COVID 19 - Patient and Visitor Updates

Family and Visitor Guidelines 

Tuesday, November 12, 2020 

We continue to refine our family and visitor guidelines for the well-being of our patients, their loved ones and our staff.  As of November 3, 2020, we have updated our guidelines for adult patients to allow longer stays yet limit the number of interactions per day, protecting both patients and staff. Please Note: Wearing masks is required at all times, including inside patient rooms.

For patients who are not COVID-19-positive or suspected to have COVID-19:


  • Only one healthy adult family member or visitor per day may accompany/visit adult patients who are hospitalized, undergoing same-day procedures or surgeries, or being seen in an ED or outpatient clinic. For hospitalized patients, the one visitor per day may stay as long as they wish during the hours of 6 am – 8 pm. Switching between family members/visitors is not permitted. Overnight stays with adult patients are not permitted.
  • For hospitalized patients, one visitor per day may stay as long as they wish during the hours of 6 am – 8 pm. Switching between family members/visitors is not permitted. Overnight stays with adult patients are not permitted. 

Adult ED

  • To maintain social distancing, no family members/visitors are allowed in ED waiting rooms, unless the patient meets special visitation situations outlined below.
  • Only one healthy, adult visitor is allowed for non-PUI patients in the ED treatment space, 24/7.
  • Once patients are admitted from the ED, guidelines for hospitalized patients are in effect.


  • Two healthy parents or legal guardians may accompany pediatric patients at all times. This includes pediatric patients who are hospitalized, undergoing same-day procedures or surgeries, or visiting the Brenner Children’s ED or outpatient clinics.

Expectant Mothers

  • One support person may remain with an expectant mother throughout her stay. This includes The Birth Center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and other labor and delivery units in our health system.

Restrictions remain in place for adult COVID-19-positive patients and those who are suspected of having COVID-19. No visitors are permitted, except at end of life.

Thank you for your patience during this challenging time. If you have questions, please contact your care team.


Additional Measures to Keep Patients and Staff Safe as More Surgeries, Procedures and Clinic Visits Resume

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | 2:02 pm 

As Wake Forest Baptist Health increases the number of surgeries, procedures and outpatient clinic visits across the entire health system, patients will notice some changes designed to keep them and health care staff safe.

Surgeons and surgical staff have been working extra hours over the past couple of weeks to meet the increased demand for non-essential surgeries and procedures that were temporarily halted in March. Many outpatient clinics are now resuming in-person visits, while still offering telephone, virtual and e-visits. 

Some of the changes patients will notice include:

  • Implementing social distancing in all clinic locations and elevators
  • Installing clear dividers when social distancing is not possible
  • Minimizing wait times in common areas, such as waiting rooms
  • Asking patients to join all providers and staff in wearing masks
  • Conducting screening for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival
  • Providing COVID-19 testing for all patients before undergoing surgery

Learn more

Brenner Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Emergency Department Moves Back to Original Location

Friday, May 1, 2020 | 4:39 pm

Brenner Children’s Hospital’s pediatric emergency department has moved back to its original location at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Last month, the pediatric emergency department was temporarily moved to make room for an adult Comprehensive Acute Respiratory Evaluation (CARE) unit. The CARE unit is now located closer to the adult emergency department. Learn more

Surgeries, Procedures to Resume on a Limited Basis

Friday, April 24, 2020 | 12:42 pm

On March 18, Wake Forest Baptist Health, along with Atrium Health and Novant Health, announced a coordinated plan to reschedule non-essential surgeries, procedures and ambulatory appointments. We have been working with these health systems and with state health officials on a responsible timeline for resuming these services over time.

We feel a coordinated approach benefits our patients and staff and ensures an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep patients and staff safe.  

We have begun to evaluate specific patients as candidates to move forward.

In early May, we plan to start resuming some of the surgeries and procedures that have been delayed, starting with those patients whose needs are the most urgent.

Additional Visitor Restrictions Implemented for Outpatient Clinics

Monday, March 30, 2020 | 2:16 pm

 To help protect patients, family members and health care workers from the spread of COVID-19, effective Tuesday, March 31, no visitors will be allowed in any Wake Forest Baptist Health ambulatory clinic or outpatient ancillary service area with the following exceptions:

  • Patients who are minors may be accompanied by 1 healthy family member/guardian. 
  • Patients who need help with communication, decision-making or mobility may be accompanied by one 1 healthy support person.
  • Patients undergoing sedation or invasive procedures may be accompanied by 1 healthy support person.

As previously announced, no visitors are allowed at any of Wake Forest Baptist Health’s inpatient facilities except in certain situations. In critical care areas, no visitors are allowed unless end of life is expected within 48 hours. 

Families with special situations in either the outpatient or inpatient setting should contact their care team and attending physician.

Emergency Department Assessment Tents

Saturday, March 28, 2020 | 2:34 pm

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, along with other hospitals in our health system, is setting up assessment tents outside many of our emergency departments. We are taking this step to adjust our patient care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These tents would not be used as COVID-19 testing sites, but rather as assessment sites to allow people to be evaluated without having to enter the emergency department.

Once these tents are in service, patients will be screened for symptoms of viral respiratory illness, and if necessary, receive a secondary evaluation to determine treatment options.

We are committed to doing all we can to ensure we meet the health care needs of those throughout our region.

Additional Respiratory Symptom Clinics Opened 

Friday, March 27, 2020 | 12:45 pm

To continue to serve people who may be experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, Wake Forest Baptist Health has opened up ten respiratory symptom clinics across the region. Learn more

Limited Testing for COVID-19

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 | 4:58 pm

At this time, Wake Forest Baptist Health is following state and national guidelines and is limiting COVID-19 testing in the outpatient setting to only patients ill enough to require admission to the hospital.

Two Wake Forest Baptist Primary Care Facilities Converted to Temporary Respiratory Symptom Clinics

Monday, March 23, 2020 | 4:18 pm

To help our community prepare for a possible increase in patients with symptoms of respiratory illness, two of Wake Forest Baptist Health’s primary care clinics have been converted into temporary respiratory symptom clinics and opened earlier today.

The two locations are:

  • Family Medicine and Internal Medicine – Peace Haven (1930 N. Peace Haven Rd., Winston-Salem)
  • Pulmonology – Westchester (1814 Westchester Dr., Suite 202, High Point)

People with symptoms of respiratory illness should first call their primary care provider for telephone screening to determine whether they need to be seen in person at one of the respiratory symptom clinics. Learn more

In-Person Pickup of Medical Records Temporarily Suspended

Sunday, March 22, 2020 | 2:59 pm

To protect the health of our patients and staff as the risk of COVID-19 increases in our region, in-person pick up of medical records is temporarily suspended. Patients have several options to access their records. Learn more

Non-Essential Surgeries, Procedures, and Ambulatory Appointments to be Rescheduled

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 | 4:30 pm

Effective Wednesday, March 18, Wake Forest Baptist Health is rescheduling non-essential

surgeries, procedures and ambulatory appointments. Any emergency and essential services will continue uninterrupted.

Rescheduling these appointments will minimize the risk to our patients, visitors, and health care providers. It also allows each health care system to conserve critical resources and focus care on those that need it most.

Patients who fall into this category will receive communication from their health care provider with further instructions. If patients have specific questions, they should reach out to their health care provider to understand how this decision will impact their appointment or procedure.

Volunteer Restrictions

Volunteer opportunities at all Wake Forest Baptist Health locations are temporarily suspended. We appreciate our volunteers and everything they do for our patients, guests and staff and look forward to welcoming them back when restrictions are lifted.

Vendor Policy Updates

We are asking vendors if their physical presence is not critical for the needs of our patients and staff, please do not come to any of our facilities. If necessary and possible, please communicate by phone or email. Learn more.