Visitation Level - Red

Nivel de visitas – Rojo

If a visitor* is approved based upon the below, the visitor will need to follow our safety precautions:

  • Visitors will be screened for COVID-19 and/or flu-like symptoms, such as temperature, fever, cough or shortness of breath and will not be able to stay if symptomatic.
  • Visitors must socially distance when possible.
  • Face masks are required to enter any of our care facilities and must be worn at all times. Well-fitted masks covering both nose and mouth REQUIRED for all patients and visitors at Meritus Medical Center and at all Meritus Health Ambulatory practices.
  • If an exception is made and a visitor is entering a suspected/COVID patient room, they should be educated on hand hygiene, wear gloves, gown and surgical mask with eye shield; nursing staff should provide proper PPE training to visitors
  • At the request of a patient/family for a visit from a clergy of any religious affiliation, the clergy can offer prayer via phone, zoom or outside the patient’s room. Meritus can provide this service. Please contact Spiritual Care.
  • Disabled patients may identify one designated support persons as care partners (per Maryland regulation). Designated support persons must follow all hospital infection prevention policies. These practices may prohibit the designated support person from entering certain areas of the hospital.

All Adult Inpatients

No visitors are allowed unless there is the following exception:
One visitor is allowed:

  • For patients with a disability who require bedside care from a caregiver due to the specifics of their disability.
  • For patients undergoing emergency surgery related to a traumatic event.
  • If the patient’s care team requests the visitor to be a part of scheduled family training for patients with rehabilitation or for help with cognitive needs.
  • For discharge education for patient when in-person bedside education is required.
  • End-of-life care: Two visitors are allowed at a time. Other family members** will have to remain outside the facility to rotate in special circumstances.

Pediatric Inpatients

  • Non-COVID-19 patients – One or two designated caregivers will be allowed for the duration of the hospital stay. We ask that only one primary caregiver be present in the hospital at any one time.
  • Possible COVID-19 patients – Only one designated caregiver will be allowed with pediatric patients hospitalized with possible COVID-19; that caregiver must stay with the patient in their room during the patient’s stay.
  • Caregivers should be parents or legal guardians, must be in good health and must remain in good health during the patient’s hospitalization.

Obstetric Patients (Labor and Delivery)

One designated visitor is allowed for labor, delivery and the duration of the birth parent’s hospital stay. One support person is allowed in the operating room during surgical delivery.

  • Once the designated visitor arrives, he or she should remain in the patient’s room as much as possible.
    • Exception: Provided for visitation of infant in newborn special care nursery with regard to limitations on leaving the patient’s room.
  • If the designated visitor leaves the hospital, he or she cannot return to the hospital.
    • Exception: Will be handled on a case-by-case basis with management review.
  • For Covid-19 positive obstetric patients or for a possible COVID-19 obstetric patient – One support person is allowed with the mother only. The support person cannot provide cares to the newborn. The newborn will be allowed to have one consistent designated support person, unless newborn is transferred to the SCN. This person must be screened and without any symptoms of COVID-19.

Ambulatory Facilities

  • Ambulatory surgery centers – No visitors are allowed. One visitor may escort a patient to registration, but must leave the building after providing their phone number.
    • Exception: One visitor is allowed for patients with a disability who require care from a caregiver due to the specifics of their disability.
  • Outpatient Services and Practices at any Meritus Health System facility at any Meritus Health System facility – No visitors are allowed. One visitor may escort a patient to registration, but must leave the building after providing their phone number.
    • Exceptions:
      • One visitor is allowed for patients with a disability who require care from a caregiver due to the specifics of their disability.
      • Pediatric patients: One designated caregiver will be allowed
  • IV Infusion/ Wound and Same-day surgery/procedure – No visitors are allowed. One visitor may escort a patient to registration, but must leave the building after providing their phone number.
    • Exception: One visitor is allowed for patients with a disability who require care from a caregiver due to the specifics of their disability.
  • Cancer center patients – No visitors are allowed where care is being delivered to potentially immunocompromised patients. Visitors can wait in the car or one in designated area.

Emergency Department Services

One visitor is allowed. For patients under the age of 18, two visitors are permitted. If the patient is admitted, that visitor is not allowed to accompany the patient to their room-unless:

  • Patient is having a critical care emergency and their visitation has been approved.
  • Patients with a disability who require bedside care from a caregiver due to the specifics of their disability. Requires review and approval from leadership.
  • Patient is under the age of 18 years of age (two visitors allowed).

Patient Belongings

  • Patient belongings brought in for the patient should be kept at a minimal
  • Belongings should be placed in a clear bag provided by security
  • The unit the patient is on will be contacted by security to retrieve the belongings and take to the patient

*A visitor is a guest of the patient and family, and is anyone whom the patient or proxy determines is significant to his/her well-being, and whose presence enhances the patient experience of care. In some cases, visitors may be relatives.

**Family is defined by the patient as the people who provide the primary physical, psychological, or emotional support for the patient. Family is not necessarily blood relatives. When the patient is unable to define the family, the patient’s designated representative provides the definition. Family members are encouraged to be involved and supportive of the patient and are integral to the overall well-being of the patient.

The hospital will not restrict, limit or otherwise deny family presence or visitation privileges based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

The policy applies to all patients in all Meritus Health facilities. This decision aligns us with other hospitals in Maryland and is consistent with approaches taken by other leading health care institutions nationwide. This serves to both better protect the community and as well the health of our providers and staff.