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. 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.
Chester County Hospital Visitation Exemption Guidelines
Updated: July 1, 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 duration of the visit.
- Intensive Care Nursery (ICN) and pediatric patients may have two healthy parents visiting one time per day each (one in the am and one in the pm).
- 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, or behavioral concerns may have one healthy visitor, parent, or guardian.
- Patients receiving care in a Non-COVID Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Progressive Care Unit (PCU) may have one healthy visitor entering the facility one time per day.
- Patients on all other Non-COVID inpatient units (medical, surgical and telemetry) may have one healthy visitor per day.
- Patients undergoing procedures including surgery may have one healthy 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 healthy visitor to assist with discharge, if necessary.
- To be consistent with the inpatient guidelines, Emergency Room patients can have one healthy visitor with them (see more specifics under the Emergency Department visitor instructions below).
- Family members of employees and physicians, who are members of the medical staff may have the employee or physician visit their family member. The employee/physician must have their ID badge visible at all times. (Visitors have been restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic to limit non-essential traffic in the hospital by those that are not normally present. Employees and physicians are either regularly working at the hospital or permitted to be in the hospital intermittently without restriction).Obstetrics (Labor and Delivery including post-partum) patients may have one healthy support person stay with them for the stay of the visit.
Visitor Instructions for the visitors permitted in the section above only:
- Visiting hours for ICU, PCU, Medical-Surgical, and Telemetry units will be during the hours of 6a-10p only.
- Only one visitor can visit per day. (exception: actively dying patients may receive two healthy visitors at the time of death). Although only one visitor is allowed per day it does not need to be the same visitor each day, however visitors cannot switch throughout the day.
- All visitors must wear a face covering or mask at all times.
- All visitors will be subject to enhanced screening questions. Visitors with respiratory symptoms, a concern related to any of the screening questions or a temperature of 100°F or greater will not be permitted entry into the hospital; they will be given masks and referred to appropriate medical care.
- Visitors may enter and leave the hospital once per day, as applicable based on the specific department guidelines below.
- Visitors should remain with their loved ones with the exception of using the bathroom or going to the cafeteria.
- 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 or CNO.
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 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.
- 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 and Cardiology:
- Patients presenting to the hospital for a procedure may have one healthy visitor accompany them. Due to the availability of limited seating and the need for social distancing, the support person is encouraged to go home if possible to wait.
- If this is not feasible, they can wait in their car or in the designated waiting area as long as there is seating available.
- The physician will call the support person when the procedures has ended with a post-procedural report.
- Prep-Recovery/ ACC will call the support person to return to the Prep-Recovery/ACC for pick up at the curb for discharge unless they need to be present 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 will then be permitted to go to the room to see their loved one.
- If the patient is to be discharged, Prep-Recovery will inform the support person where to meet the patient for discharge.
Emergency Department (ED) Visitation Process:
- One healthy visitor can accompany and stay with the patient in the ED. Visitors are not permitted to switch throughout the stay.
- All visitors will be directed to the walk-in entrance to ensure thermal screening by ED arrival nurse, security screening and visitor badge.
- Visitors must wear a mask at all times or they will be asked to leave the department.
- If a visitor leaves the building they will not be permitted back in.
- If a patient is or becomes a confirmed COVID-19 positive patient, visitation is not allowed or will be discontinued.
- If a patient needs to wait in the waiting room, the visitor must return to their car or go to the designated waiting area to wait, in order to maintain social distancing (exceptions would be those visitors who are needed to facilitate care or parents of a pediatric patient).
- The support person can be with their loved one once they are placed in a room in the ED.
- End of Life patients, as consistent with inpatients, may have two healthy visitors present.
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.