Temporary Visitor Restrictions and Guidance During COVID-19

Updated July 20, 2020, 10:30 a.m.
MedStar Health has in place temporary restrictions and guidance for patient visitors to all care locations. As the COVID-19 status continues to rapidly evolve, visitor restrictions are subject to change.

Patient Visitor Restrictions:

  • No Visitors Permitted at Hospitals Unless Exception Approved
  • All Approved Visitors Must Check In at Front Desk
  • One Visitor Per Patient Permitted at Ambulatory Locations
  • All Visitors and Approved Visitors Must Wear a Face Mask
Please use the following restrictions and guidance until further notice to help safeguard our patients, associates, physicians, and communities:


UPDATED! Hospital (Inpatient) Locations:

  • No visitors are permitted at any hospital location. Exceptions to these restrictions may be approved by hospital Vice President of Medical Affairs (VPMA) and/or Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) in specific circumstances, including two visitors per patient at end-of-life; two parents/caregivers of pediatric patients; one parent or guardian for patients aged 18-26; one personal visitor or one professional support person in Labor & Delivery (a professional support person is allowed in post-partum units); one visitor per patient undergoing urgent/emergency 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.
    •  Any visitor who lives in the same household as a COVID-19 positive person is not permitted. Approved visitors will be asked whether they live in the same household as a COVID-19 positive person.
      • If the patient has been in the hospital for more than 14 days, the household contact can be approved as an exception.
    • Patients with disabilities may designate one support person to accompany, visit and stay with them in the hospital. A support person is defined as someone who is legally authorized to make decisions for the individual with disabilities, a family member, a personal care assistant, or a disability service provider. In this situation, the support person will be permitted to visit even in the instance that the support person is a household contact of the patient. Other reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities may be approved by the VPMA and/or CNO, provided the accommodations comply with all infection prevention policies.
  • No visitors under the age of 18 are permitted, unless they are parents of pediatric patients. 
  • 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.).
  • Patients are not expected to wear a face mask while in their room (but may if they prefer).
As a reminder, all visitors are required to bring and wear their own face mask for the duration of their visit at any/all clinical care locations. If they do not have one, a blue cloth face mask developed by Under Armour will be provided.

UPDATED! Exceptions to the Temporary Patient Visitor Restrictions:

Labor & Delivery Floors

  • Patients on Labor & Delivery floors will be allowed one approved 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.).
  • Patients are not expected to wear a face mask while in their room (but may if they prefer).
  • 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.
Patients on Labor & Delivery who test positive for COVID-19 will not be allowed to have a visitor with them during their stay. This policy balances the needs of our Labor & Delivery patients at a vulnerable and stressful time, with their safety and that of their infants, and the best guidance of national experts in Infectious Disease and Obstetric care.

 

Post-Acute Care Hospital (Inpatient) Locations

  • Visitors are only permitted during family training when approved by VPMA and/or CNO.

Guidance for Approved Visitors From Exceptions:

  • All approved visitors must check in at the front desk and wear a face mask throughout the duration of their visit.
    • Approved visitors are expected to bring their own face mask. If they do not have one, a non-procedural face mask will be provided.
  • All approved 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 approved visitors will not be permitted to enter the facility or to 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.

UPDATED! Ambulatory (Outpatient) Locations:

  • One visitor is permitted to accompany a patient for an ambulatory visit (i.e., urgent care visit) only to help facilitate care or treatment, such as a parent of a child, or an individual assisting the patient with a wheelchair, walking or other care/support.
  • All visitors must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival.
  • All patients and approved visitors must wear a face mask throughout the duration of their visit.
    • Approved visitors are expected to bring their own face mask. If they do not have one, a non-procedural face mask will be provided.
  • No visitor is 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.

These restrictions and guidelines are similar to those implemented at hospitals and health systems across the country to protect the public, and our patients and caregivers, and prevent the spread of illness.

 

Updated July 20, 2020, 10:30 a.m.