Visitation Policy | News | Cape Fear Valley Health

Visitation Policy

Last Updated 4/2/2024

Starting Wednesday, April 10, Cape Fear Valley Health facilities will lower the minimum age requirement for visitation from 12 to 6 years old in most areas. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. Visitation hours are also being expanded and will now be from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The health system no longer will require masks for patients or visitors in the waiting rooms of Emergency Department or ExpressCare locations, unless a person is experiencing respiratory symptoms.

Below are the rest of Cape Fear Valley Health’s current visitation policies:

Patients are allowed up to two visitors at a time, between the hours of 7 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, but they can come and go. They may stay with the patient throughout their stay in Labor and Delivery. Support people must be 16 years old or older.

• Family Centered Care Unit: Two visitors allowed at a time. Children ages 6 and up can visit. Visiting hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• 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. Children ages 12 and up may visit, but visitors between the ages of 12 and 17 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. No more than two visitors at a time in the patient’s room. 

• In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), 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 except during physician rounds from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. and from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. There is no space to allow for overnight stays. Siblings can visit on Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. but must be over the age of 5 and without any signs of illness. Children under the age of 12 may not be left unsupervised in the waiting room.

 • 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.