Last updated July 31, 2020
Dear UCSF Health Patients, Families and Visitors:
Your safety is our highest priority.
UCSF Health teams are working around the clock to stay on top of the evolving COVID-19 situation to ensure both excellent patient care as well as family and visitor safety.
Under the authority of City and County of San Francisco Department of Public Health Order, visitors are restricted from entering any of our hospital and clinic facilities.
Visitation Hours and Guidelines by Department
The number of visitors should be as few as possible to maintain a safe environment for our patients. Video visits are preferred, and our staff can assist you in setting one up. All patients being admitted to an inpatient area will receive a COVID test. Visitors are not allowed in patient care areas until a negative result has been received for the patient. All patients can now receive one healthy visitor per day during the hours of 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. under General Visitation Policies. Exceptions to these guidelines are noted below:
|General Visitation: Inpatient Areas (Patients without COVID-19)|
|Adult Inpatient||One healthy visitor||11 a.m. - 8 p.m.||No overnight visitors|
|Pediatric Inpatient||One healthy visitor||All hours|
|Birth Center (Labor & Delivery/Maternity)||One healthy visitor||All hours|
|Emergency Department||No general visitation
||Visitors are only allowed for patients with specific caregiving needs|
|Inpatient Surgery||One healthy visitor||During surgery hours
||Must wait off-site or in designated waiting areas|
|General Visitation: Inpatient Areas (Patients with COVID-19)|
||Video visitation only||All hours||Exceptions made at the end of life|
|COVID-19 Pediatrics||One healthy guardian||All hours|
|General Visitation: Outpatient Area|
|Ambulatory Clinics||No general visitation||Clinic hours||One caregiver allowed on advance request for patients with specific caregiving needs|
|Cancer Center/Infusion||No general visitation||Clinic hours||One caregiver allowed on advance request for patients with specific caregiving needs|
|Outpatient Surgery/Procedures||No general visitation||While surgery is in progress||Visitors are welcome in designated waiting areas|
|Outpatient Radiology||No general visitation||While procedure is in progress||Visitors are welcome in designated waiting areas|
Exceptions for Inpatient, ED, Birth Center, Surgery and Ambulatory Visiting (Necessary Visitation)
- Visits to a patient not expected to survive the current hospital stay (receiving end-of-life care).
- Visits to patients in palliative care/hospice. Visitors of all ages are allowed.
- Visits by anyone who is legally authorized to make decisions for the patient, whether by operation of a durable power of attorney (DPOA) or conservatorship, or in the role of a surrogate decision maker as recognized by the care provider team for patients who lack decisional capacity.
- Support persons for patients with cognitive impairment or other neurological injury (such as stroke) or for patients who have developed hospital delirium or dementia, where the consistent presence of the visitor is necessary to reduce the risk of medical or clinical harm.
- Support persons for patients who require assistance because of developmental disabilities, physical disabilities or limitations, or cognitive impairment.
- Visits by family and legal advisers to update a patient's will or other legal papers.
- Unique situations that may arise in which the visit need should be discussed with the on-site nursing director.
|End of Life Visitation: Patients without COVID-19
|Adult End of Life Patients
||Two at a time in the ICU
Four at a time on floors
|All hours||One visitor allowed overnight; can exchange eight visitors in total for hospital stay|
|Pediatric End of Life Patients
||Two primary caregivers and two more visitors at bedside
||All hours||Primary caregivers allowed overnight, along with two caregivers; can exchange eight total visitors for the hospital stay|
Additional Exceptions: Inpatient Stay and Come-and-Go Surgeries
- Visits by anyone who is legally authorized to make decisions for the patient, whether by operation of a DPOA or conservatorship, or in the role of a surrogate decision maker as recognized by the care provider team for patients who lack decisional capacity.
- Support persons for patients with physical or developmental disabilities who require assistance (for example, patients with severe hearing loss, dementia or aphasia or patients who are wheelchair-bound or have left ventricular assist devices).
- Minors are allowed one adult visitor.
- Family members of patients who are in end-of-life care or experiencing an acute life-threatening event that makes them unlikely to survive the current hospital stay, in the judgment of the health care team.
- Patients and family members who would benefit from face-to-face caregiving instructions, either because of the complexity of the material or the needs of the patient or caregivers.
Additional Exceptions: Ambulatory Clinic Appointments
- Evaluations for transplant that require the clinical team to ensure a comprehensive support system is in place for the patient and assess the support person's ability to comply with the post-transplant expectations, per United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines.
- For pediatric clinics and the birth center: All patients with an appointment in a pediatric clinic or pediatric infusion center may be accompanied by a caregiver. (This is not limited to patients under 18 years of age because older patients may have developmental issues requiring a caregiver.)
- Surgical patients of the Orthopaedic Institute may be accompanied by a caregiver or support person who is their source of transportation.
Cancer Center Visiting (Necessary Visitation)
- In-person visitors and caregivers are only allowed if given advance approval, due to the risk of exposure for patients, medical providers and staff.
- We recognize how challenging it is to receive medical care for cancer and that sometimes it’s essential for a caregiver to accompany you to your appointment. Please contact your care coordinator to discuss your request so we can work with you.
- If approved, one adult visitor or essential caregiver per patient will be allowed to enter after successful screening at the building or clinic entrance. However, smaller sites that lack sufficient space for safe physical distancing won't be able to permit a visitor.
- In some cases, visitors may not be able to stay for in-person participation in the specifics of the visit or treatment but may have the option to participate via video applications such as Zoom or FaceTime.
- The staff will continually assess the physical space and duration of the visit to determine whether the visitor can remain.
- Our infusion and radiation therapy centers have limited space, so visitors may stay only as an exception. Patients scheduled for these treatments should speak with the staff ahead of time to determine whether a visitor may accompany them. Such decisions will be made on a visit-by-visit basis. Patients should not show up with a visitor if not already approved.
- During this challenging time, we ask that patients and visitors follow the staff's directions and understand that the evolving circumstances will result in variation at our different sites and centers. Consequently, a patient and visitor may be able to stay together for an office visit, but the next time they come – even to the same practice – the visitor may be asked to wait outside.
Exceptions for Pediatric Visiting (Necessary Visitation)
- Caseworkers from the Department of Children and Family Services or Child Protective Services.
- For complicated discharge needs, two primary caregivers are allowed for teaching and coordination of care.
Examples include but are not limited to:
- 24-hour care for new tracheostomy patients.
- Appointments with equipment vendors for training that requires multiple caregivers.
- Assistance needed with equipment coordination at the time of discharge, such as for a new mother with a postpartum lift restriction or for a disabled parent.
- Patients who have received MIBG are allowed two primary caregivers to split the radiation load.
- A symptomatic primary caregiver is allowed if essential to the patient's care and no alterative can be identified, with these restrictions:
- The caregiver must wear a mask at all times while on campus, including in the patient's room.
- The caregiver must stay in the patient's room at all times.
- Postpartum readmission to the Birth Center: To promote initiation of breastfeeding, rooming-in is allowed for the primary caregiver and infant.
- End-of-life care
- Two primary caregivers are allowed at the bedside.
- An additional six visitors are allowed when death is imminent, for a total of eight. No more than four people may be at the patient's bedside at any time, and additional visitors should switch out with each other only once.
- In surgical cases where the patient will recover in a critical care setting, two caregivers are allowed for the perioperative period and during the immediate postoperative period in the intensive care unit.
- Patients on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) during cannulation and decannulation.
- For patients with documented or diagnosed severe behavioral challenges, a second caregiver may be allowed to help control behavior during the perioperative period and while initiating inpatient admission. Following discussion with and the approval of the patient care director, this exception may include the inpatient stay.
- Patients with two or more medical devices (FLIGHT patients) for the perioperative period and while initiating hospital admission.
- Cases of patient deterioration calling for resuscitation measures, Med-Stat or treatment by a rapid response team, until the situation stabilizes.
- Juvenile Justice Center minors accompanied by members of the Alameda County Police Department.
- As needed on a case-by-case basis when consultation with the unit director and patient care director failed to identify an alternative.
- COVID-positive Birth Center patients who require care in an adult intensive care unit are not allowed a visitor, per the adult inpatient visitor restrictions.
Information for Families of Patients in Our Hospitals
- Patients and their loved ones must designate a single individual who will be the point of contact for all information and conversations with the health care team.
- The designated point of contact will be responsible for sharing information with family members or loved ones who should have this information.
- The designated point of contact will hear from a care team member at least once a day for regular updates or more frequently if the patient's condition or treatment changes significantly.
- Some exceptions may apply, as determined by the health care team.
Virtual Visit Assistance
We encourage virtual visits through video applications such as Zoom and FaceTime. Click here for instructions.