Coronavirus Updates & Hospital Visitor Policy

Visitor Restrictions to Hospitals & Ambulatory Sites

Restricciones a visitantes

Last updated 12:37 p.m. 3/24/2020

MUSC Health will reduce the number of entry points and implement tighter visitation policies for all hospitals and ambulatory sites on the peninsula. Patients seeking emergency treatment should continue to seek care at any MUSC Health emergency department.

Please refer to the links below for more information on mask requirements for visits:

Restrictions on Number of Visitors per Patient

MUSC Health’s primary goal is the safety of patients, families and care team members. Care team leaders continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and create new ways to best take care of patients. This leads to making decisions, almost hourly, to respond to the challenges and uncertainty resulting from this situation.

In addition to direction from the state of South Carolina, MUSC Health closely follows CDC guidelines, and is learning in real-time from the experience of other hospitals and state systems around the country as we deal with this new virus.

In alignment with Governor McMaster’s executive order for hospitals to eliminate patient visitation, except for patients who are near the end of life, MUSC Health has enacted new visitation restrictions. Exceptions, listed below, may be made in cases where supportive care persons are necessary or at the end of life. In addition to the screening and hand hygiene protocols currently in place, this means:

For Adult Patients (University Hospital, University Hospital Extension, and Ashley River Tower)

We will not permit visitors in the building other than for supportive care persons in certain situations or if the physician feels a patient is at the end of life.

  • One (1) supportive care person will be approved when the absence of the supportive care person places the patient at risk of harm or the patient's mental status is compromised, necessitating the supportive care person be at the bedside.
  • No more than two (2) designated individuals will be permitted at the bedside of patients who are at the end of life.
  • One (1) supportive care person will be permitted on the day of discharge when the supportive care person is needed to participate in the discharge teaching process by providing return demonstration or regarding complex medication management at home.

Exceptions may be made by hospital administration based on ongoing patient safety needs. For purposes of safety, no visitation will be allowed for patients who have tested positive or who are in the process of being ruled out for COVID-19. Daily screening will continue to take place at designated hospital entrances.

For Pediatric Patients and Patients in Labor (MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion)

Only two (2) parents, legal guardians or caregivers will be designated and permitted at the bedside with their child. No other family members outside of the two designated individuals will be permitted into the hospital or allowed to visit. For pregnant mothers, one (1) designated visitor will be permitted to enter the hospital or be at the mother’s bedside.

We realize these guidelines place additional stress on patients and families, and we wish that we could do something different. However, as a community, if we want to limit the spread of COVID-19 and how sick people become, we must take these kinds of precautions. Patients and families are encouraged to use technology to stay connected to friends and family while keeping safe from infections that can be spread from person to person. Exceptions may be made by hospital administration based on ongoing patient safety needs.

Only vendors who are participating in patient care or hospital environmental maintenance will be allowed to enter MUSC Health hospitals. 

Ambulatory Care Visitor Restrictions (Including Hollings Cancer Center)

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, MUSC Health Ambulatory Clinics will institute a more restricted visitor policy. Ambulatory refers to medical care/services performed on an outpatient basis, without admission to a hospital or other facility. These restrictions are aligned with our inpatient and perioperative visitor policies. Exceptions may be made to allow one (1) supportive care person in certain situations when the absence of the supportive care person places the patient at risk of harm or the patient's mental status is compromised necessitating the presence of the supportive care person. In addition to the screening and hand hygiene protocols currently in place, please note the following restrictions by patient category:

  • Adult Patients: We will not permit visitors to accompany patients into our ambulatory clinics.
  • Pediatric Patients: Two (2) parents, legal guardians, or caregivers may accompany a pediatric patient to their appointment.
  • Pregnant Mothers: One (1) significant other may accompany patients to their appointment.

We will work to ensure patient transport where appropriate. All patients on the schedule for March 24, 2020 and forward will be notified in advance of their appointment via an automated call.

Changes to Entry Points

MUSC Health will screen all visitors at tented/covered stations outside the hospitals. Visitors and vendors will be asked COVID-19 screening questions prior to gaining access to any hospital facility. Visitors considered high-risk for COVID-19 exposure or infection will be asked not to enter and advised to access musc.care, the MUSC Health Virtual Urgent Care platform, for further evaluation.

The entry points for MUSC Health facilities are as follows:

University Hospital
Adult Emergency Department
University Hospital main entrance (Horseshoe)

Storm Eye Institute
Enter through University Hospital main entrance
No public access - Ashley Avenue entrance

Ashley River Tower
Chest Pain Center door at the valet drop-off ramp
Connector entrance from the parking garage
No public access - main lobby entrance

University Hospital Extension (former Children's Hospital)
No public access

Clinical Sciences Building
No public access

Institute of Psychiatry
Main entrance

MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion Visitation Information