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Appalachian Regional Healthcare to begin allowing visitors

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LEXINGTON, KY (WOWK) – Beginning today, Appalachian Regional Healthcare will allow visitors 18-years-old and older for its hospitals in Kentucky and West Virginia.

ARH Chief Medical Officer Maria Braman says hospital officials understand the importance of family and friends in the healing process, especially during these times of such uncertainty.

“We appreciate our communities’ understanding and cooperation as ARH takes a cautious approach to resuming some visitation in our facilities while we slowly and methodically return our services to what will be our new normal for healthcare,” she says. “As we open up visitation, we remind our patients and visitors that we are still living in a worldwide pandemic and encourage them to take all necessary precautions to protect themselves.”   

Hospital officials say some restrictions will remain for the time being. Restrictions include:

  • Everyone entering an ARH facility will be required to wear a mask. 
  • All visitors will be screened when entering an ARH facility. Those with fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, body aches or respiratory symptoms will not be allowed entry.
  • All visitors should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or apply hand sanitizer when entering and leaving patient rooms.
  • Adult patients having a procedure or surgery may have one person accompany them into the facility and for discharge instructions.
  • Pediatric patients having a procedure or surgery may have one parent or guardian accompany them into the facility and for discharge instructions.
  • During the procedure, all visitors will be requested to wait in their vehicle and will be notified when it is time to return to the facility to coordinate discharge instructions as needed.

Visitors that will be allowed in ARH hospitals include:

  • Patients at end of life may have two visitors.
  • Adult inpatients at ARH hospitals may have one visitor per day, who should remain in the patient’s room for the duration of the visit, during the set visiting hours of 2-8 p.m. each day and during discharge instructions. The exception for this rule includes patients diagnosed with COVID-19 or those in isolation.
  • Adult and pediatric, Emergency Department patients and patients scheduled for surgery or a procedure may have one person accompany them into the facility.
  • Maternity patients may have one designated support person for labor, delivery and the duration of the mother’s hospital stay. The one designated support person is deemed the support person throughout the mother’s stay.
  • Pediatric patients, including neonatal intensive care unit, may have one visitor who is a parent or guardian.
  • Pediatric patients who test positive for COVID-19 or for whom a COVID-19 test is pending may have one parent or guardian visitor. The visitor should not have COVID-19.
  • Adult Emergency Department patients may have one person accompany them into the facility.
  • Pediatric Emergency Department patients may have one parent or guardian accompany them.
  • No visitors permitted in the Emergency Department when the patient has known respiratory conditions.

Exceptions

Visitors will not be allowed in all ARH facilites, however. Hospital officials say exceptions include:

  • No visitors allowed on adult behavioral health units until further notice.
  • No visitors allowed in skilled nursing facilities until further notice.
  • ARH does welcome chaplains for patients in palliative care, (end-of-life care), emergency care and hospice care. 

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