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surgery at Dayton Children's during COVID-19

is it safe to have surgery or a procedure done during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Yes, it is safe to have surgery. Dayton Children’s has always cared for children with infectious diseases and has steps in place to contain those illnesses. In addition, we have taken safety above and beyond during this time by providing masks for everyone, restricting visitors, ramping up sanitizing procedures, making social distancing easy and increasing video visits. 

is Dayton Children's testing for COVID-19 before surgery and procedures? 

Yes. Dayton Children's is testing all patients for COVID-19 prior to surgeries and procedures requiring anesthesia. 

Your child will need a COVID-19 test one to two days before surgery or a procedure requiring anesthesia. This is to ensure optimal health for the surgery, recovery and healing – as well as for the safety of our staff, so they can continue to care for other children. The patient will not be responsible for any cost associated with the test. 

For COVID-19 testing locations, please visit

The test is done with a swab from inside your child’s nose. It is pretty quick, but it can be uncomfortable. We will call with the results of the test by 10:00 pm the night before your child’s surgery.

why does my child have to have a COVID-19 test? 

Your family’s safety is our top priority. We want to make sure that your child is healthy before the procedure to ensure the best outcome. Illness can impact the recovery process, so we don’t want to take any chances with your child’s safety. It also helps keep our staff safe so they can continue to care for children. 

what happens if the test is positive? 

If the test is positive, we will call you with those results the night before the scheduled surgery. We will provide next steps, which will include postponing the surgery and following up with your primary care doctor. If you do not have a primary care doctor, we can discuss other options at that time.

what should I expect for the day of surgery?

  • If you’ve visited us before, this trip may look a little different. On the day of your child’s surgery, two adult caregivers should come along – please also leave all other children at home. By limiting the number of people in the hospital, we are able to keep everyone safer.  
  • When you arrive, a Dayton Children’s caregiver at the front door will take you and your child’s temperature, ask about any symptoms of COVID-19 and provide a mask to wear. Every employee at Dayton Children’s also wears a mask. If you or your child have a temperature unrelated to the reason for surgery, we will need to reschedule the surgery for safety.
  • We have also made social distancing easy – just look for the stickers on the floor that help maintain six feet between people. All waiting rooms have been reconfigured to maintain appropriate distancing.

  • During your child’s surgery we will ask you to wait in your pre-op room. The surgeon will meet you here after the surgery for an update.

will the surgery team also be tested for COVID-19? 

Dayton Children's is committeed to keeping you and your family safe. In response to COVID-19, our entire staff took a pledge to adhere to the most current guidance on protecting ourselves, each other, and our patients and families. Our surgery team practices rigorous infection control procedures and wears the proper protective equipment when caring for your child, to minimize risk of infection from all illnesses, not just COVID-19. 

what if I can no longer afford this surgery?

For the period beginning April 2020, Dayton Children’s may qualify patients for a COVID-19 financial relief discount (30%) on outstanding patient balances.  To be eligible for this discount you must apply for financial assistance through the normal process as outlined in our financial assistance policy.  Completion of this application process will qualify the patient/family, at that point, for a discount on outstanding balances.  This discount will be in effect at the discretion of Dayton Children’s Hospital for a time period related to the COVID-19 impact on the Dayton area community.

Complete the form online or call Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm at 937-641-3555 or toll-free at 1-800-228-4594 (Ohio only).

questions about coronavirus

If you have additional questions about the coronavirus please call your clinic directly, or call our COVID-19 parent hotline at 1-888-746-KIDS (5437) from 8:00 am - 8:00 pm.