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 policies in order to balance the needs of our patients and families with the need to limit exposure to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 outbreak presents us with frequently evolving circumstances, and our visitation policies are subject to change based on the current situation. Individual Penn Medicine facilities may also change their visitation policies based on local conditions. We recommend you check with your care team or local facility before you arrive.
We realize that these restrictions may create challenges, and we are very sorry for any difficulties they may cause. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Patient and Guest Relations at 610-431-5457, and they can try to assist you.
Chester County Hospital Visitation Exemption Guidelines
Updated: May 18, 2020
The current visitation policy for Chester County Hospital is listed below. Please read all instruction for our guidelines have changed. The only visitors permitted are listed below:
- Obstetrics (Labor and Delivery including post- partum) patients may have one healthy support person stay with them for the stay of the visit
- Intensive Care Nursery (ICN) and pediatric patients may have one healthy parent visiting one time per day.
- Patients who are at the end-of-life, including patients with COVID, may have two healthy visitors at the time of death.
- Patients with special needs or neurocognitive disability, may have one visitor, parent, or guardian.
- Patients receiving care in a Non-COVID Intensive Care Unit (ICU) may have one visitor entering the facility one time per day.
- Patients undergoing procedures including surgery may have one visitor (see the process for patients coming to the hospital for procedures including surgery) for the details.
- Patients being discharged from the hospital may have one visitor to assist with discharge, if necessary.
Visitor Instructions for the visitors permitted in the section above only:
- Only one exempt visitor can be identified per patient. Families are encouraged to designate one person for the duration of the hospitalization (exception: actively dying patients may receive two healthy visitors at the time of death).
- All visitors must wear a face covering or mask at all times.
- All visitors will be subject to symptom screening. Visitors with respiratory symptoms or a temperature of 100ºF or greater will not be permitted entry into the hospital; they will be given masks and referred to appropriate medical care.
- If visitor leaves the unit where their loved one is receiving care, they must leave the hospital. Visitors may re-enter the next day between (6A-10P).
- Exempt visitors may enter and leave the hospital once per day.
- Exempt visitors remain with their patient; they may not walk around the hospital.
- If there is an issue or question as to whether an exempt 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 and CNO.
All Non-COVID ICU Visitor Instructions:
- Each ICU patient may have one designated healthy visitor daily.
- The visitor will stay in the patient room for the entirety of the visit, although the visitor may briefly step out of the room to use the bathroom, or in a situation where the care team requires additional space for treatment, the visitor may step into the hallway.
- Once the visit is over, the visitor must leave the hospital, and may reenter the following day from (6A-10P).
- There will not be any overnight guests in the ICUs during this period.
- If and when a patient is transferred out of the ICU to another unit, it must be clearly explained to the patient and the patient’s visitor that the visitor will not be able to accompany the patient to the unit.
OB & Intensive Care Nursery Visitor Instructions:
- While inpatient, mothers and support persons may both visit infants in the NICU and may come more than once per day.
- Once a support person leaves the hospital while a mother is still an inpatient, he/she cannot return until mother has been discharged.
- NICU parents will receive screening questions and an oral temperature check at the entrance of the NICU on arrival each day. If their temperature is greater or equal to 100F 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.
- Support persons receive oral temperature screening twice daily during mother’s hospital stay.
End of Life COVID/non-COVID Patient Visitor Instructions:
- Families may identify two persons to visit at the time of death. Multiple visits are not permitted.
- The family members of COVID patients will don full Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) including gown, gloves, medical mask, eye protection/face shield. The person must 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.
Process for Patients Coming to the Hospital for Procedures Including Surgery:
- In accordance with the updated guidelines, patients presenting to the hospital for a procedure may have one heathy visitor accompany them.
- The support person will stay in the car until the patient is admitted and put into a pre-operative bay.
- The Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) will call the support person to come to the assigned bay and stay with the patient until they leave for their procedure.
- The physician will call the support person with a post-procedural report.
- The ACC will call the support person to return to the ACC for pick up at the curb for discharge unless they need to be there for discharge instructions.
- If the patient will be admitted to an inpatient bed the unit will call the support person with the bed number.
- The support person can go to the room to see their loved one for a maximum of one hour and then must leave the hospital and can return when the person is ready for discharge
Process for Patients Coming to the Hospital for Cardiology Procedures:
- In accordance with the updated guidelines, patients presenting to the hospital for a cardiology procedure may have one healthy visitor accompany them to the Heart and Vascular Center (HVC).
- If the support person wishes to wait at the hospital until the procedure is over they must remain in the HVC.
- If the patient is to be discharged, the HVC center will inform the support person where to meet the patient for discharge.
- If the patient is being admitted to an inpatient bed, the support person can go to the room to see their loved one for a maximum of a one hour and then must leave the hospital and can return when the person is ready for discharge.
When entering Chester County Hospital or one of its outpatient facilities, all patients and visitors are required to complete a health screening, which may include having your temperature checked and answering some questions about your health and any recent travel. Any visitor who is sick, has a high risk of prior exposure or has traveled from a high-risk geographical area will not be permitted to enter any hospital or facility under any circumstances.
While you're in the hospital or facility, visitors may have periodic monitoring.
To help maintain a healthy environment, we are requiring all patients and visitors to wear a face covering or mask at all times. We ask that you bring your own face covering or mask to wear. If you do not have a face covering, we will provide one.
In addition to covering your face, you should practice social distancing and try to restrict your mobility as much as possible.
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.