Cape Fear Valley health facilities restrict visits

As the community’s positive test rate and healthcare system COVID-19 admissions continue to rise, Cape Fear Valley Health is making the following changes to the current visitation policy. These changes will take effect on Monday January 3.

Visiting hours are noon to 8 p.m. for most inpatients and 4 to 8 p.m. for inpatients who have tested positive for COVID-19. Non-COVID patients may have two visitors between noon and 8 p.m., but they cannot leave and return. Caregivers who spend the night with a patient and depart the next morning will not be allowed to return until visiting hours reopen. COVID-positive hospital patients may have two visitors between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. for 1 hour each, and their visitors must wear an N95 respirator (provided by the hospital) at all times and cannot eat or drink in the room. COVID-positive patients may not have overnight visitors.

In the emergency department, a visitor is allowed after the patient has been placed in a private treatment room and the visitor cannot come and go. If the patient is admitted or boarded while waiting in a bed, their visiting hours are noon to 8 p.m. and visitors should always stay in the room. Departing visitors will be allowed to return at the next visiting time. The rules for visiting Express Care establishments are the same as in the emergency department.

Patients at the end of their life may have one visitor per day outside of the visiting hours indicated above. Under certain circumstances, the supervising nurse may authorize humanitarian exceptions to this rule for dying patients. Active non-COVID end-of-life patients are allowed up to four visitors, with two visitors at a time. End-of-life COVID patients are allowed a single visit for four immediate family members only with a maximum duration of four hours, if outside of normal visiting hours.

Visitors and patients of all Cape Fear Valley Health facilities and clinics are required to properly wear a health system-provided mask at all times. Masks must remain at all times, even in patient rooms, otherwise the visitor will be asked to leave. Cloth masks and gaiters are not permitted. This mask policy will be strictly enforced.

All visitors will be screened with a brief verbal quiz and temperature analysis before being allowed entry. Those who refuse to answer questions or have a temperature above 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit will be refused entry.

The healthcare system still has other restrictions in some parts of the medical center and other locations, as follows:

• Surgical and procedural patients will have one visitor in the preoperative area, but two visitors may wait in the surgical waiting room if they arrive with the patient. In addition, operated patients may have a visitor in the post-anesthetic care unit if they are waiting to be admitted to the hospital. Once a surgical or procedural patient has been admitted, two visitors can accompany the patient to their room.

• Inpatients awaiting surgery or procedure may have the standard number of visitors during visiting hours. In addition, a support person can stay with the patient overnight and stay there until the patient is taken for surgery.

• Surgical patients at the Highsmith-Rainey Specialty Hospital may have a support person, who can wait in the lobby during the procedure.

• Patients in labor and delivery have the right to a support person with the patient who must be at least 16 years of age. No other visitors are allowed. Support persons are not allowed to interact with other people, and they cannot leave and return.

• In the Family Centered Care Unit, there may be a support person to stay overnight. The support person must be over the age of 16 and cannot come and go. No other visitors are allowed.

• The Pediatrics and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit will allow parents / legal guardians (up to two) to visit 24 hours a day, and they can come and go. Only one parent or legal guardian can stay overnight. One additional visitor between noon and 8 p.m. is allowed per day other than parents, but there can only be two people at the bedside at a time. No one under the age of 12 can visit. Children 12 and over must be accompanied by an adult 18 or over.

• In the neonatal intensive care unit, two banded parents / legal guardians are allowed to visit. They can visit at any time, and they can come and go. There is no space to allow overnight stays.

• Oncology and oncology clinics will allow up to two visitors at a time, except for the chemotherapy area, where space constraints and immunocompromised patients do not allow visits.

• Outpatient clinics and the Fayetteville Ambulatory Surgery Center will not allow more than two visitors per patient.

• Cape Fear Valley Behavioral Health Care will allow patients a visitor Monday through Friday, 7 pm to 9 pm. On weekends, they can have two visitors, one per time slot from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. , they will not be allowed to return on the same day.

• Long-term care patients (LTAC) at Highsmith-Rainey Specialty Hospital are allowed two visitors at a time from noon to 8 p.m., but due to the high vulnerability of the patient population at that hospital, all visitors must be able to show proof of vaccination.

Individual hospitals in the health system may differ from these guidelines due to lack of space. These revisions reflect more stringent guidelines regarding visits than our previous policy and may be adjusted in the future.

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