In early April, St. Claire Regional Medical Center announced it was suspending visitation for hospital patients in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Much like Governor Andy Beshear’s phased approached to reopening the state, St. Claire is now taking a phased approach to loosening restrictions on hospital visitation.
Beginning Friday, May 15, patients admitted to the hospital's med-surg units (3 Center or 3 North) and post-operative patients will be allowed one visitor between Noon and 5 PM. Patients in the Intensive Care Unit or Progressive Care Unit (PCU/ICU) will be allowed one visitor from 9-11 AM. Visiting hours will be strictly enforced.
“We know it’s important for our patients to have family and friends at their bedside,” said Courtney Hollingsworth, MSN, RN, Associate Chief Nursing Officer. “Not allowing visitors has been difficult for everyone, including our staff, but we have to continue exercising caution as we begin loosening visitor restrictions.”
All visitors will be required to sign in and out with security at the hospital’s main entrance. A member of the security team will check temperatures and screen all visitors for symptoms of COVID-19. No one will be permitted inside the facility with a temperature of 100.4 or higher. Masks must be worn at all times and visitors will be required to provide their own cloth mask.
“Visitors will be required to stay in the patient’s room during their entire visit,” said Hollingsworth. “Family and friends are welcome to switch out during visiting hours, but they will have to wait outside in their vehicle until the previous visitor has signed out with security.”
To protect the most vulnerable patient populations, St. Claire’s restriction on visitors for patients under investigation for COVID-19, patients with a confirmed case of COVID-19, and those admitted to the Behavioral Health Unit, Transitional Care Unit, Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, Labor & Delivery, or Emergency Department will remain in effect until further notice. Compassionate care visitation exceptions for patients in hospice care and those in declining or end of life situations will be considered on a case by case basis.
“Even as we begin to loosen restrictions, we highly recommend virtual visitation through FaceTime or Zoom,” Hollingsworth added. “If you need help setting up a virtual visit with a patient, call 606.783.6591 and a member of our patient experience team will be happy to help.”
St. Claire HealthCare is continuously monitoring COVID-19 activity in the area and will modify the hospital’s visitation policy as necessary to protect patients, staff, and the communities it serves.