Beginning Monday, Southwest Memorial Hospital will no longer allow visitors in any area of the hospital as part of an increased effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“To protect patients and employees and to continue providing quality care to our community, no visitors will be permitted to visit patients,” according to a Southwest Health System press release.
However, patients in the Family Birthing Center will be allowed one designated visitor. The appointed visitor must be in good health and may be asked to undergo temperature monitoring or to wear personal protective equipment.
The new regulation takes place March 23.
Patients in the Medical Office Building will not be permitted an accompanying guest during their appointments. The only exception will be minor children who require a parent or guardian. Only one designated parent or guardian can accompany the minor child. They must also be in good health and may be subject to temperature screening.
“There are no known cases of the coronavirus here, but we want to limit person-to-person contact as much as we can as a preventative measure,” said Karen Labonte, SHS chief nursing officer.
The hospital and walk-in clinic remain open for business.
However, the main hospital entrance will be closed 24 hours a day. The only entrance to the hospital will be the emergency room entrance. The Medical Office Building will be open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Patients who are being seen for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (cough, fever, body aches and chills) will be separated from other patients in both the ER and inpatient units.
Isolation rooms with ventilation scrubbers are available if patients with the virus need hospital care. Patients exhibiting respiratory illness are put in separate waiting areas and are given masks.