Updated November 24, 2021

Yellow (Visitors Restricted)

Select a topic: Yellow Inpatient Visitation Guidelines | Safety Measures at Our Inpatient Facilities | Exceptions | Outpatient Appointments and Procedures

We are restricting visitation to our facilities at this time in order to protect our patients, their care partners, and our team members. There are some exceptions.

Condition Yellow – Inpatient Visitation Guidelines

  • Inpatients who are not confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 are permitted to have two care partners at the bedside at a time during daytime visiting hours. Care partners may switch out as needed.
  • Please be aware that due to the safety measures we have put into place to protect your loved ones from COVID-19, the care partner(s) not at the bedside may not wait in common areas in UMMS facilities. Only the care partner(s) currently visiting will be permitted to enter the hospital.
  • One care partner may stay overnight. If a care partner stays overnight, they must check in with guest services or the front desk no later than 9 pm.
  • Adults with COVID-19 or under investigation for it are permitted to have one care partner during daytime visiting hours. When possible, the care partner is to remain the same throughout the stay.

Learn more about who is considered a care partner or designated support person.

Additional Visitor Guidelines

  • Shared spaces, such as waiting rooms or a post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) bays:
    • Patients who are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 may have one care partner in shared spaces, and care partners may switch out as needed.
    • Patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 may have one care partner in the Emergency Department waiting room only, and care partners may switch out as needed. Otherwise, no care partners allowed in shared spaces except for end-of-life care or designated exceptions.
  • Individuals with disabilities: Patients, including those who are COVID-positive, may have two care partners stay with them at the bedside. One care partner may stay overnight, but they must check in with guest services or the front desk by 9 pm.
  • 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. Care partners may switch out as needed. Visits will be planned ahead of time on a certain date and time and will have a time limit to be determined by the treatment team.
  • Labor and Delivery: All laboring patients, including those suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, are allowed to have two care partners, which can be some combination of a partner, designated support person, birth coach or doula. The care partners of patients who are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 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. For patients who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, one parent or guardian may remain overnight if the facility can accommodate. For patients who are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, two care partners may remain overnight.
  • Emergency Department:
    • Patients who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 are allowed to have one care partner at the bedside with one switch permitted per 12 hours.
    • Patients who are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 are allowed to have two care partners at the bedside, and care partners may switch out as needed.

Patient Safety Measures at Our Inpatient Facilities

These measures are in place for both care partners (visitors) and designated support persons.

  • 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 they are 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.
  • We discourage frequent entry and exit from the hospital. Hospitals may not allow care partners who leave to return on the same day unless they are approved for an overnight stay.
  • Only the care partner(s) currently visiting will be permitted to enter the hospital. The care partner(s) 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.

Exceptions

End-of-Life Care

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; there are no restrictions on the maximum number of care partners identified or the age limit for care partners in this situation.
  • Care partners may switch out, according to their needs.
  • 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 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.

Emergency Department End of Life

  • For all patients, including those who are COVID-positive:
    • Up to three care partners are permitted at the bedside at any one time; there are no restrictions on the maximum number of care partners identified or the age limit for care partners in this situation. 
    • Care partners may switch out according to their needs.

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 two designated support persons at their bedside at all times. Overnight stays may be allowed for these patients, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.
  • 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 Accommodations

  • 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.

Other Exceptions

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.
  • The medical team considers it necessary for family/care partner meetings for difficult or sensitive conversations.
  • Patients are prisoners and may require up to two guards at the bedside at a time.

Outpatient Appointments and Procedure

For patients who are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19, one care partner may come with a patient if needed to help in the care of the patient during an outpatient visit, procedure, or same-day surgery.

For patients who are not confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19, one care partner may come with a patient if needed to help in the care of the patient during an outpatient visit or procedure. For same-day surgery, two care partners may come with the patient. Regardless of COVID-19 status, pediatric patients must 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.