Healthcare worker and visitor, wearing masks, filling out forms

Updated 11/19/2020

In order to safeguard patients, staff and the community – and in keeping with the most recent order issued by Governor Hogan – 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.

  • Inpatients, regardless of their COVID-19 status, may not have visitors at this time, except under specific circumstances.
  • Outpatients who are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 may have one designated support person to help facilitate care during an ambulatory visit, procedure or same-day surgery.
  • Different visitation rules may apply for patients who are under investigation or have tested positive for COVID-19.

Inpatient Visitors

Exceptions to the No Visitors Policy

  • At the end of life, patients may have up to three visitors at the bedside. Additional restrictions and procedures are required for visitors to patients who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. See our full temporary visitors policy for details.
  • For a child, including those suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, one parent or guardian may visit during hospital visiting hours, and one may remain overnight if the hospital can accommodate them.
  • Patients in labor, including those confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19, may have one designated support person, which could be their partner, a doula, birth coach or other support person.
  • Patients with disabilities, including those who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, may have one designated support person stay with them during hospital visiting hours, and one may remain overnight if the hospital can accommodate them.
    Note: In this context, disability means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. This does not apply to patients with impairments that are transitory and minor or have an actual or expected duration of 6 months or less.
  • Religious services from clergy of the patient’s choice are allowed for patients who are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. Services may occur at any reasonable time if it can be provided without disruption to care. Patients with COVID-19 or suspected of it may receive religious services in compassionate care circumstances or at end of life.

Given the highly infectious nature of the virus, all visitors — especially those visiting patients who are COVID-19 positive — must take infection prevention measures as directed by staff. Visitors to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients must also consent to an acknowledgment of risk statement. All visitors must be age 18 or older, unless they are the parent or guardian of a patient.

Additional special considerations are outlined in the full visitors policy for:

  • Behavioral health patients
  • Patients requiring aerosol-generating procedures
  • Patients undergoing emergency surgery related to a traumatic event
  • Care partner training or discharge education
  • Prisoners

Outpatient Appointments

  • One designated support person may accompany a patient, who is not suspected or confirmed to be COVID-19 positive, 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, regardless of COVID-19 status.
    Note: In this context, disability means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. This does not apply to patients with impairments that are transitory and minor or have an actual or expected duration of 6 months or less.
  • 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

In the exception where visitors are permitted, please keep in mind:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Visitors are not permitted food or drinks within any patient care areas.
  • Visitors may not smoke in any area within or outside of the facility.
  • Visitors may not give patients any nicotine-related items, medications/drugs not prescribed by the patient’s physician, or weapons of any type.
  • Visitors must comply with respectful and quiet conduct towards all patients, other visitors and staff at all times.
  • Violation of any UMMS facility policy will result in the visitor being removed from the premises and may be barred from any further visits.

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