Updates, Closings & Restrictions
Hospital Visitor Restrictions
Updated May 18, 2021
As COVID-19 numbers continue to go down and vaccine distribution is occurring throughout our communities, we will adjust our visitor policy accordingly. Patients and visitors are required to wear a mask at all UnityPoint Health – Des Moines hospitals.
Beginning May 18, 2021, hospitalized patients will be allowed to have two visitors with them at a time, between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. These visitors will be able to rotate with other visitors during the day and throughout the patient's stay. Visitors are in addition to a designated caregiver.
These new guidelines do not impact the current guidelines for Blank Children's Hospital, maternity services or end-of-life situations. Exceptions may be made if there are extenuating circumstances.
Here is an overview of the updated visitor guidelines:
- Expanded visiting hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Exclusion: visitors with pre-procedure patients can arrive with the patient at their arrival time.
- Two visitors per patient are allowed at a time.
- Visitors must be at least 16 years old unless authorized by unit manager.
- Visitors will be required to check in at the hospital entrance and receive a "visitor" sticker or wrist band that must be worn while in the hospital. Visitors are asked to check out when they leave.
- Visitors must wear a mask the entire time they are in the hospital, including in the patient room. They must practice hand hygiene and social distancing, and stay home if they do not feel well.
- A visitor is different than the designated caregiver, who can be with the patient 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is necessary to the patient's care. Examples of this would be parents/guardians of a minor or someone that is able to advocate care needs of a dementia patient.
- Visitors and designated caregivers are allowed to go to the cafeteria unless visiting a patient with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Designated Caregiver Guidelines
A designated caregiver(s) will be allowed in the following circumstances:
- A patient is imminently dying: Two caregivers will be allowed at a time; caregivers may rotate at the discretion of the clinical care team. Visitors under the age of 16 may be allowed in this case, at the discretion of the clinical care team.
- The patient is being treated in an Emergency Department, Outpatient Areas, Clinics and/or Surgery: One designated caregiver is allowed.
- The patient is a minor under the age of 18 years: Up to two parents /designated caregivers/guardian at a time will be allowed in the patient's room to support the care of the patient.
- The patient is suffering from confusion or delirium: One designated caregiver will be allowed in the patient's room to support the care of the patient.
- In Maternity Services (Labor & Delivery, Postpartum): One designated caregiver/support person and one Doula /outside birth coach will be allowed in the patient's room to support the care of the patient.
- Siblings under the age of 16 are not allowed.
- Must always remain in patient room as appropriate.
- Free from illness such as (fever, sore throat, cough, diarrhea, vomiting or runny nose).
- Limit movement within unit.
- May go to the cafeteria unless the patient has been isolated due to suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
We understand these restrictions may be difficult for you. While meeting the needs of our patients, we remain committed to limiting the number of people inside the hospital to keep team members and patients safe. Because of this, we have a zero tolerance for those unwilling to comply with our restrictions.
Restricted Visitor Entrances
In an effort to further protect our team members and patients, UnityPoint Health – Des Moines will be redirecting all visitors to specific entrances on each of our campuses. Please see changes to our entrances for each campus listed below.
Iowa Methodist Medical Center/Blank Children's Hospital
Iowa Lutheran Hospital
- Main Entrance located on the North side of Iowa Methodist Medical Center (entrance 2). Access to the Iowa Methodist Medical Center Main Entrance will be closed on Saturday and Sunday, effective June 13.
- Emergency Department Entrance is open 24/7.
- Atrium Entrance from the Parking Ramp (entrance 5). Access to the Iowa Methodist Medical Center Parking Ramp and Atrium Entrance will be closed from 8 p.m. to 4:30 a.m., 7 days a week to further protect our team members. (Effective, Wednesday, May 13)
- Powell 1 Entrance (entrance 6) is open 24/7.
- Please note that all Medical Office Building Entrances will remain open for patients, visitors and employees to enter through.
- See map for entrance locations.
Methodist West Hospital
- Emergency Department Entrance
- Emergency Department Entrance
Visitor restrictions are temporary and subject to change as necessary
All caregivers are required to wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand foam/gel upon entering and exiting patient's room. We understand these visitor restrictions may be difficult for you. While we are committed to providing a family-centered care environment, right now restricting visitors is in the best interest of our patients and staff.
Delivery Guidelines for Patient Belongings and Personal Items
UnityPoint Health – Des Moines will be limiting the delivery of personal items to patients to the following times: between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. No weekend delivery.
Based on where patients are hospitalized, deliveries must be made to:
- Methodist West Hospital Emergency Department
- Iowa Lutheran Hospital Emergency Department
- Iowa Methodist Medical Center Main Entrance & Powell 1 Entrance
Items should be limited to small items that a patient might need during their stay and should be packaged in a bag, box or container. Packages should be small in order to facilitate the logistics of delivery. Items that are acceptable include, but are not limited to:
- Items for personal care (eyeglasses, hearing aids/batteries, dentures, razor, toothbrush, CPAP machines)
- Items for comfort (shoes or slippers, clothing items including underclothes)
- Items for entertainment and communication (small electronic devices and chargers, flowers, books, magazines, etc.)
- Food is acceptable and should be a single serving. We do not have the ability to manage leftovers and food cannot be stored in patient rooms.
Blank Children's Pediatric Clinics
Please Call Ahead Before Visiting a Clinic
In our effort to reduce community spread of COVID-19, we are asking all patients to please call ahead before visiting a clinic. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911.
If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, or developed symptoms related to the virus:
Please call your Blank Provider Team (your pediatric or specialty provider) before visiting a medical facility. Proper screening and assessment will occur over the phone, and you'll then be advised on next steps. These precautions are important, as they help protect others from being exposed to the virus.
If you need treatment for something unrelated to COVID-19:
Please call your Blank Provider Team and they will direct your care. If you're not sure where to go for care, call your Blank Provider Team.
Not a patient at Blank Children's?
We understand that due to COVID-19, you may not have access to care services you need. If you are not a patient of ours and you need care, please call the Blank Children's Pediatric Clinic at 515-241-8923. Our provider teams are here for your family during this time.
We know it can be challenging to determine what kind of care you need. We are ready to help!
Parking on the Iowa Methodist/Blank Children's campus for clinic visits:
Please park in the free parking ramp located on the west side of campus. View campus map.
Ankeny Medical Park Pharmacy Offers Curbside Delivery
Ankeny Medical Park Pharmacy will temporarily offer curbside delivery effective Monday, March 30, 2020. Patients will need to drive up to the north entrance, call the pharmacy at (515) 965-4680, and they will deliver prescriptions and over-the-counter items to the car.
The pharmacy lobby will be closed to the public for the safety of our patients and employees. We will continue to deliver employee prescriptions to Iowa Lutheran Hospital, Methodist West Hospital and Iowa Methodist Medical Center.
Additional Information and Alerts
Closings and Cancellations
- Beyond Birth: The First Year Classes
- Birth and Baby Care Classes (childbirth education)
- Breastfeeding Support Groups
- EMPOWER: The salon will be closed until further notice. The boutique is available by appointment only. Call 515-241-4243 to schedule an appointment.
- Hannah Geneser Learning Center & Safety Store - closed until further notice. For assistance with your safety questions and safety product needs please call the Safety Store at 515-241-6706.
- John Stoddard Cancer Center Support Groups (all groups)
- Maternity Tours
- Powell CDC Public Education
- Stroke Club Meetings - suspended until further notice
- The Not New Shop
- Total Joint Class at Iowa Lutheran Hospital and Methodist West Hospital
As of March 10, 2020, UnityPoint Health is restricting in-person, vendor visits for sales and marketing calls, routine business reviews, and any other non-critical meetings. Vendor visits required for direct patient care or business critical functions (ex: equipment repair) are permissible with the appropriate screening and precautions. This change is to reduce risk of exposure to patients, team members and vendors during the global outbreak of COVID-19.
We will communicate accordingly when in-person vendor visits are reinstated. Thank you for your cooperation.
Giving Toys and Gifts to Child Life during COVID - 19
In response to the global outbreak of COVID-19, some changes have been made to our donation process. If you are interested in donating toys and activities to children and families at Blank Children's, please check out our Amazon Registry for items that would be most helpful during this time.
In efforts to protect patients, families and staff, we are not currently accepting any face-to-face donations dropped off to the hospital.
If you have questions or need assistance navigating the Amazon registry, please call 515-241-6152 or e-mail DM_childlifewishlist@unitypoint.org.