Atrium Health Continues to Phase in Relaxed Visitor Restrictions

06.15.2020 Atrium Health News

Note: Visitor restrictions are subject to change at any time and without notice. News releases on Atrium Health’s visitation policy as designed to let the public know when there are substantial changes taking place, but additional changes are sometimes put into place. For the most current system-wide policy, click here


CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 15, 2020 – As more North Carolina businesses open their doors in limited ways, Atrium Health is continuing to ease some of the visitation restrictions in place at its facilities, while ensuring COVID-Safe standards are in place. Effective at 5 a.m. on Monday, June 15patients may designate one person to visit them while hospitalized or, if needed, accompany them at Atrium Health care settings. There are exceptions to the policy for patients with certain conditions or who are being treated in environments where high-risk or immunocompromised patients are being treated.     

In AprilAtrium Health began leading the way forward as the first health system in the region to expand the delivery of care services, including the resumption of many types of surgeries that were suspended during the height of the pandemic period. It recently began allowing someone to accompany patients who were having surgery or a procedure. This most recent easing of the visitation policy takes the added steps to allow most patients to have one visitor each day in their hospital room or other appropriate patient areas.   

Our ability to deliver health, hope and healing for all is enhanced by the way family members and friends are able to support our patients during their time with us, said Dr. Suzanna Fox, deputy chief physician executive for Atrium HealthWe recognize having a loved one present provides comfort and can ease any anxiety a patient may feel. It helps the healing process, so we’re pleased to be at a point where we can now allow some limited visitation for most of our patients.”  

To ensure the safest environment possiblevisitors with symptoms of respiratory illness, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, will not be permitted to visit patients.     

Highlights of the New Hospital Visitation Restrictions 

  • Hospital visitation times will be daily from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. 
  • Only one designated visitor per patient allowed each day 
  • Switching visitors during the course of a day will not be allowed 
  • A different visitor may come the next day 
  • All visitors must: 
  • Be at least 18 years of age 
  • Appropriately wear a mask which completely covers the mouth and nose at all timesexcept while eating in designated areas. Visitors are asked to supply their own masks  
  • Undergo a health screening with temperature check upon entry to the facility 
  • Comply with all guidance related to social distancing and any other signage or direction from facility staff 
  • Remain in the designated areas at all times; they are not permitted to roam the hospital or facility 

Exceptions to Hospital Visitation Restrictions 

  • Visiting hour restrictions do not apply in maternity settings, nor in emergency departments or urgent care centers  
  • Surgical patients undergoing an early morning procedure may have one visitor with them even if arriving before 8 a.m. 
  • Pediatric patients (age under 18) will be allowed two parents/guardians any time of day 
  • Patients with the following conditions may be allowed more than one visitor, as determined by the treating physician and facility leadership: 
    • End of life circumstances 
    • Certain communication barriers 
    • Caregiver / Decision making 

Visitors are still restricted from any of Atrium Health’s skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation facilities or behavioral health units or facilities. Visitors are also not allowed for patients who are in any infusion center or oncology-related location or who have been diagnosed or being observed for possible infection with COVID-19.   

Special circumstances will be managed by the treating physician in coordination with facility leadership. 

Where visitation is not possible, family and friends are strongly encouraged to utilize other forms of support for their loved ones, such as phone calls or video chats on cell phones or other mobile devices. 

Highlights of Ambulatory (Doctor’s Office) Visitation Restrictions 

For outpatient and physician offices, one visitor may accompany a patient to an ambulatory appointment only if they are needed to provide clinical or emotional support 

All visitors must: 

  • Be at least 18 years of age 
  • Be in good health (free from respiratory illness, fever, cough, etc.) 
  • Undergo a health screening with temperature check upon entry to the facility 
  • Appropriately wear a mask at which completely covers the mouth and nose at all times. Visitors are asked to supply their own masks  
  • Be available by cell once patient is ready to be seen or stay with patient (dependent upon space availability) 
  • Comply with all guidance related to social distancing and any other signage or direction from facility staff. 

Exceptions to Ambulatory Visitation Restrictions 

Patients will not be allowed visitors in these circumstances: 

  • The patient has COVID-19, is being tested for or is believed to have COVID-19 
  • In any infusion center or other oncology-related location 
  • Situations where social distancing is not feasible 

Special circumstances will be managed by the treating physician in coordination with practice management. 

As the effects of the current pandemic state of emergency continue to evolve, additional changes to the visitation policy may be necessary and occur at any time. For the latest information, please visit www.atriumhealth.org/visitors.  


About Atrium Health  

 

Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Atrium Health is an integrated not-for-profit healthcare system with over 70,000 teammates at nearly 40 hospitals and 900 care locations. With locations throughout the Carolinas as well as Georgia, Atrium Health is a leading-edge innovator in virtual care and mobile medicine. It provides top-ranked pediatric, cancer and heart care to patients, as well as specialized musculoskeletal programs and organ transplants. Ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals in seven different specialties, it has also received the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize. Its flagship hospital, Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center, is the region’s only Level I trauma center and is consistently rated among the nation’s best. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all. Last year alone, Atrium Health provided more than $2.07 billion in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits.