Visitation Policy

Visitor and Patient Mask Requirements

(Effective Jan. 4., 2024)

Our community is seeing an increase in respiratory illnesses like Influenza, RSV, and COVID-19. To help keep visitors and our patients safe, the following masking and visitor guidelines are in effect for all Bayhealth facilities including our hospitals, outpatient locations, and Bayhealth Medical Group practices.

  • Masks are required.

    You must wear a mask in our facilities including our hospitals, outpatient locations, and Bayhealth Medical Group practices. Your mask must cover your mouth and nose.

    Patients in our hospitals will not be required to wear masks when in their rooms or in treatment areas. They will wear a mask when being transported. 

    Visitors to our hospitals may only remove their masks when eating in our cafeterias. Visitors are not allowed to eat in patient rooms or other areas of the hospital.

  • Do not visit if you’re sick unless you’re seeking care.

    Unless you’re seeking care, don’t visit if you’re sick or have been exposed to someone
    who is.

  • The patient you’re visiting in the hospital may have isolation precautions.

    These precautions are to protect everyone and help prevent the spread of illness. Follow the guidance posted outside the patient’s room.

  • Hand hygiene matters.

    Remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently to help prevent the spread of illnesses.

The health and safety of our patients, families, employees, and physicians are always our highest priority.

We use enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes, as well as other disease specific infection control measures based on current CDC guidelines, throughout Bayhealth’s facilities.

Our visitation policies have been established to balance preventing the spread of current contagious illnesses with the individualized needs of our patients. As such, we have implemented visitation guidelines at our various locations.

  • Don’t enter our facilities if you’re sick or if you have been exposed to someone who is, unless you’re a patient seeking care.
  • A temporary visitation policy restricts guests under the age of 16 from visiting anyone in the hospital.
  • All COVID-19 positive patients or those suspected of having COVID-19 will be allowed one (1) designated care partner only.* This care partner can visit 24/7 but must follow all isolation precautions.
  • All care partners and visitors are required to check in at the front desk—all visitors must show ID and receive a visitor badge. They must keep their visitor badge on at all times.
  • All care partners and visitors should review our masking guidelines above.
  • Additionally, care partners and visitors are only permitted to visit patient rooms and the cafeteria or café. They may not sit in public spaces—unless they are with a patient in a designated waiting area.
  • Visitors may not eat in patient rooms and are required to sit socially distanced at a table designated for visitors if they go to the cafeteria.
  • All care partners and visitors are always required to follow the guidance posted outside the patient’s room if the patient is on isolation precautions.

Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus and Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus

  • All patients will be allowed one (1) designated care partner with 24/7 access to visit; however, they may not spend the night at the hospital; Bayhealth is not making sleeping accommodations at this time.
  • Patients may receive a maximum of two (2) visitors from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. This includes the care partner and one other visitor. The visitors, including the care partner, can switch out; however, only two visitors are allowed during these hours.
  • All visitors to the ICU and CCU (Critical Care Unit) must be age 18 or older

Women’s Services

  • All patients will be allowed one (1) designated care partner with 24/7 access to visit (active labor may have two)
  • A second care partner, such as a doula, is permitted
  • Care partners can be changed as needed to ensure the patient has a support person present
  • Patients may receive a maximum of two (2) visitors from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. in the room at one time
  • Two hours after delivery siblings are welcome to visit with adult supervision from 5 - 8 p.m.

Pediatrics

  • All patients will be allowed to have a designated care partner or both parents with 24/7 access to visit
  • Patients may receive a maximum of two (2) visitors from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Same-Day Procedure Waiting Areas

  • All patients will be allowed two (2) visitors in the waiting areas for same-day procedures (e.g., surgery, endoscopy, CATH Lab, diagnostic imaging) for the entirety of their procedure
  • Visitation with the patient will be determined by the perioperative team

Bayhealth Emergency Departments

(Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus; Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus; and Bayhealth Emergency Center, Smyrna)

  • All patients will be allowed two (2) visitors in the patient care area with 24/7 access to visit
  • Pediatric patients will be allowed to have a designated care partner or both parents with 24/7 access to visit

Bayhealth Outpatient Centers and Bayhealth Medical Group Offices

  • All patients will be allowed to have two (2) visitors during appointments
  • Patients receiving infusions in Medical Oncology will be limited to 1 (one) visitor

*All visitors are asked to check out at the front desk before leaving.

*Exceptions: Unit leadership may approve exceptions to age, hours, and number of visitors during special circumstances such as end-of-life.

If you have any questions or special requests, please discuss them with the patient’s care team prior to visiting.

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