Updated Visitation Guidelines for LVHN Family Birth and Newborn Centers
Updated May 3, 2020
To keep patients and staff safe as more health care services reopen or ramp up during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) continues to update visitation guidelines for Family Birth and Newborn Centers.
“Be assured that we are making these decisions in your best interest so that we can assure the safety of you, your baby and our staff,” said Amanda Flicker, MD, Chief, Division of Obstetrics. “We will continue to update this policy based on the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other professional societies.”
The following updates to visitation guidelines are now in effect for LVHN Family Birth and Newborn Centers:
Health screenings will be performed for all patients and visitors before they enter the unit. Visitors meeting any of the following criteria will be prohibited from entering Family Birth and Newborn Centers:
Have a confirmed or presumed diagnosis of COVID-19 and have not yet met criteria for discontinuation of home quarantine. According to CDC, home isolation can be discontinued after at least 10 days from symptom onset AND at least 72 hours without fever, cough or shortness of breath.
Have a COVID-19 test pending or have experienced high-risk exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
Have symptoms suggesting COVID-19, including fever, cough or shortness of breath.
Are under a 14-day home quarantine for international travel.
Triage – One healthy support person (visitor) is permitted. This visitor is asked to bring their own mask and is expected to remain in the patient’s room.
Perinatal/Antepartum units – One healthy designated support person (visitor) is permitted to visit patient and is asked to bring his or her own mask. Ideally, this shall be only one person, and visitors should not change from hour to hour or day to day.
Labor and Delivery operating room (cesarean delivery) – One healthy support person (visitor) is permitted into operating room for patients who do not have confirmed, presumed or suspected COVID-19 without recovery. Support person (visitor) will be asked to wear surgical mask and other appropriate operating room attire and must pass screening.
Labor and Delivery/Mother-Baby units – A single support person (visitor) per patient is still permitted on Labor and Delivery and Mother-Baby units.
“We understand and value the importance and benefit of a support person during this crucial time, so we welcome one support person to be with you,” Flicker said. She added, to keep you, your baby and our staff safe, each visitor is required to:
Participate in daily monitoring during the hospital stay, including temperature and symptom assessment.
Bring and wear their own mask. A clean, dry, freshly laundered cloth mask should be worn at all times during the hospital stay.
Remain in the patient room for the entire hospital stay, except to visit newborns in the NICU. Meals can be provided to ensure their comfort during the stay.
Remain at the hospital during the entire stay; however, if the support person must leave the hospital, he/she will be permitted re-entry after passing screening again.
If visitors are unable or unwilling to follow these guidelines, they will be asked to leave so that we can protect our patients, babies and staff.
If the mother has COVID-19 (or is suspected to have COVID-19) and is separated from the baby based on recommendations from the CDC, the visitor or support person cannot move between the mother’s isolation room and the baby’s isolation room or nursery. The visitor should become the newborn’s visitor and no longer the mother’s visitor. If the mother and baby are in the same room, the visitor may stay in the room but should primarily provide newborn care.
Mothers will also be required to wear masks, preferably their own brought from home, including freshly washed cloth masks. If they do not bring a mask, one will be provided to them.
Visit LVHN.org/motherhoodpartners for answers to your most frequently asked questions as well as educational resources like parent education videos, virtual hospital tours and COVID updates specifically for expectant parents.