Visitor Rules | COVID-19 & flu season

COVID screening

To keep UK HealthCare patients, visitors and staff safe, we have several ways to screen for COVID-19:

  • Employees & vendors: Must screen for COVID-19 daily using assigned screening tools.
  • Patients & visitors: Must screen for COVID-19 daily upon entry:
    • Self-screening: You can self-screen electronically by visiting covidscreen.ukhc.org. Patients are encouraged to screen through their MyChart account.

Visitor restrictions image

As COVID-19 remains a significant health risk for many individuals, UK HealthCare continues to enforce rules in all our facilities for the health and safety of our patients, visitors and staff. These guidelines are in place at:

  • UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital
  • Kentucky Children’s Hospital
  • UK Good Samaritan Hospital
  • UK Markey Cancer Center
  • UK HealthCare – Turfland
  • Kentucky Clinic
  • All other UK HealthCare buildings & facilities

Summary:

  • To reduce the spread of infection, we recommend only 2 visitors in a patient’s room at a time. The number of visitors allowed will be decided in collaboration with the patient, care team and family and may vary. During times of infectious disease outbreaks in the community or hospital, additional visitor rules may apply.
  • All visitors must pass COVID-19 screening and should follow current COVID-19 visitor guidelines and policies.
  • One visitor will be allowed to stay overnight.
  • One visitor is allowed for each COVID-positive patient.
  • Children (under 18) who are supervised by an adult are welcome in most units. Rules may be modified at the discretion of the care team. We know young children may not be able to handle long visits, but we support these visits knowing they can be very important to patients.
  • Visitors must wear a mask at all times in public areas and are encouraged to remain masked when in the patient room. Patients and visitors must wear a mask when staff enter the room.
  • Visitors may wait in the waiting area but are encouraged to social distance from people outside of their household.
  • To avoid the spread of illness, family and friends are encouraged to consider virtual visits and phone calls as an alternative to in-person visits. iPad visitation is available upon request, and video visitation is possible in many ICU areas. Phone calls and other virtual visits are encouraged.

Expectations for visitors

To help prevent the spread of infection, visitors:

  • Should self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 (covidscreen.ukhc.org) before entering UK HealthCare hospitals and individual clinics within outpatient 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 in public areas of our facilities. Visitors must wear a mask at all times in public areas including all waiting rooms and lobbies. Cloth masks are not recommended; appropriate medical masks are provided at screening stations and throughout the building. Visitors are encouraged to wear their mask inside the patient room. Those refusing to wear a mask or accept a reasonable accommodation in public areas inside UK HealthCare facilities 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.
  • Visitors must adhere to our polices, including our COVID-19 polices and behavioral expectations. Failure to do so could result in visitation privileges being taken away.

Entry & exit requirements:

  • 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 area.
  • Visitors are discouraged from leaving the facility to smoke. Visitors who frequently exit the building to smoke may not be permitted to re-enter.  Please talk to our health care staff about smoking cessation options.

Inpatient general guidelines

Adult non-COVID patients staying in the hospital:

  • The number of visitors allowed at bedside may vary and is decided in collaboration with the care team, patient and family. Visitors may switch out but should limit the number of times entering/exiting the building.
  • Children (under age 18) who are supervised by an adult are welcome. Rules may be modified and are at the discretion of the care team.
    • One visitor is allowed to stay overnight.

Pediatric non-COVID patients staying in the hospital:

  • Up to two parents/legal guardians may stay with the patient throughout their stay.
  • The number of visitors allowed at bedside may vary and is decided in collaboration with the care team, patient and family. Visitors may switch out but should limit the number of times entering/exiting the building.
  • Visitation to units serving immunocompromised patients may be limited or suspended.
  • Children (under age 18) who are supervised by an adult are welcome. Rules may be modified and are at the discretion of the care team.

COVID-positive or under investigation:

One visitor at a time.

  • Visitors should remain in the patient’s room and should not visit any other locations in the facility.
  • Visitors will be asked to wear appropriate PPE in the room, including mask, gown and gloves.
  • Eating or drinking in isolation rooms is discouraged, as this is a high-risk activity for the spread of infection.
  • Exceptions may be made for end-of-life care or other compassionate care situations.

Pediatric COVID-positive or under investigation

  • Up to two parents/legal guardians may accompany and stay with the patient for the length of the hospital stay (including overnight).
  • Parents/guardians should remain in the patient’s room and should not visit any other locations in the facility.
  • Parents/guardians will be asked to wear appropriate PPE in the room, including mask, gown and gloves.
  • Eating or drinking in isolation rooms is discouraged for parents/legal guardians who do not spend entirety of isolation in the room, as this is a high-risk activity for the spread of infection.

Clergy visitation

Community clergy and spiritual leaders may make routine visits to their hospitalized congregants and parishioners who are hospitalized after completing screening and ID processes. The UK HealthCare chaplain staff remains available to provide spiritual support to any patient at any time. 

Special units

Emergency Department:

Adult Emergency Department

After appropriate screening, up to three visitors at a time – typically immediate family – may accompany an adult ED patient. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

Children (under age 18) who are supervised by an adult are welcome. Modifications may apply and are at the discretion of the care team.

Pediatric Emergency Department

After appropriate screening, one or two parent(s) or guardian(s) and two grandparents will be allowed to accompany pediatric patients unless the attending physician has a reason to limit. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

Children (under age 18) who are supervised by an adult are welcome. Modifications may apply and are at the discretion of the care team.

Obstetric (OB) patients:

  • OB patients may have one birth-support person with them during delivery, and up to two visitors (support person does not count as a visitor) for a total of three people. Additional rules will be in place for OB patients who are COVID-positive/results-pending.

Behavioral Health Units:

The number of visitors allowed at bedside may vary and is decided in collaboration with the care team, patient and family. Upon admission, patients/parents/guardians will be given specific guidelines for visiting a behavioral health unit.

Morgue visitation:

Morgue visitation will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Contact pastoral care pages for exception (859-330-1520).

Pet visitation:

We are bringing back pet therapy to inpatient non-COVID rooms. Please contact your care team or volunteer services for more details.

Surgical/Procedural Patients

Adult patients:

  • We encourage patients to limit the number of visitors accompanying them for surgery or other invasive procedures. All visitors must pass COVID-19 self-screening (covidscreen.ukhc.org) prior to arriving.
  • One visitor is allowed for adult patients in Pre-Op and PACU (post-operative anesthesia care) locations.

Pediatric patients:

  • We encourage patients to limit the number of visitors accompanying them for surgery or other invasive procedures. All visitors must pass COVID-19 self-screening (covidscreen.ukhc.org) prior to arriving.
  • One or two parents/guardians may accompany the pediatric patient in procedural areas, including pre-op and PACU.

Outpatient locations & clinics

Outpatient visits for diagnostic and screening procedures and clinic visits:

Adult & pediatric outpatient visits

  • The number of people welcomed into clinic exam and waiting areas will vary depending on room size, patient condition and number of people in the clinic.
  • All visitors must pass a COVID-19 self-screening. (covidscreen.ukhc.org)
  • To help maintain social distancing and limit the spread of COVID-19, additional restrictions, up to no visitors, may be applied. Rules may vary by location based on the size of available waiting areas. Before your visit, please contact your clinic to verify current visitor rules.

Markey Cancer Center outpatient clinics:

  • We encourage patients to limit the number of visitors they bring to appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of people welcomed into clinic exam and waiting areas will vary depending on room size, patient condition, and number of people in the clinic. No one under age 18 should visit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • We encourage no more than one to two support people to accompany a patient to an appointment at Markey Cancer Center due to increased risk to immunocompromised patients.
    • Please contact your clinic ahead of time to verify their current visitation rules.

Outpatient infusion:

We encourage no more than one support person join a patient at an infusion appointment because increased risk to immunocompromised patients.

Other areas

Pharmacy pickups and medical records

We encourage patients and visitors to limit the number of people accompanying them inside UK HealthCare facilities Anyone entering our facilities must wear a mask and pass the COVID-19 self-screening. (covidscreen.ukhc.org). If the patient is COVID-19 positive, or does not pass COVID-19 screening, they should call ahead to coordinate with pharmacy or medical records.

Financial services

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

Shuttles

Masks must be worn at all times on all shuttles. Social distancing is encouraged when possible.

Food

Cafeterias are open to both employees and visitors. Masks should be worn before and after eating. Social distancing is encouraged when possible.

Outside food and food deliveries are discouraged. If food is delivered, it must be picked up at the main entrances. Employees and visitors are expected to meet the drivers at the entrances. Food should not be unattended in the lobby and is subject to be thrown away if left unattended.

For updated information on our visitation policy please call our Information Desk team at 859-323-5816.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time. These guidelines are in place to keep our patients, their families and our staff safe. Thank you for entrusting UK HealthCare with your medical care.

Flu season visitor rules

Temporary changes:

  • No visitors with any flu-like symptoms.
  • Visitors will be given masks or other protective clothing for use when visiting.
  • Masks are required to be worn at all times
  • Must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer every time they enter or exit a patient room.
  • Additional rules may be in place in special care units, such as women’s, children’s, critical care and oncology units.
  • Compassionate visitation exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU):

  • No visitors under the age of 12.
  • Only two visitors in a patient’s room at a time.

Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT):

  • No visitors under the age of 18.
  • Only two visitors in a patient’s room at a time.

For updated information on our visitation policy, please call our Information Desk team at 859-323-5816.