COVID-19 Information for Patients at the Birthing Center

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect when I go to Newport Hospital to have my baby?

All patients and support persons will be asked to wear a mask while at the hospital. If you are unable to bring one from home, a mask will be provided. You will be screened upon entrance of the hospital.

  • All patients being admitted to Newport Hospital for labor and birth, planned cesarean births, or induction of labor, will be tested for COVID-19. Pregnant patients who are positive for COVID-19 will be transferred to the Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians at Women & Infants for care during labor and birth. This allows patients to be cared for by a specifically trained team. It also preserves personal protective equipment and limits health care provider exposure so providers can remain at work caring for patients. Patients who test positive for COVID-19 cannot have any family members or visitors with them during any part of their hospital stay. We recognize this is very difficult and we will do whatever we can to support you.
  • Newborns of patients with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 are considered “patients under investigation” for the virus. Decisions regarding mother/baby contact and precautions for breastfeeding are made on a case-by-case basis. These are shared decisions between the mother and the health care providers, CDC guidelines regarding mother/baby contact can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/inpatient-obstetric-healthcare-guidance

My test was negative. Am I allowed to have a visitor during my stay at Newport Hospital?

In light of the developing Coronavirus outbreak, we are working hard to protect all patients and their loved ones by reducing traffic on our Birthing Center. We understand the desire of families and loved ones to gather before, during and after the birth of a baby, however we must balance that with our responsibility to keep our patients and community members safe. This means the following temporary changes to our visitation policy:

  • Please limit to one birthing partner per mother for the entire length of the mother’s stay. The mother will determine who the birthing partner will be. The birthing partner will be given a wrist band. 
  • No other birthing partner will be permitted, including siblings or children under the age of 12.
  • All birthing partners must check in at the desk. 
  • The birthing partner may spend the night with the mother and baby.
  • Birthing partners will be screened using Department of Health criteria and will not be allowed to visit if they have a fever, cough, runny nose, loss of smell or taste, diarrhea, or flu like symptoms.

We apologize for the inconvenience but please understand that at this time, we are acting in the best interest of our mothers, their new families and the community at large.

What is the process for getting tested?

If you are scheduled for either a planned cesarean birth or an induction of labor Newport Hospital will reach out to you on behalf of your provider and schedule a test date. This is currently scheduled approximately 2 days in advance of your scheduled procedure.

If you are coming into Newport Hospital in labor you will be tested upon admission.

How to Lower Your Risk of COVID-19 Infection

To decrease your risk of infection with coronavirus, we recommend that you:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, rubbing all surfaces. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, mouth and nose.
  • Stay home as much as possible. Work from home if you can. Contact your prenatal care provider if you have concerns about workplace exposure. Follow current Rhode Island Department of Health guidelines regarding stay-at-home orders and social distancing. You can find the most up-to-date alerts and guidelines here: https://health.ri.gov/covid/#alerts
  • Avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
  • Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
  • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
  • Keep 6 feet of distance between you and other people when out in public AND wear a cloth face covering.
  • Avoid all non-essential travel including by car, other ground transportation, or airplane.
  • Pay attention for potential COVD-19 symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, or lost sense of taste or smell. If you feel that you are developing symptoms, call our office at 401-606-3000.

For general information, please check the links above, which will be frequently updated, or call the Rhode Island Department of Health info line at 401-222-8022. For specific questions regarding your pregnancy, please call your prenatal care provider or message the portal. We are here to help during this stressful time.