Dallas Region Hospitals Ready for Coronavirus with Visitor Screenings, Restrictions, and Online Screening Tools

Gloria Salinas, Managing Director, Economic Development

Updated March 25, 2020: Dallas Region hospitals are now closed to visitors and exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

D Magazine reported that several hospitals will not allow visitors in inpatient and emergency departments. Visitors will be restricted to certain areas of hospitals and only allowed when a patient is under 18,  needs necessary care and support, such as one support person in labor and delivery, one support person for patients with disabilities, and one support person when a patient is nearing the end of life. All visitors will be screened on a case-by-case basis.

Hospital visitors across the Dallas Region can expect health screenings at entrances and other restrictions as area hospitals work to prevent the growing number of coronavirus cases.

New safety precautions from the Texas Health and Human Services allow one family visitor per patient, and all non-essential visitors are prohibited in hospitals and outpatient clinics operated by the hospitals, as reported by The Dallas Morning News. The new visitor policies also tighten points of entry and employ virtual care visits as health screening tools.

Visitors are required to complete a health screening at hospital entrances to check for symptoms of coronavirus, such as a temperature check for fever and questions regarding travel within the past 14 days. Visitor restrictions also extend to ER-waiting rooms. Dallas Medical Center’s emergency waiting room is closed to visitors and children patients in emergency rooms are only allowed one parent or guardian.

Visitor age restrictions have also been implemented. UT Southwestern is not allowing children visitors under the age of 12, Medical City Healthcare family visitors must be at least 16, and Methodist Health System is not permitting visitors under the age of 18.

In another effort to flatten the curve of new coronavirus cases, Medical City Dallas is employing virtual care visits as pre-health screening tools to detect symptoms before a patient arrives.

At Children’s Health in Dallas, a free virtual visit screening is available for families to video chat with a health care provider 24/7 from their home if a child is experiencing any illnesses, injuries, and mental health. Families are asked to use the free code: COVID19.

For more specific information on area hospital visitor policies, please visit the websites linked below.

Dallas Regional Health Systems and COVID-19 Web Sites: