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COVID-19 Visitor Rules

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 policy includes, but is not limited to, UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Markey Cancer Center, UK HealthCare - Turfland, Kentucky Clinic and all other UK HealthCare buildings and facilities. Please note that all rules about visitation may be changed without notice.

Effective 8/13/21


  • Only one designated visitor is allowed in the hospital to visit the patient at a time. A patient may identify two people who can visit them (usually immediate family members) per stay. The first visitor must leave the hospital before the second visitor arrives. Waiting areas are closed to visitors until further notice.
    • A “designated visitor” is defined as someone age 18 or older who is approved to visit following a negative COVID-19 screening upon entering UK HealthCare buildings and facilities. This person is selected by the patient or patient’s representative.
  • Waiting areas are closed to visitors until further notice.
    • Visitors must wear a mask at all times while in our facilities. This includes while in a patient’s room. Both patients and visitors must wear a mask when staff enter the room and will be reminded to do so when staff members are entering.
    • Visitors must stop at a check-in station and pass a screening before entering our facilities. Overnight visitors must return to a station each day to complete screening and obtain proper verification.
    • Visitors must show photo ID for entry. Valid ID includes a driver’s license, passport, government-issued ID, employee ID or student ID. If a valid form of identification is not provided, entry to the facility will be denied.
    • Family and friends are encouraged to utilize alternative visitation options for the safety of our patient and staff. iPad visitation is available upon request and video visitation is available 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 with 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 while in our facilities. Visitors are encouraged to bring a mask with them, but one mask will be given to individuals who arrive without one. 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.

    Entry & Exit Requirements:

    • Visitors must be screened every time they enter the building.
    • Visitors will not be allowed to leave the facility to smoke. Visitors who frequently exit the building to smoke may not be permitted to re-enter. Please talk to our healthcare staff about smoking cessation options.
    • 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.
  • Inpatient General Guidelines

    For NON-COVID adult patients staying in the hospital:

    • Only one designated visitor is allowed in the hospital to visit the patient at a time. A patient may identify two people who can visit them (usually immediate family members) per stay. The first visitor must leave the hospital before the second visitor arrives.
    • Visitors must be age 18 or older.
    • Waiting areas are closed to visitors until further notice.
    • One designated visitor is allowed to stay overnight.
    • Visitors are discouraged from making unnecessary trips to and from the hospital.

    For pediatric patients:

    • One or two parents/legal guardians may accompany and stay with the patient for the length of the hospital stay.
    • Visitation to units serving immunocompromised patients may be limited or suspended.
    • Parents are discouraged from making unnecessary trips to and from the hospital.

    COVID-positive or under investigation:

    Visitation is not allowed for COVID-19-positive patients or patients suspected of having COVID-19. Certain units may be designated as COVID units where visitation will be limited.

    Community clergy visitation limited

    Community clergy and spiritual leader visitation is currently restricted. Chaplain staff remain available for spiritual support for patients, families and staff. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis or for ritual/sacramental needs. Please contact chaplain on-call (859-330-1520) for clergy visitation exceptions.

  • Special Units

    Emergency Department:

    • Adults: 2 visitors at bedside at a time with the ability to switch out.
    • Visitors should wait in their cars and not in the lobby. 
    • Peds: Two parents/guardians allowed at bedside.
    • If arrangements cannot be made for other children in the family, the preference is they wait with another adult in the car.  Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Behavioral Health Units:

    Due to the communal nature of the behavioral health units, visitation has been suspended. Special visitation can be requested for circumstances deemed necessary and beneficial by the medical director and nursing director of each unit. In such approved events, visitation should be limited to one hour and no more than one visitor for the adult unit and no more than two parents or legal guardians on the adolescent unit. Visitors must undergo appropriate screening and must wear approved mask and eyewear at all times. 

    Obstetric (OB) patients:

    • OB patients may have one birth-support person over age 16 with them during delivery.
    • Additional rules will be in place for OB patients who are COVID-positive/results-pending.

    Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT):

    • One designated visitor is allowed for patients in the hospital for bone marrow transplant-related care.
    • The visitor can come when the patient is admitted and must stay until discharge (including overnight).
    • The visitor must remain in the patient’s room and leave only to get meals or to retrieve items dropped off for them at the door. They will not be permitted to leave the room to smoke. If the visitor leaves the facility prior to discharge, they will not be permitted to return.

    Morgue visitation:

    All morgue visitation is suspended at this time.

    Pet visitation:

    Pet therapy visitation is suspended at this time.

  • Surgical/Procedural Patients

    Adult patients:

    • Two designated visitors will be allowed to accompany adult patients entering hospitals 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:

    • For pediatric patients, one or two parents/guardians are allowed to accompany the patient.
    • One or two parents/guardians can accompany the pediatric patient in the procedural areas, including pre-op and PACU.
  • Outpatient Locations & Clinics

    Outpatient visits for diagnostic and screening procedures and clinic visits:

    Adult outpatient visits:

      • One adult support person or immediate family members wearing a mask may accompany an adult patient into an approved waiting room after passing screening.
      • High-risk patient populations – additional restrictions up to no visitors, unless:
        • Special assistance is required.
        • Patient will be under sedation.
        • Provider has asked the patient to bring a responsible adult.
      • The number of permitted visitors is variable per site based on the size of available waiting areas.

    Pediatric outpatient visits:

      • One or two parents/legal guardians wearing a mask may accompany a pediatric patient into an approved waiting room after passing screening.
      • The number of permitted visitors is variable per site based on the size of available waiting rooms.

    Markey Cancer Center Outpatient Clinics:

    • Patients in Markey Cancer Center clinics are limited to one visitor in clinics.

    Outpatient infusion:

    • Visitors are not allowed in our cancer chemotherapy infusion areas.
  • Food Options for Approved Visitors

    Updated 8-16-21

    Designated visitors and those accompanying patients for surgeries, procedures or clinic visits can utilize the options below for meals. All visitors will be screened when entering UK HealthCare facilities.

    We encourage designated visitors to eat in the patient’s room. Visitors accompanying patients to surgeries, procedures or visits may sit in dining areas to eat but must maintain social distance of 6 feet between their party and others. Masks should be worn except when actively eating.

    When the meal is finished, visitors should return to their appropriate waiting area. This allows us to keep dining spaces available for others who need to eat in a socially distanced manner.

    Dining options and hours for visitors are below:


    Courtyard Café (Ground Floor, Pavilion A):

    • Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    Main cafeteria hours (Floor 1, Pavilion A):

    • Breakfast: 6 a.m. – 10 a.m.
    • Lunch/dinner/late: 11 a.m. – 6 a.m. (Cafeteria is closed 10 a.m.-11 a.m. for meal changes weekdays.)
    • 24/7 on weekends when other locations are closed


    Hours of operation are:

    • Monday-Friday:
      • Breakfast: 7 a.m. – 10 a.m.
      • Lunch: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
      • Grill Grab & Go: 2 p.m. – midnight
    • Saturday-Sunday:
      • Breakfast: 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
      • Grill Grab & Go: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Other Areas

    Pharmacy pickups and Medical Records

    One person over age 18 is permitted. If the patient is COVID-19 positive they should call ahead to coordinate with pharmacy or medical records.

    Financial Services

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

    There will be no pre-approved exceptions to the visitation policy. All exceptions must be approved after the patient has been admitted and assigned a unit.

    We appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time. The guidelines listed above are meant to keep all of our patients and staff safe. Thank you for trusting UK HealthCare with your medical care.