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COVID-19 Update

Johns Hopkins Medicine Visitor, Family, Care Partner Restrictions Related to COVID-19

A Message to Our Patients and Visitors

Updated June 12, 2020 | (Español)

We're all in this together written in chalk

Under normal circumstances, Johns Hopkins Medicine welcomes our patients’ visitors 24/7. We know in-person visits provide support and reassurance for patients and families alike. We pride ourselves on being a patient- and family-centered organization

But the COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult time for all of us. Times have changed quickly and dramatically due to the virus. As a patient-centered hospital, we must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this disease and protect our patients, staff and visitors.

In order to do this, our new visitor policy puts strong limits on visitors entering our hospitals and care facilities during this pandemic. No visitors will be permitted to visit or accompany patients, except for in certain situations.

Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H., senior director of infection prevention at Johns Hopkins, explains the reasons for this new visitor policy. 

Why can’t I visit my loved one now?

COVID-19 is a contagious disease. It spreads quickly and can be dangerous, especially to people who are seriously ill or living with chronic conditions. A person can have COVID-19 with mild symptoms and unknowingly spread it to others.

When fewer people enter the hospital, there is a greater likelihood that more patients, doctors and care providers will stay safe and well.

We also need to save our limited personal protective equipment for our hospital staff so that they can care for your loved ones.

 

How can I support my family member?

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.

When you follow our policy, you are taking an active role in keeping your loved one safer, while also supporting the well-being of other patients and staff.

If hospital patients need items brought from home, they can only be 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.

  • For The Johns Hopkins Hospital, items may be dropped off at the front desk at the Zayed, Weinberg and Nelson buildings.
  • For Sibley, items may be dropped off at screening tables in Buildings A, B and D.
  • For Suburban Hospital, items can 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 to the clinical areas.
  • For Howard County General Hospital, items may be dropped at the visitor entrance. 
  • For Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, items may be dropped off at the red awning entrance. 
father and child on an ipad

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 through jhhfriendlyfaces@jh.edu and a staff member will print up to 8 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 Hopkins community feel a little closer to the people and things they care about during this stressful time.

How long will this visitor policy last?

We cannot predict exactly how long active transmission of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 might last, so we must wait and monitor its progress before we can make changes to the visitor policy.

We thank you for your understanding.


Visitor, Family and Care Partner Guidelines for Hospitals and Outpatient Clinical Facilities

Updated June 17, 2020 | (Español)

To protect our patients, visitors and staff members as we expand access to our care facilities, we still need to restrict visitors, family and care partners until further notice.

Below is a summary of our policy. Please note that all exceptions require approval so please talk to your doctor or care staff.

 
Hopkins staff help to mark the floor with tape to indicate safe social distancing.

All Adult Inpatient Facilities

No visitors are allowed unless there is the following exception:
One visitor is allowed:

  • For patients with a disability who require bedside care from a caregiver due to the specifics of their disability.
  • For patients undergoing emergency surgery related to a traumatic event.
  • If the patient’s care team requests the visitor to be a part of scheduled family training for patients with rehabilitation or for help with cognitive needs.
  • For discharge education for patient when in-person bedside education is required.
  • End-of-life care: Two visitors are allowed at a time. Other family members will have to remain outside the facility to rotate in special circumstances.
 

Pediatric Inpatient Facilities

  • Non-COVID-19 patients – Two parents/guardians can be identified to visit during your child’s hospital stay. Only one parent may visit at a time.  Due to safety and infection control standards, we ask that parents make one switch per day to decrease infection risk. Switches must be done outside of the hospital.
  • Possible COVID-19 patients – Only one designated caregiver will be allowed with pediatric patients hospitalized with possible COVID-19; that caregiver must stay with the patient in their room during the patient’s stay.
  • Caregivers should be parents or legal guardians, must be in good health and must remain in good health during the patient’s hospitalization.
  • All visitors to pediatric inpatient facilities outside the policy guidelines must be approved by the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center or Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital CMO and associate CNO.
 
Hopkins staff wearing a mask, seated at a desk.

Outpatient Facilities

  • Ambulatory surgery centers – No visitors are allowed.
    • Exception: One caregiver may accompany pediatric patients as well as individuals who have a disability and need assistance.
  • Adult and pediatric office visits at any Johns Hopkins Health System facility – No visitors are allowed; no siblings are allowed. 
    • Exception: One visitor is allowed for pediatric patients and patients with a disability who require care from a caregiver due to the specifics of their disability.
    • If a patient arrives with additional household members, local leadership will work with the patient/family to provide guidance on a case-by-case basis. Family members who are not within the household will not be permitted. Family members who are not able to safely physical distance within the waiting area will be taken to a designated area within the practice.  
  • Same-day surgery/procedure – No visitors are allowed. One visitor may escort a patient to registration, but must leave the building after providing their phone number.
    • Exception: One visitor is allowed for patients with a disability who require care from a caregiver due to the specifics of their disability.
  • Cancer center patients – No visitors are allowed where care is being delivered to potentially immunocompromised patients. Visitors can wait in the car or in designated area.
  • Gyn/Ob, maternal/fetal medicine, fetal assessment, fetal therapy or perinatal ultrasound – No visitors are allowed.
 

Emergency Department Services

No visitors are allowed unless there is the following exception:
One visitor is allowed with prior approval for:

  • Patients undergoing a critical care emergency. 
  • Patients with a disability who require bedside care from a caregiver due to the specifics of their disability.
 

Obstetric Patients

One designated visitor is allowed for labor, delivery and the duration of the birth parent’s hospital stay (at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Zayed 8 Security will record designated visitor’s name on visitation roster). One support person is allowed in the operating room during surgical delivery.

  • Once the designated visitor arrives, he or she should remain in the patient’s room as much as possible and limit in-hospital trips to the cafeteria, gift shop, etc. 
    • Exception: Provided for visitation of infant in newborn intensive care unit with regard to limitations on leaving the patient’s room.
  • If the designated visitor leaves the hospital, he or she cannot return to the hospital. 
    • Exception: Will be handled on a case-by-case basis with management review (e.g., long-term antenatal patients).
  • For Covid-19 positive obstetric patients – No visitors are allowed.
  • For a possible COVID-19 obstetric patient – The visitor must leave the hospital until the COVID-19 results are available. If the results are negative, the one designated visitor is allowed to return to the hospital.
 

If a visitor is approved based upon the criteria above, the visitor will need to follow our safety precautions:

  • Visitors will be screened for flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath and will not be able to stay if symptomatic.
  • Face masks are required to enter any of our care facilities.
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