Visitation Level: Red
Red (Extremely Limited Visitation)
At the red level, visitation is extremely limited.
Inpatients, regardless of COVID-19 status, are permitted to have one care partner, with designated exceptions. An individual facility may further restrict visitation to COVID-19+ patients if operational challenges prevent safe visitation.
Learn more about who is considered a care partner or designated support person.
Adult inpatients who are not confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 may have one care partner visit during specified facility visiting hours and for an overnight stay.
- This care partner also fulfills the role of the designated support person; a patient may designate up to two designated support persons as care partners during their stay, but only one may be present at any given time.
- Care partners who stay overnight should be vaccinated 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).
Adult inpatients confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 are permitted one care partner at the bedside during daytime visiting hours.
- When possible, the 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 waiting rooms or post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) bays: One care partner is permitted in the Emergency Department waiting room once the patient tests negative for COVID-19; no switch outs are allowed. One care partner may be permitted in surgical waiting areas during facility visiting hours (but will not have access to patient while in perioperative services or PACU). No care partners are permitted in other shared spaces except for designated exceptions.
- Individuals with disabilities: One care partner who fulfills the role of designated support person is permitted during specified visiting hours. A patient may designate up to two designated support persons as care partners during their stay, but only one may be present at any given time. One designated support person may stay overnight, but they must check in with guest services by 9 pm. Designated support persons should be vaccinated or test negative (either using a PCR test no more than 48 hours prior or a rapid antigen test obtained the same day).
- Behavioral health and inpatient rehabilitation units: No care partners are allowed except as approved by the facility. These approvals will be granted ahead of the visit and will be for a prescribed date and time and a limited duration.
- Emergency Department: No care partners are permitted in the Emergency Department waiting room until the patient tests negative for COVID-19, unless designated exception. One care partner is permitted in the Emergency Department waiting room once the patient tests negative for COVID-19; no switch outs are allowed. One care partner is allowed at the bedside if the patient is in a private room and the patient's COVID-19 test is negative.
- Labor and Delivery: All laboring patients, including those suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, are allowed to have one care partner, which may be their partner or another designated support person such as a birth coach or doula.
- For children and newborns: One parent or guardians is allowed at the bedside of a child, including those who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.
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 vaccinated 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 the individual is the parent or guardian of a hospitalized patient or is a care partner of a patient at the end of life.
- Disabled patients may identify two 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 inpatients, including those who are COVID-positive:
- Up to three care partners are permitted at the bedside at any one time; a maximum of nine individuals may be identified as care partners. There are no restrictions on the age limit for care partners in this situation.
- Patients may receive religious services in compassionate care circumstances or at the end of life.
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.
- This visit is limited to the patient's room only and will not be longer than one hour.
- 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. One designated support person is allowed to stay overnight. All care partners who are designated support persons should be vaccinated 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 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.
- Patients who are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 may receive religious services in compassionate care circumstances or at the end of life.
- Patients who are not confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 may receive religious services from clergy 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.
- All clergy 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 patient and care partner discharge education is medically necessary, or when critical updates need to be provided.
- Patients are prisoners and may require up to two guards at the bedside at a time.
For all patients regardless of COVID-19 status, no care partners are allowed at outpatient visits, with designated exceptions. Please note: Regardless of COVID-19 status, pediatric patients must be accompanied by an adult.