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Red Visitor Guidelines for Patient Care Partners During COVID-19

Red Level Outpatient Care Partner Guidelines - More Limited

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.

Ambulatory Surgery Centers;
Hospital-based Adult Same Day Surgery
  • One adult care partner may come with the patient to check-in then must leave the facility until the care team contacts them.
Outpatient Obstetrics and Gynecology;
Maternal Fetal Medicine, Fetal Assessment;
Fetal Therapy; or Perinatal Ultrasound
  • One adult care partner may be with patient throughout the visit, including in waiting areas.
Outpatient Cancer Center Clinics;
Infusion Suites*
  • One adult care partner may be with patient throughout the visit, including in waiting areas.
  • *For infusion suites where there may not be enough space to accommodate a care partner: One adult care partner may accompany patient to and from the patient’s space in the infusion suite and wait in the waiting room during the infusion.
Adult Office Visits at Any Johns Hopkins Medicine Facility
  • One adult care partner may be with patient throughout the visit, including in waiting areas.
Pediatric Office Visits at Any Johns Hopkins Medicine Facility
  • Up to two adult care partners; no one else (including siblings) may come with the care partner(s) and patient to the visit.

LEVEL RED: More limited visits

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. Since most care partners are restricted due to safety during a red level, please review the Resources to Connect Virtually to Patients section to find other ways to visit.

Johns Hopkins Medicine evaluates its visitation risk levels every week and uses data that monitors the spread of COVID-19 in states and counties to help determine the level.

At the red level, in some cases care partners may need to request a visitor exception. Please review the guidelines below for details. All exceptions require review and approval before a care partner may arrive. Please talk to your provider or care team about an exception.

One care partner who has an approved exception is allowed per patient. Exceptions may be granted under the following circumstances:

  • A patient with a disability needs assistance.
    • Up to two care partners may be identified so they can take turns being with the patient 24 hours per day, if needed.
    • One care partner may be at the bedside at a time.
  • A patient is undergoing emergency surgery related to a traumatic event.
  • The care team for a patient with rehabilitation or cognitive needs has scheduled care-partner training.
  • In-person bedside discharge education is required for a patient and care partner.

Red Level Inpatient Care Partner Guidelines - More Limited

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.
  • One parent or guardian may be present; 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
(e.g., semiprivate rooms, bays, waiting rooms)
  • No care partners may visit except for designated exceptions.
Adult patients prior to a surgery or
procedure requiring an inpatient
hospitalization in a private room
  • One care partner may be with the patient until patient is taken into prep, provided there is enough space for physical distancing.
  • Once the patient is taken into the prep area, the care partner must leave.
  • Once a patient has been admitted, follow the guidelines listed below under the “All Other Adult Inpatients” section of this chart.
Emergency Department
(Patients in private rooms)
  • No care partners may visit except for designated exceptions.
Patients requiring aerosol-generating
continuous nebulizers)
  • No care partners except for designated exceptions.
  • If an exception is granted, no care partners may be in the patient’s room during the procedure, but they may enter once the procedure is done.
End of Life
(All patients)
  • Up to two care partners at the bedside at the same time; care partners may alternate throughout the day, for as long as the clinical team deems it is safe and feasible.
Obstetrics/Labor and Delivery
  • One care partner is permitted for labor, delivery and duration of birth parent’s hospital stay; must be same care partner throughout stay, except in cases where the patient has a disability (see above exceptions).
  • One doula is permitted for labor and delivery.
  • One care partner OR one doula is allowed in the operating room during surgical delivery.
  • No care partners except for designated exceptions.
  • All care partners to inpatient psychiatry units must be approved in advance by the service line leader, nurse manager and clinical director/vice chair.
(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; end-of-life care exceptions for siblings may apply.
  • Care partners must be the parents/guardians or be approved by the parents/guardians.
  • 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 the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and 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.


All Other Adult Inpatients (Patients in private rooms)
  • One care partner at a time may be at the bedside during visiting hours per day.
  • If a care partner needs to rotate, a new care partner may arrive the day after the current care partner exits the hospital (does not apply to end of life).
  • 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.
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