ChristianaCare, Cecil County campus is prepared to meet the needs of our caregivers and our community related to emerging infections, including the Coronavirus COVID-19. Our caregivers are trained following CDC guidelines to screen patients appropriately, isolate patients suspected of the Coronavirus and engage our Infection Prevention team to coordinate testing with the Maryland Department of Health and the Cecil County Health Department when indicated.
New Patient Visitation Guidelines
Effective March 26, 2020
ChristianaCare, Union Hospital wants to provide the safest possible environment for patients, families, and caregivers.
At this time, no visitors are allowed to visit any patients at ChristianaCare hospitals, and no support people are allowed to accompany a patient to a service except for the following:
- One visitor is permitted for patients for end-of-life care.
- One visitor or support person is permitted to support laboring and postpartum mothers.
- Hospital visiting hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for visitors meeting the criteria listed above.
- One support person is permitted for patients in the emergency department.
- One support person is permitted for patients with outpatient services and surgical procedures.
All visitors will be screened for coronavirus risk before being permitted to enter. The screening will include questions related to travel, exposure, and symptoms, and will include temperature monitoring for all visitors who are negative for travel, exposure, symptoms. Any visitor who is screened with a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will not be allowed to enter for visitation. Visitors will not be provided with a mask when entering. If a visitor chooses to bring a mask to wear this will be allowed.
New Service Cancelations and Postponements
Effective March 20, 2020, based on guidance from the surgeon general, we are taking the following actions:
- We are requesting the postponement of all non-urgent laboratory and radiological screening exams and non-urgent elective services for at least four to six weeks (April 20 or later).
- We are requesting the postponement of all non-urgent outpatient diagnostic exams and services for at least four to six weeks (April 20 or later).
If you have any questions, please consult your doctor. Patients with existing appointments will be contacted if those appointments require rescheduling.
To Safeguard from Coronavirus, ChristianaCare Cancels Community Events
As ChristianaCare, Union Hospital works to protect our community, our patients and our caregivers from coronavirus COVID-19, we are cancelling all community events at our facilities until further notice. Examples of community events include classes, lectures, meetings, and conferences, as well as events ChristianaCare is hosting for outside organizations.
All ChristianaCare health care services remain open, including all hospital emergency departments and outpatient services.
This step is designed to reduce the likelihood of community spread of the disease, protect our caregivers, patients, and vulnerable populations, and preserve health care resources so that we can maintain our readiness to care for our community.
HIPAA Privacy and Novel Coronavirus
At ChristianaCare, Union Hospital we understand that healthcare is an extremely personal matter that requires ongoing coordination between patients and their Caregivers. We also understand that in times like this, when caregivers are fighting outbreaks, juggling clinical obligations while protecting patient privacy can be difficult. Nonetheless, prioritizing patients’ privacy rights is still an essential facet of their health care experience. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Protected Health Information (PHI) can be used and disclosed for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations without the patient’s consent. Also, HIPAA permits healthcare providers like ChristianaCare, to use and disclose PHI for public health and safety purposes. However, all uses and disclosures must comply with the HIPAA Minimum Necessary requirement.
We have provided below a recent Office for Civil Rights (OCR) bulletin on COVID-19. The bulletin details how to handle patient privacy during this outbreak, as well as other uses and disclosures related to HIPAA. For COVID-19 privacy-related questions, please call the ChristianaCare Privacy Hotline at 302-623-4468.
As always, any inquiries from the media regarding coronavirus COVID-19 should be directed to the Communications and Marketing office at 410-392-7002.
Bulletin: Civil Rights & the Coronavirus (COVID-19) March 16, 2020
For the up-to-date information about Coronavirus and its impact in our community, please refer to the following websites:
- Maryland Department of Health Coronavirus website
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus website
For questions concerning screening & testing for Coronavirus COVID-19, please contact the Maryland Department of Health hotline, 211, or Contact the Cecil County Health Department Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Call Line at 410-996-1005.