Penn State Health revises visitation guidelines in response to a downward trend in patients

In response to a downward trend in patients with COVID-19 across the health system, Penn State Health is lifting many of its visitation restrictions for family, support people and others.

The new guidelines take effect on Monday, April 18 at Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center and Penn State Health Medical Group locations.

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Under the revised guidance, the health system will allow visitors for all adult and pediatric inpatients and outpatients between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., with some exceptions, including:

Critical care patients may have only two visitors at a time. Visitation to critical care units for people under age 18 will be coordinated by care staff.

Patients in Labor and Delivery units may have two family or support persons over age 18. Postpartum patients do not have a visitation restriction.

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Patients in adult and pediatric outpatient surgery and procedure departments, emergency departments and outpatient clinics may have two visitors at a time.

This revised guidance applies to patients without COVID. Inpatient units may restrict visitation for patients at any time to ensure safety and privacy at the discretion of the care team.

Penn State Health will no longer screen visitors for COVID-19 at entrances. Inpatient units with high-risk or immunocompromised patients at acute care facilities may screen visitors at their discretion.

Everyone entering the facilities will be required to wear a medical-grade mask – such as a surgical mask – at all times. Visitors may wear a cloth mask only if it is covered with a medical-grade mask. Penn State Health facilities will provide surgical masks to any patients or visitors who do not have one upon arrival.

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