St. Vincent’s to allow 1 visitor per patient as COVID-19 cases decline

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ascension St. Vincent’s announced Thursday that it was relaxing some of its patient visitor restrictions because of a decline in the number of COVID-19 patients in the community.

St. Vincent’s and other area hospitals placed strict limits on visitors to their facilities in early July when cases began to spike in Jacksonville.

Baptist Health and Mayo have not announced any updates to their restricted visitation policies.

You can find the current information for each hospital below:

Ascension St. Vincent’s

Hospital campuses will now allow one designated visitor per patient for the duration of a hospital stay, ER visit or surgical procedure, with exceptions.

Screening of all visitors, patients and staff will continue.

Anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 will not be allowed to visit (with a few exceptions):

  • Obstetric patients IN LABOR who have the virus but have no symptoms of COVID-19 will be allowed to have one support person wearing a surgical mask for the duration of their stay.
  • COVID-19 patients who are at the end of life will be allowed one visitor who is wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

All visitors must wear a mask and practice social distancing while in any area of the facility. It is highly recommended that visitors are at least 18 years old.

The visitor policy update posted to social media included the following message:

“While we have seen a moderate decline in COVID-19 patients, we continue to urge the community to take basic steps that can slow the spread of this deadly virus. COVID-19 transmission is most commonly spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth. This is why wearing a mask in businesses and public places along with social distancing and frequent hand washing are still so important.

Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic in Florida has discontinued hospital visitation.

For outpatient settings, visitation is discouraged to minimize overall traffic on campus and risk of exposure. Family and friends are encouraged to stay at home or wait outside or in their car.

For encounters where support is needed, the presence of a single companion is permitted.

For the updated visitation info, go to or

Baptist Health

At Baptist Health, only one designated visitor will be allowed to wait during an inpatient surgery to get word from the care team. That visitor will have to leave after the surgery is complete.

Visitors won’t be allowed in the inpatient unit, and there’s no adult inpatient visitation unless noted in the exceptions below:

  • Adult Emergency Center: One designated visitor.* If the patient is admitted, the inpatient visitation policy will apply.
  • Outpatient Surgery: One designated visitor.*
  • Labor and Delivery: One designated visitor* for the entire stay of the new mother. One spouse/partner, one loved one or one doula per patient; no combinations at this time.
  • Pediatric (excluding NICU): One adult parent/guardian at a time. Other children may not be brought along for the visit and may not be left unattended while the parent/guardian visits the patient.
  • NICU: Up to two designated adult visitors for the entire stay of the child. No rotating visitors for NICU patients.
  • Hospice: Two loved ones will be permitted.
  • End-of-life: Two loved ones will be permitted. Care teams will arrange visitation on a case-by-case basis.
  • Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center: One visitor over 18 years of age permitted.

*What is a designated visitor?

All hospital and emergency center visitors are registered into Baptist’s system upon entry. The designated visitor of the day may come and go, but may not switch out with another visitor in the same day.

For more information, click here.

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.