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CHKD doctor highlights the signs to take your child with COVID to the hospital

A doctor from The Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters explains the symptoms to look for before taking your child to the hospital.

NORFOLK, Va. — Parents are growing more concerned about COVID-19 and the impacts it can have on their children. 

Many of them are taking their questions to the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, where COVID-19 testing is in high demand.

“There’s not a number of tests available to test the worried-well," said Doctor Doug Mitchell. 

 Mitchell is the medical director of CHKD Medical Group, an organization of 20 pediatric practices at 32 locations across the region.

He says parents should watch for the following symptoms when deciding when to go to the hospital.

“A child should go to the emergency room if they are having higher fever that’s not relenting over more than two or three days, if they are breathing very rapidly, having trouble breathing, if they are developing a significant rash in association with the fever," he said. 

This week, CHKD posted that their emergency department and urgent care centers are very busy due to COVID-19 concerns and requests for testing.

“Nobody needs to be tested for COVID if there’s no exposures and no symptoms," Mitchell said.  

The recent surge in cases is overwhelming staff too.

“Like everybody else, we have a lot of staff out with exposures or COVID illnesses themselves, and we’re running even more short staffed because of that," he said. 

 Holiday travel and gathering may have contributed to this surge. Mitchell hopes parents follow the guidelines to reduce the spread.

“The message is if you’re having symptoms with where we’re at right now, don’t go to school,” he said. 

CHKD has provided extra resources for COVID-19 testing sites on its website and social media platforms.

In February, CHKD will host a virtual school healthcare conference for teachers, nurses and counselors. It will focus on mental health, self-care and safety.