Message from the CEO

March 20, 2020 – 3:30PM

We are in a time of crisis. Due to the need for clear, concise, and consistent communications to our parents, employees, public, and partners, we have created this page as a means of sharing the status of our facilities, the health of our patients and employees, actions we are taking to limit the consequences of the COVID-19 virus, and to provide a forum for questions to be asked and answered in a timely manner. The information on this page is subject to updating as events transpire. I will personally update this message on a daily basis as events unfold. If you have any questions or comments that are not covered in the FAQs, please use the bottom of the form to provide your name, contact information, and questions, and someone will respond as soon as possible. If your question is relevant to others, your question and our response will be added to the FAQs. Thank you in advance for your patience, understanding, and assistance in keeping our children and employees safe from this serious threat. 

Ken McGuire 
President & CEO 
Innovations Health Systems, LLC 
(Parent company of CHONC – The Children’s Healthcare Organization of Northern California) 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the CHONC pediatric facilities open? 

CHONC – Pediatric Hospital is and will remain open throughout this crisis. 

CHONC – Saratoga Pediatric Subacute is and will remain open throughout this crisis. 

Scribbles & Giggles at the Ann Darling School is closed due to closure of all schools in California. 

Scribbles & Giggles at Saratoga is open only to children of essential employees exempt from the State and County shelter-in-place directives.  

Can I visit my child? 

In order to safeguard our children and their caregivers, our facilities are on complete lockdown except for essential employees until further notice. There are no exceptions to this mandate from California and Santa Clara County except in end-of-life situations, and only then under strict guidelines. We do offer online visits (covered below) 

Have there been any cases of exposure to COVID-19 at our facilities? 

At this time, we have had no identified exposures to COVID-19 at any of our facilities. This is a fluid situation, and we will update this information on a regular basis. Should there be an identified exposure or infection, we will update this site immediately and communicate known details to parents and employees. 

What steps have been taken to protect employees and children? 

We are working closely with the State to ensure we are taking every step to protect our employees and children. This includes: 

  • Facility lockdown to non-essential employees 
  • Creation of isolation rooms in case of outbreak 
  • Curtailing of all group activities 
  • Regular facility sanitization 
  • Essential employee check in process that includes a temperature scan 
  • Vendor and supply drop off areas to prevent introduction of contaminants 

How long will this situation last? 

Given the highly vulnerable status of our children, these measures are expected to be in place for at least the next 90 days. 

Do we have all necessary equipment and supplies? 

All of our children are on ventilators, the most critical piece of equipment in case of an outbreak of COVID-19. We have sufficient ventilators and backup ventilators for all of our children. We also have a large stockpile of masks, gloves, disinfectants, and other supplies necessary to prevent infections. 

Do we have enough employees to provide care? 

At this time, we are fully staffed and anticipate no issues with the provision of care for all of our children. We are in touch with our referring hospitals and the State to insure that, should an outbreak impact our employees, we maintain sufficient coverage to protect our children at all times. 

Is the coronavirus dangerous?

Yes. The coronavirus is a new virus that has never been seen before in humans, meaning there is currently no cure or vaccine. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. It attacks the respiratory system, and while some cases are mild and the patients recover fully, it can lead to death especially for those with underlying health conditions. This means that our children are especially at risk. In a press conference on March 19th, California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state expects 56% of its population, or 25 million people, to contract coronavirus in the next 8 weeks unless serious preventative steps are taken. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, and fatigue.

How does coronavirus spread?

The coronavirus is a respiratory disease that primarily spreads through “respiratory droplets” that are put into the air when you cough or sneeze, and through saliva and discharge from the nose. However, the virus can also be spread by people who are “asymptomatic,” meaning they are infected but do not look or feel sick. The virus can spread up to 6 feet in the air and stay there for 3 hours, and can live for up to several days on surfaces. Therefore it is very important to disinfect all commonly touched surfaces, stay at least 6 feet away from people you do not live with, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and frequently wash your hands or use sanitizer.

How long do I need to wash my hands for?

You should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds multiple times each day, especially before and after eating, interacting with other people, leaving your home, or touching commonly touched surfaces. Make sure to scrub all the backs of your hands, in between your fingers, and under your nails. After you finish washing your hands, be sure to thoroughly dry them. In order to make sure your children are washing their hands for long enough, you can have them sing a song. For example, sing Happy Birthday twice, Row, Row Your Boat twice, the ABCs, or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Can I use hand sanitizer instead of washing my hands?

You can use hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol content. Just like washing your hands, you should be sure to rub the sanitizer in for at least 20 seconds. However, while sanitizer kills the coronavirus, it does not kill all bacteria and viruses.

Should I wear a mask to prevent getting coronavirus?

Experts recommend that you do not wear a surgical mask unless you are sick or caring for someone who is sick. The national supply of personal preventative equipment such as masks is very low right now, and hospitals and medical staff need them to care for sick patients.

Can I go outside to exercise and take my kids to the playground?

You can go outside to exercise and walk your pets as long as you stay at least 6 feet away from other people that you live with. However, experts recommend staying away from playgrounds as they are used and touch by many people, and so are an easy way to spread the virus.

Where can I find more information? 

There is a wealth of reliable information available through the web sites listed in the links section. If there are valuable resources you feel should be listed in this section, please share that information with us and we will add to our links as appropriate. 

Do not rely on social media for information regarding COVID-19. This is a highly volatile pandemic, and it is important to base decisions on validated facts, not rumors or conspiracy theories. 


Questions – Use the Ask a Question form below
Urgent Issues – Contact our facilities directly at:
CHONC – Pediatric Hospital – 408-558-3640
CHONC – Saratoga Pediatric Subacute – 408-340-1540
Scribbles & Giggles 408-340-1590
Medical Emergency – Call 911 in case of a life-threatening medical emergency 


Who is CHONC? 

CHONC is the Children’s Healthcare Organization of Northern California, operator of the only acute and subacute facilities in Northern California specializing in care for catastrophically injured and severely disabled, machine-dependent children. 

Who do we serve? 

The children served by our facilities range in age from one week to 21 years of age. 

What do we do? 

CHONC – Pediatric Hospital provides acute and subacute care to children referred from regional healthcare providers. 

CHONC – Saratoga Pediatric Subacute provides subacute care to the same category of pediatric patients.  

CHONC – Pediatric Day Health Centers (Scribbles & Giggles) provides day health services to children who need 24 hour medical care but live at home.  

Where are we located? 

Our facilities are located in Campbell (CHONC – Pediatric Hospital), Saratoga (CHONC – Saratoga Pediatric Subacute and Scribbles & Giggles in Saratoga), and San Jose (Scribbles & Giggles at the Ann Darling School).