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VERIFY: Meme spreads misinformation that children hospitalized for coronavirus aren't allowed parents present

Amid the pandemic, hospitals introduced new visitation policies. A fake meme claims children hospitalized for COVID-19 are barred from all visitors, even parents.

WASHINGTON — QUESTION:

A meme spreading on Facebook claims that children who must be hospitalized for COVID-19, are not allowed to have parents go with them. Is this meme accurate?

ANSWER:

No. Hospitals our researchers spoke with confirmed pediatric patients are allowed at least one parent or guardian.

SOURCES:

Tracy Connell- Inova Children's Hospital- spokesperson

Maryanne Boster- Virginia Hospital Center- director of corporate communications

Jamel Langley- Children's National Hospital- senior media relations specialist

Tina Bergeron Sheesley- Adventist HealthCare- director of public relations & marketing

Kristin Feliciano-  Holy Cross Health- chief strategy officer

Marianne Worley- MedStar Health- spokesperson

American Hospital Association- spokesperson

PROCESS:

A meme circulating on Facebook claims that children who must be hospitalized for COVID-19, will be barred from having parents by their bedside.

Credit: Facebook

It reads: "the biggest wakeup call ever, if your child gets the virus they’re going to the hospital alone in a van with people they don’t know, to a room they don’t know to be with people they don’t know, you will be without them in their time of need. Think about it stay in.”

So we're Verifying: if a child is hospitalized for COVID-19, are parents banned from seeing them?

First off, always be skeptical of a warning that preys on fear and offers little to no context.

We can tell you right off the bat, this one is nonsense.

Our Verify researchers contacted half-a-dozen area hospitals, including  Children’s National Hospital, MedStar Health, Adventist HealthCare, Holy Cross Hospital, Virginia Hospital Center and Inova Children’s Hospital. 

They all confirm if a child is hospitalized for COVID-19, of course, a parent can come.

Whether that’s one parent, both, or if visitors are screened for symptoms like a fever or cough – that’s up to each hospital.

We also checked with the American Hospital Association. A spokesperson sent us this statement:

"The American Hospital Association does not have nationwide data on companion policies but to the best of our knowledge, hospitals are allowing one parent to be with a child during hospitalization, or assessing on a case-by-case basis the safest option that protects patients, and others in the hospital setting.”

So we can Verify this meme is false.

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