COVID-19: Click here for what to expect at ChristianaCare during COVID-19

Patients & Visitors

Visiting a Patient: Hours and Guidelines

Visitation Guidelines Effective 1/2/2022

Due to the rise in the COVID-19 positivity rate in our communities, ChristianaCare has returned to more restrictive visitation at its facilities in order to protect the health and safety of our patients and caregivers.

Effective Sunday, January 2, 2022, at 12:01 a.m., NO VISITORS ARE ALLOWED for hospitalized patients at Christiana, Union and Wilmington Hospitals EXCEPT in the circumstances outlined below. Visitor hours are from noon to 7 p.m. for the following:

  • Individuals coming to the emergency department may have one support person accompany them, who must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, but is not required to show proof of vaccination or a recent test. Once the patient is admitted to the hospital from the ED, the inpatient visitor policy will apply.
  • Patients in OB Emergency may have one support person accompany them who must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms but is not required to show proof of vaccination or a recent test. Once the patient is admitted, the inpatient visitor policy will apply.
  • Patients in Labor & Delivery may have two support people accompany them, one of whom may be a doula. Once admitted after delivery, patients may have one support person.
  • Patients in Postpartum, High Risk, Antepartum, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and pediatric units may have one support person. Overnight visitation is allowed for the designated visitor.
  • Patients with intellectual or developmental disabilities, as defined by the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) or Maryland Department of Health (MDH), including chronic cognitive impairment such as dementia, may be accompanied by one support person. This includes patients presenting with an acute problem such as a stroke that is expected to require a support person/caretaker upon discharge.
  • Up to two visitors total are allowed for patients in hospice who are at end of life. The two visitors may visit at the same time. The two visitors may switch with other family members as necessary at the discretion of the unit manager or charge nurse.
  • Patients having outpatient surgery may have one support person accompany them.
  • Patients presenting to outpatient practices and ambulatory services may have one support person if the patient has disabilities requiring assistance for their visit. If a support person is needed this person will need to show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 OR have a negative COVID-19 test within the prior 72 hours.
  • Unless otherwise specified above, alternating support persons throughout the day is not allowed. The visitor must be the same person for the entire day and must be 16 years of age or older. They will receive a visitor badge at Christiana and Wilmington hospitals, or a wrist band at Union Hospital.

General Visitor Requirements:

  • All support persons/visitors are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and will not be permitted entry if they fail the screening procedure.
  • In addition to the symptom screening, visitors and support persons for hospital inpatients and for outpatient surgery must also show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 OR have a negative COVID-19 test within the prior 72 hours. Fully vaccinated is defined as having had two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. A digital or paper copy of their vaccination record or negative test will be accepted. Visitors/support persons for patients in Labor & Delivery, OB-GYN emergency or the emergency department are not required to have proof of vaccination or a negative test.
  • 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.
  • If a support person/visitor is allowed per policy, the unit/department staff shall provide instruction, before they enter the 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.

All support persons/visitors/companions 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 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.
  • Respect social 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 support persons/visitors/companions must remain masked for the duration of their visit, even if they are vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test. This includes remaining masked while the in the patient’s room. 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.