Area hospitals implement new visitation policy in response to COVID-19

West Virginia

CHARLESTON WV (WOWK) – Area hospitals continue to change visitation policies due to growing COVID-19 concerns.

CAMC has restricted visitation to noon to 6 p.m. Only one visitor per patient (in addition to the care partner), will be allowed. The care partner (someone essential for the care of the patient (e.g. parent, spouse, caregiver)), will not be limited to the noon- 6 p.m. visiting hour restriction.

During unprecedented times like this, CAMC encourages family members to use telephones and social media apps such as Facetime to visit and stay in touch with hospitalized loved ones.

Beginning Monday, CAMC will be phasing in restricted points of entry at each hospital location, starting with CAMC Memorial Hospital and the CAMC Cancer Center.

Each hospital will be accessible through the main entrance and/or the Emergency Department only. All other entrances will be closed to the public. All visitors will be checked in upon entry.

Mountain Health Network recently implemented restricted visitation policies for both Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center in response to Coronavirus Disease 2019.

The policies became effective Friday, March 13, 2020.

Visitors are limited to one per patient in the hospital at a time.

All visitors are required to obtain a visitor’s badge before entering patient areas.

Children under the age of 16 are not permitted to visit the hospital.

Exceptions to these restrictions will be made on a case-by-case basis based on special circumstances and/or prior approval of designated leadership.

The skilled nursing and behavioral health units at SMMC are closed to visitors. Visitation policies within other care environments may also differ and are subject to additional modifications.

Visitors with questions regarding a specific unit’s visitation restrictions, or other concerns, should ask to speak with the clinical manager of that unit.

“The health and well-being of our community are our top priorities,” said Hoyt Burdick, MD, chief clinical officer, Mountain Health Network. “We thank everyone in advance for their understanding and cooperation as we work together to optimize both the health and safety of our patients, visitors, and caregivers.”

West Virginia University Medicine also announced a new visitation policy in efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The policy includes minimal visitation and will be limited to just one per patient in the hospital at a time. Other details within the policy are listed below:

  • Visitors with a cough, fever, shortness of breath, and/or fatigue should reschedule their visit.
  • All visitors are required to obtain a visitor’s badge before entering patient areas.
  • Children under the age of 16 are not permitted to visit the hospital.
  • Visiting hours are restricted; check with your local hospital for details.
  • Valet services are limited.
  • Exceptions to these restrictions will be made on a case by case basis based on special circumstances and/or prior approval of designated leadership.

The release also announced that patients with scheduled visits to a WVU Medicine clinic are encouraged to attend appointments by themselves unless absolutely necessary in which they can bring one person with them.

All the facilities agreed the best way to prevent infection is to avoid becoming exposed to the virus:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water. Lather for at least 20 seconds every time. If no soap is available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover one’s mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing with a tissue or an elbow.
  • Use the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of the tissue after use.
  • Avoid contact with sick individuals.
  • Utilize social distancing when possible.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, such as a mobile phone.
  • Stay home if you are sick, unless seeking medical attention.

Patients with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) should call the West Virginia Public Health Hotline at 1-800-887-4304 for directions. If symptoms are severe and emergency care is recommended, patients should provide advance notice to EMS or call ahead to the hospital emergency department prior to arrival.

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