NHRMC Mandatory Visitor Restrictions: Updated Support Person Guidelines

July 29, 2020

The New Hanover Regional Medical Center system has instituted mandatory visitor restrictions to limit visitors at all NHRMC facilities to help protect our community, patients, staff, and providers. These restrictions have been expanded as part of NHRMC’s COVID-19 response framework.

Visitors are not allowed at any NHRMC hospital, physician office, or facility at this time. NHRMC has outlined some exceptions to allow limited essential support persons to accompany patients. All support persons must wear a mask which completely covers their mouth and nose at all times, except while eating in designated areas. Support persons are asked to supply their own masks.

All approved support persons must be in good health and free of fever or respiratory symptoms (such as cough and shortness of breath). They must also undergo a health screening with temperature check upon entry to the facility, perform frequent hand hygiene, and are not permitted to roam the hospital.

Essential support persons and exception circumstances include the following:

  • Patients under the age of 18 may have one parent/guardian/advocate
  • In limited situations and with approval of the ED team, patients in the ED may have 1 support person
  • NICU patients may have both parents present
  • Pediatric patients may have one parent/guardian/advocate
  • Women in our birthplace areas may have one support partner. Doulas will be allowed to accompany a laboring mother in addition to the designated birth partner (with approval from the OB Team)
  • Patients scheduled for a surgery or procedure may have one person accompany them to drop the patient off, and then be available to pick them up following treatment. This support person will not be able to wait in the hospital facility
  • Patients in need of a medical guardian or decision-maker
  • End-of-life circumstances
  • Patients with certain communication barriers, behavioral concerns, and disabilities due to altered mental status, intellectual or cognitive disability, dementia, Parkinson’s, etc. where a family member is essential to their care
  • For discharge education for patient when in-person bedside education is required

The patient’s care team and the attending physician will work with families who have special circumstances, such as a critically ill or injured family member, on a case-by-case basis.

NHRMC is committed to the health of not just our patients, but the community it serves. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. NHRMC recognizes that interacting with family and friends can be helpful to healing.

We recommend using FaceTime, Skype, or the phone to connect with and support your loved ones. Patients do have access to Wi-Fi to assist with mobile communication.