East Georgia Regional Medical Center (EGRMC) modified its visitation policy, effective Tuesday, March 1, to allow two visitors at a time per patient. All visitors must be at least 16 years old.
Over the past two years EGRMC has adjusted its visitation rules more than once in efforts to protect patients and the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning March 2020 each patient was limited to being visited by one immediate family member, partner or significant other ages 18 and older at a time. Later, in July 2020, visitor access was barred for several weeks except for one support per maternity patient, for example, and in “end of life” situations.
Visitation resumed again with a one-visitor policy in 2020. The two visitor policy was enacted in summer 2021 but with the rise in Omicron COVID-19 cases late fall of 2021 visitation was taken back to the one visitor policy. This two visitor policy, with no mention of visitors’ relationship to the patient, represents a further easing of restrictions.
“As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to decline, we believe this is an appropriate step as we continue to respond to changes in our community,” said Stephen Pennington, CEO of East Georgia Regional Medical Center.
The number of entrances to the hospital will remain limited. All visitors for patients should enter the outpatient entrance Monday-Friday between 5:30a.m. and 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00p.m. After hours, visitors must enter through the Emergency Department entrance. Those visiting patients in the Women’s Pavilion may enter through the Women’s Pavilion entrance. Several other precautions remain in effect.
Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are under evaluation as possibly having the novel coronavirus may not have visitors. The hospital encourages family and friends to use electronic communications such as FaceTime and Skype for “virtual visitation” with these patients.
By entering the hospital each visitor attests that:
- You do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
- You do not have a fever higher than 100.F.
- You have not had any recent unprotected close contact with a COVID-19 positive person.
- You are not currently COVID-19 positive.
Also a few reminders to help keep you safe, the hospital staff urges visitors to take the precautions.
- Wear a Face Covering at all times, completely covering your mouth and nose.
- Social Distancing: Maintain 6 feet separation.
- Wash Your Hands or Use Hand Sanitizer. Practice good hand hygiene.
“If you are sick, please stay home and visit when you are better,” the hospital states. “All of the above items are for your safety and to mitigate risks for you, our patients, and our staff members. We appreciate you understanding and compliance.”