In a new COVID-19 coronavirus response effort, the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) announced visitor changes to all of its hospitals and facilities in a statement Tuesday. UMMS has more than 150 locations and 13 hospitals.
In response to COVID-19, our visitor policy has changed to keep patients and health care workers safe. To learn more, visit https://t.co/LjitMfhbJN pic.twitter.com/C6LPVsDdjg
— University of Maryland Medical System (@umms) March 10, 2020
The changes went into effect at 7 a.m. Wednesday. Among the changes:
- Visitors must check in at the front desk.
- No one under 18, except the parent of the patient, is allowed to visit. This includes in waiting areas, common spaces, ambulatory clinics and urgent care.
- One only adult visitor is allowed per patient for all hospital areas
- Visitors will be screened for flu-like symptoms and will not be allowed to visit if they show symptoms
- Visitors with recent international travel can not visit for 14 days after returning to the U.S.
“This plan applies to all patients within the hospitals, regardless of unit or condition, who are seen in UMMS facilities,” said Interim Chief Medical Officer for UMMS Dr. Michelle Gourdine in a statement emailed to MyMCMedia.
“In addition, we are implementing visitor screenings, asking questions relating to international travel, contact with someone with COVID-19 and if someone has had a recent fever or feels sick,” she said.
UMMS Spokesperson Jania Matthews said that all locations will be screening visitors for flu-like symptoms and international travel.
The statement said there are exceptions to these rules in certain circumstances with prior approval. The exceptions:
- End-of-life care.
- Two parents/caregivers of pediatric patients are allowed to visit as long as neither has flu-like symptoms.
- Two visitors are allowed in Labor & Delivery units as long as neither has flu-like symptoms.
The UMMS member hospitals:
- University of Maryland Medical System
- University of Maryland Medical Center
- UMMC Midtown Campus
- UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center
- UM Capital Region Health
- UM Charles Regional Medical Center
- UM Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute
- UM St. Joseph Medical Center
- UM Shore Regional Health
- UM Upper Chesapeake Health
- Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital
“Enacting these changes to visitation is consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding response to the coronavirus,” said COVID-19 Incident Commander for UMMS David Marcozzi in the statement.
UMMS is suspending all animal therapy based on reports of canine transmission of the coronavirus. Service animals are still permitted.
Community education, classes, and events are being evaluated, and announcements about any cancellations will be made on the UMMS website and social media. UMMS encourages personal hygiene, social distancing, and avoiding hand-shaking.
The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is simple: Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. https://t.co/wMaZsJUfE0 pic.twitter.com/9C3NwCZi7l
— University of Maryland Medical System (@umms) March 11, 2020