COVID-19 Patient & Visitor Information

Update on mask mandate: All Houston Methodist facilities will continue requiring masks for patients, visitors, staff and clinicians. Hospitals and private businesses can require masks according to state law.
 
On Tuesday, March 2, Gov. Greg Abbott announced he was lifting the mandatory mask mandate for the state on March 10 as the number of COVID-19 infections continues to decrease. While the downward trend is a great milestone for our community, we must not forget the necessity of continuing to protect ourselves, our families, our friends and our neighbors. As the governor said, withdrawing the mandate does not mean withdrawing your personal responsibility to wear a mask. Even if it is not mandated, we urge all Texans to wear our masks until enough of our community is vaccinated that we approach herd immunity.

 

Besides being vaccinated, wearing a mask is the most effective way to keep infections down and begin to return to normal. We encourage you to make the personal decision to keep wearing your mask. Because when we do the right thing, we can stop the spread together.

 

The safety, health and well-being of all of our patients is our top priority. Rest assured, the number of COVID patients in our hospitals has declined — and continues to do so. These patients are quarantined, isolated from other patients, allowing us to treat everyone in our community who needs care — just as we always have.

You can be confident we are taking every necessary precaution to keep you safe during your visit, including:

  • Vaccinating our staff
  • Isolating COVID-19 patients from other patients
  • Screening all patients and essential visitors when entering our facilities
  • Requiring all patients, visitors and employees to wear a mask (hospitals and private businesses can require masks according to state law)
  • Implementing social distancing in our waiting rooms and elevators
  • Minimizing waiting in public spaces
  • Elevating our cleaning and housekeeping practices
  • Offering remote check-in

COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Patients Undergoing Surgeries and Procedures

As of June 21, fully vaccinated patients may provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination before their surgery or procedure or being admitted in lieu of COVID-19 testing. Patients can show proof by presenting a vaccination card, a printout or screenshot from MyChart or a printout or screenshot of official documentation from another facility. Patients who are not fully vaccinated or who cannot show proof of vaccination will still be required to undergo a COVID-19 test before being admitted or prior to a procedure or surgery. Patients also have a choice of not sharing proof of vaccination and getting tested for COVID-19. 

Visitor Policy  

(Effective 6/7/2021)

We encourage people to only bring vaccinated visitors to the hospital setting. As our community continues to be vaccinated and build its immunity, we have adjusted our visitor policy. Visitation requirements may change at management’s discretion.

Hospitalized patients, procedures, treatments and doctor appointments

  • Visitation is limited to 2 healthy visitors per day in medical surgical units, procedural areas. Hospitalized patients will be allowed 1 healthy visitor who is 18 years or older to stay overnight.
  • Intensive care unit (ICU) visitation is limited to 2 healthy visitors per day. We encourage you to use electronic communication, such as a smartphone or video chat whenever possible. For overnight visitors 18 years or older, patients should refer to their unit’s policy.
  • Labor and delivery patients are allowed 2 healthy visitors. One healthy visitor 18 years or older may stay overnight. For the Neonatal ICU, 2 parents at a time will be allowed to visit.
  • On the day of surgery (either incoming for surgery or already hospitalized), 2 healthy visitors are allowed to stay in the waiting room during surgery, then accompany the patient back to the unit.

COVID vaccination

Patients may bring 1 healthy visitor when they are receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Emergency department

No visitors are allowed in the emergency department waiting rooms. One healthy visitor may be allowed once a patient is in an exam room. An exception will be made in compassionate cases. Patients who have tested positive or are under evaluation for COVID-19 will not be permitted visitors.

COVID hospitalized patients in isolation

No visitors are allowed, even with proof of vaccination. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis by unit management.

Applicability and exceptions

  • All visitors must comply with all PPE requirements, and agree to participate in entry-point screening.
  • Special consideration will be made for disabled patients who may need more than 1 visitor to provide support and knowledge about their care. Decisions regarding visitors of disabled individuals will be made collaboratively with nursing leadership.
  • Visitor policies will vary for long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs).
  • If you feel an exception is needed, please speak to management.
  • Patients’ clergy may visit without being “counted” against the patients’ visitor limit. As with all visitors, visiting clergy must check in with screeners, wear a mask, submit to a temperature check, and state whom they plan to visit.

 

Everyone must wear a mask at all times while in Houston Methodist facilities. Hospitals and private businesses can require masks according to state law.

 

COVID-19 Hospital Entrance Information

Please visit the following campus web pages to see the most up-to-date information on hospital entrances: