Coronavirus Visitor Policy
At Catholic Health Services, we know that visits from family members and friends play a vital role in helping patients recover. But, in light of the public health challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have adopted new policies designed to balance the needs of patients while ensuring the safest possible conditions for anyone using our facilities.
For Upcoming Office-Based Appointments
• If you have cold or flu-like symptoms (COVID-19 symptoms are cough, fever and shortness of breath), please consult your doctor by phone before any upcoming appointments.
• If you are symptom-free, your appointments will continue as planned.
For Visitors and Caregivers at CHS facilities
As of December 10, 2020, given the concerns around the coronavirus spread (COVID-19), and for the safety and protection of our patients and our staff, CHS is SUSPENDING VISITATION at all CHS hospitals and skilled nursing facilities (SNF). CHS is suspending all visitation except for patient support people or family members and/or legal representatives of patients in imminent end-of-life situations. Exceptions for visitation will be made on a case-by-case-basis by hospital and SNF leadership in conjunction with Infection Prevention leadership and will follow appropriate CDC guidelines for screening for COVID-19 infection BEFORE entry is allowed (exceptions may include end-of-life, newborn delivery, or individuals with special needs).
A support person will be permitted at the patient bedside for:
- Patients in labor and delivery;
- Pediatric patients; and
- Patients for whom a support person has been determined to be essential to the care of the patient (medically necessary) including patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and patients with cognitive impairments such as dementia.
For Labor and Delivery at Mercy Medical Center, St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center and St. Charles Hospital:
- One support person essential to patient care throughout labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum period is permitted. This person can be the patient’s spouse, partner, sibling, doula, or another person they choose. In these settings, this person will be the only support person allowed to be present during the patient’s care. This individual would be provided the appropriate PPE and remain for the duration.
- Allow doulas to accompany birthing people to provide practical and emotional support during their in-patient hospital stay.
The support person will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches or diarrhea) and conduct a temperature check prior to entering the clinical area and every 12 hours thereafter for the remainder of the person’s presence at the bedside.
According to the guidance, when providing personal protective equipment to a support person, instructions on PPE conservation strategies should be provided to minimize unnecessary waste (i.e., prolonged wearing).
If a support person has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 or presents with or develops symptoms of COVID-19, the individual should be excluded from the facility. In this situation, through informed decision-making the patient and family may choose to select a different support person.
Outpatient Locations and Physician Practices
- One person is allowed to accompany each patient to an appointment, unless an aide or assistant is required.
- Any visitor who is coughing or shows other signs of illness will be asked to leave.
Our highest priority is the health and safety of our patients, employees, and everyone who visits our facilities. We are taking every precaution recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are reviewing and updating our protocols and guidelines constantly. We need and appreciate your support in meeting these challenges.