What is LVHN's hospital and outpatient visitation policy during COVID-19 outbreak?
LVHN has put into place a temporary hospital and outpatient visitation policy to help protect the health of our patients and health care providers. This policy replaces our traditional open visitation policy until further notice.
Hospital and Inpatient Visitation
In our hospitals and inpatient facilities, no visitors are permitted except under these special circumstances:
- Visitation of a patient nearing the end of life
- Parent visitation of a child in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) or neonatal ICU (NICU)
- One coach or partner per patient on labor and delivery unit
- One visitor at a time for patients in inpatient hospice unit
- One parent/guardian at a time for pediatric patients
- One visitor to accompany patients for hospital discharge
- One visitor for patients undergoing same-day surgeries and procedures
- One visitor per patient in the emergency department
Visitors allowed by exception must be in good health and are subject to a health screening, if necessary.
No child under age 12 is permitted to visit in the hospital.
Family Birth and Newborn Centers Visitation
LVHN has updated visitation guidelines for our Family Birth and Newborn Centers due to increasing concerns about COVID-19 exposure from people who have no symptoms, both patients and visitors, and due to awareness of regional relocation of patients out of the high-risk New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut areas, despite recent CDC travel restrictions from these areas.
TRIAGE - To reduce PPE consumption during the short time of this encounter in rooms with close proximity, no visitation will be permitted in the Triage Area. Unless delivery appears imminent, anyone who accompanies patients to the hospital will be asked to wait in their car (not waiting room) or leave the campus and return for pickup if patient is discharged. One support person will be permitted to accompany the patient if she is admitted for delivery.
PERINATAL/ANTEPARTUM UNITS - Visitation on Perinatal Units is not permitted, except under unusual circumstances that should be approved by unit leadership.
LABOR and DELIVERY/MOTHER-BABY UNITS - Visitation will still be permitted on Labor and Delivery and Mother-Baby Units with the following guidance:
Completion of health screening procedures will be performed for all patients and visitors before entering the unit. All patients who present to our units will continue to receive appropriate medical and obstetrical care. Visitors who have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 or who meet any of the criteria listed below for suspected COVID-19 will be prohibited from entering the Family Birth and Newborn Centers. Additional restrictions prohibiting visitors from NY, NJ, and CT (and other areas as designated by the CDC or other governing bodies) will be imposed until further notice. Patients from these regions may have a visitor who has not been in these high risk areas. Photo ID as proof of address may be requested.
Suspected COVID-19 patients for the purpose of maternal / newborn care at LVHN are defined as:
- COVID-19 testing pending
- High risk exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19 (less than 6 feet for more than two minutes)
- Symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 infection, including fever, cough and shortness of breath
- Under quarantine for travel including international travel or relocation from greater NYC area (inclusive of NY, NJ and CT) and other areas as designated by the CDC or other governing bodies (14 days required)
- Visitors will undergo daily monitoring during the stay in the hospital, including temperature and assessment of symptoms.
- Visitors will bring their own mask (a clean, dry, freshly laundered cloth mask is acceptable) to be worn at all times in the hospital.
- One consistent person shall remain throughout the entire stay. If he/she leaves the hospital, he/she may not return.
- Visitors will remain in the patient room for the entirety of the stay, except to visit newborns admitted to NICU; meals can be provided for visitors by patient food services.
- If the mother is a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient and separation with newborn is performed as recommended by CDC, the visitor cannot move between mother’s isolation room and newborn isolation room/nursery. Ideally, the visitor for the mother in Labor and Delivery becomes the newborn visitor and no longer visits the mother; a new visitor for the mother is not advised. If the mother and newborn are located in one room, then the visitor stays in the room with both of them, primarily to provide newborn care.
- Visitors who do not or cannot adhere to these rules will be asked to leave the premises for the protection of a high-risk population. Another visitor will not be allowed to replace him/her.
Patients 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. While staff at LVHN are using universal PPE, we recognize that contamination of physical surfaces can occur by asymptomatic patients and visitors, which is prompting the requirement of masking of these persons as well.
Outpatient Appointment Information
For all outpatient appointments, one visitor is permitted to accompany a patient for an outpatient appointment, procedure, same-day surgery or LVPG office visit. We will make reasonable accommodations for pediatric visits, provided any sibling visitors are in good health.
Outpatient Visitation Policy for Oncology Patients Receiving Treatment
It is critical in this unprecedented time to keep you safe. Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, no visitors are permitted to accompany patients undergoing infusion or radiation oncology treatments except under these special circumstances:
- If the patient requires assistance getting to the registration area, someone may escort him or her. We will then take the patient back to receive treatment.
- If the patient has an extreme medical condition and/or cannot be left alone, a visitor may accompany him/her.
If you are a driver for a patient receiving treatment, we encourage you to either go home or wait in your car. Please make sure the person you drop off has your phone number. You will receive a call when the patient’s treatment is finished.
Updated Visitation Policy for Clergy
At this time, community clergy will only be permitted to visit patients who are nearing end of life and may visit only to offer communion or last rites.
Eucharistic ministers may not visit to offer communion.
Pastoral care services are available at each LVHN hospital to support and attend to patients’ diverse spiritual needs.
Hospital Visitor Screening
As part of our ongoing effort to ensure safety for patients, staff and our community during the COVID-19 outbreak, visitors at all LVHN hospital locations will be screened effective Friday, March 20.
When you visit any LVHN hospital location, staff will take your temperature at main entrances and at the emergency department using a forehead thermometer.
If you have a temperature higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you will be directed to postpone your visit. If you have a temperature lower than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, staff will ask you a series of questions to ensure you are not at risk of spreading COVID-19.
If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 or may have been exposed to someone who has it, you should take any of these steps to be screened:
The on-site screenings follow the “No Visitation, No Access Policy” we put in place March 15, which is still in effect to help protect the health of our patients and health care providers.
Updated Surgery Waiting Room Policy.
In all LVHN surgery waiting rooms, only one visitor is permitted per patient. Visitors are being seated at least six feet away from one another. Visitors are encouraged to use the EASE app, which sends real-time updates to loved ones. Visitors who drive patient for surgery are asked if they are willing to leave their phone number and go to another location so they can be called when the patient is ready for discharge.
Our hospital campus locations
Find helpful information specific to each hospital regarding parking, dining options and more.
Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest in Allentown
LVH–17th Street in Allentown
LVH–Muhlenberg in Bethlehem
LVH–Hazleton in Hazleton
LVH–Pocono in East Stroudsburg
LVH–Schuylkill E. Norwegian Street and LVH–Schuylkill S. Jackson Street, both in Pottsville.
As neighbors and members of your communities, we are here to care for you and your family throughout life.
Each hospital has its own information page on LVHN.org (links are listed above). We invite you to visit the hospital information page for specific local information, including:
- Hospital address and contact information
- Parking and valet details
- Visitation information
- Dining options
- Descriptions of programs and services
- How to send a card or flowers
- Locations of our chapel and meditation areas
We are here for you
If you have additional questions or have a special request during your visit, please speak with any LVHN employee. We are here to help you.