UAB outlines its visitor policy across range of scenarios

BIRMINGHAM - With the Alabama Department of Public Health reporting that most counties in the state are seeing high levels of COVID-19 infection, UAB is wanting to remind patients, family members and potential visitors about its visitor restriction policies.
According to Governor Kay Ivey’s “Safer at Home” order, visitors are prohibited in hospitals, with exceptions possibly made in situations where a caregiver’s presence improves a patient’s safety, emotional well-being or physical care, as well as in end-of-life situations.
The following is a breakdown of UAB’s guidelines for various patient situations:

• COVID-19 patients and patients who are under investigation for the virus can not have any caregiver present at the bedside except in end-of-life situations;
• Non-COVID patients can have one competent caregiver in situations where the caregiver’s presence will improve the patient’s overall health.  Caregivers will be required to remain in the room with the patient at all times except to use the restroom or find food and must wear a mask at all times.
• Persons having a surgical procedure can have one caregiver accompany them to the hospital.  The caregiver will be allowed to stay in existing waiting rooms as space is available, following social distancing requirements, only being allowed to leave the room to use the restroom or obtain food.
• For patients who do not have COVID-19 whose death is reasonably anticipated within a 24-48 hour period, two caregivers will be allowed at the bedside and can rotate.  For COVID-19 patients who are expected to pass away within 24-48 hours, one caregiver will be allowed at the bedside with approval of the attending physician due to limited personal protective equipment.
• Emergency department patients cannot have caregivers except when it’s necessary for patient care or in end-of-life situations.
• Inpatient psychiatry patients cannot have caregivers unless deemed necessary by the care team for patient care of end-of-life considerations.
• Spain Rehabilitation Center is allowing caregivers-in-training to help support safe discharge of patients from inpatient rehabilitation.  Caregivers will be screened at the front entrance for COVID-19 symptoms, including receiving temperature checks.  Caregivers are asked to bring their own face masks, which must be worn at all times.  Only one caregiver will be allowed at a time, and any caregiver who stays past 5 p.m. will have to spend the night.
• Women’s services patients - which includes obstetrics - can have one support person stay with them throughout their stay.  The support person will be screened on admission.  If the support person does not pass screening, they will not be allowed to enter the facility.  The support person will be required to wear a mask at all times and cannot rotate with other support persons during the patient’s stay.  COVID-19 patients within this unit will not be allowed any visitors, including a support persons.
• Neonatal patients can have their mother and one other support person visit.  Both will be screened prior to admission to the unit, and anyone failing the screening will not be allowed to enter.  Both the mother and support person will be required to wear a mask at all times while in the facility.
• For patients visiting any of UAB’s outpatient clinics, visitors are not allowed except for those meeting a compassionate care qualification.  However, a caregiver/support person will be allowed to accompany the patient in the following circumstances:

* Oncology or infusion appointments;
* If the patient is undergoing a complex procedure, such as oral surgery or an endoscopy;
* Ultrasounds for women with high-risk pregnancies;
* Patients with cognitive and/or memory disorders.
All caregivers must wear masks and will undergo screenings, including temperature checks at the entrances to clinics.  Proper social distancing at 6 feet is maintained at all times.

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See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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