Coming to the Hospital? What to Expect During the COVID-19 Pandemic

It’s always a good idea to understand the rules and guidelines when visiting any hospital. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve made several changes at Texas Health hospitals, including how you enter and questions you may be asked. Knowing what to expect makes a visit to the hospital easier, so below is a quick overview of some of the current changes we’ve made to help keep patients, visitors and our care teams safe. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we will continue to update our policies, so you can also visit our Coronavirus response page to check the latest safety guidance before your visit.

Changing access

You may be directed to use a different hospital entrance than you’ve used on a previous visit. Look for helpful signs that will point the way at main entrances. At some hospitals, the Emergency Department could be the only entrance in use.

Wearing masks

Everyone is now required to wear a mask in public spaces and when a care giver enters the room. A Texas Health staff member will greet you when you arrive, and will provide you a mask to wear. Visitors may wear their personal masks but will be encouraged to use the masks we provide.

You can expect to also see care team members wearing masks while at work. This is for their protection and yours.

COVID-19 testing

If you have COVID symptoms, you will be tested on admission or if signs and symptoms of COVID-19 develop during your inpatient stay. If you are a pregnant woman being admitted to the hospital or being admitted to the hospital for a procedure, you’ll be tested for COVID-19, whether you have symptoms or not. An obstetrical patient’s support person will not be tested, but will be screened each time they enter the building.

New visitor policy

Texas Health has a new visitor policy to protect patients and caregivers. No visitors will be allowed, except for:

  • Labor and delivery or post-partum patients, who are allowed one visitor.
  • NICU patients, who are allowed two parents or guardians.
  • Emergency Department patients with impairment or mobility issues, who may have one visitor if needed for support. Visitors are not allowed in treatment areas.
  • Hospital Outpatient patients with impairment or mobility needs, who may have one visitor if needed for support.
  • Patients who are having surgery or a procedure are allowed one visitor who can remain at the hospital during check-in and throughout your scheduled procedure. If your procedure requires an overnight stay, your loved one may stay with you until you go to your room but cannot go with you to your room.

Visitors must be at least 16 years old, meet screening criteria each time they enter the facility and wear a mask.

Safe distancing and personal safety

All visitors should follow required precautions, which includes to stay at least six feet away from others, leave empty seats between themselves and others in waiting areas, practice good hand washing, and follow all hospital staff instructions.

Other changes

Texas Health has temporarily suspended our volunteer and observer programs, as well as valet services. Self-service food stations in the cafeterias have also been discontinued.

We understand these changes may be challenging for our patients. It’s important that we take these precautions, because people with COVID-19 may not show any symptoms. We are committed to the health of the communities we serve, and to the health and safety of our caregivers. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

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