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Penn State Health announces revisions to visitation guidelines as COVID-19 cases in hospitals decline

The new guidance, which is effective Monday, allows adult patients of emergency departments and clinics to have one relative or support person with them per stay.

HERSHEY, Pa. — Penn State Health announced on Friday it is revising its visitation guidelines in light of the decline of COVID-19 cases in hospitals and in-patient clinics.

The new guidelines will go into effect on Monday, the healthcare systems said.

Under the revised guidelines, adult patients of emergency departments and clinics at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, St. Joseph Medical Center, Holy Spirit Medical Center and Penn State Health Medical Group locations may now have one family/support person with them per stay.

Previous visitation guidance remains in place:

  • Adult inpatients, adult outpatient surgery patients and adult outpatient procedure patients may have one family/support person per stay.
  • Pediatric outpatient procedure patients may have two family/support persons per stay.
  • Pediatric inpatients and pediatric surgery patients may have two family/support persons per stay.

The health system has adopted several additional visitation exceptions:

  • COVID-positive labor and delivery patients meeting Special Pathogens Isolation criteria are permitted an asymptomatic support person who must agree to conditions outlined in the visitation policy.
  • A support person may visit patients having new radiation consults and/or radiation treatments.
  • A support person may visit patients suffering from acute delirium who would benefit from seeing familiar faces/family. These patients will have specific visiting hours and guidelines set by the care team.

Penn State Health said it will continue to make iPads available for communication between care teams, patients and families.

All family members or support persons who wish to enter a facility will be screened, and no one with any COVID-19 symptoms will be allowed to enter, Penn State Health said.

Everyone entering the facilities will also be required to wear a mask at all times and maintain social distancing guidelines.

The adult and pediatric visitation guidelines are available on Penn State Health’s website.