Visitation Level: Orange
Updated September 7, 2022
Orange (Some Additional Restrictions)
Under Level Orange, some visitation restrictions exist to protect our patients, their care partners, and our team members, but there are exceptions in place.
Condition Orange – Inpatient Visitation
Inpatients who are not confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 are permitted to have two care partners at the bedside during daytime visiting hours. Visiting hours are determined by facility. Care partners may switch out as needed. Care partners not at the bedside may not wait in common areas in UMMS facilities; only the care partner currently visiting will be permitted to enter the hospital.
- One care partner may stay overnight. Care partners who stay overnight should be up to date with vaccination (as defined by the CDC) or test negative for COVID-19 (either using a PCR test no more than 48 hours prior to the anticipated overnight stay or a rapid antigen test obtained the same day).
Adults with COVID-19 or under investigation for it are permitted one care partner during daytime visiting hours; when possible, care partner to remain the same throughout the duration of the stay.
- Exceptions may be made at the request of the patient, care partner or medical team for overnight stays, if considered beneficial for the patient. Read about other designated exceptions, including end-of-life care.
- An individual facility may further restrict visitation to COVID-19+ patients if operational challenges prevent safe visitation.
Additional Visitor Guidelines
- Shared spaces, such as surgical waiting areas or post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) bays (see below for information about Emergency Department waiting rooms): Two care partners may be permitted in surgical waiting areas during facility visiting hours. One care partner is allowed in other shared spaces, and care partners may switch out as needed.
- Individuals with disabilities: Two care partners allowed at the bedside during daytime visiting hours, and they may switch out as needed. One care partner may stay overnight, but they must check in with guest services or the front desk by 9 pm. Care partners who stay overnight should be up to date with vaccination (as defined by the CDC) or test negative for COVID-19 (either using a PCR test no more than 48 hours prior to the anticipated overnight stay or a rapid antigen test obtained the same day).
- Behavioral health and inpatient rehabilitation units: Two care partners are allowed for patients, regardless of COVID-19 status, when the treatment team decides it is necessary. To ensure patient and care partner safety, care partners must call ahead and reserve a time slot to visit; care partners should refer to full Visitor Policy for more information.
- Emergency Department: One care partner is allowed in the Emergency Department waiting room or at the bedside and care partners may switch out as needed.
- Labor and Delivery: All laboring patients, including those suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, are allowed to have two care partners at the bedside. Care partners may switch out as needed.
- For children and newborns: Two parents or guardians are allowed at the bedside of a child, including those who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, during hospital visiting hours. One parent or guardian may remain overnight. Please see our guidelines for outpatient appointments and procedures.
These measures are in place for both care partners (visitors) and designated support persons until the pandemic emergency is considered over as declared by the State of Maryland.
- All care partners who are designated support persons or planning to stay overnight should be up to date with vaccination (as defined by the CDC) or test negative for COVID-19 (either using a PCR test no more than 48 hours prior or a rapid antigen test obtained the same day).
- Masks must completely cover your nose and mouth at all times while in the hospital. Care partners may wear cloth masks (without exhalation valves). Neck gaiter-style masks are not permitted. If staying overnight, care partners are not required to wear a mask while sleeping.
- Patients must wear masks at all times during a visit unless it cannot be tolerated due to a medical condition or young age (children).
- Care partners must be at least 18 years old. No care partners under 18 can enter the facility unless they are the parent or guardian of a hospitalized patient or visiting a patient at the end of life.
- Disabled patients may identify designated support persons as care partners (per Maryland regulation). Designated support persons must follow all hospital infection prevention policies. These practices may prohibit the designated support person from entering certain areas of the hospital.
- Care partners must follow the facility's check-in process upon entry. They will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19, may be asked about travel and gatherings and may have their temperature taken. If the care partner is showing symptoms associated with COVID-19, he or she will not be able to enter.
- Care partners who have COVID-19, are under investigation for it or quarantining because of COVID-19 should not visit until they are considered recovered based on CDC guidelines. Exceptions may be made for end-of-life visitation on a case-by-case basis.
- All care partners visiting end-of-life patients who have COVID-19 or are under investigation for it must review and sign the Acknowledgement of Risk Form with designated hospital staff before visiting the patient.
- Patients who have been tested for COVID-19 while in the hospital and are not COVID-19-positive or under investigation for COVID-19 can have visitors only after either their COVID-19 status is known or the care partner reviews and signs the Acknowledgement of Risk Form.
- Care partners should not eat or drink inside patient rooms or other patient care areas.
- Care partners not at the bedside may not wait in common areas in UMMS facilities.
- If a patient, designated support person and/or care partner are unable to comply with the hospital's infection prevention measures, they may propose reasonable accommodations that will not negatively impact the health of staff and other patients. The Infection Prevention Lead at the facility will review all proposed accommodations. Approval of any proposal is at the sole discretion of the Infection Prevention Lead.
End of life is defined as a patient who is actively dying, i.e., death is anticipated within the next 24 hours, or is receiving inpatient hospice.
For All Patients Regardless of COVID-19 Status
For all patients, including those in the Emergency Department:
- Up to three care partners are permitted at the bedside at any one time; additional care partners may be permitted at one time, if requested, at the discretion of the medical team.
- Care partners may switch out as needed.
- There are no restrictions on the age of care partners in this situation.
Patients Suspected or Confirmed to Have COVID-19
- Care partners must put on and take off the provided personal protective equipment (PPE) under the direction of staff. Care partners will be provided PPE, including instructions on how to utilize it.
- Care partners for patients who are COVID-positive or under investigation for COVID-19 must have reviewed and signed the Acknowledgement of Risk Form.
Patients With Disabilities
- Patients with disabilities have the right to have a designated support person present, in accordance with the Maryland Department of Health.
- Patients with disabilities who require support are allowed one designated support person at their bedside at all times. Overnight stays may be allowed for these patients, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. In Levels Orange and Red, all care partners who are designated support persons should be up to date with vaccination (as defined by the CDC) or test negative for COVID-19 (either using a PCR test no more than 48 hours prior or a rapid antigen test obtained the same day).
- When the designated support person for a person with disabilities does not have a designated support person present at the hospital, we will attempt to communicate relevant information with a patient's designated representative, while following patient privacy requirements. We will make an effort to contact the patient and designated support person before hospital admission, if possible, to let them know about this policy.
Please see Patient Safety Measures at Our Inpatient Facilities to learn more about the rules for designated support persons and care partners.
Religious or Spiritual Accommodations
- Patients may receive religious and spiritual support from a faith/spiritual leader of the patient's choice at any reasonable time if it can be provided without disruption to the clinical care of the patient or other patients on the unit or in the room.
- Faith/spiritual leaders do not displace other care partners or count towards the number of care partners allowed in this policy.
- All faith/spiritual leaders must follow hospital policies and procedures relating to patient visitation. They will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and may be required to have temperature screening. If the patient is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, they also must have reviewed and signed the Acknowledgement of Risk Form.
A care partner or designated support person may be allowed, when otherwise prohibited, when:
- Patient is undergoing emergency surgery related to a traumatic event.
- The staff requests the care partner to be a part of scheduled training for patients with rehabilitation or cognitive needs.
- In-person, bedside discharge education for patients and care partners is medically necessary, or when critical updates need to be provided.
- The medical team considers it necessary for family/care partner meetings for difficult or sensitive conversations.
- Patients who are prisoners may require up to two guards at the bedside at a time.
- Persons in active labor or who are scheduled for delivery are permitted to have at least one care partner at all times.
If needed to help with the care of the patient during the appointment, one care partner may come with a patient to an outpatient visit, and two care partners may come with a patient to an outpatient procedure or same-day surgery. Please note: Pediatric patients must always be accompanied by an adult.
- The care partner should be 18 years of age or older. Exceptions include: 1) if the patient is a minor and the accompanying individual is a parent or guardian, or 2) if the accompanying individual is the infant of a nursing mother.
- Care partners who are visiting, like all members of the UMMS community, are required to follow all infection prevention policies. This includes the facility's check-in process that screens for symptoms of COVID-19 and may include temperature screening.
- Care partners must remain with the patient or in the designated waiting area at all times. They may not be able to stay if waiting room restrictions create the possibility of an unsafe environment for patients, staff and others.
- Care partners should not eat or drink in patient care areas during outpatient visits.