Accessing UTMB Patient Care

Hospital Visitation and Clinic Access Information

Before your scheduled clinic appointment...Please click to review each topic below for safety information prior to your visit:


Hospital Visitation and Screening PolicyUpdated 10/13/20

Please be advised that COVID-19-infected or COVID-19-suspected patients will NOT be allowed any visitors, except under exceptional circumstances.

All visitors are required to check in at the hospital front desk and follow these safety measures:

  • Masks MUST be worn at all times within the building.
  • Visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms at their destination; if visitors exhibit symptoms, they will be denied entry.
  • Visitors are not permitted to congregate in public areas, such as lobbies and cafeterias.

Adult Inpatient Unit Visitation:

  • A maximum total of TWO (2) healthy adult visitor (age 18+) are permitted between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Visits are limited to 30 minutes.

Women’s, Infants’ and Children’s Unit Visitation:

  • One (1) healthy partner or spouse may stay continuously with a patient in Labor & Delivery and the Mother Baby Unit.
  • In general pediatric wards and pediatric ICU, patients who are COVID-19 negative may have two designated primary caregivers with them at any given time. Patients who are COVID-19 positive may designate up to two caregivers who can alternate their visitation, but the caregiver must remain in the patient’s room.
  • The mother and one additional caregiver (designated by the mother) may visit neonatal ICU patients.

Emergency Department Visitation:

  • Two adult visitors may accompany a patient in the Emergency Department. However, NO visitors may be allowed to accompany a COVID-19-suspected or COVID-infected patient into the examination room (exception is for one adult caregiver accompanying children age 18 years or younger).
    • *Please note: Due to constraints based on space/size and coordination of patient traffic, a no-visitor policy remains in effect for the Angleton Danbury Campus Emergency Room.

Compassionate Care Exceptions:

  • Some compassionate-care exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, with approval by the Unit Nurse Manager or Clinical Operations Administrator. Exceptions will be granted for extenuating circumstances, such as end-of-life care.

Outpatient/Clinic Surgical Procedures:

  • Visitors are not allowed in clinics, with exceptions for the following:
    • Patients having a Day Surgery (outpatient surgical procedure) may be accompanied by one (1) health visitor at any time. The visitor will be restricted to the procedure area and/or waiting area only.
    • Two healthy caregivers with a pediatric patient.
    • One healthy required medical decision-maker with adult patients.
    • One healthy caregiver for patients who are unable to walk or move about without assistance.

UTMB Health recognizes the importance of family support to our patients, and we encourage patients to have virtual visits with loved ones using their personal smart devices during this time.

COVID-19 General FAQs

FAQs

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The novel coronavirus, now known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

While COVID-19 causes only mild illness in some infected individuals, it may cause serious lower respiratory infection leading to hospitalization and even death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers this factsheet highlighting important information you should know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-10).

Last modified on 3/16/2020

  • Stay home unless you need medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Call ahead before visiting a clinic
  • Wear a mask
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day
  • Monitor your symptoms

Last modified on 3/10/2020

Patients with symptoms of respiratory illness, including cough, fever or shortness of breath, can schedule online or contact the UTMB Health Access Center at (800) 917-8906 to speak with our 24/7 nurse hotline.


  • Patients should follow recommendations for testing, self-isolation and management of symptoms.
  • Any patient experiencing a worsening of symptoms—particularly shortness of breath—a few days after first becoming ill should contact the Access Center IMMEDIATELY. To keep our patients and employees safe, UTMB tests our patients for COVID-19 in advance of any procedure or hospital admission.
  • To keep our patients and employees safe, UTMB tests our patients for COVID-19 in advance of any procedure or hospital admission.
  • You may also wish to check with your local county health officials for testing available through local government. In Galveston County, Health District testing information is online.

Please note: Our process and procedures may be updated as the COVID-19 situation develops in our region.

Last modified on 10/16/2020

This is one of the topics that remains under study; it's still not certain exactly how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces. According to the World Health Organization, studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days (at one point nine days was mentioned, which the latest studies suggest may be unlikely). Survival of the virus will vary under different conditions, including type of surface, temperature, humidity and moisture, exposure to sunlight, and other factors.

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Wash your hands with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose. 

Last modified on 3/14/2020

There are no plans for UTMB to serve as a general quarantine facility in the case of an outbreak in our area. As always, we are prepared to care for patients who need hospitalization due to COVID-19 or any illness.

Last modified on 3/12/2020

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Last modified on 3/5/2020

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes and to what extent it may spread in the United States.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Last modified on 3/5/2020

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.

Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Last modified on 3/16/2020

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Last modified on 3/5/2020

At this time, patients testing positive for COVID-19 who have mild symptoms, are not over age 60 and do not have an underlying medical condition are advised to isolate at home. If a patient with COVID-19 is concerned, begins to experience shortness of breath, starts feeling worse a week or so into the illness, is over age 60 or has an underlying medical condition, they are strongly encouraged to call their doctor or the UTMB Access Center at (800) 917-8906 to speak with our 24/7 nurse hotline.

Last modified on 3/16/2020

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