BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Multiple Maryland hospitals are making changes to their visitor policies in response to the spread of COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus.

The University of Maryland Medical System is changing its visitor policy at all 13 hospitals in its system and other UMMS healthcare facilities beginning at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, March 11.

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LifeBridge Health’s changes will also take effect on Wednesday at Sinai Hospital, Northwest Hospital and Carroll Hospital as well as Levindale and Grace Medical Centers.

Here are the major changes to their visitor policies:

  • All visitors must check-in at the front desk.
  • No one under age 18 (except the parent of a hospitalized patient) is permitted to visit the hospital including all waiting areas and common spaces.
  • Only one adult visitor is allowed per patient for all areas of the hospital.
  • Visitors may be screened for flu-like symptoms and are not permitted to visit the hospital if symptoms are present.
  • Visitors with international travel may not visit for 14 days after arrival into the United States.
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“The coronavirus disease poses several challenges to an extended family presence at a patient’s bedside including potential spread of the virus to patients and staff by those with asymptomatic or mild infection,” said David Marcozzi, MD, COVID-19 Incident Commander for UMMS.  “Enacting these changes to visitation is consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding response to the coronavirus.”

There are certain exceptions to UMMS’ policy that require prior approval by the Physician Administrative Officer. Those cases include; end-of-life care, two parents/caregivers of pediatric patients will be permitted as long as neither adult is symptomatic and two visitors will be allowed in labor and delivery.

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LifeBridge, meanwhile, said it will also add tents outside the emergency departments at Sinai, Northwest and Carroll hospitals in the event the hospitals see an influx of patients that need to be screened.