Crouse Health Visitor Policy During COVID-19

Visitation Policy
Updated Aug. 14, 2020 | 4:30 p.m.

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.

EMERGENCY ROOM VISITATION

Crouse Health allows patients in the Emergency Department one accompanying person during their stay in the Emergency Department

  • The accompanying person must be 18 years of age or older
  • A person accompanying a patient in the Emergency Department is screened at the door (see page 1) and provided education on wearing a mask and handwashing
  • Accompanying persons 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. Link to current hot spot states as designated by the state DOH: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory
  • Accompanying persons are limited to one person for the duration of the Emergency Department visit. Persons accompanying a patient being tested for COVID will receive additional education and assistance with PPE that is required and may only stay for one hour.
  • Accompanying persons who fail to wear a face mask and other PPE will be asked to leave the facility
  • Once in the facility, accompanying persons must remain in the patient’s room throughout the visit except when directed by the hospital staff to leave (e.g. during an aerosolizing procedure)
  • In the event the patient is admitted-see visitation and/or support person listed below

Accompanying persons receive a document outlining the expectations of their role upon entrance to the hospital.  This document also contains risk and benefits of accompanying someone in the Emergency Department.  Upon submitting their contact information to Security (for inclusion in an electronic tracking log) and receipt of a visitor badge, the accompanying person  is attesting to receiving and understanding the policy (special assistance may be required and provided for those with visual impairment, language barrier or difficulty with reading comprehension).

VISITOR LIMITATIONS
Crouse Health allows visitation for ADMITTED patients seven days a week according to the following guidelines:

• Visitors must be 18 years of age or older
• Visiting hours limited to 2 to 6 p.m. – 1 person per day, 4 hours maximum
• Visiting hours in CDU, 7 Memorial and Neuro ICU limited to 5 to 6 p.m. – 1 person per day, 1 hour maximum
• Visitors are temperature screened at all entry points and provided education on wearing a mask and handwashing
• Visitors who fail to wear a face mask and other PPE will be asked to leave the facility
• Visitors seeing COVID-19 patients will receive education and assistance with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and will be expected to adhere to social distancing practices during visit
• Visitors must report to the Nursing Station upon arrival to patient care areas
• Visitors must remain in the patient’s room throughout the visit except when requested by hospital staff to leave (such as during a procedure)
• Overhead announcements will be made prior to end of visiting hours.
• Visitation hours on all units are subject to change, as needed.

Visitors will receive a document outlining the visitation policy upon entrance to the hospital.  This document also contains risk and benefits of visiting.  Upon submitting their contact information to Security (for inclusion in an electronic tracking log) and receiving a visitor badge, the visitor is attesting to receiving and understanding the policy (special assistance may be required and provided for those with visual impairment, language barrier or difficulty with reading comprehension).

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 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 may return as the one visitor for the day between the hours of 2 and 6 p.m. Please ensure both you and your support person have everything you need during and post labor. Please remember to bring your car seat.

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.

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.

Pediatric Patients
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.

NICU Parents
In light of the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19, and based on health advisory guidance from the New York State Department of Health, the following temporary visitation policy for the Crouse NICU began on March 24 at 8 p.m. 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 (please see note below)
·      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

NOTE: While mother is still an inpatient, she and the other parent may visit NICU together, as often as they like without time limit The other parent may visit as often as they like as long as they are a designated support person and have not left the hospital since the delivery.  If the support person leaves at any point prior to discharge of mother, s/he becomes a visitor and must follow the visitor regulations.