Visitation at Cone Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Cone Health is committed to the safety, well-being and protection of our patients, staff and community. Cone Health’s current visitation policies and safety precautions, detailed below, are subject to change.
- Children under 18 years of age may have both parents or legal guardians with them during their hospital stay or visit to any emergency department or urgent care.
- One visitor or support person is allowed to visit an adult patient who is not COVID-19 positive staying in a hospital. They may visit during visitor hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Non-COVID-19 positive patients who are nearing end of life (as determined by the attending physician) may have up to 4 visitors present in the hospital to wait in the chapel or other visitor space (as deemed by the unit). These visitors may see the patient, however only 2 visitors are allowed in the patient room at a time.
- COVID-19 positive patients who are nearing end of life (as determined by the attending physician) may have 1 visitor for up to 15 minutes. The visitor must be supervised and wear full personal protective equipment. In cases involving Removal of Mechanical Ventilation, procedure will be done after visitor leaves. On the Green Valley Campus, patients may be transferred to a visitation room at the discretion of the provider.
- Patients undergoing a surgery or procedure in a hospital may have a family member or support person with them. That person may remain in the waiting area during the procedure. Should the patient need to stay at the hospital during part of their recovery, the support person may visit during visiting hours.
- People seeking care in a Cone Health emergency department can have one support person with them. That person may accompany the patient to the treatment room. In order to provide the safest care for our patients, visitors may be asked to wait outside when our capacity has been reached.
- Cone Health Cancer Centers: For the continued safety of our cancer patients, visitors and support persons are restricted. If treatment plans need to be discussed, staff will coordinate with the attending physician and the patient's designated support person.
- Cone Health Women's & Children's Centers: Laboring women (regardless of age) are allowed to have one person with them for their entire hospital visit. That one person can be a spouse, partner or doula.
- Imaging Services: Those receiving outpatient imaging services at Cone Health hospitals may have a support person only when necessary due to patient physical or safety needs. Pregnant women receiving ultrasounds at Cone Health hospitals may have a support person.
Visitation at Cone Health Physician Practices and Outpatient Facilities
Patients should come alone to their physician practice and outpatient visits whenever possible, including Cone Health MedCenters, urgent care centers and outpatient surgery centers. A support person, over age 18, may accompany a patient to these practices if assistance is needed for safety or care concerns. Otherwise, support persons will remain outside until patient visit is completed. If you have questions or special circumstances, please contact the physician's practice or outpatient clinic directly.
Visitor/Support Person Requirements
Visitors who are over 65, pregnant or immunocompromised are discouraged from coming to the hospital.
All support persons must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Be screened at Cone Health facility entrances with a temperature check and questions about symptoms and exposure risks. All support persons will be screened daily. Based on the results of this screening, visitors will be welcomed into the facility or asked to return to their car with instructions to follow up with their health care provider.
- Be free of COVID-19 symptoms each time they enter a Cone Health facility.
- Be in good health and free from any flu-like symptoms.
- A mask must always be worn, including in the patient’s room. The mask must cover the nose and mouth. Visitors may wear a mask from home or one will be provided. If a visitor's mask from home is determined not to meet safety standards, a new mask will be provided.
- Follow all social distancing and safety guidance. This includes staying 6 feet from others and frequent hand washing –especially upon entering facilities and before entering and exiting a patient room.
- Stay in the patient's room except when visiting the cafeterias. Support persons should limit their movement outside of their patient's hospital room. All eating and drinking must take place in a designated dining area.
- Be the same designated support person for that patient's entire stay.
- Visit only once each day. Once the support person leaves, they cannot return until the next day.
If a support person does not follow the guidance above, it can cause serious safety concerns. Refusal to follow this guidance will result in being escorted out of the building. We must keep our patients and staff safe.
- Patients with cognitive or behavioral needs, intellectual or developmental disabilities, or who lack the ability to make medical decisions, may have one support person for safety, decision-making or care concerns
- Exceptions to the visiting hours may be granted by the nurse, medical professionals, nursing leadership or administrative coordinator to accommodate a family member who cannot visit during the specified times, or to participate in discharge instructions, or for other unusual circumstances that may arise.
Cone Health encourages the use of FaceTime, Skype and other platforms to stay in touch with people in the hospital. In many hospital areas, Cone Health can provide iPads to those who don't have the technology to communicate with loved ones.