This page was last updated on 11/16/2020 at 7:00 AM.

What is LVHN's hospital and outpatient visitation policy during COVID-19 outbreak?

With the health and safety of our patients, staff and community in mind, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) implemented a “No Visitation, No Access Policy” for all hospitals and outpatient facilities. We are committed to doing everything possible to ensure designated family members of gravely ill patients – including those with COVID-19 – can visit their loved one in a safe manner. Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided to these visitors to help ensure the safest possible visit. Cellphones and iPads will be given to patients who are not critically ill to allow them to stay connected with loved ones virtually.

Hospital and Inpatient Visitation

The following visitation guidelines take effect November 17 at 7 a.m.

In our hospitals and inpatient facilities, visitors are allowed in these circumstances:

  • Labor and delivery and postpartum areas – One partner/support person may stay the duration of the hospitalization. At the discretion of your provider, a trained birthing doula will be allowed in addition to your support person during labor. The decision to have a doula should be discussed with your providers during your prenatal office visits.
  • Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) – One set of parents or authorized representatives may visit.
  • Hospitalized patients age 18 and younger – One healthy parent or authorized representative may visit at a time.
  • Patients with developmental disability, major neurocognitive disorder or dementia – One healthy designated support person essential to patient care may visit.
  • Patients ready to be discharged from the hospital – One healthy support person may visit to assist as necessary.
  • Emergency department – One healthy support person may accompany a patient.
  • Non-COVID-19 patients who are gravely ill – Visitors must wear personal protective equipment (PPE), which will be supplied by LVHN.
  • COVID-19 patients who are gravely ill – Visitors must wear personal protective equipment, which will be supplied by LVHN.
  • Inpatient hospice unit – One healthy visitor at a time may visit.
  • Surgery – One healthy visitor may accompany a patient having surgery.

Healthy visitors are permitted under these guidelines:

  • Visitors will have their temperature taken and will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Visitors of LVHN or Coordinated Health facilities in Pennsylvania will comply with Pennsylvania Department of Health travel/quarantine guidelines and will quarantine for 14 days following travel from any area identified as a COVID-19 hot spot (except New Jersey).
  • Visitors of Coordinated Health facilities in New Jersey will comply with New Jersey Department of Health travel/quarantine guidelines and will quarantine for 14 days following travel from any area identified as a COVID-19 hot spot.
  • Visitors will be asked to provide a prior history of any COVID-19 diagnosis.
  • Visitors will wear a face mask at all times. A mask will be provided to those who arrive without one.
  • Visitors will be allowed in the patient room only and should not visit other areas in the hospital.
  • No visitors under age 12 will be permitted except for visits to patients who are gravely ill.

Visitors recovering from COVID-19 will be allowed if:

  • Ten days have passed since they developed symptoms.
  • They have been fever-free without the use of fever-reducing mediation for at least 24 hours.
  • They have experienced an improvement in other symptoms.

All visitors are expected to adhere to social distancing recommendations and hand sanitation policies while in the hospital.

Keeping Families Connected With Technology

All patients who are not critically ill are given a cellphone or an iPad they can use to stay connected with loved ones virtually.

Family Birth and Newborn Centers Visitation

To keep you, your baby and our staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, LVHN has updated the visitation policy for our Family Birth and Newborn Centers based on the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other professional societies.

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:

  • Visitors who 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 24 hours without fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  • Visitors who have a COVID-19 test pending or have experienced high-risk exposure to someone with confirmed COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
  • Visitors who have symptoms suggesting COVID-19, including fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  • Visitors who are under a 14-day home quarantine for international travel or travel to any of the areas identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (except New Jersey) as a COVID-19 hot spot.

Triage – One healthy support person (visitor) is permitted. The visitor is asked to bring his/her own mask and is expected to remain in the patient room.

Perinatal/Antepartum units – One healthy designated support person (visitor) is permitted to visit the patient and is asked to bring his/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 the operating room for patients who do not have confirmed, presumed or suspected COVID-19 without recovery. The support person (visitor) will be asked to wear a surgical mask and other personal protective equipment (PPE) and must pass screening.

Labor and Delivery/Mother-Baby units – A single support person (visitor) per patient is permitted on Labor and Delivery and Mother-Baby units.

To keep you, your baby and our staff safe, each visitor will be required to:

  • Participate in daily monitoring during the hospital stay, including temperature and symptom assessment.
  • Bring and wear his/her 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 you are comfortable during your stay.
  • Remain at the hospital during the entire stay; however, if you must leave the hospital, you will be permitted reentry after passing screening when you return.
  • If visitors are unable or unwilling to follow these guidelines, they will be asked to leave so 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 also are 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.

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.

Visitors of LVHN or Coordinated Health facilities in Pennsylvania who are under a 14-day home quarantine for international travel or travel to any of the areas identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as a COVID-19 hot spot (except New Jersey) will not be permitted.

Visitors of Coordinated Health facilities in New Jersey will comply with New Jersey Department of Health Travel Guidelines and will quarantine for 14 days following travel from any area identified as a COVID-19 hot spot.

Outpatient Visitation Policy for Oncology Patients Receiving Treatment

Visitors are not 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.

Attention Drivers
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

Clergy are only 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

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.

Visitors who are under a 14-day home quarantine for international travel or travel to any of the areas identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as a COVID-19 hot spot (except New Jersey) will not be permitted.

Visitors of Coordinated Health facilities in New Jersey will comply with New Jersey Department of Health Travel Guidelines and will quarantine for 14 days following travel from any area identified as a COVID-19 hot spot.

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:

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.

Helpful hospital information

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.

MyLVHN: Your patient portal

MyLVHN can help you make appointments, have a video visit, pay bills and more.

Learn about MyLVHN