UPDATED: Area Hospitals Enforce New Visitor Rules In Response To COVID-19

Mar 15, 2020
Originally published on March 23, 2020 3:13 pm

Updated March 23, 2 p.m.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, UC Health, TriHealth and Mercy Health are enforcing new visitor rules in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with some closing select locations entirely. 

Cincinnati Children's Hospital

Children's recently confirmed an employee of a key partner organization tested positive for the virus and is in quarantine at home. 

Patients at the hospital can only have two visitors, including parents. Parents/guardians will be the only visitors under 18 years old allowed. "We are sorry for any hardship this places on families, but keeping patients safe must be our number-one priority," Children's Senior Media Relations Associate Shannon Kettler said in a press release. "Thank you for your patience and understanding."

Out-patients will be restricted to two people accompanying them on the hospital's campus.   

Children's says they'll make case-by-case exceptions for people visiting patients at the end of their lives.

Meanwhile, on Monday, March 23, the hospital announced it is closing some locations entirely starting Tuesday. Children's Mason, Eastgate and Northern Kentucky locations will cease operations Tuesday, with Mason's urgent care closing Monday evening. "All other locations will remain open at this time; however, we will reassess volume, patient needs, and staff needs in the coming week," the hospital said in a release. 

Christ Hospital

Christ Hospital will evaluate visitor access based on the following circumstances:

  • end of life situations;
  • a primary caretaker or designated partner for mothers delivering babies;
  • or one person responsible for transporting a patient coming or being discharged from the hospital.

Mercy Health

Mercy Health is encouraging senior services and long-term care visitors stay at home. For mother/baby and pediatric patients, visitors are limited to one designated partner or primary caretaker/guardian at a time. Patients that need visitors essential to their emotional well-being will be granted access.

UC Health

As of Monday, March 23, UC is longer allowing visitors at its acute care hospitals: UC Medical Center and West Chester Hospital. The only exceptions are when visitor restriction will cause undue hardship for the patient or family; or cases where restriction is detrimental to the care of the patient. In those instances, one visitor may be permitted at the discretion of the nurse manager or medical director. 

Dayton Area Hospitals

The Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association restriction policy for area acute care hospitals is that visitors will no longer be allowed for hospitalized patients. Exceptions will be made in the following circumstances:

  • Maternity patients: One (1) support person and one (1) doula may accompany the patient.
  • One (1) person will be allowed to accompany a patient having major surgery on day of surgery and one day after surgery.
  • End-of-life situations
  • Minor patients (under 18 years old) may have two (2) visitors, but visitors are limited to only parents or guardians.
  • Patients who require assistance due to mobility, reorienting/confusion, interpretation, court-ordered, or healthcare decision making may have one (1) additional assistance person.  

Visitors will not be permitted for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients in the hospital unless the patient meets one of the above exceptions.

Patients will be limited to one (1) visitor/support person in the emergency department, for surgery, a procedure, or an office visit. No visitors under 18 years of age will be permitted in the emergency department, ambulatory, or outpatient setting.

Exceptions will be made in the following circumstances:

  • End-of-life situations
  • Minor patients (under 18 years old) may have two (2) visitors, but visitors are limited to only parents or guardians.
  • Patients who require assistance due to mobility, reorienting/confusion (patient safety), interpretation, court-ordered, or healthcare decision making may have one (1) additional assistance person.  

Dayton's hospitals will also begin screening procedures for patients and visitors beginning March 20, 2020.

  • Visitors will not be permitted in the emergency department, ambulatory, or outpatient setting for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients unless the patient meets one of the above exceptions.
  • Visitors to a hospital and emergency department will be screened for symptoms and travel or exposure history by hospital staff. Visitor screening will also take place at selected ambulatory facilities.
  • Visitors will be asked to leave a facility if they have had symptoms in the past 24 hours or exposures in the last 14 days.
  • If the visitor is a driver for a patient, they will be asked to wait in their car until the patient’s appointment is completed.
  • Visitors must wash their hands, or use hand sanitizer, before and after leaving rooms and hospital buildings.

TriHealth

TriHealth restrictions include: 

  • No visitors under the age of 14
  • No visitors who have recently traveled outside the country will be allowed in the building
  • One visitor at a time allowed in patient care areas
  • No one with symptoms of COVID allowed in patient care areas. Symptoms include fever, cough, respiratory symptoms
  • All visitors much check in at nurse's stations and use hand sanitizer upon entry of the patient care area
  • No siblings allowed on OB floors
  • No students allowed in any patient care areas

So far St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Highpoint Hospital haven't imposed visitor restrictions. The hospitals are asking people with mild illnesses to stay at home and call their primary care physician to determine the best next steps. 

Be sure to check each hospitals website for the latest visitor policy updates.

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