20:35 PM

LVHN and St. Luke’s Create Common Hospital Visitation Restrictions to Limit Any Confusion in the Community

With the health and safety of patients, staff and the community in mind during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and St. Luke’s University Health Network are implementing a common “No Visitation, No Access Policy” for all their hospitals and outpatient facilities, including Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVPG) and St. Luke’s Physician Group (SLPG) offices.

The “No Visitation, No Access Policy” takes effect for all LVHN hospitals and outpatient sites as of Sunday, March 15 at 12:01 a.m. and at 5:00 p.m. Monday, March 16 at St. Luke’s.

In our hospitals and inpatient facilities, no visitors are permitted except under these special circumstances:

  • Visitation of a patient nearing the end of life

  • Parent visitation of a child in a pediatric ICU or neonatal ICU

  • One coach or partner per patient on labor and delivery unit

  • One visitor at a time for patients in inpatient hospice unit

  • One parent/Guardian at a time for pediatric patients

  • One visitor to accompany patients for hospital discharge

  • One visitor for patients undergoing same-day surgeries and procedures

  • One visitor per patient in the Emergency Department

  • No child under age 12 is permitted to visit in the hospital.

For all outpatient appointments, one visitor is permitted to accompany a patient for an outpatient appointment, procedure, same-day surgery or LVPG/SLPG office visit. We will make reasonable accommodations for pediatric visits, provided any sibling visitors are in good health.

Visitors allowed by exception must be in good health and are subject to a health screening, if necessary.

LVHN and St. Luke’s understand these revisions in visitation policies might present difficulties for some patients, family members and friends and we are sympathetic to those concerns. At the same time, we must be responsible to the communities we serve and do what’s best to protect everyone. We urge those who might be impacted to please cooperate with our physicians, nurses and staff as they help our organizations fight COVID-19.

At this time, community clergy will only be permitted to visit patients who are nearing end of life and may visit only to offer communion or last rites.

Eucharistic ministers may not visit to offer communion.

Pastoral care services are available at each LVHN hospital to support and attend patients’ diverse spiritual needs. To speak with a chaplain, patients should follow these instructions:

  • At Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest, LVH–Muhlenberg and LVH–17th Street: Call the paging operator at 610-402-8999 and ask for the chaplain on call. Patients also can ask their nurse to page a pastoral care representative.
  • At LVH–Hazleton: Call 570-501-4000 and ask for the chaplain on call. Patients also can ask their nurse to page a pastoral care representative.
  • At LVH–Pocono: A chaplain can be reached at extension 3329. Also, tell their nurse that they wish to speak with a chaplain and the chaplain will be contacted. To reach the Director of Pastoral Care, please call 570-476-3329.
  • At LVH–Schuylkill: Call 570-621-4218 and ask for the chaplain on call. Patients also can ask their nurse to page a pastoral care representative.

Please review the strict “No Visitation, No Access” policy that went into effect March 15, and help us explain the importance of following the policy when speaking with clergy members.

A united effort following this common policy will allow us to return to the more normal lifestyle and activities we are all accustomed to as quickly as possible.

Please note: Special circumstances not outlined in the “No Visitation, No Access” policy may be discussed with the care team. Thank you doing your part to keep our patients, visitors, colleagues and community safe.