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Patients at UNC Medical Center, UNC REX and Johnston Health will be allowed one visitor

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – UNC Health will ease some restrictions for visitors to its Triangle hospitals, effective Monday, June 22. Those hospitals include UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill (including the Hillsborough Hospital), UNC REX Hospital in Raleigh and Johnston Health hospitals in Smithfield and Clayton.

Each patient will be allowed one designated, screened visitor in most inpatient areas. More specific details, including visiting hours, will be posted on each hospital’s websites. All visitors will be required to wear masks and are subject to health screenings at any time. Additional exceptions will continue to be granted for end-of-life situations, minors and patients requiring family support.

Tougher visitor restrictions were implemented in March, when the pandemic first hit this region. UNC Health expects to make further updates to our visitor policies in the future as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

“Our goal is to improve patients’ health, while protecting all patients and our staff,” said Cathy Madigan, Chief Nurse Executive, UNC Health. “We recognize that allowing visitors is an important step that can improve the overall health of our patients.”

“While our previous restrictions were necessary, we realize they created an added strain on patients and families,” she added. “We are grateful for their patience during this crisis. We are confident that we have a better understanding of this virus, and that we have an adequate supply of masks and other equipment to protect our patients, visitors and staff.”

Other updated visitor rules effective Monday, June 22, include:

  • All visitors must pass a health screening. No visitor with fever, cough, cold or flu-like symptoms may enter any UNC Health Triangle area facility. These visitor restrictions may be revised as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
  • No one should visit a patient if they have come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • No visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed to visit for the foreseeable future.
  • Visitors who are over 65, pregnant or immunocompromised are discouraged from visiting.
  • Doulas will be allowed to accompany a laboring mother in addition to the designated birth partner.
  • An appropriate mask will be provided to visitors during the screening process. Visitors will be required to wear the mask at all times and will not be allowed to remain in the hospital or clinic without one.
  • Patients who are confirmed COVID-19 or under investigation may not have any visitors, unless compassionate care is approved.
  • Restrictions for outpatient areas remain in place for now. No visitors/companions are allowed in outpatient areas, with some exceptions. Check with the practice or clinic before arriving.
  • At the UNC Medical Center, Hillsborough and Johnston Health Emergency Departments, one companion will be allowed to accompany a patient (unless the patient is confirmed COVID-19 or under investigation). Due to space constraints, UNC REX will keep restrictions on visitors in its Emergency Department for now.

We also encourage patients’ loved ones to use electronic communication for “virtual visitation,” such as FaceTime and Skype, in place of in-person visitation wherever possible. For a complete list of updated rules and policies related to coronavirus, please visit

About UNC Health

UNC Health is an integrated health care system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. It exists to further the teaching mission of the University of North Carolina and to provide state-of-the-art patient care.

UNC Health is comprised of UNC Hospitals at Chapel Hill, ranked consistently among the best medical centers in the country; the UNC School of Medicine, a nationally eminent research institution; Pardee UNC Health Care in Hendersonville; Chatham Hospital in Siler City; Johnston Health in Clayton and Smithfield; UNC Lenoir Health Care in Kinston; Wayne UNC Health Care in Goldsboro; Caldwell UNC Health Care in Lenoir; Nash UNC Health Care in Rocky Mount; UNC Rockingham Health Care in Eden, Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, UNC REX Healthcare and its provider network in Wake County; and the UNC Physicians Network.

For more information, please visit