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COVID-19 Update

Due to interest in the COVID-19 vaccines, we are experiencing an extremely high call volume. Please understand that our phone lines must be clear for urgent medical care needs. We are unable to accept phone calls to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations at this time. When this changes, we will update this website. Our vaccine supply remains limited. Read all COVID-19 Vaccine Information.

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Visiting Hours

Modified Patient and Visitor Guidelines

For the safety of our patients, staff and community, Howard County General Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, is modifying our patient and visitor guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.


HCGH is a patient and family-centered facility and we recognize the important role family and friends play in the healing process. We try to make our visiting hours as flexible and patient-directed as possible.

There are some areas where patient request, clinical needs or unit logistics require visitation restrictions. Speak to your nurse about any limitations that might exist in your area. General visitation hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and we request you abide by our quiet hour guidelines from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

With the your consent, a family member, friend or other individual  – who may or may not be your surrogate decision maker – may be with you throughout your stay, as long as it does not conflict with a medical or safety issues. You may also refuse visitors at any time.

All visitors must receive a visitor’s pass from the Information Desk in the hospital lobby and must wear the badge while in the hospital. Visitors who are ill should not visit patients. If a visitor displays unsafe, threatening or aggressive behavior, security measures will be taken to protect our patients and staff.

It is the policy of Howard County General Hospital to prohibit visitation discrimination based on age, gender, race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disabilities. This non-discrimination policy applies to all facilities and programs of the hospital.

General Visiting Hours

9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Rules for Specific Units

Some areas have more restrictive visitation guidelines based on the nature of the clinical care they deliver:

Emergency Room

  • Families are welcome to stay at the patients’ bedside as long as the patient is in agreement.
  • If the patient’s clinical condition requires, we may have to ask visitors to step out of the room.

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

  • We ask that no more than two people at a time are at the bedside due to space constraints. A family waiting room is located immediately outside the Intensive Care Unit.
  • Although we do not restrict the amount of time of visits, there may be times when visitors are asked to step out of the room for safety, medical or therapeutic reasons according to the individual’s plan of care.

Labor and Delivery

  • Visitors are welcome 24 hours a day.
  • The number of visitors is limited (and includes children).
  • Children under 16 must be accompanied/supervised at all times by an adult who is not the patient.
  • Visitors must check in at the Registration Desk.
  • Visitors should be in good health and wear protective materials when necessary.
  • Other visitors can wait in a designated area.
  • In TRIAGE: one support person per patient.
    In LABOR, limit 4 visitors (primary support plus 3 others).
    In PRE-OP, OR. POST-OP/PACU: one support person per patient.

Maternal Child Unit

  • Fathers or designated companion may visit any time (provided they wear numbered/maternity issued baby bracelet as an identifier).
  • Grandparents, siblings and others may visit between 9 a.m.–9 p.m.(exceptions made only by charge nurse or manager)
  • Children under 16 must be accompanied/supervised at all times by an adult who is not the patient.
  • Visitors should be in good health and wear protective materials when necessary.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

  • Parents are welcome 24 hours a day.
  • There may be times when visitors are asked to step out of the NICU for short times to protect the confidentiality of others or for medical/therapeutic patient care reasons.
  • Two people may visit at a time at the bedside; one must be a parent.
  • Additional visitors may wait in the family waiting room located immediately outside the NICU.
  • All visitors must strictly adhere to infection control practices throughout their stay.
  • Siblings older than two years may visit and must be supervised by a parent while in the NICU. They must be free of communicable diseases.


  • Parents are encouraged to stay with their children 24 hours a day. In lieu of a parent, any adult authorized by the parent may stay with the child.
  • For the safety of our patients, we discourage visitors under the age of 12, who often have increased exposure to community-acquired viruses.

Psychiatry (1 North)

  • Standard visiting hours are 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. seven days a week and additionally 1 to 2:30 p.m. on weekends. Visiting will occur in the day room, interview rooms or alcove. Visiting in the patient rooms is not permitted due to safety and confidentiality issues.
  • Visiting hours may be individualized as appropriate to the plan of care. Support individual(s) of the patient’s choice will be included in meeting with the patient and care team regarding the plan of care unless medically or therapeutically contraindicated.
  • Phone communication is available at all times except during group sessions and after 10 p.m.

Surgery (Periop)

  • Due to space constraints, visitation at the bedside will be limited to two visitors per patient.
  • Visitors will be permitted as soon as the patient’s status is deemed stable in the post anesthesia care unit.
  • There may be times when visitors are asked to step out of the area for short periods to protect the confidentiality of others or for medical or therapeutic patient care reasons.
  • Both parents of a child 18 years of age or younger may stay at the bedside at all times
  • One parent of a child 18 years of age or younger may accompany their child to the operating room/procedure area until induction of anesthesia is complete.


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