Willis-Knighton Further Restricts Visitors as COVID-19 Cases Increase in Community

Mar 27, 2020

The current COVID-19 pandemic has created an upheaval of the healthcare system and it is certainly obvious in our hospitals. The visitor policy is one area that has been dramatically changed. Under ordinary circumstances we welcome visitors.  But this is not an ordinary time and we must take extraordinary measures to help protect our patients and the healthcare workers who care for them.

We know this is a difficult time to have a loved one in the hospital with these restrictions. We are doing as much as we can to help patients stay in touch, even those who may not have cell phone access. The health system has provided nursing supervisors with health system cell phones for use with patients who do not have their own. We think it’s important to stay in touch, if only through a phone call.

Please review our visitor policy currently in effect. We know there may be concerns and complaints about this policy, but the action we are taking is designed to protect your loved ones and the members of our WK family too. It’s a tough time for all of us. We ask for your understanding and for your patience.


The general policy in effect today is no visitors. 


In an effort to be as humane as possible but still limit visitors, we have a few exceptions, and these visitors must all pass screening prior to entry:

Mother in Active Labor:  One visitor to a mother about to give birth. The visitor may not come and go during the process. No other visitors are permitted on the labor and delivery units.

Patient at End of Life:  Two visitors (over age 12). Visitors may not switch with others during the day. 

Children in NICU, PICU and Pediatric Unit:  Two visitors, one per day. They can switch out, but once one leaves, he/she cannot return until the next day


For patients undergoing a medically-necessary outpatient procedure, only one visitor is permitted and this person must be age 12 or older and undergo screening. Anyone accompanying an emergency patient may come inside to help register the patient but must return to their car and is not permitted into the treatment area, with these exceptions: patient is a minor, is confused or is at the end of life. If a patient is admitted to the hospital as a result of an outpatient procedure or emergency visit, the inpatient hospital policy of no visitors goes into effect, with the few exceptions as noted above.


  • Keep in touch using electronic communications. If your loved one does not have a telephone, the nursing supervisor can provide one to assure daily contact.
  • Respect the caregivers on the floors who are working long hours and giving up their time at home with their families to care for your loved one.
  • Send cards or letters to your loved one.They will be delivered, and it will brighten your loved one’s day.
  • Pray for your loved one and for the workers who are providing care and those supporting them.

We will all get through this together – cooperation is critical!