Crouse Health Visitor Policy During COVID-19

VISITATION POLICY

COVID-19 cases are increasing across Onondaga County. Because of this — and in the interest of staff and patient safety — we have paused patient visitation in all areas of the hospital, with the exception of the following, which remain under current visitation protocols to ensure optimal communication and patient safety:

– Maternity (8 Irving)
– NICU
– Special Circumstances: End-of-life care; cognitive issues; developmental disabilities

There will be no visitation in the Emergency Department, unless the following special circumstances apply:

– Pediatric patients are considered any patient who has yet to reach their 21st birthday. One support person at a time as essential to pediatric patient care in the emergency department, during an outpatient procedure or during hospitalization as allowed.
– Patients for whom a support person has been determined to be essential to the care of the patient (medically necessary), including patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and patients with cognitive impairments including dementia
– End-of-life care

Thank you for your cooperation as we continue to focus on the health and safety of patients and staff.


No one with a cough, fever, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, and/or flu-like symptoms, or possible contact with a COVID-19 patient, is permitted to visit the hospital. When reaching an access point to Crouse Hospital, every visitor, employee, physician and advance practice provider will be screened for symptoms and will have their temperature taken. They will also be given an ear loop mask upon entering Crouse Hospital and will be required to wear it in all areas of the hospital at all times while onsite.

Visitors are not permitted if they traveled in the past 14 days to a state with a significant degree of community spread of COVID-19.   This does not apply to special circumstances visitation. Click here for NYS Department of Health travel advisory guidance regarding designated hot spot states.


All individuals (employees, family and visitors) entering the building must be screened:

1.      Do you have:

  • New cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fever >38C
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Flu-like symptoms (malaise, myalgia, rigor, sore throat or headache)

2.      Each individual’s temperature will be checked via an Infrared Thermometer for fever (above 38C). Note: Tympanic Temperature may be taken if unable to obtain temperature via IR thermometer

If YES to any of the above, you will be restricted from entering the building.

If the person is a Crouse Health Employee, the employee will be asked to leave the building and complete the following:

  • Immediately call their direct supervisor
    If off-shift, call the administrative supervisor for further instructio
  • Call their primary care provider
    If you do not have a PCP, call the County Triage Line at 315-464-3979
  • Follow up with Employee Health

If anyone refuses to answer the questions or have their temperature taken they will be restricted from the building.

3.     An optional cellphone baggie with alcohol pad will be offered to each employee entering the building.

4.     If a visitor or employee answers NO to the above screening questions AND no fever is present,
they may be allowed entry to the Crouse building.

Each person who enters will be provided with ONE mask (ear loop or surgical) which must be worn at all times while in the building. Homemade masks are prohibited; a hospital-based disposable mask should be provided for all.

Visitors and/or support persons must restrict their stay to the patient’s room or other location designated by the facility & wash hands frequently during their stay.

Our staff continues to follow guidelines and protocols with respect to staff precautions while caring for patients with suspected flu and COVID-19 symptoms. These visitation guidelines are meant to help protect you and our community from the spread of COVID-19, and are developed using guidance from the CDC, New York State Department of Health, Onondaga County Department of Health and our own Infection Control specialists.

Support Persons

The current practices related to support persons for the following patients remains in effect:

  • Patients in labor and delivery
  • Pediatric Patients
  • Patients for whom a support person has been determined to be essential to the care of the patient (medically necessary), including patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and patients with cognitive impairments, including dementia
  • Imminent end-of-life situations (determined on an individual basis)
    Patients in imminent end of life situations are permitted to have one family member at a time present at the bedside as a support person.  Imminent end of life is a patient who is actively dying, where death is anticipated within less than 24 hours.  Two support people may be designated, but only one support person may be present at a time.  In the event the patient is a parent of a minor child, one adult family member and one child may be permitted at the patient bedside.  This restriction should be described to the patient/family upon arrival in terms they can understand.

Given the risk of COVID-19 in healthcare settings, visitors and support persons should be informed of the potential risks and benefits of having at least one visitor and/or support person at the bedside.  For those patients and support persons who, through informed decision making, determine that having a support person at the bedside is essential, the following protocol is in place to minimize risk of potential COVID-19 transmission.

For patients in which a support person is deemed necessary with a prolonged hospitalization, the patient or family/caregiver may designate two support people; but only one support person may be present at a time.    This restriction must be explained in plain terms to the patient and/or support person upon arrival or prior to arrival.   Individuals age 70 years or older are not encouraged to be support persons at this time due to increased risk of COVID-19 infection.

A. The visitor and/or support person of a patient with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 who has been in close contact with the patient has potentially already been exposed to COVID-19.  These support persons should:

  • Wear a surgical or procedural mask (provided by the hospital) throughout their time in the hospital
  • Practice scrupulous hand hygiene
  • Remain in the patient’s room except for entrance and exit from the hospital; and
  • While in the room, a gown and gloves should be worn to prevent the person’s hands or clothes from becoming contaminated.  Eye protection should be worn while in the room and will be provided by the hospital

B. If the visitor and/or support person of a patient with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 has NOT been a close contact of the patient and does not have a history of confirmed COVID-19, the support person should:

  • Wear a surgical or procedural mask ( provided by the hospital) throughout their time in the hospital
  • Practice scrupulous hand hygiene
  • Remain in the patient’s room except for entrance and exit from the hospital; and
  • While in the room, a gown and gloves should be worn to prevent the person’s hands or clothes from becoming contaminated.  Eye protection should be worn while in the room and will be provided by the hospital
  • The risk of acquiring COVID-19 should be fully explained so that the patient and support person can make an informed decision of whether the support person’s presence at the patient bedside is essential to the patient’s health

C. If the patient does NOT have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, the visitor and/or support person should:

  • Wear a surgical or procedural mask (provided by the hospital) throughout their time in the hospital
  • Practice scrupulous hand hygiene
  • Remain in the patient’s room except for entrance and exit from the hospital

D. If the visitor and/or support person has suspected COVID-19 or presents with or develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should be excluded from the hospital (as indicated above).  In this situation, the patient/family may choose to select a different support person following informed decision making.

E. In the event the visitor and/or support person has a confirmed history of symptomatic COVID-19, but meets the following conditions:

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery – defined as no fever (greater than or equal to 100.0F) without the use of fever reducing medications AND
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) AND
  • At least 14 days have passed since symptoms attributed to COVID-19 first appeared
    o   For a visitor and/or support person who was asymptomatic at the time of their first positive test and remain asymptomatic, at least 14 days have passed since the first positive test.

Such visitor and/or support person may be allowed to enter with the following precautions:

  • Wear a surgical or procedural mask (provided by the hospital) throughout their time in the hospital
  • Practice scrupulous hand hygiene
  • Remain in the patient’s room except for entrance and exit from the hospital; and
  • While in the room, a gown and gloves should be worn

In addition to the screened upon entry procedure, hospital staff will conduct a temperature check of a support person every twelve hours after admission for the remainder of their presence at the bedside.  When providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to a support person, instructions on PPE conservation strategies should be provided to minimize unnecessary waste and proper usage.

Kienzle Family Maternity Center
Labor and Delivery / Postpartum Units

You will be allowed to have one support person for the duration of your stay in the hospital and, if requested, a doula during labor and delivery.

This “duration of stay” includes labor, delivery and the postpartum period, including recovery. The person who supports you during labor and delivery must remain the same person who will be with you following delivery.

Support Person
Your one support person can be your partner or whoever you choose to be with you. Your support person must be over 18 years of age. The support person must stay in the room. Designated support person will be screened for symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and have their temperature upon admission and then every 12 hours.

Your support person cannot rotate or change through the labor process. This includes post labor, while you recover and until you are discharged. If your support person leaves, they cannot return. At discharge. we review instructions with you; the support person can use FaceTime or call during the discharge paperwork review.

Please ensure both you and your support person have everything you need during and post labor, including your baby’s your car seat.

Doulas
Doulas are considered an essential part of the support care team and should be allowed to accompany a pregnant individual during labor and delivery as an additional support person, as medically appropriate.

NICU Visitation

In light of the increased spread of COVID-19 within our community, the following visitation policy for the Crouse’s Baker Regional NICU goes into effect Jan. 8, 2021. This policy goes into effect when the mother is discharged from the hospital. 

  • Limited to parents only with alternate visitation
  • Parents may NOT visit together
  • Only one parent may be present in the hospital at a time
  • Parents may each visit one time per day, for a combined total of FOUR hours
  • Parents must remain on the unit for duration of visit
  • No re-entry to the hospital is permitted
  • Must be screened prior to entry into NICU
  • Parents must remain on the 9th floor for the duration of their visit

Please note:

  • Parents of twins may visit together in the same FOUR hour block (at separate bedsides)
  • The count for a new day begins at midnight
  • While mother is still an inpatient, she and the other parent may visit NICU together, as often as they like, without time limit
  • No eating is permitted anywhere in the NICU or the waiting areas
  • Masks are required to be worn at all times