Updated: September 30, 2021
Patients and families are at the center of the care we provide at Penn Medicine. We carefully consider how to maintain visitation while keeping patients, visitors, and employees safe. The current Visitation Guidelines for the Chester County Hospital Main Campus are listed below. Please read through these Guidelines carefully.
Currently, we have protocols in place to maximize the safety of all who enter our hospitals and facilities. These safety protocols include limiting visitors to accompany patients to appointments or see them in the hospital. We did not make this decision lightly, and thank you for your understanding. We will continue to evaluate our visitation guidelines in order to balance the needs of our patients and families with the need to limit exposure to COVID-19. If you have questions or concerns, please call 610-431-5000.
Planning Your Visit During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Hospital visiting hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, except where noted. Exceptions may be made in certain circumstances.
When entering Chester County Hospital or one of its outpatient facilities, all patients and visitors are required to complete a COVID screening questionnaire. This may be in the form of a pre-screening questionnaire, received via text message prior to an appointment, or in the form of an on-site verbal attestation to symptom and exposure criteria.
To help maintain a healthy environment, we are requiring all patients and visitors to wear a mask at all times. We ask that you bring your own mask to wear. If you do not have a mask, we will provide one. Visitors who decline to wear a mask will be asked to leave the facility.
Any mask with exhalation valves, gaiters, bandanas, scarves and gas masks will not be permitted in Penn Medicine hospitals and facilities.
Your mask must fully cover both the nose and mouth at all times.
Face shields should not be worn instead of a mask, unless for medical reasons.
Patients and visitors in procedural areas will be asked to change their personal mask for a surgical mask supplied by the hospital.
In addition to covering your face, you should practice social distancing and try to restrict your mobility as much as possible.
General Guidelines for All Visitors/Support persons:
- Visitors with a positive COVID test within the last 10 days are not permitted to visit.
- Patients with special needs or neurocognitive disability, or behavioral concerns may have up to two healthy visitors, parents, or guardian.
- All visitors must wear a face covering or mask at all times, including when they are in the room with the patient. Visitors who decline to wear a mask will be asked to leave the facility.
- Visitors are to be at least 16 years old, and are to be accompanied by an adult.
- Visitors are allowed to leave and come back.
- A patient’s faith leader is allowed to visit, in addition to two healthy support persons.
- Employees and physicians who are members of the medical staff may visit a family member who is a patient. The employee/physician must have their ID badge visible at all times. (Employees and physicians are either regularly working at the hospital or permitted to be in the hospital intermittently without restriction).
- Depending upon the treatments your loved one is undergoing when you arrive, visitation may be declined or restricted. The patient care team and front desk staff will work with you to arrange an alternative visitation time and/or date.
Department Specific Visitation Guidelines
Emergency Department (ED):
- Patients in the Emergency Department are allowed one healthy visitor/support person. The hours of visitation are not restricted.
- Dependent on ED waiting room capacity, ED patients may have one visitor with them in the waiting room. If capacity is met, visitors may be asked to wait in another location. Once the Waiting Room is no longer at full capacity, visitors are allowed to return to be with their loved ones.
- Visitors will be permitted to switch out and leave to go get food. Visitors who arrive after their loved one has been placed within the ED, may have to wait in the waiting room until there is someone available to escort them to their destination.
- Pediatric Visitation: One family member or guardian should stay with the pediatric patient (17 years and under) until they are placed in a treatment room. Once the patient is in a room, two family members/guardian can stay. Once the patient is in the treatment space, family members/guardian need to stay and cannot come and go.
- End of Life patients are limited to two healthy visitors.
- Patients presenting to the hospital for a Radiology test/procedure may have one healthy visitor/support person accompany them.
- Patients presenting to the hospital for Radiation Oncology may have one healthy visitor/support person accompany them.
- Patients presenting to the hospital for OB Clinic appointments may have one healthy visitor/support person accompany them.
- Visiting hours for ICU, PCU, Medical-Surgical, and Telemetry units will be during the hours of 10am-9pm only.
- Non-COVID patients on the ICU, PCU, Medical-Surgical, and Telemetry units may have two healthy visitors/support persons per day. The two visitors may either come together or may switch out during the day.
- Pediatric patients may have one parent stay with the hospitalized child for the duration of the hospitalization.
- If there is an issue or question as to whether a visitor can come into the hospital, the Nurse Manager (or designee) should be contacted. If consensus cannot be reached, the decision should be escalated to the CMO or CNO.
OB & Intensive Care Nursery:
- For Obstetrics (Labor & Delivery and Maternity), one healthy support person will be allowed to stay with the patient.
- Support persons receive oral temperature screening twice daily during mother’s hospital stay.
- If the infant is in the Intensive Care Nursery (NICU), the Department specific-visitation guidelines will be explained in detail by the medical and nursing care team.
- NICU parents will receive screening questions and an oral temperature check at the entrance of the NICU each day, as occurs on L&D and Maternity. If their temperature is greater or equal to 100°F or any screening questions are concerning, they will not be able to visit and will need to follow up with their PCP for further instructions.
- The current NICU visiting policy allows both parents (or otherwise designated support person with the second baby bracelet) to be at your baby's bedside together.
- Of course, if you do not feel well, do not come to the hospital. We will help facilitate Face Time visits if you are unable to be here in person. We understand how difficult it is to be separated from your baby, and the reason for these measures are to keep your baby as safe as possible.
- Please remember to keep your mask over your nose and mouth at all times, both when a caregiver is in the room and when you are alone in your baby's room. Wearing your mask all the time ensures that your baby is always protected.
- We are still not able to provide overnight accommodations until the current situation has improved. Our current visiting policy may change if COVID rates continue to increase in our community.
Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM):
- MFM will allow one adult healthy support person to be present for the patient’s Ultrasound visits.
- MFM patients who have support visitation need to prearrange with the staff so they are aware the support person is coming.
Surgery and Cardiology:
- Patients presenting to the hospital for a procedure may have two healthy visitors/support persons accompany them who are at least 16 years old, and are to be accompanied by an adult.
- Due to limited seating and the need for social distancing, the support persons are encouraged to go home to wait. If the support persons choose to stay, it is advised that they stay close to the Family Lounge.
- The physician may call the primary support person when the procedure has ended with a post-procedural report.
- Prep-Recovery/Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) will call one of the two support persons to return to the Prep-Recovery/ACC for pick up at the Discharge door after the procedure. If the support person needs to be present for discharge instructions, they will be asked to return to Prep-Recovery or ACC to meet up with the patient.
- If the patient will be admitted to an inpatient bed, the unit will call a support person with the bed number and the two healthy visitors/support persons might then be permitted to go to the room to see the patient.
- One healthy support person may visit during the hours of 3-6 pm. The visitor needs to remain in the patient's room
- All visits must be arranged in advance with the nursing staff on the nursing units caring for the COVID patients. For some patients undergoing specific treatments, visitation may not be allowed.
- The visitor for a COVID patient will put on full Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) including gown, gloves, medical mask, eye protection/face shield once they reach the unit. The visitor will be instructed that they cannot remove the PPE while in the patient’s room for the safety of themselves and their family. The visitor will need to leave if they are observed removing PPE.
End of Life Patients:
- Visitors for patients at the end of life should be arranged in advance with the unit’s nursing staff whenever possible.
- Families may identify support persons to visit at the time of death. Two individuals at a time would be the expected number at the time of death, with exceptions to be prearranged.
- Family members of COVID patients will put full Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) including gown, gloves, medical mask, eye protection/face shield once they reach the unit. The visitors will be instructed that they cannot remove the PPE when in the patient’s room for the safety of themselves and their family. They will need to leave if they are observed removing PPE.