Visitor Policy

To ensure a healthy and safe environment for our patients, staff, and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, Nuvance Health has implemented the following visitation policy. These guidelines will help you prepare for your next visit to a Nuvance Health hospital or facility.

Updated: June 15, 2021
 

Recent Inpatient Changes to Highlight
  • Expanding inpatient visitation hours:
    • Vassar Brothers Medical Center: 11 am – 7 pm
    • Norwalk Hospital: 12 pm – 8 pm
    • Northern Dutchess Hospital: 12 pm – 6 pm
    • Sharon Hospital: 12 pm – 6 pm
    • Putnam Hospital: 12 pm – 6 pm
    • Danbury Hospital: 11 am – 7 pm
    • New Milford Hospital: 11 am – 7 pm

  • Expanding from 1 to 2 (non-rotating) support persons permitted bedside per day (exceptions are shared rooms and suspect or confirmed COVID)

 

Included here:

  • Guidelines by Hospital
  • Guidance for Personal Belongings
  • Visitation Guidelines for Patients Under 21, Maternity Patients, and Extenuating Circumstances
  • Outpatient and Medical Practice Visitation Guidance
  • Inpatient Behavioral Health Visitation Guidance
  • Eucharistic Ministers and Community Clergy Guidance
  • Overall Visitation Policy


Visitation Hours and Entrances by Hospital

Danbury Hospital

Emergency Department

  • Limited visitation in the Emergency Department is permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease, and they will be allowed two (non-changing) screened support persons. Given social distancing and safe-occupancy limitation requirements, the support persons 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 11 am - 7 pm 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 maximum of two non-changing support persons and/or doula 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(s) 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

  • Limited visitation in the Emergency Department is permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease, and they will be allowed up to two (non-changing) screened support persons. Given social-distancing and safe-occupancy limitation requirements, the support person(s) 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 11 am - 7 pm daily

Open Entrances:

  • Emergency Department Entrance
  • Main Front Entrance

Norwalk Hospital

Emergency Department

  • Limited visitation in the Emergency Department is permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease, and they will be allowed up to two (non-changing) screened support persons. Given social-distancing and safe-occupancy limitation requirements, the support person(s) 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 12 pm - 8 pm daily

Open Entrance:

  • Main Pavilion Entrance


Maternity patients
: To support social distancing in triage, the maximum of two non-changing support persons and/or doula 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(s) 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

  • Limited visitation in the Emergency Department is permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease, and they will be allowed up to two (non-changing) screened support persons. Given social-distancing and safe-occupancy limitation requirements, the support person(s) 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 12 pm - 6 pm daily

Open Entrance:

  • Main Front Entrance

Putnam Hospital

Emergency Department

  • Limited visitation in the Emergency Department is permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease, and they will be allowed up to two (non-changing) screened support person(s). Given social-distancing and safe-occupancy limitation requirements, the support person(s) 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 12 pm - 6 pm daily

Open Entrances:

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

Sharon Hospital

Emergency Department

  • Limited visitation in the Emergency Department is permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease, and they will be allowed up to two (non-changing) screened support person(s). Given social-distancing and safe-occupancy limitation requirements, the support person(s) 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 12 pm - 6 pm 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

  • Limited visitation in the Emergency Department is permitted for patients without suspected or confirmed COVID disease, and they will be allowed up to two (non-changing) screened support person(s). 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 space constraints. Visitation for these procedures will resume as soon as possible.
  • Procedures/same day surgeries taking place at 21 Reade Place and DRA can accommodate a support person

Inpatient Care:

Visitation Hours 11 am - 7 pm 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 throughout the duration of the hospital stay so long as social-distancing and safe-occupancy standards permit.

Maternity patients: two support persons maximum, including a doula if requested, may accompany the patient throughout labor, delivery, and the postpartum period, including recovery, until discharge to home. If at any time support persons show symptoms of COVID-19, they will be screened again by the clinical team and may be asked to leave the hospital. At that time, alternative support persons can be selected and will have to follow the same screening process. 

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: up to four support persons may be designated to remain with patients at bedside in imminent end-of-life situations, space permitting.
  • 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 one additional visitor may also be with the patient during hospital-designated visiting hours.


Outpatient and Medical Practice Visitation Guidance

  • Visitation is permitted in all medical practice offices and other outpatient or ambulatory settings, including same-day surgery unless otherwise guided by a specific location.
  • Medical Practices welcome support a maximum of two support persons
  • Other outpatient or ambulatory settings, including same-day surgery support a maximum of one support person:
    • To facilitate safe visitation, the designated support person(s) will not be permitted to use the waiting room. The support person(s) 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 outpatient areas, due to space limitations, cannot accommodate a support person at this time except for extenuating circumstances and special populations: cancer care (infusion centers only), dental services, rehabilitation, and imaging.



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.
    • Patients will be allowed one (non-changing) screened support persons (except for shared rooms and suspect or confirmed COVID). This change applies to non-special populations or those without extenuating circumstances. 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.


Eucharistic Ministers and Community Clergy Visitation Guidance

  • Eucharistic Ministers and the Community Clergy are permitted to visit patients during and outside of regular visiting hours subject to the following requirements:
    • They have hospital badges
    • They are fully vaccinated: masking and eye protection are always mandatory
    • They attend a refresher orientation
    • Visits to patients under isolation precautions are limited to 60 minutes (no more than once per day)
    • The Community Clergy register at the front desks of each hospital and provide the name(s) of those they will visit in order to conduct contact tracing if necessary


 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.
  • A  maximum of two (2) approved visitors are permitted to visit a patient receiving inpatient care during visitation hours each day. The approved visitor(s) can change day-to-day and may exit the hospital and return the same day but a maximum of 2 unique visitors per day, cannot be exceeded. 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.
  • In-person health and wellness-related classes may resume following screening, social distancing and masking requirements. There may be certain high risk, predominately unvaccinated patient populations where classes may need to remain virtual or outdoors as informed by pertinent departments.

  • Maternity in-person tours are limited to a maximum of two at a time (mom and support person/partner) and are conducted by appointment only.
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 except when directed by the care team are closed for visitors.
  • Visitors must remain in the patient’s room at all times (except to use the restroom) and follow all personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines — such as wearing a medical grade face mask — as instructed by the care team. If care team instructs the support person to assist the patient in ambulating around the unit, this is an approved circumstance to leave the patient room. Social distancing must be followed with other patients and staff members at all times.
  • 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

For all other suspect or COVID-positive patients:

  • One hour maximum duration (maximum of one non-changing support person allowed per day, and prior discussion with care team is required to weigh risk and benefits of visit)
  • Support person will be provided PPE which includes: gloves, gowns, medical grade masks and eye protection

For all suspect or COVID-positive patients under age 21, maternity patients, and those with extenuating circumstances, they will be allowed visitation as guided under the section (Visitation Guidelines for Patients Under Age 21, Maternity Patients, and Extenuating Circumstances) noted above.

  • 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.
  • 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.
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 and/or CDC 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.