Alert

UNC Health Restrictions for Visitors, Vendors, Volunteers and Students

Community events, activities and meetings hosted at UNC Health facilities are canceled until further notice

Due to the growing spread of coronavirus / COVID-19 in North Carolina, UNC Health is enacting restrictions for visitors, vendors, volunteers and students at its facilities across the state, including outpatient facilities and clinics.

NOTE: These changes will be implemented locally based on each facility’s configuration and resources. These restrictions may be revised without notice as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

PLEASE NOTE: No visitor, vendor, volunteer or student with fever, cough, cold or flu-like symptoms should enter any UNC Health facility.

Masks On Policy

We ask that all patients, companions, visitors, community practitioners and vendors wear masks at all UNC Heath facilities.

For Our Outpatient Locations:
All patients attending a clinic visit will be provided a mask at the front door of the facility. While we are asking patients to refrain from bringing a companion to their visit, any companions will also be provided a mask unless already wearing one. Outpatients and companions should wear the masks for their entire visit. 

For Our Hospitals:
Patients will be required to wear their masks whenever they are outside of their rooms and when anyone else enters their rooms. 

All approved visitors and any vendors visiting UNC will be issued masks at hospital entrances, which they will be asked to wear for the duration of the visit.

Community Practitioners:
Community practitioners will be required to wear masks. They will be issued a UNC Health mask if necessary.

Visitors

UNC Health remains committed to patient-centered, safe care throughout all of our hospitals and health care facilities. As the COVID-19 situation has evolved over the last few weeks, our policy is evolving as well.

Effective June 22:

One designated, screened visitor per patient for the duration of his/her stay will be permitted in the inpatient areas at UNC Health hospitals in the Triangle area. 

  • Doulas will be allowed to accompany a laboring mother in addition to the designated birth partner. 
  • As is our current policy, additional exceptions will be granted for end-of-life situations, minors and patients requiring family support, as further described in our updated policy.
  • All visitors will be subject to health screening at any time.
  • 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.
  • UNC Medical Center visiting hours 1 p.m - 9 p.m.

Outpatient Clinics/Outpatient Departments/Emergency Department: 

Policies in outpatient areas remain the same for now. No visitors/companions are allowed in outpatient areas unless they meet one of these exceptions:

  • One visitor will be allowed for pediatric patients
  • One companion will be allowed for invasive procedures and procedures requiring sedation and/or anesthesia- UNC REX Hospital only
  • One visitor may accompany patients for outpatient cancer clinics and transplant clinics- UNC Medical Center only
  • UNC REX Cancer Care Centers prohibit visitors at this time (with very limited exceptions)
  • One visitor may be allowed at the discretion of the care team for patients who cannot otherwise safely navigate their appointments

Masks will be provided for patients and visitors and should be worn for the entire visit.

Please note that some practices or services may apply further visitor restrictions. This is to protect the health of patients with complex or high-risk medical conditions. UNC Health allows providers to make these final decisions.

In the Emergency Department

One companion will be allowed to accompany a patient (unless patient is confirmed COVID-19+ or under investigation)- UNC Medical Center, UNC Hillsborough and Johnston UNC Health Care only.

**No visitors will be allowed to accompany a patient in the emergency department at UNC REX Hospital.**

Additional restrictions:

The number of entrances to the hospital will be limited. All visitors and patients, including vendors and contractors, will be screened at designated entry points, including the Emergency Department.

  • 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 last 14 days.
  • 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 under COVID-19 investigation may not have any visitors, unless compassionate care is approved.

These restrictions have been put in place to protect everyone’s safety. Universal precautions have been implemented throughout our system to lower the risk of transmission. The best scientific data and expertise inform us that “physical distancing” is an essential element in successful efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

We also encourage you to use electronic communication for “virtual visitation,” such as FaceTime and Skype, in place of in-person visitation wherever possible. We appreciate your understanding at this time.

Vendors/Contractors

Only vendors and contractors who are essential to patient care and business operations will be allowed onsite on an as-needed basis. Vendors and contractors who do not directly support patient care and critical business operations should work remotely and will not be allowed in UNC Health facilities until further notice. Vendors and contractors may be subject to health screening at any time prior to entry or while onsite at any UNC Health facility.

Volunteers

Volunteers are extremely important to the function of UNC Health hospitals and clinics, but it is equally important to protect the health of those volunteers and the people with whom they come in contact. Volunteers who do not directly support patient care activities or essential business operations should not report to UNC Health facilities until further notice. These volunteers should follow the same requirements as UNC Health employees. Volunteers age 65 and older, and those with underlying health conditions are discouraged from participating in their volunteer roles at this time.

Students

UNC Health is an academic health system that values the mission of educating a health workforce for North Carolina and beyond. As we face the challenge of COVID-19, the education mission is clearly secondary to the primary mission of caring for the patients and populations we serve. Students are allowed in the clinical setting with the following expectations:

• Students must comply with all employee expectations regarding their own risk of illness.

• Students must meet all course expectations for professional behavior and clinical competence expected for their level of training.

• Students not adding value in the clinical setting may be dismissed by their clinical supervisors.

• Personal protective equipment is in short supply and therefore must be prioritized to those directly providing clinical care.

• At this point in time, we do not expect students to participate in the care of known COVID-19 patients.

• As the situation changes, these guidelines may change.

Students who do not provide clinical services should not visit UNC Health hospitals until further notice unless they are deemed necessary for essential business operations. 

If You Have Symptoms of Coronavirus

If you are concerned you have been exposed or have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), click the Coronavirus Help tab on the bottom of the page. This will bring up our coronavirus symptom checker that will lead you through some questions to determine if you need medical follow-up. You can also call your primary care provider. Do not go to your doctor’s office or an urgent care without first determining if further medical screening is necessary.

If you are having difficulty breathing, call 911 or seek immediate treatment.