Responding to COVID-19

Patients and Visitors

Our Care Commitment to You

As we all slowly return to activities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, UT Southwestern remains committed to your safety and well-being whenever you come to any of our facilities – either as a patient or a visitor. At the outset of this health crisis, we implemented a broad range of safety precautions, and those measures remain in effect. Many have been enhanced, as you will see in this video.

How we're keeping everyone safe at our hospital and clinics


Masks for everyone

We are requiring that everyone – patients, visitors, and staff – wear a mask or cloth face covering that meets CDC guidelines. If you don’t have a mask, we’ll be happy to provide one. However, if you have a mask, please bring it.


Increased cleaning

We are disinfecting clinical spaces daily with procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to kill the COVID-19 virus. High-touchpoint areas are wiped down at least three times per day.


COVID-19 screenings

All visitors, patients, and staff will be be screened at designated entry points for symptoms and exposure, and will receive a no-touch thermometer scan.


Testing prior to surgery

Patients will be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of a scheduled surgery or procedure so results will be available for review 24 hours ahead of the appointment time.


Safety systems at the ER

The Clements University Hospital ER was designed with airflow systems to handle pandemic situations, and patients with COVID-19 are treated in a separate area of the hospital.


Physical distancing signs

At all UT Southwestern facilities, our staff is adhering to safe physical distancing guidelines, and we request that you do, too. Signage and floor stickers designate safe distances in high-traffic areas.

Virtual care visit with a doctor talking to a patient on the computer

Virtual Care Options

A Video Visit is a safe and convenient way to get access to a broad spectrum of primary and specialty services at UT Southwestern. Video Visits allow you to receive the same high-quality care from a health care provider as you would receive in person while saving time and the cost of travel.

Video Visits are scheduled appointments that are conducted through a live video and audio feed, using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Video Visits are accessed through your MyChart account and our video and audio conferencing platform called BlueJeans.

Patient safety is, and always will be, our number one priority at UT Southwestern. As the nation and community recover from this pandemic, you can count on us to deliver the care you need just as we always have – safely and effectively. That remains our commitment to you.

Restrictions on Hospital Visitors, Entrances

With the health of our patients and health care professionals in mind, we have put new measures in place to limit the number of visitors per patient, restrict the number of entry points to our medical facilities, and implement screening guidelines for all visitors. 

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Temporary Visitor Policy

  • Patients at our hospital will be allowed only one visitor per day. Visitors may not swap in and out. Patients at our ambulatory clinics will be limited to one visitor as well.
  • All visitors, patients, and staff will be screened at designated entry points. In addition to being asked about symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, cough, runny nose, sore throat, or malaise) and contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, everyone will also have a no-touch thermometer scan.
  • Any visitor registering a reading of 100.0°F/37.78°C or higher will not be allowed in the buildings.
  • Visitors who do not pass the screening will be encouraged to contact their primary care provider. Staff working at the entrances can also provide guidance on next steps.
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  • Individuals cleared through the screening process will receive a wristband, which must be worn throughout their visit to the University Hospital or Outpatient Building. Dallas County is requiring the public to wear a form of nose and mouth covering when entering all campus locations. (See below.)
  • Patients who are being screened or hospital patients who have already tested positive are not allowed visitors.
  • In order to protect the health of children, those under age 12 will not be allowed inside Clements University Hospital or the Outpatient Building. (This is also UT Southwestern’s policy during flu season.)

Limited Entrances

Please see the limited entrances or access points for our patient care areas.

Limited Entrances at Hospitals, Care Facilities

Patients and visitors will have limited access points to our hospital and care facilities. Please view the table for the most up-to-date information.

Screening Procedures 

Our patient intake process involves immediately identifying those who have potential respiratory or other infectious diseases and providing masks and isolation for further screening. If you are admitted, all patient rooms at UTSW Clements University Hospital are private rooms, limiting exposure to other patients.

Intake coordinators are trained to ask an initial round of questions. Infection preventionists and/or infectious disease specialists might ask additional questions to help further guide the potential infectious diagnoses and to order the appropriate tests. 

The screening protocol used at UT Southwestern has been developed using the national expertise available from our faculty who are specialty-trained in infectious diseases and in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS). 

Parking and Valet

Aston Ambulatory Care Center is valet parking only.  

Simmons Cancer Center, Zale Lipshy Pavilion, and the Outpatient Building have both valet and self-parking options.

Clements University Hospital and all other campus locations are self-park. We’ve raised the gates for your convenience.

Valet attendants are wearing masks and using hand sanitizer between each transaction. 

Temporary Food Service Changes

Cafeterias remain open, but self-service food stations have been discontinued. Grab-and-go packaged options are still available. 

Clements University Hospital and Zale Lipshy Pavilion

Some tables have been removed from the dining area to create safe social distances, and we ask diners to limit large gatherings at meals. 

  • William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital and Zale Lipshy Pavilion cafeterias are open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. with no self-checkout.
  • Starbucks is open from 6:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday, and from 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday – Sunday.
West Campus

The Outpatient Building, West Campus Building 3 (WCB3), and the Radiation Oncology building coffee shops will operate during regular hours.

South Campus Dining Plaza
  • Hunan and Burger House are open in the South Campus Food Court from 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Monday–Friday.
  • A.W. Harris Faculty Club is open 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Monday–Friday.
  • D Plaza Mini-Market is open 24/7.
  • Brew Coffee Shop is open from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday-Friday.
North Campus
  • North Campus 3rd Floor Food Court is open from 7:30 a.m.–2 p.m., Monday–Friday. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit within the food court is open from 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Monday–Friday.
  • Brew Coffee Shop is open from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday-Friday.
  • NG3 Mini-Market is open 24/7.
  • ND14 Café will remain closed until Jan. 2, 2021.
  • Bass Center food venues are dependent upon vendor capabilities. Currently, Fresh Market (take out only), Hunan, and Parks Burger will operate for lunch Monday through Friday, hours may vary.
Clements University Hospital rooms provide technology to help patients stay connected.

Stay Connected Virtually

You can take advantage of our virtual technology to connect to your loved ones. UTSW’s Clements University Hospital and Zale Lipshy Pavilion have a number of ways to connect with family and friends virtually.

Our in-room technology includes several resources to help enhance comfort and care. These include:

  • An integrated television monitor, which allows physicians to review your charts and lab results, videoconference with other caregivers, and provide educational content about your condition
  • Free wireless internet (Wi-Fi) access for your laptop or mobile device
  • Extra electrical outlets to recharge personal electronics throughout your stay 

Cancellation of Campus Activities

UT Southwestern has canceled all in-person gatherings or meetings of five individuals or more and is replacing necessary events with virtual options through online activities, courses, lectures, and other social distancing practices. UTSW faculty, staff, and others are not permitted to attend any events or meetings with more than five individuals while representing UTSW or during work hours. In addition, all public and private tours of UT Southwestern are discontinued until further notice.