Published on March 21, 2020

Johnston Health Enacts Heightened Restrictions for Facility Visitors, Vendors and Volunteers

In a continued effort to help protect our patients and staff from the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), Johnston Health continues to update our visitor restrictions.


Effective 3/23/2020, no visitors will be permitted in any inpatient areas at Johnston Health until further notice, with the exceptions noted below:

One visitor will be allowed for:

  • Pediatric patient
  • Partner of a laboring mother
  • Emergency Department companion
  • Outpatient area companion
  • In-person discharge instructions
  • 24 hours following a surgery or invasive procedure

The number of visitors for end-of-life situations will be determined on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, a caregiver may be allowed for patients where a family member or significant other is essential to patient care. These decisions will be made by the care team. No visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed to visit for the foreseeable future. Visitors who are over 65, pregnant or immunocompromised are discouraged from visiting.

Additional restrictions are as follows:

  • The number of entrances to the hospital will be limited. All visitors and patients, including vendors and contractors, will be screened at designated entry points, including the Emergency Department.
  • Any visitors who are allowed must pass a health screening. Visitors should not visit our campuses if they have one or more of the following symptoms—fever, cough or shortness of breath—or have come into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • Patients under COVID-19 investigation may not have any visitors, unless compassionate care is approved.

These restrictions have been put in place to protect everyone’s safety. The best scientific data and expertise inform us that “social distancing” is an essential element in successful efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. We must do our part to support these guidelines and remain a good community partner. We also encourage you to use electronic communication for “virtual visitation,” such as FaceTime and Skype, in place of in-person visitation wherever possible. We appreciate your understanding at this time.

Only vendors and contractors who are essential to patient care and business operations will be allowed onsite on an as-needed basis. Vendors and contractors who do not directly support patient care and critical business operations should work remotely and will not be allowed in Johnston Health until further notice. Vendors and contractors will be subject to health screenings.

Volunteers are extremely important to the function of Johnston Health, but it is equally important to protect the health of those volunteers and the people with whom they come in contact. Volunteers who do not directly support patient care activities or essential business operations should not report to Johnston Health until further notice. These volunteers should follow the same requirements as Johnston Health employees. Volunteers age 65 and older, and those with underlying health conditions are discouraged from participating in their volunteer roles at this time.

In addition to the restrictions outlined above, community events, activities, and meetings hosted at Johnston Health also are canceled until further notice.

What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms

If you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, or you are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you must call your primary care provider before visiting a doctor's office, urgent care clinic or the hospital.

If you do not have a primary care provider, please call the UNC Health Helpline at 1-888-850-2684.

If you are having difficulty breathing, call 911 or seek immediate treatment.