Objectives: To determine the relationship between the emergence of COVID-19 and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) family presence as well as how NICU design affects these changes.

Study design: A cross-sectional survey from April 21 to 30, 2020. We queried sites regarding NICU demographics, NICU restrictions on parental presence, and changes in ancillary staff availability.

Results: Globally, 277 facilities responded to the survey. NICU policies preserving 24/7 parental presence decreased (83-53%, p < 0.001) and of preserving full parental participation in rounds fell (71-32%, p < 0.001). Single-family room design NICUs best preserved 24/7 parental presence after the emergence of COVID-19 (single-family room 65%, hybrid-design 57%, open bay design 45%, p = 0.018). In all, 120 (43%) NICUs reported reductions in therapy services, lactation medicine, and/or social work support.

Conclusions: Hospital restrictions have significantly limited parental presence for NICU admitted infants, although single-family room design may attenuate this effect.

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Copyright © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc. 2020 This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

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