COVID-19 alert

EASTON — In order to safeguard patients, staff and the community — and in keeping with the most recent order issued by Gov. Larry Hogan — University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) has put in place comprehensive, system-wide strict patient safety measures.

According to a statement from UMMS, this approach includes requiring everyone to wear masks and limiting the number of visitors in the facilities, including those operated here by University of Maryland Shore Regional Health.

Inpatients, regardless of their COVID-19 status, may not have visitors at this time, except under specific circumstances. Outpatients who are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 may have one designated support person to help facilitate care during an ambulatory visit, procedure or same-day surgery.

Different visitation rules may apply for patients who are under investigation or have tested positive for COVID-19.

For inpatient visitors there are exceptions to the No Visitors Policy.

At the end of life, patients may have up to three visitors at the bedside. Additional restrictions and procedures are required for visitors to patients who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.

For a child, including those suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, one parent or guardian may visit during hospital visiting hours and one may remain overnight if the hospital can accommodate them.

Patients in labor, including those confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19, may have one designated support person, which could be their partner, a doula, birth coach or other support person.

Patients with disabilities, including those who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, may have one designated support person stay with them during hospital visiting hours and one may remain overnight if the hospital can accommodate them. In this context, disability means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

This does not apply to patients with impairments that are transitory and minor or have an actual or expected duration of six months or less.

Religious services from clergy of the patient’s choice are allowed for patients who are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. Services may occur at any reasonable time if it can be provided without disruption to care. Patients with COVID-19 or suspected of it may receive religious services in compassionate care circumstances or at end of life.

Given the highly infectious nature of the virus, all visitors — especially those visiting patients who are COVID-19 positive — must take infection prevention measures as directed by staff. Visitors to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients must consent to an acknowledgment of risk statement. All visitors must be age 18 or older, unless they are the parent or guardian of a patient.

Additional special considerations are outlined in the full visitors policy for behavioral health patients, patients requiring aerosol-generating procedures, patients undergoing emergency surgery related to a traumatic event, care partner training or discharge education and prisoners.

For outpatient appointments, one designated support person may accompany a patient, who is not suspected or confirmed to be COVID-19 positive, to facilitate care or treatment such as an ambulatory visit, procedure or same-day surgery.

This visitor will remain with the patient or in a designated waiting area.

Patients with disabilities who need a support person can have one person to accompany them to outpatient visits, regardless of COVID-19 status.

Patients are discouraged from having minors accompany them to appointments.

If no other arrangement, such as a telemedicine visit, can be made, call the provider’s office in advance to discuss options.

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