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COVID-19 Visitor Policy

As COVID-19 continues to be a risk to the general public, Highlands Hospital remains committed to taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of patients and staff. We are implementing the following practice as a result:

  • Everyone entering the facility will be screened and assessed with a no touch temperature screening.
  • If the temperature is greater than or equal to (≥) 100° F, the individual will not be permitted to enter the facility.
  • Visitors who do not meet the screening criteria will not be allowed in the facility.
  • Patients are limited to one adult visitor (age 16 and up) at a time
  • No visitors allowed (exceptions will only be made in the following circumstance: Pediatric ER patients are allowed one asymptomatic, adult guardian at a time)
  • Visitors ARE NOT permitted for COVID-19 patients/PUI
  • One person may remain overnight in these services only:
    • Pediatrics
    • End of Life
  • Masking will be required in all areas for patients, visitors, staff and physicians.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Circumstances may allow for specific exceptions to any visitation restrictions described on this webpage. Those circumstances include religious visitation as well as a designated support person for a patient with a disability to provide assistance with communication or other necessary components of the patient's treatment. All persons entering under an exception remain subject to appropriate infection control protocols.

  • A patient may designate a visitor who is a family member, friend, guardian, or other individual as an essential caregiver.
  • The facility will allow in-person visitation by the essential caregiver for at least 2 hours daily in addition to any other visitation authorized by the provider.
  • The facility visitation policies and procedures, will allow in-person visitation in all of the following circumstances, unless the patient objects:
    • End-of-life situations.
    • A patient who was living with family before being admitted to the provider’s care is struggling with the change in environment and lack of in-person family support.
    • The patient is making one or more major medical decisions.
    • A patient is experiencing emotional distress or grieving the loss of a friend or family member who recently died.
    • A patient needs cueing or encouragement to eat or drink which was previously provided by a family member or caregiver.
    • A patient who used to talk and interact with others is seldom speaking.
    • For hospitals, childbirth, including labor and delivery.
    • Pediatric patients.
    • The policies and procedures may require a visitor to agree in writing, to follow the facility’s policies and procedures. A facility may suspend inperson visitation of a specific visitor, if the visitor violates the facility’s policies and procedures.

If you or your loved one have been met with resistance from a hospital when attempting to visit with loved ones, you may file a complaint with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) for further review and action.

References

  • The Joint Commission Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals – RI.01.01.01
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid §482.13 (h) (1-4)
  • F.S. 408.8235 – No Patient Left Alone Act
  • The Florida Mental Health Act; Baker Act
  • CDC Guidelines for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings