Visitation policies at Wake Forest Baptist Health, Wilkes Medical Center and all other Wake Baptist locations have been updated, effective June 9.

Patients who recently tested positive for COVID-19 or are considered a patient under investigation (patients with COVID-19 test results pending) are still not allowed as visitors.

One healthy adult family member or support person may now stay overnight with adult patients who are hospitalized. Previously, overnight stays weren’t permitted. Two healthy adult family members or visitors may accompany or visit the patient between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Family members and visitors may switch during the same day, which was previously not permitted.

Two healthy parents or legal guardians may continue to stay with pediatric patients at all times. This includes children who are hospitalized, undergoing same-day procedures or surgeries or visiting the Brenner Children’s emergency department or outpatient clinics.

Two healthy adult family members or visitors are permitted for the patient’s entire stay. Family members and visitors may switch during the same day. A labor coach or doula counts as one of the two visitors. Previously, only one visitor was permitted.

For C-section deliveries, only one visitor may accompany the patient during the C-section and a labor coach is not permitted. Once patients are moved to a room, they may have two healthy adult visitors.

Adult patients visiting the emergency department may have one healthy adult visitor accompany them as long as the lobby remains at a safe seating capacity. Visitors may switch during the visit. Previously, no visitors were permitted in emergency department waiting rooms.

If the lobby exceeds a safe seating capacity, only essential visitors who are assisting with mobility or communication needs may remain in the lobby, and all other visitors must remain outside the emergency department until the patient is placed in a treatment space.

“These changes allow more flexibility for family members, visitors or labor coaches to provide invaluable support and encouragement to our patients,” said Kevin High, M.D., president of the Wake Forest Baptist Health system. “The involvement of loved ones is extremely important in the healing process and helps us improve outcomes and provide the best care to all of our patients.”

All visitors undergo screenings for symptoms of respiratory illness and must continue to properly wear a mask that covers the nose, mouth and chin while in any Wake Forest Baptist facility.

Children may not visit hospitalized patients but families with special situations should contact their care team and attending physician.

Full visitation guidelines can be found at www.wakehealth.edu/Coronavirus/Visitor- Restrictions.

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