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Visitation Policy – All WellSpan Health Facilities

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Updated November 17, 2020

WellSpan Health has developed protocols to maximize the health and safety of our patients, visitors and staff from the spread of COVID-19. Effective Tuesday, November 17, due to the rising rates of sustained community transmission of COVID-19 across central Pennsylvania, all WellSpan facilities will temporarily prohibit visitation, with certain clinical exceptions of support persons (noted below).

Face Coverings

All patients, support persons and approved visitors over the age of two coming into our facilities must have a face covering (e.g. mask, scarf, bandana, etc.) regardless of COVID-19 status. Each person entering our facilities is encouraged to bring their own mask.

In accordance with Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health order dated June 9, 2020, exceptions will be made only for patients for whom masking would create a further health risk. If a healthy support person refuses to wear a mask, they will not be admitted into the facility unless they are the support person for a patient with a disability or the parent of a minor and for whom wearing a mask would create a further health risk.

Health Screenings

When entering a WellSpan Health facility, patients and approved support persons are required to complete a health screening, which includes answering questions about their health related to COVID-19. Any support person who screens positive may not enter with the patient. If the patient screens positive, the patient will be directed to contact their PCP for guidance and care. Anyone with serious symptoms will be directed to the Emergency Department.

Emergency Department

Visitors are prohibited in the Emergency Department (ED) patient areas. One person may accompany a patient to the entrance of the ED screening location and must either wait in their vehicle or leave the hospital campus until the patient is discharged. If the patient is under the age of 18 or if the patient is mentally incapacitated a parent or guardian is permitted.

Labor and Delivery, Maternity Patients

Obstetrical patients may have one birth support person accompanying them throughout their admission and care. This person must be ≥18 years of age (unless they are the parent of the baby) and are in good health.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Patients

Two healthy parents/guardians will be allowed in the unit at a time and they are approved for the entirety of the hospitalization.

Outpatient Procedures, Surgeries, Testing and Physician Visits

For patients undergoing outpatient surgery, testing, and for patients with a primary care or specialty care appointment, one person may accompany the patient to the facility’s screening location and then must wait in their vehicle or leave the facility campus while the procedure/surgery/test/care visit is being completed. If the patient is under the age of 18 or if the patient is mentally challenged a parent/guardian is permitted.

End of Life

All end of life patients regardless of COVID-19 status who are admitted to any health care unit may have only two support persons allowed into the unit at a given time. A visit from clergy may be considered in these situations.

Behavioral Health Unit

Behavioral Health Unit visitation has specific requirements unique to that service.

Volunteers, Third-Party Vendors, Contractors and Non-Employee Contracted Staff and Deliveries

In addition to visitor restrictions, WellSpan hospitals and care locations are currently limiting entry to individuals deemed essential to provide patient care.

  • At this time external clergy are not permitted. WellSpan’s Pastoral Care staff are available for patient and family needs
  • Volunteers are returning in some capacities, but those involved in Pet Therapy are not yet.
  • Only licensed service animals are currently permitted in WellSpan facilities. No other pets are permitted.
  • Only approved and screened third-party vendors are permitted.
  • Non-employed contracted staff entering the building to work must follow employee screening.
  • Deliveries of food and flowers to patients are to be delivered to designated entrances. Deliveries are accepted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Hospital staff ordering food delivery must arrange for pick-up of the delivery at an exterior entrance, not in the hospital lobby.
  • Food delivery to outpatient locations must be to an outside entrance.
  • Visitors permitted based on noted exceptions are limited to visiting only the patient’s location and are not permitted in other traditionally public areas of the hospital or care location (i.e., cafeteria, snack bar).

To protect yourself, your family and our communities, remember simple, effective steps to stay safe and stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities:

  • Limit gathering sizes – even small gatherings carry big risk. 
  • Avoid eating or drinking in groups.
  • Follow masking and social distancing guidelines.
  • Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.