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Update allows two visitors for inpatients and Doula for expectant mothers

DANVILLE, Pa. – As Geisinger safely resumes operations and provides more services at clinics, hospitals and outpatient centers, the health system has updated its visitation policy. Visitation remains limited but Geisinger’s revised policy now allows doulas to accompany delivering mothers and two visitors for most inpatients. 

The health and safety of patients, staff, visitors and the community remain the top priority for Geisinger when considering its visitation policy. Family and friends are still encouraged to find alternatives ways of visiting, such as phone calls, Facetime, Skype and other means when possible.

The update allows hospitalized adult patients two designated visitors who should not change throughout the hospital stay. These two visitors can visit twice a day, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m. Visits can last up to two hours during each time period.

Under the updated policy, a certified doula is permitted to accompany a delivering mother, along with the mother’s support person. The doula is considered part of the expectant mother’s care team. They will be screened before entering Geisinger facilities and are required to wear a mask and follow all other policies and procedures when caring for a patient. If the doula tests positive for COVID-19, they may continue to support the patient virtually, but may not visit the patient on-site.

Additional visitation updates are as follows:

  • All inpatients on acute psychiatric units (one designated visitor during visiting hours specific to the unit)
  • Patients who are medically unstable (two designated visitors)
  • Patients who are at the end of life but not COVID-positive or under investigation for COVID (two visitors)
  • Patients undergoing surgery or procedures (one single-time visitor immediately after the procedure)
  • Delivering mothers (one support person, plus a certified doula as part of the care team)
  • Patients who are minors and those with limited decisional capacity (up to two parents or guardians)
  • Patients who have altered mental status, an intellectual, developmental or cognitive disability or a communication barrier (two visitors)
  • Patients with disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care (one visitor)
  • ED patients (one designated visitor)

Approved visitors are subject to the following guidelines:

  • Be 18 years of age or older and in good health
  • Bring a form of identification
  • Not have symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, recent loss of taste or smell or flu-like illness suggestive of COVID-19
  • Not have active COVID-19 infection
  • Be symptom-free for at least 14 days if they previously had active COVID-19 infection
  • Complete health screening, including a temperature check, at the entrance before entry
  • Must bring and wear their own masks at all times while in the facility
  • Respect social distancing guidelines of 6 feet from all others
  • Wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before entering and after leaving a patient’s room
  • Use the same entrance for entry into and exit from the hospital.
  • Identify themselves and stay in designated areas (not travel throughout the facility)

Patients who have an appointment at a Geisinger clinic, laboratory or radiology may have one person accompany them, if necessary. 

To find out more information about how Geisinger is safely resuming services and opening facilities, visit Geisinger.org/safe

About Geisinger

Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1.5 million consumers it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 13 hospital campuses, a 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With 32,000 employees and 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey by billions of dollars annually. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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For media inquires:

Marc Stempka
Media Specialist
Marketing & Communications

570-214-3091
mstempka@geisinger.edu