UConn Health has begun the process of resuming routine appointments and elective procedures, and we are committed to creating the safest possible environment for our patients, employees, and visitors.

Patients and Visitors

Information for Patients

2020-6-19: UConn Health Visitation Guidelines as of June 19, 2020

The following areas have eased their visitor restrictions: Inpatient Hospital Rooms, Emergency Department, and Labor & Delivery and OB/GYN

  • Visiting Hours are as follows: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (or as posted in some areas).
  • ONE visitor or companion per patient/per room will be permitted.
  • Visitors under the age of 16 are not permitted.
  • All visitors must screen negative at entry for symptoms, risks and exposure to COVID-19.
  • No visitors are allowed for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 positive patients.
  • Visitors are required to wear a facemask and to maintain social distancing at all times.

(If a visitor arrives without a facemask, one will be provided at the screening station.)

  • Visitation is allowed at the discretion of leadership in consideration of safety measures such as physical distancing, screening and appropriate face coverings in accordance with the State of CT guidelines.
  • Visitation for End of Life Care and for extenuating circumstances are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to the general guidelines above the following departments, have additional requirements: 

Emergency Department:

  • One visitor is allowed to accompany a patient into the treatment area. Suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients will not be allowed visitors except in critical circumstances at the discretion of leadership.
  • All patients are tested for COVID-19 on admission to the hospital. Visitors are not permitted during COVID-19 testing and the transition of the patient from the ED to the inpatient units.

Labor & Delivery and OB/GYN:

  • One support person per patient. Support persons are issued a yellow band, cannot switch, and once they leave, cannot return (exceptions for doulas with certificates, antepartum patients expected to deliver, and other extenuating circumstances evaluated on a case-by-case basis).

NICU:

  • Two parents/legal guardians may be in the hospital with one visiting at the bedside and the other remaining in the visitor lounge

Outpatient Procedures (UT Surgery, GI Procedure Center, UHSC, Interventional Radiology)

  • The visitor can only accompany the patient to the procedure/surgical clinic for check-in support only.
  • The caregiver will be notified when the patient has completed their procedure/surgery and is ready to be picked-up.

Visitation restrictions are still in place for the following locations:

  • Ambulatory Services - Off-site and On-site
  • Cancer Center
  • Dental Clinics
  • New England Sickle Cell Center (NESCI)
  • Outpatient Testing Services: Radiology, Blood Draw
  • Procedure Center: UT Surgery, GI Procedure Center, UHSC, Interventional Radiology

No companions or visitors permitted at this time. Extenuating circumstances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Dental Clinics (on-site and off-site)

Visitors are not allowed to accompany patients on their appointments. This includes children of patients.

Exceptions:

  • Elderly patients that need assistance getting to their appointment.
  • Minor patients that need their parents present.
  • Patients who need assistance due to the specifics of their disability may have one designated support person with them to support their disability related needs.

If there is a companion accompanying the patient, the individual must:

  1. Be identified as having the authority for ‘consent to treat.’
  2. Be screened at the screening checkpoints upon entry. If the individual does not pass the screening checkpoint, the appointment will be rescheduled.

Leadership will continue to monitor the situation closely and expand our visitation guidelines as deemed appropriate.

2020-05-08: Compassionate End of Life Inpatient Visitation

To protect the health and safety of our patients, their families and our staff, UConn Health has implemented guidelines restricting all visitors, with exceptions for extenuating circumstances such as end-of-life care. In order to balance the needs of our patients and families with the need to limit exposure to COVID-19 the following clarification is provided regarding bedside visitation with patients identified as comfort measures only (CMO) or end of life.

General Visitation Restrictions

  • No children under the age of 14 are permitted.
  • Access for non-healthcare related services such as dining and ATM use is not permitted.
  • Authorized visitors will be screened at entry for temperature, risk and symptoms. Any visitor feeling ill is not permitted to enter the facility at any time (even in end-of-life situations).
  • Visitors are required to maintain social distancing and hand-hygiene during their visit.
  • Visitors are required to wear a mask while at our facility. If a visitor presents without a mask, one will be provided at screening.
  • Certain units may implement more strict guidelines, including personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gown and eye protection to protect visitor safety.

New Compassionate End-of-Life Visitation

UConn Health recognizes and supports the need for families to be with their loved ones during end-of-life care, including patients with confirmed COVID-19. Decisions are made on a case by case basis to allow family members to be with a dying patient whenever possible. Special circumstances outside of these guidelines, such as the definition of immediate family, number of bedside visitors and visits per day should be flexibly considered in collaboration with members of the care team, the patient and family.

  • Visitors are primarily limited to immediate family/significant individuals to the patient (spouse, partner/significant other, parents, children over age 14, and siblings).
  • Visitation is recommended between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to the extent possible.
  • Authorized visitor may visit once per day, if desired.
  • Two visitors are allowed to be present in the patient’s room at any one time.
    • Additional visitors/companions are asked to remain in their car or designated area.
    • Individual exceptions to the number of family members may be considered if approved by clinical leadership and based on the patient’s care requirements.
  • Visitation is restricted to the patient’s room or designated area only.
  • Visitors should exit the facility directly after visiting the patient’s room. Visitors may not gather in the lobby, food court or other community areas.
  • Family video visits may be arranged at the discretion of the Nurse Manager or designee. Family members may use their own device or the Patient Experience Family iPad may be offered.

Additional Considerations for Bio-Contained Areas    

  • Visitors are asked to enter and exit the unit together.
  • Visitors will be monitored donning and doffing face mask, face shield, gown, and gloves by Nurse Manager, Assistant Nurse Manager or designee.
  • Visitors must remain in the patient’s room until they are ready to leave the unit. They will need to alert the patient’s nurse to arrange for monitoring during the doffing process.
  • Visitors with mobility concerns are encouraged to use a UConn Health-issued wheelchair rather than their own equipment, to the extent possible. Upon its return, the Information Desk staff will remove the wheelchair from service until it is appropriately disinfected.

2020-05-01: Updated COVID-19 Entry Screening

New Screening Guidance

Patients with COVID-19 Presenting for Care

  • It is recommended to delay non-urgent healthcare visits for at least 21 days from the date of diagnosis.
  • If a patient requires urgent outpatient evaluation or care within 21 days of their diagnosis, additional guidance is needed from the department of the anticipated encounter before entry can be permitted.

Plasma Donation

  • UConn Health has begun to use plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19 in an effort to help patients fighting the disease.
  • Plasma donors must have been diagnosed at least 21 days ago, tested negative and have been asymptomatic for 14 days to visit the blood draw for required lab work.
  • Any employees interested in donating plasma are asked to call the UConn Health COVID-19 Call Center at 860-679-3199, option 1 for more details.

New Screening Workflow

  • Temperatures are monitored and screening questions are asked of all patients, visitors and staff.
  • Employees and badged contract staff provide a verbal response to the screener.
  • Patients and visitors are issued a screening pass to be kept during visit and returned when exiting.
  • New COVID-19 screening questions have been expanded based on CDC guidance and now include:
  • Have YOU, or someone you live with, been tested for or diagnosed with COVID-19?

If Yes: Who? ____   When? (date) ____

  • Are YOU having any of these new or worsening symptoms without a clear explanation?
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of taste or smell
  • For any YES responses to screening questions and/or fever of ≥100.4:
    • Patient cannot proceed until approved by receiving department. Patient will be asked to wait in designated seating area while Information Desk staff call for further guidance.
    • Visitor will be courteously denied entry and advised to contact their PCP for guidance.
    • Employee reporting for work will be issued a yellow card and instructed to contact the COVID Call Center for further guidance.
    • Plasma donor less than 21 days from diagnosis will be asked to contact COVID Call Center.
    • Plasma donor at least 21 days from diagnosis may proceed to lab if afebrile and asymptomatic.

General Screening Guidelines

  • UConn Health is currently closed to visitors. Exceptions for extenuating circumstances such as end of life visitation and patient safety are to be made at the discretion of leadership.
  • All patients, visitors and staff members entering the facility will be subject to a screening process.
    • Staff members must have their UConn Health ID badge visible.
    • Employees are expected to wear a mask (provided by their manager) while at work.
    • Patients and visitors with an exception are required to wear a mask while at our facilities.
    • If a patient or visitor presents without a mask, one will be provided at screening.
  • Social distancing and hand-hygiene reminders are to be reinforced by the screeners.

2020-04-23: Guidance to UConn Health Providers in Caring for Patients with COVID-19 Returning to Ambulatory Settings

As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves this document provides guidance to healthcare providers in order to protect our patients, healthcare personnel, and community at large. It is essential that our healthcare teams continue to provide quality care, at the appropriate level for all patients, in order to preserve a functioning healthcare system. Robust public health measures will be required to reduce transmission of COVID-19, protect healthcare personnel and ensure patient safety.

Published data suggests that SARS-2-CoV viral shedding, and thus the period of suspected contagiousness, is highest during periods of acute illness and then subsequently declines over time[1],[2],[3]. The decline is likely variable based on the severity of illness and patient-related factors[4].

Patients Diagnosed with COVID-19 Returning to the Community from Home Isolation

Patients with newly diagnosed COVID-19 in the outpatient setting or those individuals recently admitted and discharged home, should be provided with detailed isolation recommendations. See detailed guidance from the CDC. Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should be advised to continue home isolation until they are no longer contagious, based on a non-test-based strategy or a test-based strategy (two negative SARS-COV-2 RNA PCR tests separated by 24 hours).

Using the non-test-based strategy home isolation may be discontinued under the following conditions:

  • Patient has been afebrile for at least 72 hours (without the use of fever reducing medications) AND
  • other respiratory symptoms have improved AND
  • at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared

Patients with COVID-19 Presenting for Care in UConn Health Ambulatory Care Settings

For patients recently diagnosed with COVID-19 either in the inpatient or outpatient setting, recommendations regarding scheduling/coordinating their future healthcare visits at UConn Health are detailed below:

At this time, it is recommended to delay non-urgent healthcare visits for 21 days from date of diagnosis of COVID-19. In particular, this guidance should pertain to following:

  • Non-urgent ambulatory care visits, including outpatient Radiology
  • Non-urgent admissions
  • Non-urgent surgical and procedural cases
  • Routine dental and eye-care visits

If a patient has recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 and requires urgent outpatient evaluation within 21 days of their diagnosis, the healthcare provider should contact Infection Control for guidance on the anticipated encounter, including determining the optimal environment of care and the appropriate personal protective equipment needed for the encounter. Individuals who are highly immunocompromised (medical treatment with immunosuppressive drugs, bone marrow or solid organ transplant recipients, inherited immunodeficiency, poorly controlled HIV) may warrant special infection control measures in recovery after COVID-19. Please call Infection Control for additional guidance for these patients.

[1] Chang D, et al. Time Kinetics of Viral Clearance and Resolution of Symptoms in Novel Coronavirus Infection. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2020 Mar 23.

[2] Zou L et al. SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in Upper Respiratory Specimens of Infected Patients. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(12):1177-1179.

[3] He X. et al. Temporal dynamics in viral shedding and transmissibility of COVID-19. Nature Medicine 2020 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0869-5.

[4] Zhao F et al. Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study. Lancet 2020; 395: 1054–62.

2020-03-22: Upcoming Patient Appointments

Upcoming Patient Appointments

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak (also known as coronavirus) and in following with guidelines from the CDC, we ask that if you have been in contact with someone that has tested positive for the virus, or if you have travelled outside of the country within the last 14 days or are experiencing a fever, a new cough, or a new or worsened shortness of breath, that you give us a call before you come in for your appointment.

UConn Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center, to address your questions and concerns related to coronavirus. Our Call Center is open from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and is available to our employees, patients, students, and the community. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns, we are here to help you through this ever-changing situation. Please call us at 860-679-3199.

2020-03-22: Patient Payments at UConn Health

Patient Payments at UConn Health

Please note that due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) we will not be taking in-person patient payments at our Munson Road locations at this time. All payments can be mailed to:

UConn Health
Department #345
P.O. Box 150464
Hartford, CT 06115-0464

Or please call our office at 860-679-6387 to make payment arrangements over the phone. Thank you for your cooperation.

UConn Health Labor & Delivery: COVID-19 and Pregnancy FAQ

I’m pregnant, am I more likely to become infected with COVID-19?

This data is still unfolding. The evidence from China suggests that pregnant women do not have an increased risk of becoming infected with COVID-19. However, we do know that pregnant women’s immune systems make them more susceptible to many viruses, which has been shown in similar infections such as influenza. Pregnant women also have a higher risk of severe infection from viruses of the same family as COVID-19.

Can I pass COVID-19 to my unborn baby?

To date, there is no proof that this virus can be transmitted to your baby before birth. Studies have not demonstrated virus in the amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood, or breastmilk. Furthermore, in a recent report out of New York City, none of 18 babies tested after birth in COVID-19 positive pregnant women were positive.

I am considered an essential employee, should I stop working because of the COVID-19 outbreak and my pregnancy?

Please speak with your direct supervisor as well as your OB provider about your particular situation. Take all precautions and follow all guidelines when caring for someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

How can I protect myself?

For pregnant women and the general public, these actions can help to keep you safe and stop the spread:

  • Cover your cough (using your elbow is a good technique)
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Clean your hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Keep at least six feet of distance between you and other people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces often

What are the current COVID-19 visitor restrictions?

All patients arriving to UConn Health Labor and Delivery for inpatient cesarean sections, labor, or induction of labor will be allowed one support person.

  • All support people will continued to be screened prior to entry to the unit and banded with the yellow bands.
  • Support person will not be allowed to leave the unit until the patient is discharged home. This will included going off the unit to the café.
  • We will be giving the support person access to order off the menu, at no charge to them.
  • Parking passes will be provided to support person upon discharge.
  • No visitors are allowed for any triage/outpatient patients.
  • Our waiting room is closed (visitors may wait in their cars).
  • If you are admitted for labor/cesarean section after coming in for triage, then your support person will be allowed in after they are screened and banded.

I am planning on using a doula, is the doula considered a visitor?

Currently, we are making an exception is for patients with a certified doula. The nurse can ask for proof of certification, so it is advised that they bring their certification with them to the unit. The doula will be screened, banded, and allowed in with the patient’s significant other. Note that policies are always under review, and this exception may change.

What do I do if I have a cough, fever (100.4 or higher), or shortness of breath?

If you have any of these symptoms, please contact your OB provider. Depending on your provider’s recommendations, you may be instructed to stay home and self-isolate, to go to a drive-up testing facility, or go to the hospital.

What if I have suspected COVID-19 and also have pregnancy-related concerns?

If you have any of these symptoms, please contact your OB provider. Depending on your provider’s recommendations, you may be instructed to stay home and self-isolate, to go to a drive-up testing facility, or go to the hospital.

Will I be able to breastfeed my baby?

There is no evidence of this virus in breastmilk, but our data is limited. UConn Health follows the CDC’s guidelines for breastfeeding, and the decision to breastfeed will be made after a discussion between you and your providers. Upon reviewing the most current recommendations, you will be given the option to breastfeed and room-in with your baby, or bottle feed with your expressed milk or formula. If you choose to breastfeed, you will be instructed to wear a mask and practice hand hygiene before and after each feeding.

How can I protect my baby during breastfeeding?

Since having your baby skin-to-skin and directly on your breast can increase risk, it’s important to wash your hands before touching your baby and wear a face mask, if possible, while feeding. If you are using a breast pump, wash your hands before touching any pump or bottle parts and follow these CDC recommendations for proper pump cleaning after each use.

Online Childbirth and Breastfeeding Education

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the health and safety of our patients, all upcoming classes have been canceled. UConn Health providers are working to offer virtual classes soon. Until then, all pregnant moms can utilize these free online childbirth and breastfeeding classes. They are available until May 31.

Sign-up for online childbirth education.

OB/GYN Patients

For information regarding COVID-19 and pregnancy, please visit the Women's Center.

Dental Patients

For important COVID-19 information for Dental Care Center patients, please visit: https://health.uconn.edu/dental

Visitor Guidelines and Restrictions

We recognize that visitors, family and friends play a significant role in our patient’s recovery process; however, as of March 16, 2020, UConn Health IS CLOSED to visitors for all departments with the exception to the locations listed below. We want to ensure a healthy and safe environment for our patients and staff during the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Visitation Restrictions

Visitation Restrictions

UConn Health has also implemented new restrictions on visitation.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are limiting visitation to the following:

Group Visitation Restriction
Labor and Delivery, OB/GYN ONLY ONE (1) support person
NICU Parent(s)/guardian(s) only

Please note that this change DOES NOT apply if extenuating circumstances exist, such as visiting patients who are receiving end-of-life care or caretakers and companions of patients for outpatient appointments. Please contact the Nursing Manager, off-shift Nursing Supervisor or Clinic Director should you need an exception, we will be reviewing on a case-by-case basis.

If you receive a visitation exception and come to our campus, please note you will be required to participate in our screening questionnaire as well as have your temperature taken. If screeners determine that there is a potential health risk, you will not be allowed to visit even with an exception. Please keep your completed screening questionnaire with you at all times throughout your visit.

Please ONLY enter through one of the two entrances on our hospital campus, the main entrances at Connecticut Tower or main entrance of University Tower. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause you and your family, but we feel strongly about the importance of limiting the risk of possible exposure to COVID-19.

Other Important Information for Visitors

Other Important Information for Visitors

  • If you have traveled or been exposed to someone with a confirmed or possible case of COVID-19, or if you have a cough, fever, or shortness of breath, please DO NOT visit our patients.
  • All patients, visitors, and vendors will receive a brief health screening before entry. If screeners determine that a visitor is a potential health risk, that person will not be allowed to visit and will be asked to consult their doctor for further guidance.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause you and your family, but we feel strongly about the importance of limiting the risk of possible exposure to COVID-19.

2020-6-04: Change in L&D/OB Visitor Restriction

Effective June 5, 2020 we will be allowing all L&D/OB patients to have one visitor come in with them regardless if they are an inpatient, triage patient, or a procedure patient for L&D or OB/GYN. We are doing this to allow for improved emotional support for our patient population. The current unit visitor policy will stay the same and include these visitors restrictions (all must stay in their rooms, they cannot switch in and out, and if they leave they cannot return (exceptions made for antepartums delivering and other unexpected situations). They will continue to be banded with the yellow band and screened per our normal process.

Additionally, our patients can enter through any entrance of the hospital; the Main Entrance, the Hospital Entrance, or the ED entrance (despite our best efforts to have them go through the Hospital Entrance during normal operating hours). This means they will come to either our entrance on the OB side or on the L&D side, they should always be welcomed regardless of which way they came.

2020-04-06: Updated Visitor Restrictions

Updated Visitor Restrictions

  • UConn Health IS CLOSED to visitors for all departments with additional guidance as follows:
    • Labor and Delivery: induction, labor and C-sections only: support person and doula
    • OB/GYN: triage, antepartum, outpatient: no visitors or companions permitted
    • NICU: only one parent/guardian per day
    • New England Sickle Cell Institute: no companions/visitors permitted
    • NO children under the age of 14
    • Companions, caretakers and visitors are asked not to visit if they are feeling ill.
  • Restriction does not apply if extenuating circumstances exist such as visiting patients receiving end-of-life care or caretakers of patients for outpatient appointments, procedures/testing.
    • Exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Nurse Manager, off-shift Nursing Supervisor or Clinic Director.
  • Access for non-healthcare related services such as dining, ATM and shops is not permitted.

 Patient and Visitor Screening

  • All persons entering UConn Health facilities will have their temperature taken and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and risks.
  • Screening stations are located prior to Information Desks at points of entry.
  • Screening questions have been updated to reflect current medical understanding of COVID-19 symptoms and risks.
  • Positive screening (fever of ≥100.4 and/or screening questions)
    • Patient: will be provided a mask and asked to remain in a designated area while the receiving department is contacted for guidance.
    • Visitor: will be courteously denied access to the facility and advised to contact their primary care practitioner for further guidance.
  • Upon screening clearance, patients and visitors will be issued a screening pass to be kept at all times.
  • Information Desk assistance is available for appointment look-up, wayfinding and other services.

Masking

  • All inpatients and outpatients to the extent practical are required to wear a surgical or procedure mask. This also applies to anyone granted a visitation exception.
  • Any patient or visitor presenting without a mask, will be provided one at the screening station.

2020-03-20: Labor and Delivery Updated Visitation Guidelines

Labor and Delivery Updated Visitation Guidelines

  • All patients arriving to L&D for inpatient cesarean sections, labor, or induction of labor will be allowed one* support person.
    • All support people will continued to be screened prior to entry to the unit and banded with the yellow bands.
    • Support person will not be allowed to leave the unit until the patient is discharged home. This will included going off the unit to the café.
    • We will be giving the support person access to order off the menu, at no charge to them.
    • Parking passes will be provided to support person upon discharge.
  • All antepartum patients will not be allowed visitors beginning 8 p.m. March 20, 2020 until further notice.
  • Triage/Outpatients
    • No visitors allowed for any triage/outpatient patients.
    • Our waiting room is closed (visitors may wait in their cars).
    • If patient admitted for labor/cesarean section then they will be allowed in after they are screened and banded.

* If a patient has a certified doula (nurse can ask for certification) then that is an exception. The doula should be screened and banded and would be allowed in with the patients significant other. Other exceptions such as IUFD still stand.