COVID-19 Testing and Potential Impact on Children

My Fellow Coloradans,

I want to provide you with a critical update on our battle against this global pandemic.

First of all, Colorado can now offer easy, free Coronavirus tests for anyone who has symptoms like fever or a cough, or any frontline worker such as health care workers, congregate care facility workers, and any essential employee who interacts with the public while performing their duties. We now have 34 free community testing sites across the state in addition to the many hospitals offering testing. Click here to find a community testing site in your area. If you’re sick, please get tested to help prevent further outbreaks.

This is a novel virus — nothing like we have ever seen before, and we are still learning more about how this virus impacts us every single day. And your successful efforts in reducing your social interactions, staying six feet away from others when possible, and wearing a facial mask in public are working so far, and we need to keep it up!

As we learn more, we are using that information to deliver the very best public policy response that will save lives while minimizing the damage to our economy and our society.

While people of all ages have succumbed to COVID-19, we’re fortunate that this virus doesn’t impact children as severely as adults. Most children have a milder presentation of symptoms, and the fatality rate is extremely low for children, especially when you compare it with the fatality rate among older Coloradans and those with underlying health conditions.

That is why we have been somewhat alarmed by reports of a new COVID-19-linked syndrome impacting children in Italy, the United Kingdom, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia.

This new syndrome has been commonly referred to as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PMIS), or, more recently, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

Multi-inflammatory syndrome in children has been found to have a strong correlation with children who have antibodies for COVID-19 — suggesting that these children recently recovered from the virus. The syndrome is most similar to other serious inflammatory conditions such as Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.

Children with this syndrome may become seriously ill and have problems with their heart or other organs, requiring hospitalized care.

Colorado currently has three potential cases pending review by the Centers for Disease Control.

Parents should look out for the following symptoms in children, especially if the child or others in the home have recently contracted COVID-19:

  • High fevers for multiple days
  • Gastrointestinal complaints including abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Symptoms similar to Kawasaki Disease, including rash, red eyes, red lips, or a red strawberry-like tongue.

If your child is exhibiting these symptoms, please contact a medical provider immediately.

I know there are a lot of parents who are afraid or anxious when it comes to thinking about this virus and about going to their provider or bringing their child to the hospital.

I want to reiterate that there is no reason to delay care for this new syndrome or for any other serious medical condition. Doctors’ offices and hospitals are some of the safest, most sterilized places you can be.

We have had troubling reports of people foregoing urgent care for themselves or their loved ones, about people not attending wellness checkups, and worst of all, not bringing children in for wellness checkups and having their children fall behind on important vaccines.

Right now we are living through the nightmare scenario of a terrifying pandemic for which we have no vaccine or cure.

So please — seek medical treatment if you need it, and make sure you and your children are staying up-to-date on their immunizations.

We will continue to keep the public updated with the best information available so that we can keep Coloradans safe and save lives.

We’re all in this together.


Governor Jared Polis 

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