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Visitor Guidelines in US Children's Hospitals During COVID-19.

Vance AJ, Duy J, Laventhal N, Iwashyna TJ, Costa DK. Visitor Guidelines in US Children's Hospitals During COVID-19. Hospital pediatrics. 2021 Jun 1; 11(6):e83-e89.

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OBJECTIVES: To examine visitor guidelines among children's hospitals in the United States in response to the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: A retrospective assessment of visitor guidelines in 239 children's hospitals in the United States. RESULTS: In this study, we present an analysis of 239 children's hospital visitor guidelines posted to hospitals' Web sites during 1 week in June 2020. Of the 239 hospitals, only 28 did not have posted guidelines for review. The guidelines were analyzed and grouped by how the guidelines were updated in response to COVID-19. Parental visitation was restricted to 1 parent in 116 of the posted guidelines (49%). There were no obvious similarities among guidelines associated with their geographical (eg, state or local) location. As of February 2021, 33 of 55 (60%) randomly selected hospitals had not changed their visitor policy since our initial review. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic triggered changes in publicly reported visitor guidelines across the majority of children's hospitals. With our findings, we suggest wide variation in policies and practices in how guidelines were updated. More work is needed to understand how to optimize public safety and preserve family-centered care and parental authority in times of crisis.

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