HUNTINGTON — With spread of COVID-19 high in the Tri-State, Mountain Health Network hospitals in Huntington are revising their visitor policies once again.
Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 29, adult inpatients who are admitted to a Mountain Health facility (Cabell Huntington Hospital or St. Mary’s Medical Center) may designate one primary and one alternate visitor who may visit the patient during their stay. Only one of these designated visitors can be in the building each day during the hours of noon to 6 p.m. and during discharge instructions.
The visitor may only leave the patient room to go to the cafeteria or to meet food delivery personnel in the lobby. Once a visitor exits the building, they will not be allowed to return until the next day.
No visitors will be permitted for anyone in isolation for suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
“We know that loved ones are an extremely important part of the recovery process, so we are continuing visitation on a restricted basis to support the well-being of our patients,” said Dr. Hoyt Burdick, chief clinical officer for Mountain Health Network, in a release. “However, we need to limit the number of visitors to support the safety of our community members and our staff and front-line caregivers.”
At the start of the pandemic, Mountain Health Network stopped all visitation, but in June, allowed visitors to enter under some general guidelines. Those guidelines remain in place, including:
- All visitors should arrive wearing a mask and continue to wear during their entire stay. Visitors must provide their own mask.
- Visitors will be screened at the entrance using a brief series of questions.
- All visitors should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or apply hand sanitizer upon entry and departure from patient rooms and the facility.
- Visitors must be 18 or older.
- Compassionate care considerations and exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.
- Exceptions to visitation hours may be made for essential caregivers.
The hospital network also amended guidelines for different departments within the hospital.
Pediatric, PICU and NICU patients who are admitted to Hoops Family Children’s Hospital will be allowed up to two essential caregivers (parents or guardians only) who may come into the building with the purpose of visiting the patient during their stay. Patients may have only one of these designated visitors in the building at a time. The visitor may only leave the patient room to go to the cafeteria or to meet food delivery personnel in the lobby.
Labor & Delivery and postpartum patients who are admitted to a Mountain Health facility may have one designated support person in labor, delivery and for the duration of the mother’s hospital stay.
All pregnant women coming in for ultrasounds at a MHN facility will be allowed to have one person accompany them to the appointment. This person must be age 18 or older, wear a mask/face covering, be asymptomatic, and wash or sanitize their hands.
Emergency Department patients at a Mountain Health facility may have one person accompany them into the facility or room, who must remain in the room with the patient during his or her ER visit. All other visitors must remain in vehicles.
Adult patients having an outpatient procedure or surgery at a Mountain Health facility may have one designated person accompany them to the facility. This designated person will be asked to wait in their vehicle during the procedure and will be contacted by the staff throughout the procedure with updates as well as discharge instructions once the procedure is finished.
Visitors of adult inpatients taken to surgery will be asked to wait in the patient’s room during the procedure.
Pediatric patients having a procedure or surgery at a Mountain Health facility may have one parent or guardian accompany them into the facility and remain with them until the procedure. During the procedure, this parent or guardian may wait in the lobby.
Patients at physician offices and clinics may be asked to wait in their vehicles or outside the office until appointment. Contact your provider’s office or clinic for information prior to your appointment. Family members of adult patients will not be allowed to accompany their loved ones into the office or exam room unless absolutely necessary. If an essential caregiver is needed for assistance, only one person may accompany the patient.
Pediatric patients may have one parent or guardian present during the appointment who remains in the exam room with them.
Patients arriving to receive and discuss critical results with their provider may be accompanied by one visitor to their appointment.
The skilled nursing and behavioral health units at St. Mary’s are closed to visitors. The nursing home at St. Mary’s has never had an outbreak of COVID-19, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.
Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.