Visitor Guidance for UAB Medicine

Inpatient and Ambulatory Sites
UPDATED 5 March 2021

Per the revised “Safer at Home” state order issued by Governor Kay Ivey and in compliance with CMS federal guidelines, acute care hospitals within UAB Medicine will allow up to two competent caregivers per non-COVID patient in a 24-hour period. For COVID+ patients, caregivers remain limited to virtual visitation except in special circumstances to include but not limited to end of life/compassionate care and during labor in Labor & Delivery.

Requirements For Caregivers/Visitors in ALL UAB Medicine Facilities

  • All visitors/caregivers must comply with entrance screening, as UAB will continue limited and monitored points of entry.
  • Entry will be denied to anyone who screens positive for symptoms of COVID-19 such as a temperature above 100.4, cough or shortness of breath.
  • All visitors/caregivers must show identification and will be entered into our UAB Medicine system by Guest Services to help us track who is in our facilities.
  • Visitors/caregivers must bring their own mask and wear it for the entirety of the visit.
  • Visitors/caregivers must wear a visitor badge at all times. Guest Services provides visitor badges at all entrance screening locations.
  • Visitors/caregivers must practice appropriate hand hygiene and limit the touching of surfaces in patient care areas.
  • Social distancing guidelines should be followed at all times in the patient rooms and in common areas like walkways and dining/vending areas.
  • The designated entrances will only be open between 5 am and 8 pm. No visitation will be allowed after 8pm. Any emergency need should be escalated to Guest Services at their 24/7 locations (UED, HED, WIC, NP 2nd floor).

COVID-19 & Symptomatic PUI Inpatients

COVID+ or Symptomatic PUI patients will not be allowed to have any visitors/caregivers present at the bedside or in the Emergency Department except in special circumstances to include but not be limited to end-of-life situations/compassionate care and during labor in Labor & Delivery (see Labor & Delivery below).

Non-COVID Inpatients

  • Two competent caregivers per 24 hours will be allowed in situations where their presence improves the patient’s safety, emotional well-being, or physical care. The caregivers will not be allowed to rotate with any other caregivers during this 24-hour period in consideration of the need to limit unnecessary exposures.
  • The caregivers must:
    • Be competent in their ability to improve the care and understanding of the patient.
    • Bring their own mask and wear it for the entirety of the visit.
    • Stay in the room: Caregivers are asked to remain masked and in the patient’s room and not leave the unit or roam the hospital except for basic personal needs (ex: food, restroom) Caregivers may order meals through room service, for a nominal fee of $8/tray. Caregivers can call 205-934-MEAL (6325).

Non-COVID Emergency Department

  • One caregiver will be allowed in situations where the caregiver’s presence improves the patient’s safety, emotional well-being, or physical care. The Caregiver will not be allowed to rotate with any other caregiver during the entirety of the patient’s stay in the Emergency Department due to the need to limit unnecessary exposures. Exceptions to this guidance will be made on a case by case basis with strict adherence to social distancing and proper infection control guidelines.
  • The one caregiver must:
    • Be competent in their ability to improve the care and understanding of the patient.
    • Bring their own mask and wear it for the entirety of the visit.
    • Stay in the room: Caregivers are asked to remain in the patient’s room and not leave the department or roam the hospital except for basic personal needs (ex: food, restroom).

Surgical/Procedural Guidance

  • One caregiver (meeting the above requirements) may accompany the patient to assist with entry into the hospital and registration. A second caregiver may be permitted on a case by case basis based upon the specific needs of the patient.
    • Caregivers will be permitted to utilize existing waiting rooms as long as space is available in consideration of social distancing requirements.
    • Caregivers who choose to wait in the facility are asked to remain in the waiting room and not leave the unit or roam the hospital except for basic personal needs (e.g. food, restroom).
    • Surgical outpatient and other indicated procedures may require a caregiver or responsible person to remain in the lobby/facility during the surgical procedure until the patient is ready for discharge to home or the surgeon has completed necessary procedure/condition update discussions.

End-of-Life Guidance

  • For non-COVID patients in which death is reasonably anticipated within 24-48 hours, two (2) visitors/caregivers will be allowed at the patient’s bedside. Visitors/caregivers must:
    • Bring their own mask and wear it for the entirety of the visit.
    • Stay in the room: Visitors/caregivers are asked to remain masked and in the patient’s room and not leave the unit or roam the hospital except for basic personal needs (ex: food, restroom) Visitors/caregivers may order meals through room service, for a nominal fee of $8/tray. Visitors/caregivers can call 205-934-MEAL (6325).
    • Visitors/caregivers may rotate with other visitors/caregivers in end-of-life situations.
  • For PUI/COVID-19 patients, only one visitor/caregiver will be allowed at the bedside, pursuant to approval from the attending physician. Visitors/caregivers will be required to follow the same guidelines as those visiting non-COVID patients and will be required to follow special instructions from clinical staff related to the patient’s PUI/COVID-19 status.

Inpatient Psychiatry Units

  • One visitor is allowed for patients on C7S Geriatric, patients on JT5N and Adolescent patients on C5S by appointment.
  • For patients on other units that have a length of stay greater than 14 days, visitation is allowed under the direction of the treatment team (i.e., therapeutic benefit, discharge planning, family meeting, etc.) and by appointment.
  • COVID screening must be done so visitors will need to park in 4th Ave Deck and walk over or utilize another public entrance. CPM Lobby is not a COVID screening entrance. Visitors must bring their own mask and wear it for the entirety of the visit.

Rehabilitation Services

  • Caregivers in training are allowed to support a patient’s safe discharge from inpatient rehabilitation.
  • Two caregivers within 24 hours are allowed. The front entrance of Spain Rehabilitation Center is open 8 am-5 pm, seven days per week.
  • There are no special accommodations available for those caregivers that choose to spend the night. Any caregiver who leaves after 5:00 PM will not be allowed re-entry until the following morning.
  • The caregivers must:
    • Be screened at the front entrance for symptoms and temperature check taken.
    • Be competent in their ability to improve the care and understanding of the patient.
    • Bring their own mask and wear it for the entirety of the visit.
    • Stay in the room: Caregivers are asked to remain masked and in the patient’s room and not leave the unit or roam the hospital except for basic personal needs (ex: food, restroom) Caregivers may order meals through room service, for a nominal fee of $8/tray. Caregivers can call 205-934-MEAL (6325).

Women Services

  • Each non-COVID+ patient will be allowed two caregivers to accompany them throughout their stay.
  • COVID+ or Symptomatic PUI patients are allowed one caregiver to be present during labor in labor and delivery. The caregiver will be required to follow special instructions from clinical staff related to the patient’s PUI/COVID-19 status. The caregiver must leave upon the patient’s transfer to postpartum.
  • Caregivers must:
    • Be screened at the front entrance for symptoms and temperature check taken.
    • Be competent in their ability to improve the care and understanding of the patient.
    • Bring their own mask and wear it for the entirety of the visit.
    • Stay in the room: Caregivers are asked to remain masked and in the patient’s room and not leave the unit or roam the hospital except for basic personal needs (ex: food, restroom) Caregivers may order meals through room service, for a nominal fee of $8/tray. Caregivers can call 205-934-MEAL (6325).

Neonatal Services (RNICU/CCN)

  • Each neonatal admission will be allowed visitation by mother and one caregiver.
  • The mother and caregiver must:
    • Be screened at the entrance for symptoms and temperature check taken.
    • Bring their own mask and wear it for the entirety of the visit.
    • Not leave the unit or roam the hospital except for basic personal needs (ex: food, restroom).

Ambulatory Clinics

  • Due to space limitations in our clinics that do not allow for adequate social distancing, visitors will not be allowed for ambulatory appointments except for those meeting a compassionate care qualification. A caregiver will be allowed to accompany the patient only when one of the following circumstances are present:
    • Patient has an oncology or infusion appointment.
    • Patient is undergoing a complex procedure that requires sedation or pain management (oral surgery, endoscopies, etc.)
    • Patient has cognitive and/or memory disorder.
    • Patient has an OB/GYN appointment (see Ambulatory OB/GYN Clinics below).
  • Seating and elevator restrictions will be marked by signage to ensure adequate distancing.
  • When permitted to attend an appointment, caregivers must:
    • Be screened at the front entrance for symptoms and temperature check taken.
    • Be competent in their ability to improve the care and understanding of the patient.
    • Bring their own mask and wear it for the entirety of the visit.
    • Not leave the unit or roam the clinic except for basic personal needs (ex: food, restroom).

Ambulatory OB/GYN Clinics

  • One visitor/caregiver will be permitted to accompany a patient to an OB/GYN clinic appointment. No children will be permitted unless the child has an appointment or is a newborn accompanying the patient to her visit. Visitors/caregivers must:
    • Be screened at the front entrance for symptoms and temperature check taken.
    • Be competent in their ability to improve the care and understanding of the patient.
    • Bring their own mask and wear it for the entirety of the visit.
    • Not leave the unit or roam the clinic except for basic personal needs (ex: food, restroom).