Visitor Policy

To ensure a healthy and safe environment for our patients, staff, and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, Nuvance Health™ has adopted specific guidelines to prepare you for your visit. We appreciate your cooperation.

Updated: May 4, 2021

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Recent Changes to Highlight:

  • A single designated support person is permitted in medical practice offices and other outpatient or ambulatory settings, including same-day surgery unless otherwise guided by a specific location. The following areas, due to space limitations, cannot accommodate a support person at this time except for extenuating circumstances: cancer care, dental services, lab, sleep disorders center, rehabilitation, imaging, and wound care.
  • A single designated support person is permitted by appointment only and dependent on the treatment plan, for inpatient behavioral health for a maximum duration of 30 minutes.
  • Hospitalized patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease will be allowed one (1) single support person at the hospitals per day. The duration of visits may not exceed four (4) hours during visitation hours at each hospital.
  • Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID disease will not be permitted a support person unless the patient is under age 21, a maternity patient or if extenuating circumstances apply.

Included here:

  • Guidelines by Hospital
  • Guidance for Personal Belongings
  • Visitation Guidelines for Patients Under 21, Maternity Patients, and Extenuating Circumstances
  • Overall Visitation Policy

Visitation Hours and Entrances by Hospital

Danbury Hospital

Emergency Department: Change Effective May 4, 2021

  • Limited visitation in the Emergency Department is permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease, and they will be allowed one (non-changing) screened support person. Given social distancing and safe-occupancy limitation requirements, the support person will not be allowed to use the wait-room and will be instructed to wait safely outside the hospital and rejoin the patient once the patient is escorted into a private treatment room (special populations and extenuating circumstances excluded). Please note ED Visitation may be paused for safety or operational concerns.
  • Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID disease will not be permitted a support person unless the patient is under age 21, a maternity patient or if extenuating circumstances apply.


Inpatient Care:

Visitation Hours 4pm-8pm daily

Open Entrances:

  • Main Entrance at the Peter & Carmen Lucia Buck Pavilion (park in the Rizzo Garage, or valet your car)
  • Stroock Building (park in the Gold or Red garages, or valet your car)
  • Ambulatory Surgery Unit Entrance
  • Danbury Hospital Medical Arts Center (DHMAC)


Maternity patients
: To support social distancing in triage, the support person can escort the patient to the appropriate hospital entrance and then wait in their vehicle or offsite while the clinical team assesses the patient. If the patient is admitted, the support person will be called and then screened for COVID-19 risk factors and allowed to join the patient if they pass the screening.

New Milford Hospital

Emergency Department: Change Effective May 4, 2021

  • Limited visitation in the Emergency Department is permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease, and they will be allowed one (non-changing) screened support person. Given social-distancing and safe-occupancy limitation requirements, the support person will not be allowed to use the wait-room and will be instructed to wait safely outside the hospital and rejoin the patient once the patient is escorted into a private treatment room (special populations and extenuating circumstances excluded). Please note ED Visitation may be paused for safety or operational concerns.
  • Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID disease will not be permitted a support person unless the patient is under age 21, a maternity patient or if extenuating circumstances apply.


Inpatient Care
:

Visitation Hours 2pm-6pm daily

Open Entrances:

  • Emergency Department Entrance
  • Main Front Entrance
Norwalk Hospital

Emergency Department: Change Effective May 4, 2021

  • Limited visitation in the Emergency Department is permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease, and they will be allowed one (non-changing) screened support person. Given social-distancing and safe-occupancy limitation requirements, the support person will not be allowed to use the wait-room and will be instructed to wait safely outside the hospital and rejoin the patient once the patient is escorted into a private treatment room (special populations and extenuating circumstances excluded). Please note ED Visitation may be paused for safety or operational concerns.
  • Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID disease will not be permitted a support person unless the patient is under age 21, a maternity patient or if extenuating circumstances apply.

Inpatient care:

Visitation Hours 4pm-8pm daily

Open Entrance:

  • Main Pavilion Entrance


Maternity patients
: To support social distancing in triage, the support person can escort the patient to the Childbirth Center entrance, located on Rhodonolia Park, off Stevens Street and then wait in their vehicle or offsite while the clinical team assesses the patient. If the patient is admitted, the support person will be called and then screened for COVID-19 risk factors and allowed to join the patient if they pass the screening.

 

Northern Dutchess Hospital

Emergency Department: Change Effective May 4, 2021

  • Limited visitation in the Emergency Department is permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease, and they will be allowed one (non-changing) screened support person. Given social-distancing and safe-occupancy limitation requirements, the support person will not be allowed to use the wait-room and will be instructed to wait safely outside the hospital and rejoin the patient once the patient is escorted into a private treatment room (special populations and extenuating circumstances excluded). Please note ED Visitation may be paused for safety or operational concerns.
  • Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID disease will not be permitted a support person unless the patient is under age 21, a maternity patient or if extenuating circumstances apply.


Inpatient Visitation
: Hours 2pm-6pm daily

Open Entrance:

  • Main Front Entrance
Putnam Hospital

Emergency DepartmentChange Effective May 4, 2021

  • Limited visitation in the Emergency Department is permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease, and they will be allowed one (non-changing) screened support person. Given social-distancing and safe-occupancy limitation requirements, the support person will not be allowed to use the wait-room and will be instructed to wait safely outside the hospital and rejoin the patient once the patient is escorted into a private treatment room (special populations and extenuating circumstances excluded). Please note ED Visitation may be paused for safety or operational concerns.
  • Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID disease will not be permitted a support person unless the patient is under age 21, a maternity patient or if extenuating circumstances apply.


Inpatient Care
:

Visitation Hours 2pm-6pm daily

Open Entrances:

  • Monday through Friday: Main Front Entrance
  • Saturday through Sunday: Emergency Department Entrance
Sharon Hospital

Emergency DepartmentChange Effective May 4, 2021

  • Limited visitation in the Emergency Department is permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease, and they will be allowed one (non-changing) screened support person. Given social-distancing and safe-occupancy limitation requirements, the support person will not be allowed to use the wait-room and will be instructed to wait safely outside the hospital and rejoin the patient once the patient is escorted into a private treatment room (special populations and extenuating circumstances excluded). Please note ED Visitation may be paused for safety or operational concerns.
  • Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID disease will not be permitted a support person unless the patient is under age 21, a maternity patient or if extenuating circumstances apply.


Inpatient Care
:

Visitation Hours 2pm-6pm daily

Open Entrances:

  • Main Entrance Monday through Friday until 4:30pm
  • Emergency Department Entrance after 4:30pm Monday through Friday and 2pm-6pm Saturday and Sunday
Vassar Brothers Medical Center

Emergency Department: Change Effective May 4, 2021

  • Limited visitation in the Emergency Department is permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease, and they will be allowed one (non-changing) screened support person. Given social-distancing and safe-occupancy limitation requirements, the support person will not be allowed to use the wait-room and will be instructed to wait safely outside the hospital and rejoin the patient once the patient is escorted into a private treatment room (special populations and extenuating circumstances excluded). Please note ED Visitation may be paused for safety or operational concerns.
  • Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID disease will not be permitted a support person unless the patient is under age 21, a maternity patient or if extenuating circumstances apply.

Same day surgeries/same day procedures:

  • Same day surgeries/ same day procedures taking place at the legacy hospital located at 45 Reade Place will not be permitted a support person but for extenuating circumstances and special populations due to space limitations.
  • Procedures/ same day surgeries taking place at 21 Reade Place and DRA can accommodate a support person

Inpatient Care:

Visitation Hours 2pm-6pm daily

Open Entrance:

  • Main Front Entrance

Guidance for Personal Belongings

  • Family/caregiver may drop off essential personal items for patients, such as clothing, contact lenses/glasses, hearing aids, mobile devices, laptops, and chargers. All items need to be in a clear, zip-top bag no larger than a gallon size.

Visitation Guidelines for Patients Under Age 21, Maternity Patients, and Extenuating Circumstances

Any patients under age 21: A maximum of two (designated and non-changing) parents or support persons are permitted to accompany the patient at bedside so long as social-distancing and safe-occupancy standards permit.

Maternity patients: One support person and/or a doula are allowed (maximum 2 people). Doula must follow the same process as support person before being allowed to attend the birth. Support person can stay with the patient during labor through discharge from the hospital. If at any time support person shows symptoms of COVID-19, they will be screened again by the clinical team and may be asked to leave the hospital. At that time, an alternative support person can be selected and will have to follow the same screening process. The support person must stay in the patient’s room at all times unless directed to leave by the clinical team. Coming in and out of the patient’s room poses safety concerns and won’t be permitted except for extremely limited circumstances as discussed ahead of time with the care team and at a maximum of one departure (from) and return (to) the hospital per day. If the support person does require departure and return, the staff will inform the support person to continue masking and maintain social distancing while outside the hospital. The departure/return plan will only be permitted on designated maternity wards.

Extenuating circumstances: The patient’s care team will determine if extenuating circumstances apply and discuss these with the patient and their support person(s). Extenuating circumstances may include:

  • Imminent end-of-life situations: two support persons may be designated to remain with patients in imminent end-of-life situations.
  • Patients who have a physical, intellectual/developmental or cognitive disability, communication barriers or behavioral concerns prior to hospitalization, who need assistance due to the specifics of their disability, may have one designated support person with them throughout their hospitalization to support their disability related needs and an additional visitor may also be with the patient during hospital-designated visiting hours.
  • If the patient with extenuating circumstances is a parent of a minor child (age 17 and under), one adult family member and one child may be permitted at the patient’s bedside.

Outpatient and Medical Practice Visitation Guidance

  • Visitation is permitted in medical practice offices and other outpatient or ambulatory settings, including same-day surgery unless otherwise guided by a specific location effective May 4, 2021.
  • To facilitate safe outpatient visitation, the single designated support person will not be permitted to use the waiting room. The support person will be provided specific instructions on how they can participate in care in private rooms.

  • For care settings with multiple patients in a room, visitation will be curtailed or modified to ensure social distancing guidelines for the safety of all patients, staff and visitors. The following areas, due to space limitations, cannot accommodate a support person at this time except for extenuating circumstances: cancer care, dental services, lab, sleep disorders center, rehabilitation, imaging, and wound care.



Inpatient Behavioral Health Visitation Guidance

  • Inpatient behavioral health visits are available by appointment only and are permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease effective May 4, 2021.

    • Patients will be allowed one (non-changing) screened support person. The maximum duration of visits is 30 minutes. Please note inpatient behavioral health visitation may be paused for safety or operational concerns and is dependent on the treatment plan



 Overall Visitation Policy

  • Visitors age 18 and older are allowed to visit if they meet specific requirements for approved visitation. Rare exceptions for visitors age 17 and younger may apply for patients with extenuating circumstances.
  • One (1) approved visitor is permitted to visit a patient one (1) time per day for up to four (4) hours. The approved visitor can change day-to-day, although we encourage the same visitor per patient during their entire hospital stay to reduce possible COVID-19 exposure to all patients, visitors, and staff. We recommend only visiting a patient if you feel it’s absolutely necessary, such as you’re their caregiver, primary support person, or immediate family.
All visitors must meet the following requirements before they are approved to visit:
  • Visitors must arrive wearing a medical grade face mask. Please don’t wear a mask with a valve, or a bandana, scarf, or any other type of face covering. The mask must be properly worn at all times. Visitors unable to comply will be asked to leave.
  • Visitors need to show a government-issued photo ID (examples: driver’s license, passport) to check-in. Contact tracing information will be recorded where required by state and federal guidelines.
  • Visitors will be screened for risk factors of COVID-19. Temperatures will be checked.
  • Visitors with symptoms will be asked to go home for the safety of our patients and staff.
  • Visitors who pass the initial screening but develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any time during their visit will also be asked to go home. At that time, an alternative visitor may be allowed and will have to follow the same screening process.
  • If visitor was confirmed as having symptomatic COVID-19 but meets the following conditions, they may be permitted to visit if:
    • At least 72 hours have passed since recovery: no fever (greater than or equal to 99.5 F) without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND
    • Improvement in respiratory symptoms, such as cough and shortness of breath, AND
    • At least 14 days have passed since COVID-19 symptoms first appeared
  • If visitor was asymptomatic (not experiencing symptoms) at the time of their first positive COVID-19 test and are still asymptomatic, they may be permitted to visit if at least 14 days have passed since their first positive test. 
Guidance for approved visitors:
  • If individuals are not visiting, they must wait safely outside the hospital or in their car. Waiting rooms are closed for visitors.
  • Visitors must remain in the patient’s room for the entire visit.
  • Visitor must stay in the patient’s room at all times and follow all personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines — such as wearing a medical grade face mask — as instructed by the care team. If the visitor exits the room, they may not be permitted to return- subject to special circumstances as discussed ahead of time with the care team.
  • Please use the call light to connect with a member of the care team from the patient’s room. This helps to keep patients, staff and visitors safe.
  • Visitor must exit the room or may not visit during the period where any aerosol generating procedure or treatment is taking place (or shortly after) as instructed by the care team
  • Visitors may not eat or drink while in the patient’s room.
  • If a discharge occurs outside of visitation hours, the clinical team may invite a support person to actively assist in the discharge education process to promote patient safety at their clinical discretion. The clinician inviting the support person will notify the front desk ahead of arrival to ensure the support person will be welcomed in.
Guidance for COVID Positive or Suspected Patients

Patients under age 21, maternity patients, and only those with extenuating circumstances with suspected or confirmed COVID disease will be allowed a single support person per day.

  • Nuvance Health care teams will discuss the potential risks and benefits of visiting COVID positive or suspected patients at the bedside.
  • Please consider using technology to stay connected and offer support remotely.
  • Support person will be provided a medical grade mask, disposable eyewear and gown.
  • Duration of visits may be limited in duration for safety. COVID suspected or positive patients using CPAP, BiPAP or high flow oxygen will have a time limit maximum of 15 minutes, and visits will only be permitted for these patients for extenuating circumstances.
  • Although individuals age 70 years or older may meet approved visitor criteria, they are encouraged not to visit at this time due to their increased risk of COVID-19.
The following visitors are not allowed at this time:
  • Per state executive orders, anyone traveling into Connecticut or New York must adhere to state specific travel advisories. The list of states and territories is updated regularly. Please go to these Travel Advisory websites for the latest information: Connecticut Travel Advisory (https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus/travel); New York Travel Advisory (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory).
  • No visitors are allowed for non-medical purposes such as going to the café or gift shop. Cafeterias remain closed to visitors at this time.
  • Vendors are restricted at this time to only essential vendors which are confirmed by their receiving department.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this visitation policy may cause you and your family. This is a very important way to limit the risk of possible exposure to COVID-19 to you, your loved ones, and the community. We know that visitors and loved ones play an essential role as partners in healing and wellness. That’s why this visitation policy will be reevaluated regularly and removed as soon as conditions allow.

Visit coronavirus for the latest information.

This visitation policy is subject to change.

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