Hospitals refine visitor restrictions as COVID-19 continues

Coronavirus

A hospital bed (Nexstar, file).

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association said its members are updating visitor restriction policies as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

GDAHA said due to the widespread nature of COVID-19, visitor restrictions remain in place to maintain patient safety in member hospitals throughout its 11-county service area, despite a decline in hospitalizations.

“Hospitals are continuing to adapt and respond to the changing nature of COVID-19 in our region,” said Lisa Henderson, Vice President of Heath Initiatives of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association. “The additional flexibility of allowing one visitor at a time per the updated regional visitor restrictions will allow families to better engage in the care and recovery of individuals receiving care from one of our member hospitals.”

In the area’s outpatient, ambulatory, emergency department, and hospital facilities, patients will be allowed one support person in the building at a time, provided that adequate social distancing policies can be met. Patients are encouraged to check with individual providers to ensure they are clear on their provider’s policy as some may differ.

Visitation in neonatal intensive care units is prohibited if the mother or partner is COVID-19 positive and still able to transmit the virus. Visitation from COVID-19 positive persons or symptomatic individuals awaiting test results will also not be permitted. Hospitals are adhering to the Centers for Disease Control’s symptom and time-based guidance for COVID-19 transmission.

The following visitation exceptions may apply:

  • “End of Life” situations
  • For maternity patients, one additional support person, such as a doula, will be permitted
  • For minor maternity patients, a parent or guardian will also be permitted
  • Minor patients (under 18 years of age) may have two visitors in the emergency department and inpatient setting, but this is limited to only parents or guardians
  • NICU patients will be allowed two visitors for the duration of the patient’s stay with one visitor allowed at a time. Confirmed COVID-19 mothers and partners should not visit NICU infants while able to transmit COVID-19
  • Patients who require assistance due to mobility, reorienting/confusion (patient safety), interpretation, court-ordered, or healthcare decision making may have one additional assistance person

No visitors for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases (unless above criteria met).

Visitors will not be permitted for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients in the hospital unless the patient meets one of the above exceptions. Visitors will not be permitted if they are COVID-19 positive or symptomatic and awaiting COVID-19 test results.

GDAHA said the updated visitation restrictions, screening questions and the universal masking policy also remain in place to consistently protect patients and hospital personnel during the ongoing management of COVID-19.

“We are hopeful to see this trend in declining hospitalizations continue. And with the vaccine rollout continuing over the course of the next several months, are hopeful that this means new things for the spring and summer,” Henderson said. “These measures will help our hospitals continue to provide the safe and secure environment our patients need to recover.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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