Visiting a Patient

Last updated January 11, 2021

En Español

At Sentara, the safety of our team members and patients is our highest priority. However, we recognize that there are times when having a visitor or family member present is vital.

Emergency Room Visitation Policy

No visitors are allowed in our Emergency Rooms EXCEPT:

  • Patients with altered mental status, developmental delays or behavioral health concerns may have 1 visitor.
  • Minors under the age of 18 may have 1 visitor, either a parent or a guardian.
  • Patients who are critically ill or critically injured may have 1 visitor.

Hospital Visitation Policy

  • COVID-19 confirmed patients (not at end-of-life) or patients awaiting COVID-19 test results are not allowed any visitors.
  • Non-COVID patients are allowed 1 visitor in our hospital with the following exceptions:
    • Patients who are at the end-of-life (without COVID-19) may have 2 visitors.
    • COVID-19 patients who are at end-of-life AND are undergoing any Aerosol Generating Procedure (examples include if the patient is intubated, on a ventilator or on high flow oxygen) can have 1 visitor outside of the room behind a glass window with a mask on.
    • COVID-19 patients who are at end-of-life AND NOT undergoing any Aerosol Generating Procedure (examples include if the patient is intubated, on a ventilator or on high flow oxygen) can have 1 visitor in the room in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Hospital staff will provide appropriate PPE for the visitor aside from the mask the visitor is required to have when entering the hospital. Or, the 1 visitor can stand outside of the room behind a glass window with a mask on.

Arrival & departure guidelines for hospital visitors (not including end-of-life COVID-19 patients):

  • Non-COVID-19 patients are allowed 1 visitor. We ask that visitors not rotate any more frequently than every 4 hours.
  • One visitor can stay beyond 4 hours but again, we are asking visitors to not rotate in and out of a patient room more often than every four hours.
  • Given the high rate of COVID-19 positivity in our communities, we would ask that you not utilize our waiting rooms and go directly to the room of the patient you are visiting.

Visitor Safety Guidelines

  • Visitors 12 and under are prohibited from our hospitals.
  • Visitors will have their temperatures taken and be screened before entering the facility.
  • Visitors will be required to wear a mask and observe social distancing guidelines. If they do not have a mask, a community mask will be given to them.
  • Visitors will only be allowed if they do not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath).
  • Visitors must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting patient room.

Please note that certain Sentara hospitals may have additional visitor guidelines, so we recommend checking with the facility before planning a visit.

Sentara is taking all necessary precautions to keep our hospitals safe and clean. You can expect all areas of our hospitals to be carefully cleaned and disinfected on an ongoing basis. All employees are also masked for your protection.

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