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UNC Health Restrictions for Visitors, Vendors, Volunteers and Students

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

To continue reducing the spread of 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, our policy is evolving as well.
Restricciones de UNC Health para los visitantes

Effective September 21:

Inpatient Visitor Restrictions:

UNC Medical Center

  • Visitors will be asked to show a picture ID to enter the hospital. The goal of this is to ensure that the visitor is the designated visitor. Guest Services will not turn anyone away – even if they do not have an ID – but will ask those without an ID to sign into a visitor log.
  • Visiting hours 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Adult inpatients will be allowed 1 visitor during the day (9 a.m. - 9 p.m.) and 1 visitor at night (9 p.m. - 9 a.m.)
  • COVID-19 positive patients will continue to have no visitors (except for laboring women, who may be allowed to have the birthing partner at bedside).
  • Laboring mothers may designate two support people, which could include a doula. After birth, patients may designate one support person for the entire length of stay in the hospital. Visiting hours do not apply to these visitors.

Pediatric Patients at UNC Medical Center

  • Two parents/guardians may stay with a patient in a pediatric area of the hospital or clinic. Parents/guardians cannot switch out visitation from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. unless there are emergent circumstances such as end-of-life, new traumas, or significant changes in patient acuity.
  • Pediatric COVID-19 positive patients are allowed one asymptomatic parent to stay in the room, but if they leave they cannot return.
  • Only one parent/guardian will be allowed in the surgical patient care area during pre-operative and post-operative care.

UNC REX Hospital (updated March 29, 2021)

  • ONE designated visitor per patient will be allowed in most inpatient areas at UNC REX.
    • Non-COVID-19 + patients may have up to FOUR designated visitors and can change one time per day.
    • COVID-19 + visitation will be explained by the patient’s care team.
    • Visitor must check in with guest services after screening to ensure they are the designated visitor.
    • Visitation will be limited in duration and must occur between 9:00 AM and 9:00 PM.
  • Visitors will need to verify ID if not accompanying patient (Note: Visitor will not be turned away if they do not have an ID.)
  • Emergency Department - ONE Visitor allowed once patient has been placed into a private room.
  • Women’s Center inpatient areas- Two visitors will be allowed.

  • Laboring patients- The designated birth partner may stay from admittance through discharge. Please see our Labor & Delivery page for more details.
  • Pediatric inpatient areas - two visitors allowed (parents or guardians only).

  • 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.

  • All visitors must wear masks at all times, practice social distancing and perform hand hygiene as appropriate.

Pediatric Patients at UNC REX Hospital:

  • Two (2) parents/guardians may stay with a patient in a pediatric area of the hospital or clinic- one visitor must be parents or legal guardian.
  • Visitors may change once per day.
  • Pediatric COVID-19 positive patients are allowed one asymptomatic parent to stay in the room, but if they leave they cannot return.
  • Only one (1) parent/guardian will be allowed in the surgical patient care area during pre-operative and post-operative care.

Outpatient Clinics/Outpatient Departments:

UNC Medical Center

  • Outpatient and clinic areas will allow one companion per patient to be present, but we continue to encourage individuals who are able to come alone to do so in order to support social distancing efforts.
  • All patients and visitors MUST wear masks for the entire visit.

UNC REX Hospital

  • Some outpatient and clinic areas are still unable to allow visitors in most circumstances due to social distancing requirements. Please call your physician’s office for the visitor guidelines specific to their location.
    • Outpatient Lab, Radiology and Clinic appointments:
      • Patients are encouraged to attend visits independently.
      • If a patient requires assistance, mobility or speech/hearing, they may have one companion
    • Outpatient procedures requiring sedation:
      • One procedure companion will be allowed to wait with outpatient surgical and procedure patients prior to procedure and will be allowed to accompany patient after procedure to help prepare patient for discharge and to be present for discharge instructions.
    • All patients and visitors MUST wear masks for the entire visit.

In the Emergency Department

UNC Medical Center

  • patients may designate one support person age 18 or older (unless patient is confirmed COVID-19+ or under investigation). Visiting hours do not apply to visitors in the Emergency Department.
  • 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 before they enter the facilities and at any time, and MUST wear masks at all times. No visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed to visit for the foreseeable future. Visitors who are over age 65, pregnant or immunocompromised are discouraged from visiting.

UNC REX Hospital

  • patients may designate one (1) support person age 18 or older once the patient is placed in an exam room (unless patient is confirmed COVID-19+ or under investigation) NOTE: Visitors must wait outside until the patient is in the exam room.
  • 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 before they enter the facilities and at any time, and MUST wear masks at all times. No visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed to visit for the foreseeable future. Visitors who are over age 65, pregnant or immunocompromised are discouraged from visiting.

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 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 pandemic precautions have been implemented throughout our system to lower the risk of transmission. We 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.