Last update: 2022-05-23
Many visitor policies have changed during this time. Please find answers to frequently asked questions about visiting our hospitals, clinics and doctor offices; and how to contact a loved one at a Sharp hospital.
Visitation and visitor code of conduct
At Sharp, our mission is to improve the health of those we serve with a commitment to excellence in all that we do. To maintain a healing environment where our patients can receive optimal care, mutual respect is a requirement when visiting a loved one in our hospitals. All support persons and visitors shall interact in a respectful manner with everyone they encounter and refrain from behaviors that are disruptive or pose a threat to the rights or safety of others, as summarized in the Code of Conduct.
- What is the visitor policy at Sharp hospitals?
- What is Sharp's Code of Conduct for visitors?
- How can I contact a loved one who is a patient at a Sharp hospital?
- What are the requirements for support people at Sharp Rees-Stealy clinics?
- What are the visitor policies at SharpCare and Sharp Community doctor's offices?
- Do I have to wear a mask at Sharp facilities?
- Are Sharp classes, events and hospital tours canceled?
What is the visitor policy at Sharp hospitals?
While it is safe to come to any Sharp facility for your medical needs, we have implemented the following visitor policies at our hospitals to protect those who are most vulnerable and comply with state-mandated guidelines.
Requests for a support person to assist a patient during their hospital stay and anyone visiting must be approved in advance. Please talk to your loved one's nurse to coordinate.
Support people serve as an advocate for the patient and help the patient decrease their anxiety, understand their treatment plan and make decisions about their care.
- Only designated support people may visit patients at Sharp's acute care and long-term care facilities. Sharp is not allowing other visitors at this time.
- A California Department of Public Health order requires all visitors to show proof that they are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, or else provide one of the following negative test results before entering:
- PCR COVID-19 test within 2 days prior to visit
- Rapid antigen COVID-19 test within 1 day prior to visit
- If returning over several consecutive days, visitors who are not up to date on their vaccines must show proof of a negative test every third day.
- Proof of vaccination includes official record card (digital photo or photocopy OK) or state digital record with QR code.
- For unvaccinated guests, at-home tests are not accepted.
- Sharp does not provide on-site testing for designated support people.
- All support people, regardless of vaccination status, must be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and wear a visitor sticker and approved mask. Support people will receive a new sticker daily. Please arrive early to allow enough time to be screened at the entrance.
- Support people must be at least 18 years old.
- Support people are allowed for all inpatient units and for patients with physical, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and patients with cognitive impairments.
- Hours for support people are 10 am to 6 pm
- The length of visiting time allowed for support people will depend on patient need.
- No children are allowed in the lobbies of Sharp emergency departments and Sharp Mary Birch.
Exemptions for support people:
- Support persons are exempt from the state's vaccination and testing requirements noted above when visiting the following types of patients:
- Patients with physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities or cognitive impairments
- Labor and delivery patients, unless:
- the patient tests positive and the baby is in the neonatal intensive care unit; or
- the support person stays at the hospital for more than 3 days
- Additionally, individuals who are visiting a patient in critical condition when death may be imminent are also exempt from the vaccination and testing requirements.
All support persons exempted from showing proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative laboratory testing (official report with CLIA number and testing location) prior to entry must show proof of full vaccination or a negative testing no later than 72 hours following admission.
Support people must follow infection prevention policies and our Code of Conduct:
- Have no symptoms of illness (including respiratory illness)
- Be screened prior to entry
- Perform hand hygiene upon arrival, in the patient room and when leaving the room
- Wear approved face covering at all times
- Remain in the patient room for the entire visit and notify nursing staff when ready to leave; going to the cafeteria or any other area of the facility is not permitted
Guidelines for specific patient areas:
- Emergency department patients: 1 to 2 support people allowed only for patients at end of life; patients with physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities or cognitive impairments; or patients younger than 18. All other patients are allowed 1 support person based upon ability to socially distance. The support person may not be allowed in the emergency department lobby, semi-private or high-risk areas.
- ICU patients: 1 to 2 support people, depending on ability to socially distance (up to 2 support people for a private room and 1 person for a semi-private room)
- Surgical patients (outpatient and inpatient): 1 to 2 support people, depending on ability to socially distance (up to 2 support people for a private room and 1 person for a semi-private room)
- All other inpatient areas: 1 to 2 support people, depending on ability to socially distance (up to 2 support people for a private room and 1 person for a semi-private room)
- Sharp Mesa Vista: 1 to 2 adults are allowed to visit an adolescent patient; 1 adult is allowed for all other patients
- Women's services: 1 to 2 support people, depending on ability to socially distance (up to 2 support people for a private room and 1 person for a semi-private room)
- Maternity patients: 2 support people allowed; a doula may be permitted in addition if prior arrangements have been made and distancing allows. If the patient tests positive for COVID-19, the support people must remain in the patient's room but should wear a mask at all times. No in and out privileges will be allowed.
- NICUs: 2 designated support people may visit at the same time, except at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. Due to space limitations, 2 support people are allowed but must visit one at a time.
- Sharp Mary Birch: Maximum of 2 support people for laboring patients. Only 1 support person for patients with scheduled surgeries, including cesarean births. Only 2 parents or legal guardians with infant identification bands will be allowed in Sharp Mary Birch's NICU. No siblings are allowed.
All patients are encouraged to wear their own face covering upon arrival to a Sharp facility. Patients with influenza-like illness or those wearing gaiters, bandanas, single-layer cloth masks or masks with exhalation valves will be given a standard mask.
How can I contact a loved one who is a patient at a Sharp hospital?
We understand it's difficult to be unable to visit family and friends in the hospital, so we've set up a process for loved ones to connect via video chat.
If you would like to speak with a loved one at a Sharp hospital, please call the hospital and ask to be connected to a nurse on the patient's floor. Let the nurse know that you would like to set up a video chat. We are supplying tablets for patients to use for video chats, and our nursing staff will provide instructions on how you can connect.
To connect with a loved one who is a patient in a Sharp hospital, consider sending an e-card. Your personalized e-card will be printed at the hospital and hand-delivered to your friend or family member.
What are the requirements for support people at Sharp Rees-Stealy clinics?
We have implemented new policies when visiting Sharp Rees-Stealy clinics for the health and safety of all. If you have scheduled an in-person visit, we require that you:
- Wear a well-fitted mask that covers your nose and mouth at all times while you are in the clinic. If necessary, we will provide you with a nonmedical mask to wear for the duration of your visit unless instructed otherwise. If a child is too young to wear a mask, they should be in a stroller covered with a thin blanket.
- 1 approved support person is allowed to accompany a patient to any visit. An additional support person may be considered, if medically necessary. Support person is defined as a family member, caregiver or friend appointed by the patient who is included as a member of the care team and accepts mutually agreed upon patient care responsibilities during and between specific episodes of care.
- Support people must be approved prior to your appointment, follow all screening protocols, and practice all masking and social distancing requirements in waiting areas and exam rooms. Visitors are not yet permitted.
- Physical distancing must be followed. Physician discretion should be used and will supersede this guidance. Further, 2 parents/guardians may attend appointments of children up to 2 years of age.
- For obstetric visits, the expectant mother may bring one adult support person to her visits. No children are permitted.
- Contact your provider for guidance before your visit if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
- If you have not performed your COVID-19 self-screening before you arrive, please review the symptom list on the sign posted at the entrance. Do not enter the building until you have performed your self-screening.
Please bring a photo ID, proof of insurance, list of current medications (or medication bottles) and, if seeing a pediatrician, immunization record.
We realize this may not be easy for our patients and that some circumstances will warrant exceptions to this policy. Thank you for your understanding.
What are the visitor policies at SharpCare and Sharp Community doctor's offices?
Please contact your doctor's office before coming to your appointment to find out if there are any new policies in place.
All patients and visitors are encouraged to wear their own face covering upon arrival. Patients with influenza-like illness or those wearing gaiters, bandanas, single-layer cloth masks or masks with exhalation valves will be given a standard mask.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Do I have to wear a mask at Sharp facilities?
Face masks are still required at all Sharp facilities, by order of the California Department of Public Health.
Are Sharp classes, events and hospital tours canceled?
We have transitioned many of our classes and seminars to a virtual experience. Please call us at 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277) and select option 2 to learn about webinar offerings. Hospital tours are canceled at this time. Because CPR and advanced resuscitation classes are intended for health care professionals who need their annual recertifications, we are not canceling these important programs.
Since we are unable to offer hospital tours at this time, we have created virtual tours for mothers-to-be who are delivering at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, Sharp Grossmont Hospital for Women & Newborns and Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns.