WVU Medicine has updated its masking policy for employees, patients, and visitors, effective Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. Patients and visitors will no longer be required to wear protective masks in our hospitals (inpatient) or clinics (outpatient) with just a few exceptions:
Employees, visitors, or patients who are exhibiting respiratory symptoms (including but not limited to the following: fever, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, shortness of breath) must wear masks in all settings, both inpatient and outpatient, and in all public spaces. Symptomatic inpatients are not required to wear masks in their patient rooms.
In crowded waiting areas and lobbies, such as ED waiting areas, masks are strongly encouraged, but not required.
Inpatients must wear masks when they leave their rooms unless the masks impede their care.
General visitation guidelines that apply to all units include:
- Visiting hours are from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Visitors are required to perform a passive screening per signage. Visitation is not permitted if screening is positive.
- Two approved adult visitors are permitted at a time per patient.
- Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult who is not the patient.
- Visitors must enter and exit through designated main entrances.
Additional guidelines per unit are as follows:
- Adult Inpatient Units
- COVID-19 positive infectious patients and COVID-19 persons under investigation (PUI): visitation permitted at admission and then every five days pursuant to WV Code §16-39-8.
- Exceptions to above with special circumstances will be considered and approved by unit management.
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU)/Special Care Unit (SCU)
- Visitation is permitted for those age 12 and older and must be accompanied by an adult, who is not the patient, at all times.
- Patients and the MPOA/HCS may request restricted visitation.
- Visitation may be restricted for clinical procedures and treatments, and/or if behavior is disruptive or presents a risk to patients and staff
- Adult Behavioral Health Unit
- Visitors will be permitted on the Behavioral Health Unit per Behavioral Health policy.
- Pediatric Unit
- COVID-19 positive or Person under Investigation (PUI) are allowed one visitor at a time to stay in the room at all times.
- NICU (BMC) and Nursery (JMC)
- Only one visitor at a time at bedside, with two approved visitors on a list.
- Visitation is 24 hours/day.
- No visitation for COVID-19 positive or PUI.
- Obstetric Inpatient
- Obstetric inpatients on the Labor and Delivery unit may have two (2) approved adult visitors at all times. Once transferred to the Mother Baby unit, the patient may have two visitors during the visitation hours of 8am-7pm, with one person designated to remain overnight with the patient. The two identified visitors will be the only individuals allowed to visit throughout the duration of the patient’s hospitalization.
- Visitor policy may be adjusted by staff based on the medical condition and care plan for the patient.
- Exceptions for visitors under the age of 18 are:
- Teenaged father of the baby and/or significant other to the patient.
- Newborns of readmitted postpartum patients may be brought in to facilitate breastfeeding and bonding if the patient is medically stable. An adult visitor must remain with the newborn to care for the baby.
- Obstetric Outpatient
- No visitors are permitted with obstetric outpatients.
- Special circumstances that arise will be considered and at the discretion of leadership and medical staff.
- Lactation Services and Newborn Outpatients
- Two visitors are permitted per newborn patient if space allows for physical distancing.
- Outpatient Surgery
- One visitor is permitted for outpatient/ambulatory surgical procedures.
- Emergency Department
- Adult patients are permitted to have two approved visitors at the bedside at all times while in the Emergency Department.
- The allowance of visitors may change based on the patient’s condition at the discretion of the care provider.
- The number of visitors allowed in the waiting room may be limited due to capacity.
- No visitation for COVID-19 positive or PUI.
- No visitors under the age of 18 permitted.
- All visitors will be required to stay in the patient’s room.
- Exceptions to visitation will be made based on patient condition and on a case-by-case basis by the department leader and/or House Supervisor.
- Additional accommodations will be coordinated to support family presence during end-of-life circumstances as warranted pursuant to West Virginia House Bill 2368.
For more information, visit WVUMedicine.org/Berkeley.