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Mina Fawze, 26, is a physician assistant in the emergency department at Cone Health.

GREENSBORO — Cone Health is easing its visitor restrictions in the coming weeks.

Patients will again be allowed to have visitors at Cone Health facilities, though some restrictions remain, the health system announced Wednesday.

Anyone older than 65, pregnant or immunocompromised is discouraged from visiting patients, and all visitors and support people must be at least 18, the news release said.

Visitors restrictions were put in place March 20 to protect staff and visitors during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the news release said.

The new guidelines have four phases:

  • Beginning July 15: Children under 18 may have both parents or legal guardians with them during their hospital stay or visit to the Children’s Emergency Department at Moses Cone Hospital.
  • Beginning July 20: Patients undergoing a surgery or procedure in a hospital can bring a person with them. That person can remain in the waiting area and visit them in recovery once the procedure or operation is complete. The support person may not stay overnight.
  • Beginning July 27: People seeking care in a Cone Health emergency department can have one support person with them. That person can go with the patient to registration and remain with them in the emergency department as care is completed. 
  • Beginning Aug. 3: One visitor or support person will be allowed to visit an adult staying in a hospital, but only during visitor hours.

Visiting hours will be posted on July 27 at Visitation will remain restricted for COVID-19 positive patients, with exceptions for patients nearing death.

The following exceptions to visitation restrictions remain in place, according to the news release:

  • Patients with cognitive or behavioral needs, intellectual or developmental disabilities, or who lack the ability to make medical decisions, may have one support person for safety, decision-making, or care concerns. The patient’s physician or nurse will determine if this support is needed.
  • Exceptions are also made for patients who are near death. Family should talk with the patient’s nurse for details.
  • Women in labor (regardless of age) may have one person with them for their entire hospital visit. That one person can be a spouse, partner or doula.
  • People coming to a doctor’s office, MedCenter, urgent care center or outpatient surgery center are asked to enter alone. A support person (18 years or older) may enter if there are safety or care concerns.
  • Visitors and support people remain restricted from Cone Health Cancer Centers.
  • Those receiving outpatient imaging services at Cone Health hospitals may have a support person when necessary to help with patient physical or behavioral health needs. Pregnant women receiving ultrasounds may bring a spouse or a support person.

All visitors must pass a screening and temperature check before entering Cone Health facilities, the release said. They must wear masks, clean hands frequently and engage in social distancing. This includes sitting at marked distances in waiting rooms and other areas.

Cone Health encourages the use of FaceTime, Skype and other platforms to stay in touch with people in the hospital. Cone Health can provide iPads to those in the hospital who don’t have the technology to communicate with loved ones, the release said.

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