Visitation Policy | News | Cape Fear Valley Health

Visitation Policy

Last Updated 10/17/2023

Starting Wednesday, Oct. 18, Cape Fear Valley Health is also raising the minimum age for visitors to 16 years old during respiratory illness season. The previous minimum age for most hospital areas was 12 years old. In an effort to keep our patients and teammates safe this respiratory illness season, Cape Fear Valley Health is also recommending that all employees and visitors wear a surgical mask in patient care areas. Any employees with respiratory illness symptoms should also wear a surgical mask while at work, in any location around other people.

Below are the rest of Cape Fear Valley Health’s current visitation policies, which are unchanged at this time:

All areas of the health system are open to visitors aged 16 and over who are with a parent or guardian, with the exception of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. No visitors or patients will be required to wear a mask, unless they have respiratory symptoms or are in the Emergency Department waiting room. Any patients, visitors or employees who wish to wear a mask may do so.

Patients are allowed up to two visitors at a time, between the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and visitors may come and go during those hours. All patients are allowed to have one visitor stay overnight in their room if space allows, but overnight visitors must be in the hospital before visiting hours close, and cannot leave and return after 8 p.m., until visiting hours reopen the next day. Visitors to patients who are under any isolation protocols must follow any restrictions required for that patient.

In the Emergency Department, visitors will not be allowed in the waiting room unless the patient is 65 years old or older, or is cognitively impaired, regardless of age. Those patients may have one visitor with them at a time in the waiting room or triage. For other patients, one visitor will be allowed once the patient has been given a room. Visitors to patients in the Emergency Department will be allowed to leave and return.

In the Pediatric Emergency Department, only one parent or guardian will be allowed in the waiting room with pediatric patients in the Emergency Department. Once a child is placed in a room, they can have two parents/guardians with them.

The following exceptions and specifications are noted with this visitation policy:

• Labor and Delivery: Laboring mothers may have up to three designated support people, and those people cannot switch with other people during labor and delivery. Support people must be 16 years old or older.

• Pediatric patients/Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: Parents/legal guardians may visit at any time. Only parents/legal guardians may add visitors to the list for pediatric patients. 

• In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, two banded visitors and four other designated visitors are allowed, and they must have their names identified at the secretary desk. They can visit at any time, but only two visitors are allowed at the bedside at any one time. These visitors may come and go. There is no space to allow for overnight stays.

• Patients who need a healthcare decision maker or require communication assistance may have one Care Companion with them at all times. The Care Companion may be changed during visiting hours.

• End of Life patients may have up to four visitors at a time present at bedside. These visitors may be changed out during the End of Life visit. In certain circumstances, the nursing supervisor may allow for compassionate exceptions to this rule for End of Life patients.

Even in the above situations, visitors with symptoms of a fever or respiratory illness symptoms, including cough or shortness of breath, should remain home.