Mask Guidelines and Hospital COVID-19 Changes
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we work, live and operate. At The University of Kansas Health System, we keep you, our visitors and our staff informed on our current safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On this page, you can learn about our visitor guidelines, service changes and mask policy due to COVID-19. Check back frequently for the latest updates on any coronavirus safety measures.
Visitors allowed for COVID-19 patients
Based on guidance from the CDC and CMS, The University of Kansas Health System is updating its visitor policy for COVID-19 patients. In general, the CDC continues to recommend limiting visitors, but visitors will no longer be restricted from patients with active COVID-19 infections.
- The CDC recommends limited in-person visitation while a COVID-19 patient is infectious. However, CMS recently provided relaxed restrictions related to visiting a COVID+ patient.
- At the health system, visitors of COVID+ patients should adhere to infection prevention principles consistent with national standards of practice. Visitors are advised to follow current safety guidelines: Wear a gown, surgical mask, eye protection and gloves while visiting; wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the room.
- Nurses will educate visitors on these protocols and document the discussion in the patient’s chart.
Guidelines for visiting the health system
To protect our patients, visitors and staff, we have important safety guidelines for visitors and others accompanying patients to appointments.
If your healthcare needs will be met at one of the following locations, you may be subject to the individual facility’s most current visitor policy. Reference your appointment reminders or check the facility’s policy online:
- The University of Kansas Cancer Center
- Great Bend Campus
- St. Francis Campus
- LMH Health
- North Kansas City Hospital
- Atchison Hospital
Health system facilities in the Kansas City area visitor policy guidelines include:
With the rise and fall of COVID-19 cases, the health system has made and will continue to make service changes necessary to uphold health and reduce risk. Reallocation of resources may occasionally affect outpatient visits and procedures.
Our health system is experiencing a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases. Due to the surge of cases, we are prioritizing critical healthcare resources and reallocating support within the hospital and outpatient offices. You may be contacted to reschedule an appointment. If we do not contact you, your visit will move forward as planned. Additionally, we've reinvented the outpatient clinic experience with process changes to protect patients and staff.
Learn more about what to expect when you visit us for your important healthcare.
We often test patients who are admitted to the hospital. Determining each person's status can help us provide the best individualized plans of care.
We have made temporary changes to our food, drink and dining offerings throughout health system cafes.
- We have discontinued the use of reusable cups.
- We have reduced capacity for dine-in seating – though grab-and-go food and drink options are still readily available.
The Roasterie Café hours are posted at each location. The Roasterie Café at Cambridge Tower A is temporarily closed.
D&G Café and Bell Café continue to offer fresh-brewed coffee from The Roasterie, 24/7.
Valet parking services have changed:
- Valet parking at our main hospital, including Cambridge Tower A, has closed. Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., we will be happy to meet you with a wheelchair at your vehicle and assist you to and from your appointment.
- At The University of Kansas Cancer Center location on the Westwood Campus and at the Richard and Annette Bloch Radiation Oncology Pavilion on Rainbow Boulevard, all visitors must be screened before exiting their vehicles. Once you have passed your screening, we will valet park your vehicle. It’s best to call ahead to ensure valet parking is provided at this location at the time of your visit.
Masks required for patients, visitors and staff
As we work together to preserve the health and safety for our health system and communities, we require all patients, visitors and staff to wear masks.
Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ask that all healthcare facilities require all patients, visitors and staff to wear a mask indoors. These guidelines help maximize protection from COVID-19 infection. Following these recommendations will help us prevent spreading the virus to others. To check your local COVID-19 community rate and find local guidance, visit the CDC website.
If you are hesitant to wear a mask, remember: "When you wear a mask, you protect others. When I wear a mask, I protect you." The health of our communities depends on it. We're commonly asked the following questions. Our expert's responses help everyone understand the value of wearing masks to protect one another.
Wearing a mask is required for all people who are inside The University of Kansas Health System facilities, regardless of vaccination status. In fact, the CDC guidelines say that everyone should continue wearing a mask when inside any healthcare facility.
It's possible to have COVID-19 without having symptoms, or asymptomatic. Masks help prevent germs from traveling far enough to infect others, especially those at high risk. If you wear a mask, you protect others from germs you do not even know you have. When others wear masks, they protect you the same way.
Asymptomatic transmission refers to transmission of the virus by a person who does not develop symptoms.
Please contact your care team in advance of any appointments and let our staff know of your condition. Telehealth may be an appropriate option for you. To protect others, always maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance around yourself, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer, and cover your cough and sneeze into your elbow.
Masks should not be placed on children younger than 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.
For the safety of all patients, visitors and staff, we require all who enter our facilities to wear a mask. If you cannot wear one, or refuse to wear one, please contact your care team to discuss options like telehealth.
The mask should cover your nose and chin. It should fit snugly but comfortably and should not restrict your breathing. It should be secured with ear loops or ties. You should handle the mask only by the ear loops or ties when removing and should be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, mouth or face while removing. Cloth masks should be laundered between uses. Learn more at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
No. When in our facilities, including in exam rooms during visits, you must wear a mask to cover your nose and mouth. If you would like to wear a face shield as well, you are welcome to do so, but it must be in addition to a mask. The face shield provides helpful protection, such as for the eyes, but it does not fit closely over the nose and mouth to contain the spread of respiratory droplets. Wearing a face shield does not take the place of wearing a mask.