Visiting a Patient: Hours and Guidelines
Effective Tuesday, November 15, 2022, the following visiting policies apply:
- Hospitalized patients may have visitors between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. The number of visitors per patient is not restricted.
- Visitors must be 12 years of age or older.
- Visitors to intensive care units are limited to ages 16 and older except in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which is limited to visitors ages 12 years and older.
- Visitation for the emergency departments, OB triage, ambulatory (outpatient) surgery, and ambulatory (outpatient) departments will return to normal (number of visitors not restricted).
- Overnight visitation is not allowed, except in Labor & Delivery, Postpartum, High Risk, Antepartum, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and pediatric units, where one designated support person is allowed overnight visitation.
General Visitor Requirements
- Visitors no longer will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms at the entrances. However, visitors with COVID-like symptoms and/or recent exposures should not visit—to protect their loved ones as well as our caregivers.
- Visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19 (using any home or laboratory-based test) within the past 10 days are not allowed to visit. Please note that this differs from current CDC guidelines, which allow people to end isolation after 5 days with masking for another 5 days. This is to protect our vulnerable patient population, as persons may be contagious beyond 5 days. Persons with underlying conditions that weaken their immune systems should defer visitation for at least 20 days. ChristianaCare staff will not be assessing visitors for immune-compromising conditions.
- Visitors are encouraged to perform home COVID-19 antigen tests prior to their visits, particularly if they are visiting highly vulnerable patients such as oncology, transplant, and neonatal ICU patients. Proof of recent negative test or vaccination will not be required to visit.
- For ambulatory visits, parents should make every attempt to find childcare to avoid bringing non-patient children (i.e., siblings) into the facility. If childcare is not available, bringing such children to a visit must be discussed with the practice/area in advance.
- Unit/department staff shall provide instruction, before visitors enter patients’ rooms, regarding hospital policies to prevent spread of COVID-19, as well an any other pathogens for which transmission-based precautions may be required.
- Visitors may not stay overnight except within Women & Children’s services as specified above.
All visitors should:
- Follow masking guidelines, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette precautions while in the common areas of the facility.
- Bring a medical, KN95, or N95-style mask from home if possible. If not masked, or if wearing a cloth mask upon arrival, a medical mask will be provided. Masks that are provided should be re-used until damaged or soiled, or no longer able to be breathed through. A new mask will be provided on subsequent visitation days.
- N95 masks with valves are allowed as they have been shown to provide adequate source control.
- Masks must continue to be worn at all times while in the facility, including while in the patient’s room. If the mask needs to be removed to eat or drink, physical distancing from the patient and all other persons of at least 6 feet should be observed.
- Respect physical distancing of at least six feet as much as possible, including in the patient’s room.
- Perform hand hygiene frequently with soap/water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and limit surfaces touched.
- Remain in the patient’s room except for entry to/exit from the hospital/facility to the extent possible. Visitors should limit their movement within the facility and if required to wait in the lobby, should remained masked and physically distant from others.
- All visitors must remain masked for the duration of their visit, even if they are vaccinated or have had a recent negative COVID-19 test. This includes remaining masked while in the patient’s room, due to the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to the patient they are visiting. When possible, the patient should also be masked when visitors are present.
- Visitation privileges may be discontinued at any time based on the clinical situation of the patient, visitor noncompliance with recommended procedures or other factors.
Thank you for being a partner in your care. If you have questions, please speak with your nurse or a member of our care team.