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Visitation Policy

COVID-19 Visitation Restriction Policy

Updated Oct. 1, 2020

Per the “Safer at Home” order issued by Governor Kay Ivey (updated Sept. 30, 2020) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), DCH’s limited visitation policy remains in force. Compliance with the visitation restriction policy is required by all visitors, at all times.

Many physician offices in DCH medical office buildings are independent of DCH and have their own visitation rules. If you are coming for a doctor’s appointment, please contact the clinic’s office prior to arrival to verify their requirements.

Fayette County does not currently meet CMS criteria for visitation at Fayette Medical Center’s Long Term Care (LTC) facility. Therefore, visitation at Fayette LTC remains closed to all visitors. For all other DCH campuses, the following visitor restriction policy is effective at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 2, 2020, and will remain in force until further notice.

Visitation Requirements for All

This section describes requirements for any approved support person. Support person limitations are outlined by category in the subsequent sections.

From 9 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. each day, no new visitors will be allowed except for extenuating circumstances such as end-of-life events.

Patients cannot leave their care area to go outside to visit with others.

  • Any support person allowed into an area is required to meet or comply with the following:
    • Each support person must check in and check out with Security.
    • Be at least 16 years old.
    • Wear a mask at all times.
    • Wear additional personal protective equipment in certain circumstances if deemed necessary by the clinical staff.
    • Agree to practice appropriate hand hygiene.
    • Submit to a screening during every new visitation period, including a temperature check, and meet the required health standards for entry.
    • Wear a visitor badge and the appropriately colored temperature verification band during the entire visit.
    • Remain in the patient’s room or the assigned waiting room (where space for proper social distancing is available; otherwise, the visitor will be asked to leave until space becomes available) except for basic personal needs.
    • Be courteous and kind to the staff and others.
    • Follow all clinical staff instructions.
  • Where possible, calls or video chats should be used for situations such as visits or family/caregiver education.
  • If a patient condition changes (for better or worse and including a positive COVID-19 diagnosis), then the visitation restriction guidelines for the new situation will apply.

COVID-19 and PUI Patients

  • No support person will be allowed for any COVID-19 positive patients other than end-of-life events, palliative care and/or corresponding consultations.
    • In certain extenuating circumstances, one support person may be considered when the person’s presence may improve the physical care, safety and/or emotional well-being of the patient.
  • Up to two support people per patient, per day, for end-of-life events, palliative care and/or corresponding consultations as long as sufficient personal protective equipment is available and used at all times during the visit.
    • Support people will be required to follow all clinical staff instructions related to the visit.

Non-COVID Inpatients

  • Each non-COVID-19 positive patient can have one support person at a time (with exceptions noted below). The first support person must check out with Security before another will be allowed in.
    • A second support person may be considered, in certain situations, to help with the physical limitations of the first support person.
  • Up to two support people per patient for end-of-life events, palliative care and/or corresponding consultations.

Inpatient Surgical/Procedural Guidance

  • One support person may accompany a non-COVID positive patient to assist with entry into the hospital and registration, but cannot stay during the procedure.
  • When the procedure is complete, and a room has been assigned, then a visitor may be allowed back in to the patient’s room as a support person.

Outpatient Surgical/Procedural Guidance

  • One support person may accompany a non-COVID positive patient to assist with entry into the hospital and registration, but cannot stay during the procedure.
  • When the procedure is complete, staff will call a designee to come in and be present for discharge instructions and pickup.
  • If a private room has been assigned, then a support person may be considered and allowed to stay in the room with the patient until discharge.

Outpatient Cancer Treatment

  • One support person per outpatient cancer treatment patient for the initial consultation, change in treatment and/or test results discussion only due to the compromised immune system of the patients.
  • One support person per outpatient cancer treatment patient for treatment (only if the patient is insufficiently healthy or not mobile enough to proceed without assistance; otherwise, no visitors).

Emergency Department

  • One support person may accompany a patient in the Emergency Department once the patient has been placed in a private room. Because of the rapidly changing environment in the Emergency Department, visitor rotation will not be allowed.
  • The support person must wait outside until the private room has been assigned and he/she has been called by the staff with instructions on how to enter.
  • No support person will be allowed for any COVID-19 positive or PUI patients other than end-of-life events, palliative care and/or corresponding consultations.
  • In certain extenuating circumstances, one support person may be considered when the person’s presence may improve the physical care, safety and/or emotional well-being of the patient.
  • If approved, the support person(s) must remain in the patient’s room.
  • If the ED patient is admitted, then the support person will need to move his/her vehicle and go through the inpatient visitor check-in process (South entrance at DCH Regional Medical Center). The visitor will not be allowed to go to the inpatient unit with the patient from the ED.