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COVID-19 Visitor Policy

New temporary visitor policy - effective Monday, August 2, 2021

In order to protect our patients, visitors, physicians and caregivers from the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are enacting the following modified hospital visitor policy.

For the safety of our patients, visitors and caregivers, visitors are not allowed to visit COVID-19 positive patients and patients under investigation for COVID-19.

Visitor access is also restricted to adult visitors only. No access for visitors below the age of 18 unless the visitor is the parent of a hospitalized child.

Visitor Hours are generally 11:00am – 8:00pm with one adult visitor allowed per patient. Additional modifications apply to certain patient care areas as outlined below.

  • Patients Undergoing Procedures – One visitor is allowed per patient. Visitor must remain in the designated waiting area. If the patient is admitted, the visitor can visit with the patient after the patient is admitted to his/her room.
  • Emergency Room (ER) – One visitor is allowed per patient in the ER.
  • Baker Act Receiving Mental Health Units - No visitors are allowed except those legally required including a patient’s attorney of record, or a state or federal representative on official duty.
  • Vaccinated Volunteers – Are allowed in all areas apart from designated COVID-19 units.

Exceptions must first be approved by the Hospital Administrator on Call (AOC) or administration, and will be considered in specific circumstances such as at end-of-life.

New screening process (Effective June 7, 2021)

Passive screening for visitors and non-urgent/emergent patients

To all visitors and all patients, except those coming for urgent or emergent care:

You may only enter the facility if the answer to each of the following questions is “yes.”

  • I have not had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, or thought to have COVID-19, within the last 14 days.
  • I have none of the following symptoms:
    • Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
  • I agree to wear a mask at all times that I am not eating or drinking while in the facility.

Be prepared to confirm that the above is true prior to entering the facility.

Screening process for patients coming for urgent or emergent care

To patients coming for urgent or emergent care:

  • Wear a mask all times while inside the facility.
  • Alert a staff member upon arrival to the Emergency Department if exhibiting any of the possible signs and symptoms of COVID-19:
    • Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.

All visitors must leave a photo ID with the screener. Prior to leaving the facility the visitor shall pick up their photo ID from the screener. Our main desk closes at 8 pm and visitors will need to exit through the Emergency Department.

Patients may consider using phone, Skype, or FaceTime to communicate with family and friends during this time.

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