We know that it is very important for our patients to have support from their loved ones when they receive care at DCMC. A support person is considered part of the patients care team. Because of this and the decline in COVID-19 cases, we are updating our restrictions to allow the presence of a support person.
We would like to make it very clear, that although we are making this change, this is not a time to let our guard down and it is of the utmost importance that we remain vigilant when it comes to COVID-19. These changes will go into effect on Monday, February 15, 2021.
The following is allowed for support persons per patient care areas:
- Pediatric patients under the age of 18 may have TWO (2) parents or guardians present who are required to be in the patient room at all times.
- Emergency department patients may have ONE (1) support person who is required to be in the patient room at all times; extenuating circumstances will be evaluated by that care team.
- All outpatient services patients (Clinic, Outpatient Medical, Urgent Care, Wound Clinic, Lab, Diagnostic Imaging, Rehab) may have ONE (1) support person with them during a visit/test/procedure who remains in designated area at all times; if patient becomes admitted, rules of that unit then apply.
- Patients having surgery may have ONE (1) support person who remains in designated area at all times.
- Adult inpatients and intensive care patients may have ONE (1) designated support person PER DAY as part of their care team and must stay in the patient room at all times.
- Obstetrical patients may have ONE (1) designated support person PER DAY as part of their care team and must stay in the patient room at all times.
- All patients nearing end-of-life will have special arrangements made on a case-by-case basis.
- Skilled Nursing Facility- Visitors/Support Persons to the skilled nursing facility will not be allowed at this time. Prearranged courtyard visits and compassionate care visits are permissible at this time.
- The support person will be expected to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Wear a facemask that covers the nose and mouth at all times; a face shield is NOT acceptable in place of a mask
- Use hand sanitizer to clean hands upon entering DCMC, entering a patient room and prior to exiting a patient room
- Remain in patient room or in space designated by staff.
- They may leave the organization and return if they are a support person for a hospitalized patient.
Support persons who have any of the following symptoms or are not feeling well will NOT be allowed:
- Fever (greater than 100.0 F) or chills
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Loss of sense of taste or smell
- Exposure to a known COVID-19 person in the past 14 days
- If the support person had COVID-19 he/she may not come to the hospital until 14 days after onset of symptoms or positive COVID-19 test AND at least 24 hours fever free with improvement in symptoms
Note: stating that one has received COVID-19 vaccination or has a history of COVID-19 recovery does not exempt a support person from following the guidelines.
If additional family members have concerns or questions, they can call DCMC; we know how important it is for our patients to connect with their loved ones during times of need. In an effort to minimize interruptions to bedside caregivers, we do ask each patient to designate one individual who can serve as the spokesperson to their friends/family. This individual will be able to be the support person or call the nurse and receive detailed updates on the patient’s status.
We do encourage loved ones to call their patient’s room for a telephone visit, use cell phones to text, call or video chat with them.