6. Children and COVID-19
Available data show that children can be infected with the new coronavirus. However, up to the age of about 12 years, they are less often symptomatic than older children or adults, and and are less prone to transmitting the virus to others. Therefore, in mose cases, a test is not necessary. The indication for a test is assessed by the paediatrician in accordance with the specific recommendations of the FOPH ; it may also be recommended by the cantonal doctor's service.
In order to ensure the health safety of students while keeping the school system open, the cantonal medical service has implemented a reactive screening scheme directly in classes affected by COVID-19 cases. This screening is voluntary, parental consent is required, and is carried out in a simple, non-invasive manner by saliva or oropharyngeal swab. The initiation of such testing is done on a case-by-case basis when students in a class test positive, the Medical doctor's office suspects intra-school transmission and the majority of parents have given their consent. Only children for whom consent has been obtained will be tested.
Testing children even without symptoms is therefore indicated in all situations where the child has been exposed to a COVID positive person.
In Geneva, children can be tested without a prescription at their paediatrician's and at many screening centres and doctors' surgeries.
My child is sick
Criteria for staying at home or going to school, nursery or day care, for children under 12 years of age
Consult the decisional algorithm (available in French only). This procedure is intended for supervisors and parents of children aged under 12 years old, who are taken care of in an Early Childhood Care Structure (SAPE), in a Family Day Care Centre or who attend school.
Parents of children under the age of 16 are advised to contact their child's paediatrician first. Before the age of 12, a medical consultation is in any case necessary and many paediatricians take their patients directly to the practice.