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Increasing COVID-19 spread leads to visitation restrictions at Geisinger

DANVILLE-Geisinger hospitals are temporarily restricting routine, in-person visits to hospitalized patients, effective Monday, Nov. 2 until further notice.

They understand it can be difficult being apart from a family member when they’re in the hospital, and having that connection is important. Family and friends are encouraged to find alternatives ways of visiting, such as phone calls, Facetime, Skype and other means when possible. Geisinger provide iPads to family members to help make communicating with them even easier.

Clergy and doulas are part of the care team and not considered visitors.

Visitation for outpatient procedures, diagnostics and clinic appointments remains the same. Adult or pediatric patients who have an appointment at a Geisinger clinic, laboratory or radiology department may have one person accompany them, if necessary.

Exceptions noted here will still allow for visitation under special situations:

Patients who are medically unstable (two designated visitors)

All patients who are imminently dying (within hours to days), but who are not positive for or suspected to have COVID-19 (two visitors)

One-time “substitution” with two other visitors is permitted.

Visits should ideally be between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Patients undergoing surgery or procedures (one single-time visitor immediately after the procedure)

Delivering mothers (one support person)

Patients who are minors and those with limited decisional capacity (up to two parents or guardians)

Patients who have altered mental status, an intellectual, developmental or cognitive disability or a communication barrier (two visitors)

Patients with disruptive behavior where a family member is key to their care (two visitors)

Emergency Room patients (one designated visitor)

Patients being discharged (one visitor to help with discharge planning)

COVID-19-unit patient visitation criteria:

COVID-positive or persons under investigation (PUI) end-of-life patients (medically unstable or imminently dying) may have:

Two designated, unchanging visitors who may not switch out with other people

One-time visit from families (but allowed a second visit if death is imminent)

All approved visitors must:

Be 18 years of age or older and in good health

Bring a form of identification

Not have symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, recent loss of taste or smell or flu-like illness suggestive of COVID-19, and complete a health screening, including a temperature check, at the entrance before entry

Not have active COVID-19 infection

Be at least 10 days from onset of illness if they previously had COVID-19 infection

Wear a Level 1 mask or their own close-fitting cloth masks at all times (gaiters are acceptable, but bandannas and other loose cloths are not) and cover tracheostomies (e.g., with cloth, gauze, a second mask)

Masking for visitors is mandatory at all times in all Geisinger buildings. Any visitor who doesn’t comply may lose future visitation privileges.

Respect social distancing guidelines of 6 feet from all others

Wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before entering and after leaving a patient’s room

Use the same entrance for entry into and exit from the hospital

Identify themselves and stay in designated areas (not travel throughout the facility)

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