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Visitor Guidelines for Patient Care Partners During COVID-19

Updated July 26, 2021

The health and safety of our patients, families and staff members is our top priority. Our care partner visitation guidelines balance preventing the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 with the needs of our patients and their loved ones. A care partner may be a relative, partner, friend or anyone the patient chooses to have at their side during care. Care partners must be 18 or older, except for those under 18 who are parents of patients. Guidelines may vary slightly depending on care needs and location.

We continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in our community and may update the guidelines as needed to provide safe care to everyone.

The State of Maryland’s Support Persons for Individuals with Disabilities (PDF)

  • Outpatient Guidelines

    I wish to accompany an adult or pediatric patient who has an outpatient appointment (all care not requiring an overnight hospital stay).

    An illustration of two adults speaking with a doctor.
  • Inpatient Guidelines

    I wish to accompany an adult or pediatric patient who is an inpatient at a hospital (all care requiring an overnight hospital stay).

    An illustration of a doctor speaking to a patient at their bedside.
  • Resources to Connect Virtually

    I wish to connect virtually to a patient who is an inpatient at a hospital.

    An illustration of two people communicating virtually.
 
Illustration of a man wearing a mask

Safety Guidelines Update

Face masks are required to enter any of our care facilities and expected to be worn at all times, even if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We will provide a mask if needed.

Neck gaiters, bandanas, masks with exhalation valves, or clear shield-like face masks are not permitted to be worn as face coverings at Johns Hopkins Medicine facilities.

 

Determining Care Partner and Visitation Levels

Care partner visitation guidelines help protect our patients, their care partners and our staff members by limiting spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The visitation risk levels are based on the number of COVID-19 cases in the community according to state and county public health information, as well as conditions in our healthcare environments.

Please note: The clinical team may restrict visitation in certain cases of extremely immunocompromised or high-risk patients.

 
 

Outpatient Guidelines

An illustration of two adults speaking with a doctor.

The following guidelines are for care partners accompanying patients at a Johns Hopkins Medicine care center who do not require an overnight stay. A care partner may be a relative, partner, friend or anyone the patient chooses to have at their side during care. Care partners must be 18 or older, except for those under 18 who are parents of patients.

Please review the Care Partner Guidelines: What You Need to Know section before you come to the hospital so you understand what is expected.

Starting Tuesday, July 27, 2021:

Most Johns Hopkins Medicine outpatient clinics and surgery centers, including Johns Hopkins Children's Center clinics

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital - St. Petersburg, Florida

Please review the full Johns Hopkins All Children’s visitor policy for more information.


Risk levels are assessed and adjustments weekly. When visitation levels are limited, exceptions will be made to accommodate patients with disabilities.

Green Level Outpatient Care Partner Guidelines - More Open

The health and safety of our patients, their families and JHM staff members is our top priority. Our care partner visitation guidelines balance prevention of the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 with the needs of our patients and their loved ones. Guidelines may vary slightly depending on care needs and location.

Responsibilities of a Care Partner for Outpatient Visits

A care partner may be a relative, partner, friend or anyone patients choose to have at their sides during care. When permitted by the risk level, children under 18 years old accompanying adult patients to clinic visits must be supervised by an adult at all times.

Care partners must follow these safety precautions, even if vaccinated for COVID-19:

  • Wear a face mask at all times. The following face coverings are not allowed: bandanas, gaiters, masks with exhalation valves, or clear shield-like face masks. A mask will be provided for you if you need one.
  • Participate in screening for COVID-19 symptoms by answering questions when entering a building or by using Johns Hopkins’ COVID-19 screening via smartphone (see instructions below). Care partners and support persons arriving with, or later developing, symptoms of COVID-19 must leave immediately.
  • Practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet.
  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer often, including upon entering the building and at entry and exit to the clinical care room.

Care partners who do not comply with these guidelines will be asked to leave Johns Hopkins Medicine’s facilities.

Please do not come to a Johns Hopkins facility if you:

  • Feel sick
  • Have symptoms of COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms
  • Tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, within the last three weeks
  • Have been advised to get a COVID-19 test, but have not yet obtained one
  • Are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test
  • Have been in contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 within the last two weeks
  • Have been asked to be on home quarantine or in isolation

Screen Before You Arrive

Fill out this form to perform a COVID-19 screening before coming to a Johns Hopkins facility. If you are unable to self-screen, you will be screened in person upon entry to the facility.

 LEVEL GREEN: LOWER RISK
Ambulatory Surgery Centers;
Hospital-based Adult Same Day Surgery
  • Up to two adult care partners are welcome, provided there is enough space for physical distancing.

  • One adult care partner may be with the patient in the prep and recovery areas, provided there is enough space for physical distancing.

Outpatient Obstetrics and Gynecology;
Maternal Fetal Medicine, Fetal Assessment;
Fetal Therapy; or Perinatal Ultrasound
  • Up to two care partners are welcome, depending on space availability in each clinic.
  • One child under 18 years old may come with the patient to their clinic visit, and must be supervised at all times.
Outpatient Cancer Center Clinics; Infusion Suites*
  • Up to two care partners are welcome, depending on space availability in each clinic.
Adult Office Visits at Any Johns Hopkins Medicine Facility
  • Up to two care partners are welcome, depending on space availability in each clinic.
  • One child under 18 years old may come with the patient to their clinic visit, and must be supervised at all times.
Pediatric Office Visits at Any Johns Hopkins Medicine Facility
  • Up to two family members (adults or siblings) may accompany a patient to an outpatient visit, depending on space availability in each clinic.

 

Inpatient Guidelines

An illustration of a doctor speaking with a patient at their bedside.

Care partner visitation guidelines help protect our patients, their care partners and our staff members by limiting spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The visitation risk levels are based on the number of COVID-19 cases in the community according to state and county public health information, as well as conditions in our healthcare environments.

Please note: The clinical team may restrict visitation in certain cases of extremely immunocompromised or high-risk patients.

Visiting hours are as follows:

  • Care partners who can visit adult patients according to the guidelines must arrive at the hospital front entrance between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. and must exit the hospital no later than 9 p.m.
  • Care partners/parents/guardians for pediatric emergency room and pediatric in-patients may arrive 24/7. 

It is important to review the Care Partner Guidelines: What You Need to Know section before you come to the hospital so you understand what is expected.

Starting Tuesday, July 27, 2021:

The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Adult inpatient visits: Please use entrances at the Nelson Building (600 N. Wolfe St.) or at the Zayed Building, Ground or Main Level (1800 Orleans St.)

Johns Hopkins Children’s Center

Visit the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center page for more information

Pediatric inpatient visits: Please use the Children’s Center entrance at the Bloomberg Building (1800 Orleans St.)

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Surgery Patients: Please park in the garage and use the Bayview Medical Offices (blue awning entrance). One care partner may escort you to register, then your care partner will be asked to wait in one of the recommended respite areas on or around the campus.

Howard County General Hospital

Suburban Hospital

Please check with the facility on additional visitation restrictions.

Sibley Memorial Hospital

Please use Building B entrance at 5255 Loughboro Rd. NW

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Please review the full Johns Hopkins All Children’s visitor policy for more information.

Risk levels are assessed weekly. You can learn about the visitation levels by using the links. 

LEVEL GREEN: More open to visits

Risk levels are assessed weekly. You can learn about the visitation levels by using the links.

Green Level Inpatient Care Partner Guidelines

Please review the guidelines below for visits. It is also very important to review the Care Partner Guidelines: What You Need to Know section before you come to the hospital so you can be sure you understand what is expected.

Exceptions may be granted under the following circumstances:

  • A patient with a disability needs assistance.
    • Care partners may be identified so they can take turns being with the patient 24 hours per day, if needed.
    • Up to two care partners may be at the bedside at a time in private rooms.
  • Please speak with your care team about requests for exceptions.

Green Level Inpatient Care Partner Guidelines – More open to visits

Type of Inpatient VisitNumber of Care Partners
Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19Adult
  • No care partners may visit except for end-of-life care, medical necessity and patients in labor.
  • In certain circumstances, care partner visitation may be approved and arranged with the care team for long-term patients with COVID-19. Please speak with your care team for details.
Pediatrics
  • One parent or guardian may be present and must stay with the patient in their room throughout the patient’s stay.

  • Neonatal intensive care unit policies for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 may vary. Please check with your care team.

Shared Spaces
(for example, semiprivate rooms,
bays, waiting rooms)
  • Waiting rooms: Care partners may wait in the waiting room, provided there is enough space for physical distancing.

  • Semiprivate rooms: One care partner per patient may be at the bedside during visiting hours. For example, if there are two patients in the room, the patients may have one care partner each at the same time.

    • Visits may be time limited.

Adult patients prior to a surgery or
procedure requiring an inpatient
hospitalization in a private room
  • Up to two care partners may wait in the waiting room, provided there is enough space for physical distancing.

  • One care partner may be with the patient in prep and recovery, provided there is enough space for physical distancing.

  • Please check with your care team for more details about space availability.

Emergency Department
(patients in private rooms)
  • Provided there is enough space for physical distancing, up to two care partners may be with the patient at the same time in the waiting room and in a private room.

  • Must be the same care partners while in the emergency department.

Obstetrics/Labor and Delivery
  • Up to two care partners may visit at the same time and are permitted for labor, delivery and duration of the birth parent’s hospital stay.

  • Up to four care partners may rotate during visiting hours. To prevent overcrowding in waiting areas, “care partner exchange” must occur outside the hospital.

  • One doula is permitted for labor and delivery.

  • One care partner OR one doula is allowed in the operating room during surgical delivery.

Pediatrics
(patients who do not have COVID-19/are
not suspected of having COVID-19)
  • Up to two care partners may be at the bedside at the same time.

  • Care partners must be the parents/guardians or be approved by the parents/guardians.

  • Siblings under 18 years old may visit inpatient units during visiting hours if accompanied by the patient’s parent/guardian.

    • Neonatal intensive care units: Visiting hours and guidelines may vary. Please check with your care team.

    • General care units: Maximum of three siblings and one adult, or two adults and two siblings, may be at the bedside at a time during visiting hours.

  • Care partners may rotate during the day and care partners may stay overnight as long as there are only two care partners at the bedside at a time.

    • Applies to inpatient, all surgeries and procedures, and emergency department visits.

  • For patients having surgery or a procedure at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center or Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital:

    • Two parents/guardians may accompany patient to waiting area and prep area.

    • One parent/guardian at a time to recovery; they may swap out.

Psychiatry
(All care partners to inpatient psychiatry
units must be approved in advance by
the service line leader, nurse manager,
and clinical director/vice chair.)
  • Two care partners may be permitted at the discretion of the clinical team.

  • Time and duration of visit will be determined by clinical team.

  • All care partners to inpatient psychiatry units must be approved in advance by the service line leader, nurse manager and clinical director/vice chair.

End of Life (all patients)
  • No limit on care partners if the clinical team deems that it is safe and feasible.

  • The care team may limit the number of care partners at the bedside at a time to ensure physical distancing.

Patients requiring aerosol-generating procedures
(e.g. continuous nebulizers)
  • No care partners may be in the patient’s room during the procedure, but they may enter once the procedure is done.
All Other Adult Inpatients
(Patients in private rooms)
  • Up to two care partners may be at the bedside at the same time during visiting hours.

  • Children under 18 years old years old may visit if accompanied by an adult care partner. Maximum of three individuals at the bedside at a time.

  • One care partner may stay overnight if the care partner or patient is fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

  • Up to four care partners may rotate during visiting hours. To prevent overcrowding in waiting areas, “care partner exchange” must occur outside the hospital.

  • If the number of care partner rotations is a safety concern for the care team, they will discuss with the patient and arrange a visitation schedule that is safe and feasible.

Please note: In certain cases of extremely immunocompromised or high-risk patients, the clinical team may restrict visitation if they determine the risk to be prohibitive. 

 

Care Partner Guidelines: What You Need to Know

A care partner for outpatient or inpatient visits may be a relative, partner, friend or anyone the patient chooses to have at their side during care. Care partners must be 18 or older, except for those under 18 who are parents of patients.

The number of care partners welcomed will depend on the area of the hospital and patient circumstances.

  • Care partners will be screened daily for COVID-19 symptoms through a verbal screening when entering the building or in advance by using the Johns Hopkins mobile COVID screening via smartphone, and they will not be able to stay if they:
    • Feel sick
    • Have symptoms of COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms
    • Tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 within the last three weeks.
    • Have been advised to get a COVID-19 test but have not yet obtained one
    • Are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test
    • Have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks.
    • Have been asked to be on home quarantine or isolation.
  • Face masks are required to enter any of our care facilities and expected to be worn at all times. We will provide a mask if needed. Neck gaiters, bandanas, masks with exhalation valves, or clear shield-like face masks are not permitted to be worn as face coverings at Johns Hopkins Medicine facilities.
  • For more information about face masks see the How to Properly Wear a Face Mask: Infographic and the Coronavirus Face Masks & Protection FAQs

In addition, all care partners for inpatients must follow these safety precautions:

  • Care partners who can visit adult patients according to the guidelines must arrive at the hospital front entrance between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. and must exit the hospital no later than 9 p.m.
  • Care partners/parents/guardians for pediatric emergency room and pediatric in-patients may arrive 24/7.
  • Practice physical distancing (including to the extent possible in the patient’s room).
  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer often, including upon entering the hospital and at each entry and exit to the patient's room.
  • Remain in the patient’s room except to use the restroom, get something to eat or drink outside of the patient's room, if they are directed to do so by the care team, or to exit for the day.
  • Care partners are not allowed to eat or drink in adult patient rooms or in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
  • Please review the risk level guidelines for care partner switches during the visit.
  • To prevent overcrowding in waiting areas, “care partner exchange” must occur outside the hospital.
  • Overnight stays for one care partner are permitted for adult patients in a private room during times with green or yellow risk level if either the patient or the care partner are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second shot of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine.

Care partners must follow all safety precautions, even if vaccinated against COVID-19. Learn more about what key practices to follow after you receive both vaccine doses.

Important Details

  • Visitation risk levels will be evaluated weekly.
  • Visitation risk level will be communicated at front entrances and on digital displays.
  • If conditions worsen, we will initiate and communicate further restrictions, as needed.

Resources to Connect Virtually to Patients

An illustration of two adults communicating virtually.

During all visitation risk levels, we encourage phone and video visits. See a list of resources to connect to loved ones in the hospital. Our care staff can help set this up.

Patient Belongings and Essential Items

If a care partner is unable to visit due to safety restrictions or other reasons and the patient requires essential items from home, these items may be dropped off at the following locations. Please only bring essential items, such as hearing aids, glasses, dentures, communication devices (mobile phones, laptops, chargers), and small, inexpensive spiritual or religious items. Each hospital has a specific location for dropping off items.

  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital: Items may be dropped off at the front desk at the Zayed, Weinberg and Nelson buildings.
  • Sibley Memorial Hospital: Items may be dropped off at screening tables in Buildings A, B and D.
  • Suburban Hospital: Items may be dropped off at the main hospital entrance and given to the security officer at the information desk. Security will be responsible for tracking and delivering items to the clinical areas.
  • Howard County General Hospital: Items may be dropped off at the visitor entrance.
  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center: Items may be dropped off at the red awning entrance.
  • Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital: Items may be brought in by parents or guardians.

JHH Friendly Faces

To help connect patients with their loved ones, we have created a way for friends and families to share pictures with hospital patients through email. Simply email your favorite photos to JHH Friendly Faces at jhhfriendlyfaces@jh.edu, and a staff member will print up to eight photos per patient and deliver them to the patient’s bedside. Please make sure to include the patient’s full name and room number in the email. The goal of JHH Friendly Faces is to help our Johns Hopkins community feel a little closer to the people and things they care about during this stressful time.

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