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Temporary Visitation and Caregiver Guidance During COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated as of 12/29/2021

Our mission is to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19

The goal of this visitation guidance is to protect medical staff and beneficiaries from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19. The local HPCON level and medical necessity may dictate processes that are more restrictive than shown below.

Definitions    

Visitor – relative, partner, friend, or colleague that is a guest of an inpatient. 
Caregiver – relative, partner, or friend of the patient (or parent/guardian) who chooses to provide assistance with transportation, rehabilitation, psychosocial support, and/or cognitive needs of the patient in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. 
PUI – patient under investigation for COVID-19

Inpatients

All inpatient caregivers will be required to review and sign in at the nurse’s station confirming they will adhere to all public health and infection control procedures, to include:

  • Wear a mask in accordance with current hospital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) policy at all times.
  • Maintain six feet of physical distancing within the patient room as much as possible.
  • Perform hand hygiene immediately upon entering and leaving the patient room.
  • Limit movement to other areas of the hospital except as necessary for transit to and from the patient room.
  • Acknowledge potential risk of exposure to and acquisition of COVID-19 infection while in the hospital.
  • Undergo a daily COVID/influenza-like illness symptom screening by ward staff.
  • Acknowledge that failure to adhere to these requirement may lead to having their visitation rights revoked. 

Adult Inpatients

  • No visitors will be permitted on the adult inpatient ward.
  • No PUI or COVID-19 positive caregivers are permitted to visit the adult inpatient ward.
  • End of Life Care – Identified when care has been transitioned to comfort-only directed care or patient death is imminent despite medical interventions as deemed by the medical team. Two visitors are allowed at a time.
  • One caregiver is permitted for all inpatients.
  • One caregiver is permitted for patients undergoing emergency surgery or procedure.
  • Caregiver transit is restricted to the surgical waiting area and the patient room.
  • Exceptions to the above may be made on a case-by-case basis. Exceptions do not apply for PUI or COVID-19 positive patients. No caregivers are allowed for adult COVID-19 positive patients or PUIs except by Directorate-level Exception to Policy.
    • Exceptions for end-of-life/withdrawal of care: one caretaker at a time is permitted wearing full PPE (just-in-time PPE training will be provided by care team).

Pediatric Inpatients

  • No visitors will be permitted on the Pediatric Inpatient Ward.
  • The family of each pediatric patient is allowed to name up to two primary caregivers for the duration of the hospital stay. Designated caregivers will not change during the patient’s hospitalization.
  • At least one caregiver should be the parent or legal guardian.
  • PUI or COVID-19 positive caregivers are permitted on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the healthcare team, if they are the parent or legal guardian. If the PUI or COVID-19 positive caregivers are allowed, patient may need to placed on PUI precautions.
  • If a caregiver develops symptoms of COVID-19, the caregiver will undergo testing, and the pediatric patient will be treated as a PUI.
  • Pediatric patients hospitalized as a PUI or confirmed COVID-19 positive will be allowed only one designated caregiver who should stay with the patient in their room during the patient’s stay.
    • The caregiver may order inpatient meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) for him/herself and the tray should be delivered to the room.
  • Exceptions to the above may be made on a case-by-case basis by Directorate-level Exception to Policy

Special Care Nursery (SCN) Patients

  • No visitors will be permitted into the SCN.
  • Special Care Nursery patients' families are permitted to name up to two primary caregivers for the duration of the hospital stay. Those designated as such cannot change during the patient's hospitalization.
  • The caregivers should be parents or legal guardians.
  • All caregivers must wear a hospital issued mask when in the SCN.
  • No PUI or COVID-19 positive caregivers are permitted to visit the SCN.

PUI or COVID-19 positive caregivers may visit in the SCN once all of the following criteria are met:

  • Ten days have elapsed since symptoms first appeared or individual had COVID positive test.
  • If immunocompromised or recovered from COVID-19 requiring a hospital admission, 20 days have elapsed since symptoms first appeared or individual had COVID positive test.
  • Resolution of fever without the use of antipyretics for at least 24 hours.
  • Improvement in COVID symptoms.
    • Exceptions on a case-by-case basis may include critically ill infant or end of-life care (at the discretion of the attending Neonatology and nursing staff).

Obstetric Patients

  • No visitors will be permitted into the obstetric ward.
  • One caregiver will be permitted during the Labor and Delivery triage process. 
  • Once the patient has been admitted, one designated caregiver and a professional doula will be permitted.
  • One designated caregiver for obstetric patients will be permitted for labor, delivery, and duration of mother's hospital stay. The designated caregiver should remain in the patient's room as much as possible. Exception for visitation of infant in the Special Care Nursery (see Special Care Nursery section).
    • A pre-printed band will be placed on the wrist of the designated caregiver.  Wrist band must be worn at all times.
  • Post-partum patients (re-admitted after discharge from delivery), can have one designated caregiver and newborn as long as at least the designated caregivers is present to care for newborn.
    • Caregiver can stay overnight with patient.
  • One caregiver will be permitted for obstetric patients who are PUI or COVID-19 positive.
    • Exceptions for end-of-life/withdrawal of care, stillbirth, peri-viable delivery, expected life-limiting or life-threatening condition for the newborn, or mother. One caregiver at a time is permitted wearing full PPE (just-in-time PPE training will be provided by care team).
    • This caregiver will not travel anywhere else in the hospital.

All Outpatient Services

  • One caregiver will be permitted to accompany adult outpatients in order to facilitate care or treatment.
  • An exception for pediatric patients authorizes a second caregiver and/or minor siblings to be permitted at the discretion of the treating provider so long as their presence does not disrupt the provision of care.
  • For the safety of our patients, caregivers will not be permitted in our cancer infusion suites where care is being delivered. One designated caregiver may be allowed with a pediatric patient undergoing an outpatient infusion, provided that caregiver screens negative for COVID-19 symptoms.

Emergency Department

  • For the safety of our patients, one (1) caregiver per patient will be permitted into the Emergency Department (ED) lobby and exam room to provide additional history to optimize the patient’s medical care and assist with disposition.
  • The family of each pediatric patient is allowed to name up to two primary caregivers for the duration of the ED stay. Designated caregivers will not change during the patient’s ED visit. Visitors who are not identified as caregivers of ED patients, will not be allowed to remain in the ED lobby.

If you’re unable to follow the visitation policy, please discuss other care options with your provider or reschedule your appointment by calling the appointment line at 1-855-227-6331


Previous Temporary Visitation Guidance

Date: 8/31/2021

Adult Inpatient Medical-Surgical and ICU Visitation Policy

Caregiver visitation guidelines help protect our patients, their caregivers and our staff members by limiting spread of COVID-19. The following guidances for the Medical-Surgical and Intensive Care Units are in addition to our current hospital-wide visitation policy. We continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in our community and may update these guidelines as needed to provide safe care to everyone:

  • No visitors or caregivers are permitted to see COVID-19 positive or patients under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19.
  • No visitors or caregivers under the age of 18 are permitted at this time.
  • Caregivers, 18 years and older, may be permitted to visit inpatients on the Adult Inpatient Medical-Surgical Units (7N, 6N, 6C) and within the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
  • Visitations are limited to one caregiver/person at a time, between the hours of 10 a.m to 12 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m.
  • All caregivers must check in at the Nurse’s station or customer service desk to sign in, agreeing to follow mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing procedures.
The health and welfare of our staff and beneficiaries is always our top priority. Thank you for helping us protect the health of our community who we are honored to serve.

Date: 12/17/2020

Temporary Visitation and Caregiver Guidance during COVID-19 Pandemic Posture

Our mission is to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.

The goal of this visitation guidance is to protect patients, caregivers, and medical staff from unnecessary risk of exposure to COVID-19. This guidance applies to patients presenting to Fort Belvoir Community Hospital for in-person visits and to caregivers accompanying patients for inpatient or outpatient care. Authorization to implement more restrictive processes is reserved when medical necessity dictates using best medical judgment and on locally-determined Health Protection Condition (HPCON) level.

VISITORS, defined as relatives, partners, friends, or colleagues that are guests of the patient, are not permitted.

  • Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the attending staff for end-of-life/withdrawal of care, according to the current hospital policy.

CAREGIVERS, defined as relatives, partners, or friends that the patient chooses to provide assistance with transportation, rehabilitation, psychosocial support, and/or cognitive needs, are permitted for the following patients as indicated below, following a negative screening for COVID-19 symptoms.

All persons entering the facility must have an appointment or be conducting official business

  • Patients and caregivers/visitors will be screened for illness prior to entry.
  • Patients and caregivers/visitors are expected to wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth upon entering and while moving about the facility or waiting rooms and when not able to maintain 6 feet of social distancing.
  • Visitors under the age of 18 (including infants and siblings) are not allowed.
  • Caregivers/visitors over the age of 65 are strongly discouraged due to the increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection.

Inpatient Services

  • Visitors are not permitted in the adult inpatient wards.
  • Patients undergoing emergency surgery or other procedures may have one visitor who remains in the designated surgical waiting area and patient's room.
  • One caregiver is permitted to meet the inpatient at front entrance for hospital discharge.
  • End-of-Life Care: Two visitors are permitted at a time. No travel is authorized in the hospital except as necessary for transit to and from the patient's room.
  • Pediatric patient's families are permitted to name up to two primary caregivers for the duration of the hospital stay.
  • Pediatric patient's hospitalized as COVID-19 positive or Patient Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 are permitted only one designated caregiver who remains in the patient's room.
  • Special Care Nursery patient's families are permitted to name up to two primary caregivers for the duration of the hospital stay.
  • One designated visitor for obstetric patients is permitted for labor, delivery, and the duration of mother’s hospital stay.
  • Visitors are not permitted for obstetric patients who are COVID-19 positive or PUI for COVID-19. Exceptions for end-of-life/withdrawal of care, stillbirth, peri-viable delivery, expected life-limiting or life-threatening condition.

Outpatient Services

  • One caregiver is permitted to accompany outpatients in order to facilitate care or treatment.
  • Caregivers and visitors are not permitted in the Emergency Room. Exceptions on a case-by-case basis may be considered at the discretion of the attending staff.
  • Caregivers and visitors are not permitted in our cancer infusion suites where care is being delivered.
Don't forget to keep your family's information up-to-date in DEERS.