, the following steps can help reduce your family’s possible exposure to COVID-19.

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water, following CDC handwashing guidelines.
    Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or going to the bathroom, and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  2. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and immediately wash your hands.
    Like the common cold and the flu, COVID-19 spreads through droplets from coughs and sneezes. When those droplets land on your nose or mouth, or if you inhale them, you could get infected too. Always cough or sneeze into a tissue—then toss it in the trash. No tissue on hand? Cough into your inner elbow.
  3. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  4. Clean and disinfect areas that people often touch, like toys, doorknobs, and other metal and plastic surfaces.
How do I protect my child if someone in my home has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive?
My child had a distant exposure to someone with COVID-19. What should I do?
Where do I go to get my child tested for COVID 19 if they have symptoms?

What should I know about coronavirus and children?

Infectious disease expert Dr. Kristen Moffitt answers questions about the new coronavirus in babies and children, and offers tips on how to talk about the virus with your kids.

Help your kids stay busy and happy at home during COVID-19 shutdowns

COVID-19 is closing schools and businesses. Here's how to keep your family busy and less stressed during this uncertain time.

helping kids stay busy during school closures

Coronavirus triple duty: Working, parenting, And teaching From home

NPR reports that many parents are now transitioning to working from home full time while also being tasked with homeschooling their children. Boston Children’s Michael Rich, MD, MPH, notes that to minimize disruption to children’s education, parents should keep a strict schedule and a list of goals to meet.


Screen time limits 'obsolete' during coronavirus? How to handle online school, things to do

USA Today
With school, social interactions, and time with loved ones moving online amid the COVID-19 pandemic, what should parents be doing about screen time? Boston Children’s Michael Rich, MD, MPH, provides his expertise on the topic.


Cautious optimism for infants born to mothers with COVID-19: Latest data

ABC News
While very few cases have been reported in infants, newborns are a population in which there is a unique form of risk: direct spread from an infected mother to the infant before birth, called "vertical transmission." Boston Children’s Asim Ahmed, MD.


Home-schooling tweens and teens during coronavirus closings

New York Times
As the number of school closing increases, more and more parents are finding themselves at home with their children. Dr. Michael Rich, director of the Center on Media and Child Health, offers tips for home learning.


How to talk to your children about coronavirus

Dr. Kristin Moffitt, of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital, offers tips for parents about talking with their kids about the new coronavirus.


“REMEMBER”: Surviving the pandemic with your children!

The International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions
Dr. Hesham Hamoda, with the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s, offers tips to help overwhelmed parents support their children during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Boston Children's science community responds to COVID-19


US researchers test the first experimental coronavirus vaccine

ABC News
In a segment for ABC News (via Yahoo!), Boston Children’s Chief Innovation Officer, John Brownstein, PhD, discusses the process of developing and testing a vaccine for COVID-19.


The Irishman researching how vaccines can be more effective in older people

The Irish Times
Boston Children’s David Dowling, PhD is interviewed about his work with Ofer Levy, MD, PhD, to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 that works well in seniors.


Boston Children's Hospital uses data to create an AI coronavirus map

Chief Innovation Officer, John Brownstein, discusses HealthMap, an AI tool developed by researchers at Boston Children’s that tracks the spread of COVID-19.

coronavirus antigen

Designing a vaccine for coronavirus

The Precision Vaccines Program (PVP) at Boston Children’s is on the front lines of developing a coronavirus vaccine. Ofer Levy, MD, director of the PVP, discusses the PVP’s ongoing work.

Where is COVID-19? 

HealthMap: Tracking COVID-19 in real time

The Boston Children’s Hospital Informatics Program created HealthMap, an online resource and smart phone app that helps track the spread of contagious diseases in real time, including the new coronavirus.

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Ways to help

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