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Patients at Cincinnati hospitals can now have a single 'support person' visit them per day

Policy does not apply to COVID-19 cases
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Posted at 12:15 PM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 13:01:19-04

CINCINNATI — Patients at Cincinnati-area hospitals are now allowed to have a relative or support person visit them during their stay. The policy does not apply to patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.

Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus announced the new Health Collaborative guidelines Friday.

She said the support person would serve as a liaison between the family and the nursing staff and explained how the policy wouldn’t increase exposure to the coronavirus.

“Hospitals are safe places for those of us that have emergent needs, going in for a surgery, going in to the (emergency department),” Driehaus said. “They have relegated the COVID patients to another part of that hospital, so there’s no commingling. They are now starting to open up who can visit folks that are at the hospital for things other than COVID-19.”

Here are the new guidelines for visitors to emergency departments and hospitalized patients:

  • Admitted patients may have one support person or family member accompany them.
  • The visitor must remain in the patient’s room and contact nursing staff when leaving.
  • Patients are allowed one visitor per day.
  • Visitation hours are 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Visitors must be older than 15 years of age.
  • Potential visitors should review CDC and state health department guidelines if visiting a patient with advanced age and chronic medical conditions and avoid visiting the hospital if these apply.
  • Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will not be allowed to have a visitor or support person.
  • Visitation or support persons for office visits may vary by provider. Patients are encouraged to check with individual providers to ensure they are clear on their provider’s policy.

There are also screening and mask guidelines visitors must follow:

  • Visitors must wear a mask at all times.
  • Masks must fully cover the nose and mouth.
  • Patients and visitors may provide and wear their own mask or will be required to accept and wear the mask provided by the hospital facility.
  • If a visitor refuses to wear a mask, visitors may be asked to leave the facility.
  • Exceptions may be made on an individual basis for those who are unable to wear a mask due to health or disability issues.
  • All visitors will be screened for symptoms or exposure history.
  • Visitors will be asked to leave the facility if they have had symptoms in the past 24 hours or exposures in the last 14 days.
  • Visitors must wash their hands, or use hand sanitizer, before and after leaving rooms and hospital buildings.

Visitors planning to go to a hospital should contact the facility directly for more information on the specific restrictions at that location.