OSU joins Mount Carmel and OhioHealth in ending no-visitor policies, allowing one per patient


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center has joined the Mount Carmel and OhioHealth hospital systems in loosening their policies for visitors, saying they will allow one per patient.

Mount Carmel’s new policy will go into effect on Friday, and OhioHealth’s on Monday. OSU’s policy will begin Feb. 23.

In November, the three hospital systems moved to a no-visitor policy as cases of COVID-19 were spiking.

Mount Carmel’s policy will allow one adult visitor per stay for patients who are admitted. One adult visitor will also be allowed in emergency rooms, and two adults will continue to be allowed for neonatal intensive care patients.

OhioHealth said each patient will select a visitor for the duration of their stay, who may visit daily. The visitor may come and go once per day. And it listed a series of exceptions to its one-visitor policy:

  • Patients that have tested positive for COVID-19 — No visitors allowed with exceptions for end-of-life situations.
  • Patients receiving behavioral health care — No visitors allowed
  • Patients receiving end-of-life care — Acute end-of-life patients may have up to three visitors at any given time, and no maximum number of visitors per day.
  • Patients receiving neonatal, pediatric, adolescent care — Minor patients may have two parents or guardians visit
  • Visitors with disabilities who need assistance — Caretakers for visitors who are disoriented, disabled or in need of an interpreter are permitted.
  • Maternity patients are limited to one support person, who may stay at the hospital for duration of the stay, but if they exit, they will need to re-enter next day. If the mother is a minor, she may have a parent or guardian visitor in addition to the father of the baby.

OSU’s police will allow limited visitation for patients staying in its hospitals and in its emergency departments. Visitation will be permitted between 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., seven days a week. Due to ongoing concerns about coronavirus the following rules will apply:

  • Hospital patients and surgery patients can have one named visitor per day. Patients may change the visitor each day.
  • All visitors must wear a hospital-grade face mask covering the nose and mouth at all times while in the building.
  • Visitors must perform hand hygiene and have no COVID-19 symptoms or recent known exposures.
  • No visitors for COVID-19 positive and suspected COVID-19 patients, except for clergy in end-of-life situations as outlined in our visitor policy. Virtual visits can be arranged.
  • Visitation is not permitted in outpatient and behavioral health settings, unless a specific exceptional need is identified and arrangements are made in advance.
  • A caretaker can accompany patients with cognitive or physical disabilities who need assistance.
  • Maternity patients are limited to one support person who may stay at the hospital for the duration of the stay. If the mother is a minor, she may have a parent or guardian visitor in addition to the baby’s father. The NICU will follow Nationwide Children’s Hospital visitor management policy.
  • Minor patients can have a parent or guardian accompany them.
  • Clergy may visit to provide brief spiritual support.

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