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OU Health Updates Visitation Policy for Hospitals and Clinics

Published: Monday, February 1, 2021

In response to changing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic related to hospitalizations, OU Health has made revisions to its visitation policy.

Effective Tuesday, February 2, only one essential caregiver may accompany a NON-COVID patient at OU Health University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City and OU Health Edmond Medical Center in inpatient clinical units and the Emergency Department. The essential caregiver is only allowed at Edmond Medical Center from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Essential caregivers are those who are critical to achieve patient care imperatives.

No visitors are allowed in the following areas:

  • Edmond Medical Center's Autumn Life Behavioral Health Center
  • Hospital-based clinics and departments such as dialysis, radiology or the diagnostic center.
  • Outpatient surgical or procedure areas

If an essential caregiver is critical to patient outcomes for those areas where visitors are not allowed, he/she must request an exception from the department director, and be approved by the administrator-on-call.

For inpatient surgeries, the essential caregiver may go to pre-op with the patient, but must return to the patient's room (if already an inpatient) or return to their vehicle after the patient goes to surgery, if coming in the day of surgery and the room is not ready/available. The essential caregiver will not be allowed to come-and-go from the hospital during the patient's Emergency Department visit or admission.

Designated essential caregivers are required to observe certain practices and policies of the hospital while in the facility:

  • Screening is required at entry or point of service.
  • If screening determines the possibility of COVID-19 exposure, or if an essential caregiver feels unwell or exhibits symptoms, entry will not be allowed.
  • Essential caregivers will be required to sign "Essential Caregiver Expectations," an agreement that explains compliant behaviors expected while in the facility.
  • Essential caregivers are required to wear approved masks at all times, while in the facility, including patient rooms. Neck gaiters, buffs, bandanas or scarves are not approved forms of masking. Approved masks are:
    • Cloth mask with no vents or exhalation valves
    • Procedural or surgical-type masks
  • Caregivers will stay in the designated patient room at all times, except for trips to the cafeteria. Caregivers may not remain in the cafeteria, as available seating is limited to hospital staff only.
  • No gatherings are allowed in any public area (lobby, waiting room or other).
  • If it becomes necessary to leave the facility for any reason, the essential caregiver must request an exception from the department director only, which is subject to approval by the administrator on call. Further, screening and signing of the Essential Caregiver Expectations agreement must be repeated upon reentry.

For adult patients on palliative and hospice care, the visitor policy will continue to allow physicians to work with families on a case-by-case basis regarding visitation.

No visitors are allowed at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center, OU Health Physicians clinics in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and OU Health Dentistry. An exception may be made if an adult escort is necessary due to the patient's medical condition. Exceptions must be cleared through the patient's clinic or treatment area. Exceptions required the day of should be directed to the administrator-on-call and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Hospitalized patients at Oklahoma Children's Hospital OU Health will continue to be allowed two designated essential caregivers over age 18 to visit for the duration of their stay. Additionally, one visitor is allowed in the Women's and Newborn Labor and Delivery area at Oklahoma Children's Hospital.

In outpatient and clinical services at Oklahoma Children's Hospital, one visitor is allowed with the child. This includes patients who are undergoing same-day surgery or procedures, and those visiting the Emergency Department and hospital-based departments such as dialysis and radiology.

Patient/Visitor screening for COVID-19 at Oklahoma Children's Hospital will occur at the point of service (i.e., clinic, Emergency Department, radiology, etc.) rather than at the building entrance.

Other elements of the visitation policy at Oklahoma Children's Hospital will continue with no changes, including:

  • Entry into Oklahoma Children's Hospital will be limited to three main entrance points.
  • No one under age 18 may visit Oklahoma Children's Hospital except under special circumstances.
  • Everyone must wear a mask and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently during their visit.

For adult patients of OU Health Physicians clinics in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and in OU Health Dentistry clinics, no visitors are allowed. An exception may be made if an adult escort is necessary due to the patient's medical condition.

One adult visitor is allowed to escort pediatric patients at OU Health Physicians pediatric clinics in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and with a child being seen at an OU Health Dentistry clinic.

Upon entry into all OU Health care facilities, patients/visitors will be verified to be wearing a surgical-style mask and asked the patient's destination.

Large groups of people in lobbies, waiting rooms and other public areas of the hospitals and clinics are not be allowed.

Policies will continue to be refined as the COVID-19 situation changes.