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Penn State Health changes visitation guidelines to include emergency departments, clinics

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Penn State Health recognizes the importance of family and support persons in health care. As cases of COVID-19 continue to decline in hospitals and inpatient clinics, the health system is revising its visitation guidelines, effective Feb. 15.

Under the revised guidelines, adult patients of emergency departments and clinics at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, St. Joseph Medical Center, Holy Spirit Medical Center and Penn State Health Medical Group locations may now have one family/support person per stay.

Previous visitation guidance remains in place:

  • Adult inpatients, adult outpatient surgery patients and adult outpatient procedure patients may have one family/support person per stay.
  • Pediatric outpatient procedure patients may have two family/support persons per stay.
  • Pediatric inpatients and pediatric surgery patients may have two family/support persons per stay.

The health system has adopted several additional visitation exceptions:

  • COVID-positive labor and delivery patients meeting Special Pathogens Isolation criteria are permitted an asymptomatic support person who must agree to conditions outlined in the visitation policy.
  • A support person may visit patients having new radiation consults and/or radiation treatments.
  • A support person may visit patients suffering from acute delirium who would benefit from seeing familiar faces/family. These patients will have specific visiting hours and guidelines set by the care team.

Penn State Health will continue to make iPads available for communication between care teams, patients and families.

Penn State Health will continue to screen all family/support persons who wish to enter any facility, and no one with COVID symptoms will be permitted to enter. Everyone entering the facilities will also be required to wear a mask at all times and maintain social distancing guidelines.

Penn State Health offers virtual screenings for COVID-19 through its telehealth service, Penn State Health OnDemand. Anyone with concerns they may have COVID-19 may use the service to talk directly with a provider who can evaluate symptoms and make care recommendations.

The adult and pediatric visitation guidelines are available on Penn State Health’s website.

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