UPDATED: NO VISITOR POLICY at Denver Health Due to COVID-19

March 24, 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2019 COVID 19 CDC Image

Update March 24, 2020: Denver Health's NO VISITOR policy has now been expanded to include no visitors to the emergency department at Denver Health. See additional restrictions in article below. 

Original article: Starting Tuesday, March 17 at 5 p.m., NO Visitors will be permitted at Denver Health with limited exceptions, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

To protect our patients, families, employees and the community during the outbreak of COVID-19, we have put these measures into place that restrict visiting of family, friends and community until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

Denver Health is not allowing any visitors at all Denver Health medical facilities, including the main hospital and all clinics, until further notice. One visitor will be permitted in the following situations:

  • Patient in Emergency Department UPDATE: NO VISITORS ALLOWED IN EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT
  • Mother in labor
  • Patients who are 21 years of age or under (legal guardian permitted)
  • Adult patients with cognitive, physical or mental disability requiring help with the provision of medical care or activities of daily living, speaking for the patient and keeping patient safe
  • Patient undergoing surgery
  • People who must exercise power of attorney or court-appointed guardianship for a patient
  • Patient at end-of-life
  • People performing official governmental functions

 

Additional exception requests will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the care area leadership.

Denver Health's Chief Nursing Officer explains what you need to know about the visitor policy in this short video.

 

If I am approved to visit, are there special rules that I must follow?

To help prevent the spread of infection:

  • You must remain in the patient’s room at all times, except for quick trips to the bathroom or to purchase food
  • Limit the number of personal items that you bring into the hospital; bringing fewer items into the hospital will reduce the number of unwanted germs that you take back home with you
  • When visiting is over, you must leave the hospital and not wander through hallways or spend time in public areas, including lobbies, waiting areas, cafeterias and vending areas
  • You must be screened for symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough or shortness of breath) prior to entering one of our hospitals and will be issued a wristband indicating that you have passed the health screening
  • Permitted visitors to the main hospital may only enter through Pavilion A or Pavilion C, for screening
  • You must visibly wear a wristband indicating that your health screen was negative
  • Anyone with a positive health screen will not be able to visit and will be directed to the proper resources if you are suspected of having COVID-19
  • You MUST wash your hands or use hand sanitizer EVERY time you enter or exit a patient room

 

How can family and friends stay in touch with their loved one?

We recommend that you connect with your loved ones and their healthcare team through technology. Hospital phones are available in patient rooms. Your loved one may also use their personal phones, computers and tablets to stay connected with you through audio and video chatting and texting.

Are children able to visit?

Children 15 and under should not come to Denver Health while we have COVID-19 visitation restrictions except for end-of-life and other extreme situations where their presence has been approved. If you are approved to visit a loved one, please make arrangements for all children to be cared for away from Denver Health. Any non-patient child that comes to Denver Health will be asked to leave with the adult who brought them.

May I still send flowers, food, or other items to my loved one?

To help limit the number of people in our buildings, we ask that people not send flowers, food or other items that must be delivered.

How can I be sure that my loved one will be safely cared for during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Employees wash or sanitize their hands each time they enter and exit a patient’s room. They also wear Personal Protection Equipment (gown, gloves, face shields or goggles) when they enter the room of a patient with an infectious illness. Denver Health is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and screening protocols and following infection control prevention best practices. We are also remaining in close communication with state and county public health officials to monitor the spread of the virus.

Please know that all hospitals and health systems regularly prepare for disease outbreaks, conduct regular preparedness drills and are able to adapt quickly to infectious disease outbreaks. We are always training our staff on how to protect patients and themselves as they care for patients.

What do I do if I believe that I may have COVID-19?

Call Denver Health's NurseLine, 303-739-1211, staffed by Denver Health nurses and staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The NurseLine is a community resource for timely, accurate information about COVID-19 symptoms and virtual screening for people who are experiencing symptoms.

Call the Colorado Help Line at 303-389-1687 for other COVID-19 related questions. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, please call 911.

What can I do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect myself and others?

  • Stay home when you are sick (fever, cough or shortness of breath)
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating, after coughing or sneezing, and after using the bathroom
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
    • The best way to cover your mouth and nose is to cough or sneeze into the elbow of your arm
    • Throw tissues away immediately and wash your hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe

 

What if my loved one or I need health care for other illnesses or injury?

During this time, our patients still need care for health conditions unrelated to the virus, and Denver Health will continue to serve and care for the needs of all patients whether you are giving birth, needing treatment or surgery or requiring lifesaving emergency procedures. We are committed to providing the critical health services we typically offer.

We appreciate your understanding as we update our policies to protect the safety of our patients, staff and visitors. We are confident that together we will continue to deliver the highest quality of care.