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Penn State Health changes patient visitation guidelines due to increase in COVID-19 cases

The new guidelines take effect on Monday at Penn State Health locations.

Penn State Health has revised its patient visitation guidelines after an increase in patients with COVID-19 across the health system, 

The new guidelines take effect on Monday at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State Health St. Joseph, Penn State Health Holy Spirit Medical Center and Penn State Health Medical Group locations, according to the medical center's officials. 

Under the revised policy, adult inpatients may have one family or support person with them during their entire stay, and pediatric patients may have two.

Officials say the designated family and support persons will be the only ones allowed into Penn State Health facilities throughout a patient’s stay.

Adult patients of emergency departments and outpatient clinics will not be permitted any family and support persons, the release says. 

Exceptions to the policy for inpatients and adult patients of emergency departments and outpatient clinics will be made for end-of-life patients and adult patients who have disabilities, communication barriers or behavioral concerns, health officials say. 

Penn State Health will continue to screen all family and support persons who wish to enter any facility; no one with COVID-19 symptoms will be permitted to enter. Everyone entering the facilities will also be required to wear a mask and maintain appropriate social distancing guidelines.

Penn State Health also has free virtual screenings for COVID-19 through its telehealth service, Penn State Health OnDemand

Anyone with concerns that they may have COVID-19 may use the service to talk directly with a provider who can evaluate their symptoms and make care recommendations.