Availability of Acute COVID testing for Pediatric Patients

Posted on: 04/24/2020

PNP can now facilitate pediatric drive through testing for Coronavirus for children age 5 and over

PNP Physicians now have the ability to facilitate active coronavirus infection testing via nasopharyngeal swab for our patients ages 5 and over. This test is being done at Penn Medicine in Plainsboro and requires a prescription from your pediatrician, which can only be written after a telehealth evaluation by one of our doctors.

To save time, before calling, please sign your children up for telehealth with our platform, Anytime Pediatrics. Instructions for doing so can be found here:

It is important to understand what this testing means. This is different from the antibody testing we emailed about yesterday as this is a test for current, active infection meant for children who are symptomatic with suspected Coronavirus.

Here is the process for having your child tested:

1) Penn Medicine has very strict procedures on how the testing needs to be ordered.

2) Patients who wish to be tested MUST have a telehealth appointment with their pediatrician to ensure the appropriateness for testing, and to ensure that additional medical management is not immediately required. This must be done before Coronavirus testing can be ordered. This is for your child’s safety,and a strict requirement of the testing center.

3) After the telehealth appointment, your physician will call the testing center at the hospital and will send a prescription ordering the test to the testing center via fax. The testing center will then call you to set up the appointment for testing.

4) This is a relatively new process for Penn Medicine, so please try to be patient. Initially testing will be offered on Tuesdays, by appointment only. Do not try to show up for testing without a prior telehealth appointment, and without an appointment given to you by the testing center. You will be turned away.

5) Your child must either be sitting at the window, or the car seat has to be by the window and the child must be restrained. The hospital personnel cannot climb in the car to do the testing. They will reach into the car, swab your child’s nasopharynx, and you will drive away. They will not restrain your child in any way, so you may need to assist by holding your child still for the swab ( i.e. climbing into the back seat).

6) The people doing this testing cannot provide any other services for you besides the testing. If you have other concerns about your child, please call our office and we can assist you.

7) The results for the testing will come back to our office. We are uncertain exactly how long it will take for this to occur, but we will be back in touch with you as soon as we have the information available. This may be in the form of a telephone call or a follow up telehealth appointment, at the physician’s discretion.

8) At any point, if you have any concerns about how your child is doing from a medical standpoint, please reach out to us (not the hospital) and we can help determine the best course of action.

9) Penn Medicine has been testing adults for some time and has assured us that they are not seeing billing issues. We cannot 100% guarantee that will continue to be the case as more and more patients are tested. Please understand that bills from the actual testing would be from Penn Medicine and it would be your responsibility to work with them should any issues arise.

10) If you have questions about the appropriateness of testing for your children, please call our office and we are happy to discuss this with you.

We look forward to continuing to provide you with the pediatric care we expect for our own children.

The Physicians of PNP

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