Temporary Visitor Policies and Guidance During COVID-19

Temporary Patient Visitor Restrictions During COVID-19

Effective Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MedStar Health has put temporary restrictions and guidance for patient visitors in place at all of our care locations. Visitor restrictions are subject to change. Please use the following restrictions and guidance until further notice to help safeguard our patients, associates, physicians, and communities.
 

Patient Visitor Restrictions:

  • Only Those Visitors Permitted by this Policy are Allowed at Hospitals
  • All Visitors Must Check In at Front Desk
  • One Visitor Per Patient Permitted at Ambulatory Locations
  • All Patients and Visitors Must Wear a Face Mask

Acute Care Hospital Locations

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 across our care locations, only the following visitors are permitted:
  • Compassionate Care: Two visitors per patient at end-of-life; one visitor per patient undergoing emergency/unplanned surgery; one visitor upon discharge for patients with outpatient hospital-based invasive procedures, including surgery/moderate sedation; one visitor to accompany patient for hospital discharge; one visitor if indicated by patient’s provider to support patient rehabilitation needs; and patients receiving religious services from the religious leader of their choice at any reasonable time, if it can be provided without disruption to care (religious leader does not count as the patient’s visitor).
  • Parents/Guardians with Minor Pediatric Patients and Patients Aged 19-26: Two parents/caregivers of pediatric patients (up to age 18); one parent or guardian for patients aged 19-26.
  • Labor & Delivery: One personal visitor or one professional support person in Labor & Delivery, including ante-partum and post-partum units.
  • Support Persons for Individuals with Disabilities: Patients with disabilities may designate one support person to accompany, visit and stay with them in the hospital. A support person may be a family member, personal care assistant, similar disability service provider, or other individual knowledgeable about the management or care of the patient who is authorized to assist the patient in making decisions. This support person may stay outside of visiting hours to accommodate the patient’s disability as determined to be necessary and approved by clinical leadership. If a patient with disability does not have a support person present during the patient’s visit or stay, the patient may designate a support person with whom to communicate. Other reasonable accommodations for patients with disabilities may be approved by clinical leadership according to the needs of the patient, provided the accommodations comply with all infection prevention policies.
  • All visitors must be at least 18 years old, unless they are parents of pediatric patients.
  • Any exceptions to the visitor restrictions must be approved by the hospital Vice President of Medical Affairs (VPMA) and/or Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) or their designees.
  • Family, friends and loved ones are encouraged to use electronic devices and applications (apps) to connect with patients (i.e., smartphones, tablets, FaceTime, Skype, etc.).
  • Patients are expected to wear face masks, when clinically feasible and appropriate, throughout their hospitalization while outside of patient rooms (e.g., radiology, hallway, during transport to procedure, etc.).

Guidance for Visitors Permitted under this Policy:

  • All visitors must check in at the front desk and wear a face mask throughout the duration of their visit.
    • Visitors are expected to bring their own face mask. If they do not have one, a non-procedural face mask will be provided.
  • All visitors will be screened for flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, and will not be permitted if symptomatic.
  • Family members or friends of any visitors cannot enter the facility or wait in lobbies or common areas, including any/all areas of the hospital—lobbies, waiting areas, common spaces, chapels, cafeteria, food court, bank, and/or any other area within the care location.

Additional Visitor Restrictions to COVID-19 Confirmed or Patients Under Investigation (PUI):

  • Approved visitors must gown in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)—surgical mask, isolation gown, face shield (eye protection), and gloves.
  • Approved visitors must not be ill or show symptoms of illness.

Labor & Delivery Floors

  • Patients on Labor & Delivery floors will be allowed one visitor for duration of the labor and delivery. After labor and delivery, the visitor may leave and re-enter the post-partum areas.
  • Patients may choose to utilize a professional doula in place of a visitor.
  • Patients are expected to wear face masks, when clinically feasible and appropriate, throughout their hospitalization while outside of patient rooms (e.g., radiology, hallway, during transport to procedure, etc.).
  • MedStar Health will support visitors’ dietary and hygienic needs.
  • Patients who decline testing are considered a Person Under Investigation (PUI) during delivery. PUI and COVID-19 positive patients are not permitted to have a support person while on Labor & Delivery floors.

Ambulatory (Outpatient) Locations

  • One visitor is permitted to accompany a patient for an ambulatory visit (i.e., urgent care visit). This visitor will remain with the patient or in a designated waiting area.
  • All visitors must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival.
  • All patients and visitors must wear a face mask throughout the duration of their visit.
    • Visitors are expected to bring their own face mask. If they do not have one, a non-procedural face mask will be provided.
  • No visitors are permitted in our cancer infusion locations due to increased risk to immunocompromised patients; visitors may wait in their cars or designated areas per instruction from treatment locations.
  • Patients are expected to wear face masks, when clinically feasible and appropriate, throughout the duration of their ambulatory visit.

Click here to view MedStar Health COVID-19 information page.

Revised Nov. 18, 2020