Visiting Hours, Calling a Patient & Welcome Centers
As a means to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, we have temporarily changed our visitation policy at UF Health hospitals and emergency rooms in Gainesville. Limiting visitors helps us reduce the risk of infection. People who have signs and symptoms of illness, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, are asked not to visit patients. We’re reminding everyone to practice excellent infection control by covering your mouth when you cough, washing your hands and using hand sanitizer frequently.The new temporary policy is effective immediately.
For healthy visitors, our guidelines at this time allow:
- For all adult patients, one designated visitor per patient for the duration of the visit
- For patients at UF Health Shands Children's Hospital, two designated visitors per patient for the duration of the visit; one visitor rotating at a time
- For the Children’s Hospital, designated visitors will receive a lime green wristband
- For the other hospitals, designated visitors will receive an orange wristban
- No children under the age of 18 are permitted to visit
- We will screen all patients and visitors entering our hospitals, outpatient surgery facilities and emergency rooms in Gainesville
- Screeners will take the temperature of all visitors entering the hospital.
- Visitors with illness symptoms, including fever, cough or shortness of breath; and those who have traveled internationally or returned from a cruise in the last 14 days will not be permitted to enter our hospitals, outpatient surgery facilities or emergency rooms.
- All patients and visitors are required to wear a face covering/mask when entering UF Health facilities, in public/common areas and in patient care areas. During the screening process, if you are not wearing a face covering, we will provide one of our ear loop masks. Patients will be informed of this information via phone at the time of appointment scheduling, and information will be included on reminder calls.
As situations arise or evolve, this guideline may be adjusted.
Thank you for sharing this information to help promote community health.
Calling a Patient
For a visitor calling to reach an inpatient at UF Health Shands Hospital, UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital or UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, please call the main hospital operator at 352-265-0111, provide the patient’s first and last name and ask to be connected to the patient’s room. If the patient in question has not opted out of the hospital directory as a privacy preference, the operator will be able to connect the caller.
Stay Connected: Tips for virtual visitation
For everybody’s safety during the COVID-19 response, UF Health has taken the responsible step to limit visitors to our hospitals. Meanwhile, we appreciate that staying connected to loved ones can have a positive impact on a patient’s health and well-being. And it’s important for family and friends to stay in touch and aware of a patient’s status throughout their care. Thanks to today’s internet and social media tools, virtual communication is easier than ever.
Remember, patients can use their hospital bedside phone to visit with loved ones if they don’t have access to a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
While on-site at UF Health, use our free Wi-Fi. It’s available in patient rooms, lobbies, waiting rooms, dining areas and terraces. No password is needed. Just read and accept the “Acceptable Use Policy” to connect. Select this network: ufhealthguest
Free Tools and Apps
Consider using some of the following tools and apps on your personal smartphone, tablet or other device. Data charges may apply if you’re not using our free Wi-Fi.
- Applications downloaded from the App Store (Apple) or Play Store (Android).
How to Connect
STEP 1: CONNECT TO OUR FREE WI-FI
STEP 2: SELECT YOUR APP
If your smartphone, tablet or laptop has a camera, you may already have some of the following apps installed. Note: Both people communicating will need to download the same application. Most apps are free to download.
Face-to-face on your smartphone and devices (requires a camera on both devices):
- FaceTime (Apple)
- Google Duo (Android)
Connect with video, voice or text via the internet or on a device:
- Facebook Messenger (messenger.com)
- Google Hangouts (hangouts.google.com)
- WhatsApp (whatsapp.com)
- Skype (skype.com)
- Google Duo (duo.google.com)
- Signal Private Messenger (signal.org)
STEP 3: VIDEO CHAT, CALL OR TEXT YOUR LOVED ONES
If you plan to use the camera/video feature with the app you’ve chosen, make sure you’re connected to the internet.
For Apple Devices: FaceTime
- In your device’s contact list, select the person and then select the video icon at the top of the contact screen. OR: Open FaceTime and select the “+” (plus) button, start typing the person’s name and select it when it appears.
- If you do not have the person’s information stored in your contacts, in FaceTime, select the “+” (plus) button and type in their phone number or email address, hit “return” and you’ll be ready.
- Once the contact appears in the “To” field, tap the phone icon to make a voice call or the camera icon to video chat.
For Android Devices: Google Duo
- Select “search contacts or dial”
- If you have the person saved in your contacts, begin to type their name and select it when it appears.
- If you do not have the person’s information stored in your contacts, type in their phone number or email address, then select them.
- You can then select from the options to make a voice call, video chat or message them.
- If you see the option to “invite,” it means the other person does not have Google Duo installed on their device and they may not be able to connect with you.