COVID-19 Response: Are visitor restrictions relaxing?
With declines in COVID-19 cases and a growing number of people being vaccinated, we expanded our patient visitor policy last month from one guest to two in environments that provide ample space for social distancing.
- Only one visitor may accompany a surgery patient to the hospital and Outpatient Surgical Center (WA), including preoperative and post-anesthesia care areas, where seating has been reduced so patients and visitors have adequate space between them.
- Only one visitor is allowed in the Emergency Department.
- No guests are allowed to visit COVID-19 patients, as enhanced safety measures must continue.
Given that social distancing can be more challenging in our ambulatory settings, patients may bring one guest to clinic appointments.
Family and Visitor Guidelines
UT Southwestern strives to provide a caring and healing environment. Our goal is to provide exceptional care in every aspect of your hospital stay. The hospital has an open visitation policy – you may visit at any time.
- The number of visitors per patient is dependent on the patient, family, or guardian’s request; the patient’s medical, emotional, and psychological needs; the level of unit activity; and available space.
- We ask family to stay in the patient’s room or waiting rooms at all times, rather than waiting in hallways, to ensure privacy and confidentiality for all of our patients.
- The hospital staff may ask visitors to step out of the patient’s room when a medical procedure needs to be performed. This is done for patient safety and privacy. The nurse will notify the family when they can return to the room.
- After admission into the hospital, if the patient has a large family, the nurse will seek to identify a FAMILY SPOKESPERSON to be the contact person between the nursing staff, family, and friends. This partnership will allow the family best access to the patient – and more importantly, support the patient by including the family as part of the caregiver team. The Family Spokesperson will help by taking phone calls regarding the patient’s condition and working with us to plan individual visiting guidelines for that patient.
- The patient’s designated visitors will be provided a security code to use when inquiring about the patient.
- Children under the age of 12 should remain with an adult at all times. All visiting children must remain under the supervision of an adult family member to ensure a safe and restful environment for the patient(s). There may be patient care areas in the hospital where visitation by children is not encouraged due to infection prevention risk (e.g., Bone Marrow Transplant, Transplant, and Neonatal ICU). Please make prior arrangements with your care team in order to arrange visitation of children under 12 in these areas.
- Please refrain from bringing outside food, flowers, or live plants into the ICU.
- Remember to wash your hands upon entering and exiting your loved one’s room. Visitors must follow all directions regarding use of gowns, gloves, and mask. Please check with your care team before visiting patients in isolation rooms.
- Please do not visit if you are ill, have a cough, or fever. A mask can be provided if needed.
- Only one visitor is permitted to stay overnight.
PLEASE NOTE: All guests in the hospital after 10 p.m. are required to wear a visitor badge. You may obtain a visitor badge from Guest and Patient Services after 7 p.m.
UT Southwestern University Hospitals prohibits discrimination in visitation based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Patients can designate the visitor(s) of their choice.