One designated, screened visitor per patient is permitted in most inpatient areas at the UNC Medical Center and Hillsborough Hospital daily from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the duration of the patient’s stay.
North Carolina continues to report about 1,200 new COVID-19 cases per day, according the NC DHHS dashboard. The current visitor policy for UNC Medical Center can be found at: https://unchealthcare-uncmc.policystat.com/policy/8322484/latest/.
One designated, screened visitor per patient is permitted in most inpatient areas at the Medical Center and Hillsborough Hospital daily from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the duration of the patient’s stay. Visitors must pass the health screening, wear masks, practice physical distancing, and perform hand hygiene as appropriate. Other details are available in the policy at the above link.
Concern has been raised about excluding visitors prior to 1 p.m. The rationale for choosing this time was as follows: The ability to physically distance during rounds in the morning is challenging in some smaller rooms, visitors have the opportunity to have two meals at home prior to coming to the hospital where seating options are limited for eating in a distanced manner for staff and visitors. And larger volumes of patients are entering the facility for procedures and surgeries in the morning and for clinics that have moved back onsite. Additionally, we encourage providers to invite patients to FaceTime or call family members on the phone when the team arrives, and to assure them that they will circle back if something changes – just as they would do normally for the patient and the family if they were right there in the room.
We will continue to watch the COVID-19 trends in our state, region, and hospital, and review our visitor restrictions. The return of students to classrooms and the 29,000 people to our University campus presented many unknowns. And while we seem to be improving from what occurred over July 4, the history of this disease has taught us that changes in the community tend to result in shifts in our hospitalizations a couple of weeks after. As such, it is too soon to make adjustments to the visitor restrictions.