Certain exceptions will be allowed
Effective as of 6 p.m. on Friday, June 26, Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) once again will activate a “No Visitors” policy, except under special circumstances, the hospital has announced.
SMH is taking the approach to lower the risk of people’s exposure to the novel coronavirus “by significantly reducing the number of people in the facility,” a news release explains. “The temporary changes are part of the health system’s ongoing effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19” and safeguard the health of patients, families, staff and members of the community, the release adds.
Visitors will not be allowed at the hospital, with the following exceptions, the release says:
- Patients in certain extraordinary circumstances, such as end-of-life care.
- A patient in the Emergency Care Center may have one support person, who will be allowed to wait in the hospital lobby (first floor access only). If a patient requires assistance to receive treatment (such as a stroke patient who cannot speak for himself), then an essential caregiver may be allowed to accompany the patient into the Emergency Care Center or another patient care area as necessary.
- One support person (one visitor total) for each Labor & Delivery/Mother-Baby patient.
- One parent or support person (one visitor total) for each Pediatrics patient.
- Two designated visitors for each Neonatal Intensive Care Unit patient, but only one of those may visit per day.
- One support person for a patient in surgical, procedural and testing areas.
“Any visitors permitted under these guidelines must complete a screening questionnaire, pass a temperature check (under 99 degrees Fahrenheit), and wear a mask while in the hospital. Visitors must be 18 years or older,” the release emphasizes.
“No visitors will be permitted for patients suspected of having COVID-19” or for those who have tested positive, it adds. “Visitors also are not permitted in the Bayside Center for Behavioral Health or at the Sarasota Memorial Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Rand Boulevard,” the release points out.
SMH staff “is encouraging community members and loved ones looking to connect with patients to utilize apps such as Skype, Facetime and Zoom,” the release says. Staff is available to assist patients, with iPads and other devices available to ensure patients can continue contact with family and friends, the release notes.