WINSTON-SALEM – Novant Health is adjusting visitor restrictions to help protect the health and safety of patients and staff.

As of Aug. 24, all patients except those with COVID-19 or who are patients under investigation for COVID-19, may have one overnight visitor. All hospital visitors must be 12 or older, healthy, pass COVID-19 screening questions and wear a mask while on-site.

Additional visitor restrictions include:

· No visitors are permitted in the emergency department waiting room with adult patients unless the patient is over 65 or is clearly in need of a support person. One visitor will be permitted once the patient is in a treatment room.

·Inpatient, critical care, neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric patients are each allowed two visitors per day; visitors must be the same two people per day.

· Obstetric and labor and delivery patients are allowed one support person for the entire stay. These patients may also have a certified doula in addition to the one support person.

· Patients who have COVID-19 or are under investigation for COVID-19 may have a visit by community clergy at the patient or family’s request. The clergy must wear appropriate personal protective equipment and leave the building immediately after their visit.

· Exceptions may continue to be granted in special circumstances, such as end-of-life care.

This guidance remains in place to protect the health of patients, team members and visitors and to reduce the likelihood for anyone to encounter or inadvertently spread COVID-19.

The hospital system encourages friends and family members of patients to consider using phone calls or video chats to communicate with their loved ones. Patients should ask their health-care provider for specific guidance before inviting visitors.

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