Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
15:04 PM

LVHN Lifts Some Restrictions in Updated Hospital Visitation Guidelines

During the COVID-19 crisis, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) is acting as a trusted health partner by putting the safety of patients and our caregivers and staff first. One way we helped ensure safety at the onset of the pandemic was to temporarily restrict visitation across our health network. While we understand and appreciate how difficult these changes may have been, our efforts helped slow the spread of infection in our community.

During the past 10 weeks, we implemented many processes– such as visitor temperature screenings at entrances – to help keep everyone safe in our facilities. These safety measures have proven to be very effective. Now, as our hospitals continue to see declines in the number of COVID-19 cases across the region we serve, we are ready to welcome back visitors into select areas to provide support and companionship to our hospitalized patients.

The following visitation guidelines will take effect Wednesday, May 20.

In our hospitals and inpatient facilities, visitors are allowed in these circumstances:

  • Labor and delivery and postpartum areas: One partner/support person may stay the duration of the hospitalization.

  • Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU): One set of parents or authorized representatives may visit.

  • Hospitalized patients age 18 and younger: One set of parents or authorized representatives may visit.

  • Patients with developmental disability, major neurocognitive disorder or dementia: One designated support person essential to patient care may visit.

  • Non-COVID-19 medical surgical/low-level monitoring units: One healthy support person may visit daily for the duration of the hospitalization.

  • Patients ready to be discharged from the hospital: One healthy support person may visit to assist as necessary.

  • Emergency department: One healthy visitor may accompany a patient.

  • Non-COVID-19 patients who are at end-of-life: Two healthy visitors may visit at a time.

  • COVID-19 patients who are at end-of-life: Two healthy visitors my visit at a time.

Healthy visitors are allowed under these guidelines:

  • Visitors will have their temperature taken and will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Visitors will be asked to provide a prior history of any COVID-19 diagnosis.

  • Visitors will wear a face mask at all times. A mask will be provided to those who arrive without one.

  • Visitors will be allowed in the patient room only and should not visit other areas in the hospital.

  • No visitors under age 18 will be permitted except for visits to patients at the end of life.

Visitors recovering from COVID-19 will be allowed if:

  • Ten days have passed since they developed symptoms.

  • They have been fever-free without the use of antipyretic medications (used to reduce fever) for three days.

  • They have experienced an improvement in other symptoms.

In our hospitals and inpatient facilities, visitors are not allowed in these areas:

  • Non-COVID-19 intensive care units

  • COVID-19 intensive care units

  • COVID-19 medical surgical/low-level monitoring units

  • Same-day surgery

The visitation guidelines and restrictions will be reviewed weekly and will be updated based on the latest information and with the safety of our patients and caregivers in mind.

For ongoing updates about all LVHN is doing to keep colleagues and patients prepared, visit LVHN.org/PreparedPartners.

About LVHN

Lehigh Valley Health Network includes eight hospital campuses, three in Allentown, one in Bethlehem, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton and two in Pottsville, Pa.; Coordinated Health, which includes two hospital campuses, nearly two dozen multispecialty locations including ambulatory surgery centers and orthopedic injury centers in northeastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey; 26 health centers; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices; 22 ExpressCARE including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE; pharmacy, imaging, home health, rehabilitation, and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes trauma care for adults and children, burn care at the Regional Burn Center, kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, neurology, complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and robotic surgery in 10 specialties. Lehigh Valley Cancer InstituteLehigh Valley Heart Institute, and Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence physicians provide the most advanced treatments. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance, an initiative that helps community providers improve the quality of cancer care and offers access to MSK clinical trials. Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, the community’s only children’s hospital, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest is the region’s only hospital nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for orthopedics and has been recognized among Pennsylvania’s top five hospitals for six consecutive years. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg are the region’s only Magnet® hospitals for nursing excellence. Additional information is available by visiting LVHN.org, or following us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.