University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics begins visitor screening and adds more visitor restrictions on main Iowa City campus

Media Statement - Friday, March 13, 2020

In continuing efforts to minimize potential exposure to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and keep patients and staff safe, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics is taking additional measures to restrict and screen visitors.

“While this may be inconvenient for patients and their families, screening and visitor restrictions are necessary precautions to protect the health and safety of our patients and employees,” says Suresh Gunasekaran, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and Associate Vice President, University of Iowa Health Care.

Visitors to be limited to one healthy adult per day starting Saturday, March 14

Starting Saturday, March 14, the number of visitors for each hospitalized adult patient will be limited to one healthy adult – age 18 and older – each day. For pediatric patients, two healthy adults will be allowed per day.  We are working to restrict visitors in all common areas.

Some patient units, clinics, diagnostic service areas, and treatments may have additional restrictions to best protect our patients.

Patient and visitor screening started today

Starting today, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics began screening patients and visitors for symptoms of influenza and 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) before entering its main Iowa City facility, a practice recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of entrances to the hospital will be reduced; screening began today at two of its entrances and will expand to other entrances in the coming days and week.

Visitors exhibiting signs or symptoms of influenza-like illness, including fever, cough, or shortness of breath will not be sent home. Those with certain other symptoms, such as runny nose, fatigue, chills, vomiting, or diarrhea should also stay home.

Visitors who are concerned that they might have influenza-like symptoms can schedule a video visit with one of our providers to assess their symptoms prior to their visit.

Patients coming in for appointments with a fever or other symptoms will be given a mask and sent on to their appointment.

At this time, UI Health Care faculty and staff are not being screened and will continue to follow the strict hygiene practices.

The entrances screening patients and visitors today are the Main Hospital Entrance (Roy Carver Pavilion) and Level 2 skyway into RCP (from Ramps 2 and 3 and West Campus Transportation Center, above its Main Entrance).

Emergency Department (ED) patients and visitors should use external entrances or alert the person at the screening process if they have an emergency medical situation, including active labor. . Once in the ED, access is restricted to other parts of the hospital.

Other UI Health Care locations are being assessed, and additional screenings will be put in place at a later date. Those planning to visit UI Hospitals & Clinics should check its website for appropriate entrances to use.

The safety of our patients, faculty, staff, and volunteers is a top priority for UI Health Care. We are committed to doing everything we can to support our community in response to COVID-19.

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