How to Avoid Catching COVID During Your Hospital Stay

How to Avoid Catching COVID During Your Hospital Stay

The COVID-19 pandemic has made going to the hospital feel unsafe because people are worried about catching the virus whilst they’re there. Here’s how to avoid it.

As an elderly person, or someone in care, going to the hospital is still vital element of your day-to-day life. So, it’s important to know how to stay safe whilst you’re there.

Of course, hospital administrators have put regulations in place to make them safer. What’s more, if the hospital fails to do its job and you catch the virus, you can claim compensation for catching COVID in hospital. That said, you are expected to play your part as well.

In this post, we’re going to discuss what hospitals are doing to protect their patients from COVID-19 and what you can do as a patient to make sure you don’t catch it. Take a look…

What Are Hospitals Doing to Reduce the Risk of Catching COVID-19?

Before you can understand your role in staying safe whilst in hospital, you need to be aware of what the hospitals are doing themselves.

Emergency rooms and hospitals across the country follow strict guidelines for protecting people during the coronavirus pandemic, these include:

Universal masking: all health care professionals are required to wear personal protective equipment including face masks, disposable gloves, disposable aprons and sometimes visors.

Entrance screening: anyone who enters the hospital is screened for COVID-19 signs before they’re allowed to enter. If you show signs of COVID-19 you will likely be tested before you’re allowed in.

Separate waiting areas: waiting areas for people who have tested positive for the virus are kept separate from those who haven’t. This way, the risk of cross contamination is reduced.

Frequent disinfecting and cleaning: waiting areas, patient rooms, bathrooms, and surfaces are regularly disinfected to prevent the spread of the virus.

Social distancing: all waiting and check-in areas have been arranged with social distancing in mind. So, no matter which room you’re in, you should be no closer than 2 metres from the next person.

These measures should make it a lot less likely that you’ll catch COVID-19 whilst in hospital. However, in order for them to work, you have to play your part.

What Can You Do to Avoid Catching COVID-19 in Hospital?

Following the rules whilst in hospital could be the difference between you catching, or spreading, the virus. So, it’s important you know how to minimise that risk. Here’s an overview of the types of things you need to be aware of:

Don’t bring anyone to the hospital

Hospitals are trying to limit the number of people in the building at one time, so only bring someone with you if absolutely necessary.

Criteria for being allowed to bring someone in the hospital are if you need them to help you move around or communicate. In this instance, you should call the clinic or department before you attend your appointment to let them know.

Travel safely to the hospital

Before you even get to the hospital, you have to be wary of catching COVID-19. Try to avoid public transportation, taxis, ridesharing, or rides from a friend or relative if possible. Driving your own car is a much safer way to avoid catching the virus.

If you do have to use one of these methods, make sure you’re wearing a mask and staying as far as humanely possible from anyone else in the vehicle.

Be safe in the emergency room

Once you’ve made it to hospital and you’re in the emergency room, you need to act the same way you do in any public place. Remember to:

  • Wear a face mask
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Keep a distance of 2 metres from other people in the hospital
  • Clean your hands often, especially if you’ve touched any surfaces
  • Avoid having visitors

Hospitals have different rules about visitors but, where possible, you should try to deter friends and relatives from visiting you. You can still video chat and call your relatives from your hospital bed, so it won’t be much different than having them there in person.

If the treatment you’re undergoing could be life threatening, having your relatives there could be a big comfort and actually might help you recover. So, under those circumstances, it’s worth asking them to come and visit you.

Always ask questions

If you’re not sure what the rules are to avoid the spread of COVID-19 in hospitals, just ask a member of staff. Also, each hospital will have its own way of implementing the rules so you might need more detailed information.

You should also make sure you know who to call for help if you’re worried you might be at risk or that you have symptoms of the virus. This will help you prevent catching the virus as well as give you the best chance of getting over it if you do catch it.

Keep your eyes on hospital staff

Despite all the stringent regulations, mistakes can be made, especially when staff are rushed off their feet.

If you notice that a nurse hasn’t sanitised a surface in your room after using it, tell them in a calm way that lets them know you’re just concerned for your safety and that of other patients in the hospital. By doing this you’ll be reducing your chances of catching COVID-19, and avoid hospital staff facing medical negligence claims in the future.

Let’s Avoid COVID-19  Together

In this post, we’ve shared what hospitals in the UK are doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and what you can do to avoid catching it.

The main thing to remember is that hospitals are set up to make you as safe as humanely possible whilst you’re there. By following mask wearing, hand sanitising, and social distancing rules, you have the best chance of leaving the hospital without contracting COVID-19.


Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical or mental health advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.