Albany, Ga. – In response to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the community, Phoebe is temporarily suspending visitation at all Phoebe hospitals. “We know coronavirus is in our community, and we are at a critical point to try to minimize transmission. A stricter visitation policy is just one more step we think is wise to protect our patients, staff and community,” said Steven Kitchen, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.
No visitors will be allowed for patients who have a pending or positive COVID-19 test. Exceptions to the no visitation policy for other areas include:
- Obstetric patients may have one partner and one birth support person accompany them.
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients may have one birth parent plus one significant other.
- Patients who are at the end-of-life.
- Patients with behavioral conditions for whom a family member is key to their care, may have one visitor.
- Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays (where caregiver provides safety) may have one visitor.
- Minors under age 18 may have one parent or guardian.
- Patients undergoing urgent/emergent surgery or procedures may have 1 visitor who must leave the hospital as soon as possible after the procedure/surgery.
Patients in the emergency center may have one visitor, only if that visitor is identified as a medically-necessary caregiver. Any visitor who is allowed into the hospital must stay in the patient’s room during the visit. Once the visitor leaves the patient room, they must leave the facility. These new restrictions will be effective Monday morning.
“We know family support is vital for hospitalized patients, but these are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures. While this policy is an inconvenience for families we are serving, we hope people understand the safety of our patients, staff and community is our top priority. Everything we’re doing right now is protect them and minimize the impact of coronavirus in our communities,” said Scott Steiner, Chief Executive Officer, Phoebe Putney Health System.