For the safety of our patients and staff, and to lower their likelihood of exposure to any illness including COVID-19, UPMC is temporarily restricting visitors. Rare exceptions will be made in end-of-life and special circumstances. Any non-patient with new shortness of breath, fever, cough, or contact with someone who is under investigation for COVID-19 should not enter UPMC Western Maryland. A triage line is available for those patients who suspect they have acquired the virus 240-964-1000.
Non-cancer patients, special-approved visitors, and support people are encouraged to wear their own cloth or surgical face mask upon entry and throughout our facilities. Staff, patients, visitors, long-term care residents, and non-UPMC providers and vendors must wear masks in all clinical and high-traffic areas.
We encourage you to use video or phone calls to virtually visit with loved ones while they are in the hospital. If you need help with this, please let a staff member know.
Hospital inpatients who do not test positive for COVID-19 and Emergency Department patients will be permitted one dedicated on-site patient support person, outlined below. Patients must identify their support person, who will help them manage and communicate about their care. Support persons are not considered visitors; they are seen as essential to the patient’s care.
What is a support person?
This support person is identified by the patient and is, typically, a spouse, partner, very close family member, or trusted friend. They are not a visitor — they are an essential part of the care team to help our hospital patients manage and communicate about their care. Patients with support persons have proven to recover faster, have better mental and emotional health, shorter lengths of stay, and a better overall experience.
What are the support person guidelines?
- Should be the same person for the entire hospital stay. This allows the support person to understand the progress of the patient’s care throughout the stay. Changes to who the support person is will be discouraged.
- Is the only person permitted to be in the hospital and with the patient. They should stay in the room and avoid moving around hallways and patient areas.
- May stay in the hospital for the entire day of a procedure or stay with the patient when moving from the Emergency Department to the patient room.
- Should always wear their own cloth face mask when in the hospital.
- Additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be given based on the health condition and needs of the patient.
- Must be older than 18, pass the daily clinical and temperature screening when entering the building, and not be sick or have symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, and fever.
- Ideally, patients should consider persons who have not been outside of the local community in the last 14 days and have not been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Support Person Inpatient visiting hours – 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. except for the Behavioral Health Unit. BHU visiting hours are 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Inpatients being tested for or diagnosed with COVID-19
- No inpatient visitors
- Rare exceptions will be made in end-of-life and special circumstances, such as when the visitor is essential for the patient’s emotional well-being and health. The facility’s chief nursing officer must approve any exceptions.
Non-COVID-19 inpatients (all hospital departments, excluding obstetrics, pediatrics, L&D, and NICU) AND outpatients (of all physician practices, rehab, cancer centers, imaging, and all outpatient locations):
- Inpatients: The same one patient support person is permitted for the patient’s entire stay. The patient will identify the support person, who will be screened upon entry and must wear a facemask and wristband.
- Inpatient surgery patients: The same one patient support person is permitted for the patient’s entire stay.
- Emergency Department patients: one support person, with the exception of children under age 18 who many have two support persons
- Outpatient surgery patients: The same one support person is permitted during the procedure, for post-surgery discussion, and for assistance with discharge.
- If, during clinical assessment, the patient becomes a person under investigation for COVID-19 or COVID-19 testing is being considered, we will take the support person’s name and contact number and request that the support person leave the facility and wait in their vehicle. All future communications with that support person will be over the telephone. Hospital leadership will approve on-site support persons of patients who test positive for COVID-19 in special circumstances only.
- If the patient is discharged, the support person may stay with the patient. Staff may encourage the support person to wait in his or her vehicle if appropriate.
- If the patient is admitted, the support person may accompany the patient to the inpatient unit.
- All other outpatients (in hospital and outpatient settings): Allowed one support person only if patient requires assistance; otherwise, we will request person to wait in a vehicle.
- No children visitors will be permitted in any care setting. Support people must be 18 years of age or older.
Obstetrics, pediatric inpatients, labor and delivery, and NICU inpatients:
- Any support person must be screened prior to entry with symptom/exposure questions and body temperature scan.
- No support person who is ill, sick, frail, elderly, or at-risk (i.e. immunocompromised or serious chronic illness).
- No children will be permitted. Support persons must be 18 years of age or older.
- Obstetrics and L&D: Patients will be limited to the same one support person per patient for the entire stay (i.e. partner, doula).
- Support persons must wear cloth or surgical face masks at all times inside the unit, only removing their mask to eat. We strongly encourage support persons to wear their own masks so that we can preserve our supplies for staff and clinical workers.
- Pediatric Observation Unit and Special Care Nursery: Support persons will be limited to the same two people per patient for the entire stay (i.e. parent, guardian).
- Support persons must wear cloth or surgical face masks at all times inside the unit, only removing their masks to eat. We strongly encourage support persons to wear their own masks so that we can preserve our supplies for staff and clinical workers.
Behavioral health services (all inpatient behavioral health settings):
- Adult patients will be permitted the same one support person in the Behavioral Health Unit daily during visiting hours. Visiting hours are 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
- One support person will be permitted in the Emergency Department.
- The same one support person of child patients (i.e. parent or guardian) is permitted in the Emergency Department.