Healthcare worker and visitor, wearing masks, filling out forms

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) has put in place comprehensive, system-wide strict patient safety measures.

This approach includes requiring everyone to wear masks and limiting the number of visitors in our facilities.

As the COVID-19 crisis has evolved, we have continually updated our policies to better protect staff members, patients, visitors and our surrounding communities.

To increase the ways we support our patients and in light of our comprehensive safety measures, UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center has updated its visitor policy to allow limited visitors to inpatients who are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19

COVID-19 Patients

To help prevent the spread of the disease, patients diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are under investigation may not have visitors. There are limited exceptions, which include:

  • At the end of life, up to two visitors (at the same time) are allowed at the bedside for up to one hour, as approved by staff. Also, end-of-life religious services are permitted.
  • For a child, two parents or guardians may visit during hospital visiting hours, and one may remain overnight if the hospital can accommodate it. 
  • Patients with disabilities (including those who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19) may have two designated support persons or guardians stay with them during hospital visiting hours, and one may remain overnight if the hospital can accommodate them.

 We offer the opportunity for online visits with our Virtual Patient Connect service. 

With the exception of people with disabilities, outpatients who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 may not be joined by any visitors.

Given the highly infectious nature of the virus, all visitors — especially those visiting patients in COVID-positive units — must take infection prevention measures as directed by staff. Visitors to suspected or confirmed COVID patients must consent to an acknowledgment of risk statement.  All visitors must be age 18 or older, unless they are the parent of a patient.

Inpatient Visitors

Visitation can occur only after the patient’s initial admission COVID testing has confirmed their COVID-19 status. This applies to all patients, including those who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

Inpatients who are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 may have one visitor at the bedside in the Emergency Department as well as on medicine, surgery, trauma, pediatrics and obstetrics units (not inpatient rehabilitation units). There are additional criteria for visitors to behavioral health patients.

Only one person may visit per day; however, the visitor can vary from day to day. Each hospital sets visiting hours. All visitors must be age 18 or older, unless they are the parent of a patient.

Exceptions to the One-Person Limit

  • At the end of life, patients may have two visitors at the bedside without restrictions on time of day, as approved by staff.
  • For a child, two parents or guardians may visit during hospital visiting hours and one may remain overnight if the hospital can accommodate it.
  • Patients with disabilities (including those who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19) may have two designated support persons or guardians stay with them during hospital visiting hours, and one may remain overnight if the hospital can accommodate them.

Religious Services

Patients who are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 may receive religious services from clergy of their choice at any reasonable time if it can be provided without disruption to care.

Outpatient Appointments

  • One visitor may accompany a patient to facilitate care or treatment such as an ambulatory visit, procedure or same-day surgery. This visitor will remain with the patient or in a designated waiting area.
  • Patients with disabilities who need a support person can have one person to accompany them to outpatient visits. 
  • We discourage patients from having minors accompany them to appointments. If no other arrangement, such as a telemedicine visit, can be made, please call your provider’s office in advance to discuss options.

Guidelines for Visitors

When visitors are permitted, keep in mind:

  • Only one person may visit per day.
  • Visitation can occur only after the patient’s initial admission COVID testing has confirmed their COVID-19 status.
  • Frequent entry and exit from the hospital is discouraged. Some facilities may not allow visitors who leave to come back in the same day.
  • Visitors may be screened for flu-like symptoms.
  • Every person walking through our hospitals or physician practices must wear a face mask at all times.
  • Proper infection prevention practices – including masking, hand washing/sanitizing and social distancing – must be followed by all visitors.
  • Visitors must follow the directions of staff and each hospital's visitor policy rules.

Please see our Coronavirus Response FAQs for answers to common questions about our policy changes.