Updated: March 22, 2021
Patients and families are at the center of the care we provide at Penn Medicine. We carefully consider how to maintain visitation while keeping patients, visitors, and employees safe. The current Visitation Guidelines for the Chester County Hospital Main Campus are listed below. Please read through these Guidelines carefully.
Currently, we have protocols in place to maximize the safety of all who enter our hospitals and facilities. These safety protocols include limiting visitors to accompany patients to appointments or see them in the hospital. We did not make this decision lightly, and thank you for your understanding. We will continue to evaluate our visitation guidelines in order to balance the needs of our patients and families with the need to limit exposure to COVID-19.
Planning Your Visit During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Hospital visiting hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week, except where noted. Exceptions may be made in certain circumstances.
When entering Chester County Hospital or one of its outpatient facilities, all patients and visitors are required to complete a Covid screening questionnaire. This may be in the form of a pre-screening questionnaire, received via text message prior to an appointment, or in the form of an on-site verbal attestation to symptom and exposure criteria. Any visitor who is sick, has a high risk of prior exposure or has traveled using a (non-commuting) bus, train, or plane in the last 14 days will not be permitted to enter. End of Life exceptions may be considered.
Penn Medicine Coronavirus Hotline
If you have any questions about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 disease, please call our toll-free hotline at 833-983-1350.
To help maintain a healthy environment, we are requiring all patients and visitors to wear a mask at all times. We ask that you bring your own mask to wear. If you do not have a mask, we will provide one.
Any mask with exhalation valves, gaiters, bandanas, scarves and gas masks will not be permitted in Penn Medicine hospitals and facilities.
Your mask must fully cover both the nose and mouth at all times.
Face shields should not be worn instead of a mask, unless for medical reasons.
Patients and visitors in procedural areas will be asked to change their personal mask for a surgical mask supplied by the hospital.
In addition to covering your face, you should practice social distancing and try to restrict your mobility as much as possible.
General Guidelines for All Visitors/Support persons:
- Patients with special needs or neurocognitive disability, or behavioral concerns may have one healthy visitor, parent, or guardian.
- Patients being discharged from the hospital may have one healthy visitor to assist with discharge, if necessary.
- All visitors must wear a face covering or mask at all times, including when they are in the room with the patient.
- Visitors are to be at least 16 years old.
- A patient’s faith leader is allowed to visit, in addition to the one healthy support person.
- Visitors may enter and leave the hospital once per day, as applicable based on the specific department guidelines below.
- Employees and physicians who are members of the medical staff may visit a family member who is a patient. The employee/physician must have their ID badge visible at all times. (Employees and physicians are either regularly working at the hospital or permitted to be in the hospital intermittently without restriction).
- Depending upon the treatments your loved one is undergoing when you arrive, visitation may be declined or restricted. The patient care team and front desk staff will work with you to arrange an alternative visitation time and/or date.
Department Specific Visitation Guidelines
Emergency Department (ED):
- Patients in the Emergency Department are allowed one healthy visitor/support person. The hours of visitation are not restricted.
- If a patient needs to wait in the waiting room, the support person must return to their car or go to a designated waiting area to wait, in order to maintain social distancing (except for those who are needed to facilitate care or parents of a pediatric patient).
- The support person can join the patient once they are placed in a room. Patients should call their support person to notify them that they have been placed in a room.
- This healthy support person should stay with the patient in their room in the ED, and the support person is not permitted to switch throughout the stay.
- End of Life patients are limited to two healthy visitors.
- Patients presenting to the hospital for a Radiology test/procedure may have one healthy visitor/support person accompany them.
- Visitors/support persons are restricted from attending patient appointments in Radiation Oncology. However, patients with special needs or neurocognitive disability, or behavioral concerns may have one healthy support person. Please pre-arrange the support person’s participation with the clinical staff.
- Visiting hours for ICU, PCU, Medical-Surgical, and Telemetry units will be during the hours of 10am-6pm only.
- Non-COVID patients receiving care on the Medical, Surgical and Telemetry units may have one healthy visitor/support person per day. (There is an exception made for actively dying patients.)
- Pediatric patients may have one parent stay with the hospitalized child for the duration of the hospitalization.
- Inpatient visitors must remain with the patient with the exception of using the bathroom or in a situation where the care team requires additional space for treatment.
- If there is an issue or question as to whether a visitor can come into the hospital the Nurse Manager (or designee) should be contacted. If consensus cannot be reached, the decision should be escalated to the CMO or CNO.
OB & Intensive Care Nursery:
- For Obstetrics (Labor & Delivery and Maternity), the healthy support person will be allowed to leave and return once a day.
- Support persons receive oral temperature screening twice daily during mother’s hospital stay.
- If the infant is in the Intensive Care Nursey (NICU), the department specific visitation guidelines will be explained in detail by the medical and nursing care team.
- NICU parents will receive screening questions and an oral temperature check at the entrance of the NICU each day, as occurs on L&D and Maternity. If their temperature is greater or equal to 100°F or any screening questions are concerning, they will not be able to visit and will need to follow up with their PCP for further instructions.
Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM):
- MFM will allow one adult healthy support person to be present for the patient’s Anatomy/Complete scan only.
- MFM patients who have support visitation need to prearrange with the staff so they are aware the support person is coming.
Surgery and Cardiology:
- Patients presenting to the hospital for a procedure may have one healthy visitor/support person accompany them.
- Due to limited seating and the need for social distancing, the support person is encouraged to go home to wait. If the support person chooses to stay, it is advised that he/she stay close to the Family Lounge; leaving only to use the restroom, Bistro or Pharmacy.
- The physician may call the support person when the procedure has ended with a post-procedural report.
- Prep-Recovery/Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) will call the support person to return to the Prep-Recovery/ACC for pick up at the Discharge door after the procedure. If the support person needs to be present for discharge instructions, they will be asked to return to Prep-Recovery or ACC to meet up with the patient.
- If the patient will be admitted to an inpatient bed, the unit will call the support person with the bed number and he/she will then be permitted to go to the room to see the patient.
- One healthy support person may visit on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- The duration of the visit is from 3-6 pm only.
- All visits must be arranged in advance with the nursing staff on the nursing units caring for the COVID patients. For some patients undergoing specific treatments, visitation may not be allowed.
- The visitor for a COVID patient will put on full Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) including gown, gloves, medical mask, eye protection/face shield once they reach the unit. The visitor will be instructed that they cannot remove the PPE while in the patient’s room for the safety of themselves and their family. The visitor will need to leave if they are observed removing PPE.
End of Life Patients:
- Visitors for patients at the end of life should be arranged in advance with the unit’s nursing staff whenever possible.
- Families may identify support persons to visit at the time of death. Two individuals at a time would be the expected number at the time of death, with exceptions to be prearranged.
- Family members of COVID patients will put full Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) including gown, gloves, medical mask, eye protection/face shield once they reach the unit. The visitors will be instructed that they cannot remove the PPE when in the patient’s room for the safety of themselves and their family. They will need to leave if they are observed removing PPE.
- The family members can only visit once and when they leave they will not be permitted back in - any exceptions will need to be approved by the nurse manager or designee.
We realize that these restrictions may create challenges, and we are very sorry for any difficulties they may cause. Opportunities exist for "virtual visitation" using a shared iPad in the patient room. If patients or their loved ones are interested in this, please contact the nursing unit. An invitation to a virtual meeting with a private ID and passcode will be sent to the virtual visitor. Hospital staff will be happy to facilitate when able. A video chat with a patient’s care team may also be requested. If you have questions or concerns, please call 610-431-5000.