Having a new baby is always an adjustment. But the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made it even more complex, and many new parents are wondering about things they would normally take for granted, like when friends and family can safely visit their baby.

From what we understand thus far about COVID-19 infections, those most at risk of more serious illness are the very old and the very young (infants). We’ve developed some guidance around visitors in the newborn period based on mom’s COVID testing results at delivery, if applicable:

If mom and/or baby test COVID positive, visitors should only be considered once at least 10 days have passed since mom/baby developed symptoms AND at least 72 hours have passed during which there has been no fever (ON NO ANTI-FEVER MEDICATIONS), and any respiratory symptoms are improving. If there are other members in the household, then there should be a full two weeks of quarantine for all household contacts after symptom improvement of the infected individual to ensure that no other members of the household develop any symptoms.

If mom tests COVID negative, visitors should still be quite limited. Those who you might consider allowing to visit are those who are in good health and who have adhered to strict social distancing for at least 14 days before coming to visit. They would ideally minimize potential exposures during travel (private vehicle with minimal rest stops versus shared bus/train/air). In case of potential COVID exposure during hospitalization, visitors would ideally wait until your family has been at home for at least 14 days since being discharged from the hospital. However, families may also choose/need family or friends to come prior to delivery to help care for other children in your home. If visitors require air travel to visit, consider an arrival two weeks before they are needed and have them quarantine in a hotel or nearby rental, especially if traveling internationally or from a high COVID prevalence area.

As we continue to learn more about this new virus, please note that the above guidance may change. Lastly, remember that frequent hand washing, wearing a mask while in public, avoiding touching your face, social distancing and sanitizing high-touch surfaces remain critical to controlling viral spread.


Kristen Reese Kristen Reese, MD, is a pediatrician at Children’s National Pediatricians & Associates Foggy Bottom and Capitol Hill. She has a special interest in infant care, obesity and resident education.
Rachel Shnider Rachel Shnider, MD, is a pediatrician at Children’s National Pediatricians & Associates Foggy Bottom. She has a special interest in newborn care and infancy, adolescent health and medical education.

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