With fewer COVID-19 cases, BayCare allows more visitors

October 11, 2021
With fewer COVID-19 cases, BayCare allows more visitors


With the waning of the most recent surge of COVID-19 infections in our community, all of BayCare’s 14 acute care hospitals have resumed non-urgent surgeries and are lifting some visitor restrictions.

Starting Tuesday, Oct. 12, hospital patients will be allowed multiple visitors a day – but they must visit one-at-a-time to enable social distancing in patient’s rooms and inside the hospital facility. Visitors also must be 18 years or older. 

BayCare’s hospitals allow visitors from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask.

“We are very glad to welcome more of our patients’ families and friends into our hospitals to visit their loved ones and help speed their recovery,” said Glenn Waters, BayCare’s chief operating officer. “We are continuing our increased safety protocols to ensure the safety of our patients, team members, physicians and the community.”

BayCare had paused non-urgent surgeries at its 14 acute care hospitals in August as COVID-19 infection rates surged across West Central Florida and resulted in a significant influx of COVID-positive patients in its facilities. As each facility’s COVID-positive patient census began to wane in late September, individual hospitals resumed non-urgent procedures as they had capacity to do so without impacting inpatient care.

BayCare hospitals have also welcomed back some volunteers and their services, with adaptations to maintain safety.

“We all are eager to return to normal, but until COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our community, we will continue to do what is necessary to keep our facilities safe,” Waters said. “We urge everyone who is eligible to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine so our community can move past this pandemic as soon as possible.”

In some areas of hospitals where visitation has been more extended throughout the pandemic, such as labor and delivery, Moms and newborns, pediatrics and NICU, those practices will continue. Visitors in these areas must be 18 or older.

Visitation remains closed for COVID-19 positive, COVID-19 rule-out and Behavioral Health patients. Under special circumstances, exceptions may be granted by hospital leadership. 

Emergency room patients may have one visitor wait with them, as socially-distancing capacity allows.  But if emergency waiting rooms become too crowded, visitors may be asked to wait in their vehicle until their patient is placed in a treatment room.

Exceptions to the Visitation Policy may also be made to provide reasonable accommodation to patients with disabilities or special needs and to comply with applicable laws. For details, contact the hospital’s Security or the AOD (Administrator on Duty) and describe the special circumstances.

For the latest on COVID-19, visit BayCare.org/Coronavirus


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