COVID-19 Visitor Rules

To keep UK HealthCare patients, visitors and staff safe, we have several ways to screen for COVID-19:

  • Employees & vendors: Required to screen for COVID-19 daily using assigned screening tools.
  • Patients & visitors: Required to screen for COVID-19 daily upon entry:
    • Option 1 (fast pass): You can self-screen electronically by visiting covidscreen.ukhc.org and showing your results at a screening station. Patients are encouraged to screen through their MyChart account.
    • Option 2: You can get screened at one of the screening stations located near our main entrances.

Visitor restrictions image

As COVID-19 remains a significant health risk for many individuals, UK HealthCare is continuing to restrict visitation in all hospitals and clinics - with some amendments - to promote the health and safety of our patients, visitors and staff. This is a challenging time, and these guidelines are intended to provide additional safeguards throughout UK HealthCare facilities. These guidelines will be in place at UK Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital, UK Markey Cancer Center, UK HealthCare Turfland, Kentucky Clinic and all other UK HealthCare buildings and facilities.

Summary:

  • In general, the number of visitors welcomed at the bedside at any time for non-COVID patients is determined in collaboration with the care team, patient and family. During times of community or hospital outbreak of infectious disease, additional visitation restrictions may apply for public and patient health.
  • All visitors must pass COVID-19 screening and should follow current COVID-19 visitor guidelines and policies.
  • One visitor will be allowed to stay overnight.
  • One visitor is allowed for each COVID-positive patient.
  • Children (under age 18) who are supervised by an adult are welcome. Modifications may apply and are at the discretion of the care team. Although younger children may be developmentally unable to remain with the patient for lengthy periods of time, contact with these children can be of significant importance to the patient.
  • Visitors must wear a mask at all times while in public areas and are encouraged to remain masked when in the patient room. Patients and visitors must wear a mask when staff enter the room and will be reminded to do so when they are entering.
  • Visitors must stop at a screening station and pass a screening before entering our facilities. Overnight visitors must screen daily. 
  • Visitors may wait in the waiting room but are encouraged to social distance from individuals outside of their household.
  • Family and friends are encouraged to utilize alternative visitation options for the safety of our patients and staff. iPad visitation is available upon request and video visitation is possible in many ICU areas. Phone calls and other virtual visits are encouraged.

Expectations for Visitors

To help prevent the spread of infection, visitors:

  • Will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 before entering UK HealthCare hospitals and individual clinics within ambulatory facilities. Visitors who screen positive will not be allowed to enter our facilities.
  • Must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer every time they enter or exit a patient room.
  • Must wear a mask at all times in our facilities. Visitors must wear a mask at all times in public areas including all waiting rooms and lobbies. Cloth masks are not recommended but appropriate medical masks are provided at screening stations and throughout the building. For the safety of the patient and staff, we encourage visitors to wear their mask while inside visiting a patient. Visitors who refuse to wear a mask or accept a reasonable accommodation while on UK HealthCare property will be asked to leave.
  • Should limit the number of personal items brought into any UK HealthCare facility to reduce the transmission of germs. We will allow only one small duffel bag (not to exceed 24 inches in length) of belongings for each inpatient. This may be brought in by a designated visitor. Belongings delivered to entry points for patients must fit into a clear, one-gallon bag. Items should be limited to essential items (ie: glasses, electronics, books, cards, pictures). Perishable foods or medicine will not be allowed. UK HealthCare does not assume any liability for lost, misplaced or broken items.
  • Visitors must adhere to our polices, including our COVID-19 polices and behavioral expectations. Failure to follow polices and guidelines could result in visitation privileges being revoked.

Entry & Exit Requirements:

  • Visitors may be asked to step out of the patient room or clinic room by the care team so that a procedure can be performed on the patient. Visitors will be required to wait in an approved waiting room.
  • Visitors are discouraged from leaving the facility to smoke. Visitors who frequently exit the building to smoke may not be permitted to re-enter.  Please talk to our health care staff about smoking cessation options.

Inpatient General Guidelines

Adult NON-COVID patients staying in the hospital:

  • The number of visitors allowed at bedside may vary and is determined in collaboration with the care team, patient and family. Visitors are permitted to switch out but should limit the number of times entering/exiting the building.
  • Children (under age 18) who are supervised by an adult are welcome. Modifications may apply and are at the discretion of the care team.
    • One visitor is allowed to stay overnight.

Pediatric NON-COVID patients staying in the hospital:

  • One or two parents/legal guardians may accompany and stay with the patient for the length of the hospital stay (including overnight).
  • The number of visitors allowed at bedside may vary and is determined in collaboration with the care team, patient and family. Visitors are permitted to switch out but should limit the number of times entering/exiting the building.
  • Visitation to units serving immunocompromised patients may be limited or suspended.
  • Children (under age 18) who are supervised by an adult are welcome. Modifications may apply and are at the discretion of the care team.

COVID-positive or under investigation:

One designated asymptomatic visitor age 18 or older is allowed in the room. No switching is allowed. A designated visitor can leave and come back.

  • Visitors should remain in the patient’s room and should not visit any other locations in the facility.
  • Visitors will be asked to wear appropriate PPE in the room, including mask, gown and gloves.
  • Eating or drinking in isolation rooms is discouraged, as this is a high-risk activity for the spread of infection.
  • Exceptions may be made for end-of-life care or other compassionate care situations.

Pediatric COVID-positive or under investigation

  • One or two designated parents/legal guardians may accompany and stay with the patient for the length of the hospital stay (including overnight).
  • Parents/guardians should remain in the patient’s room and should not visit any other locations in the facility.
  • Parents/guardians will be asked to wear appropriate PPE in the room, including mask, gown and gloves.
  • Eating or drinking in isolation rooms is discouraged for parents/legal guardians who do not spend entirety of isolation in the room, as this is a high-risk activity for the spread of infection.

Clergy Visitation

Community clergy and spiritual leaders are allowed to make routine visits to their congregants and parishioners who are hospitalized after completing screening and identification processes. The UK HealthCare chaplain staff remains available to provide spiritual support to any patient at any time. 

Special Units

Emergency Department:

Adult Emergency Department

After appropriate screening, up to three visitors at a time, typically immediate family, will be allowed to accompany an adult ED patient. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

Children (under age 18) who are supervised by an adult are welcome. Modifications may apply and are at the discretion of the care team.

Pediatric Emergency Department

After appropriate screening, one or two parent(s) or guardian(s) and two grandparents will be allowed to accompany pediatric patients unless the attending physician has a reason to limit. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

Children (under age 18) who are supervised by an adult are welcome. Modifications may apply and are at the discretion of the care team.

Obstetric (OB) patients:

  • OB patients may have one birth-support person with them during delivery, and up to two visitors (support person does not count as a visitor) for a total of three people. Additional rules will be in place for OB patients who are COVID-positive/results-pending.

Behavioral Health Units:

The number of visitors allowed at bedside may vary and is determined in collaboration with the care team, patient and family. Upon admission, patients/parents/guardians will be given specific guidelines for visiting a behavioral health unit.

Morgue visitation:

Morgue visitation will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Contact pastoral care pages for exception (859-330-1520).

Pet visitation:

We are currently working to bring back pet therapy to inpatient non-COVID rooms. Please contact your care team or volunteer services for more details.

Surgical/Procedural Patients

Adult patients:

  • We encourage patients to limit the number of visitors accompanying them for surgery or other invasive procedures after being screened.
  • One visitor is allowed for adult patients in Pre-Op and PACU (post-operative anesthesia care) locations.

Pediatric patients:

  • We encourage patients to limit the number of visitors accompanying them for surgery or other invasive procedures after being screened.
  • One or two parents/guardians may accompany the pediatric patient in procedural areas, including pre-op and PACU.

Outpatient Locations & Clinics

Outpatient visits for diagnostic and screening procedures and clinic visits:

Adult & pediatric outpatient visits:

  • We encourage patients to limit the number of visitors accompanying them on their visit during COVID 19. The number of people welcomed into clinic exam and waiting rooms will vary depending on room size, patient condition, and number of people in the clinic.
  • All visitors must pass a COVID-19 screening
  • To help maintain social distancing and limiting the spread of COVID-19, additional restrictions, up to no visitors, may be applied. The presence of visitors is variable per site based on the size of available waiting areas. Please contact your clinic/appointment prior to verify their current visitation rules.

Markey Cancer Center Outpatient Clinics:

  • We encourage patients to limit the number of visitors accompanying them on their visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of people welcomed into clinic exam and waiting rooms will vary depending on room size, patient condition, and number of people in the clinic. No one under age 18 should visit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • We encourage no more than one to two support people to accompany a patient to an appointment at Markey Cancer Center due to increased risk to immunocompromised patients.
    • Please contact your clinic/appointment prior to verify their current visitation rules.

Outpatient infusion:

We encourage no more than one support person to accompany a patient to an infusion appointment due to increased risk to immunocompromised patients.

Other Areas

Pharmacy Pickups and Medical Records

We encourage patients and visitors to limit the number of people accompanying them inside UKHC. Anyone entering UKHC must wear proper PPE and pass COVID-19 screening. If the patient is COVID-19 positive, or does not pass COVID-19 screening, they should call ahead to coordinate with pharmacy or medical records.

Financial Services

Financial services is not on-site. They do not accept walk-ins or appointments and should be contacted at 859-323-9898.

Shuttles

Masks are still required at all times on all shuttles. Social distancing is encouraged when possible.

Food

Cafeterias are open to both employees and visitors. Masks should be worn before and after eating. Social distancing is encouraged when possible.

Outside food and food deliveries are discouraged. If food is delivered, it must be picked up at the main entrances. Employees and visitors are expected to meet the drivers at the entrances. Food should not be unattended in the lobby and is subject to be thrown away if left unattended.

For updated information on our visitation policy please call our Information Desk team at 859-323-5816.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time. These guidelines are in place to keep our patients, their families and our staff safe. Thank you for entrusting UK HealthCare with your medical care.