Surge Causes Hospital Visit Clampdown

Todays News

A surge in COVID-19 infections in the region has promoted local hospitals to limit visitation.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital on Friday announced a shift to a “No Visitors Policy” with limited exceptions.

“We know how important visitor support is to our patients, but these new restrictions are for everyone’s protection,” said Dr. James Fiorica, Chief Medical Officer for SMH.

The only individuals allowed to visit patients in the hospital for the time being will be for end-of-life care, for children in the pediatric and neo-natal units, and in limited instances for baby deliveries. A single support person for patients in surgery or certain therapies may be allowed in certain designated waiting areas. Hospital staff will help families connect with Skype or Facetime using iPads at the hospital and provide needed technical assistance.

At Manatee Memorial Hospital, “Limited Visitation” was put in place as of last Wednesday, with visitation to Inpatient Nursing Units, the Emergency Department and Surgical/Procedural Area limited to one visitor, per day. No visitation will be allowed for patients being treated or tested for COVID-19. Visitors who are allowed in must come through the main entrance and use a mask at all times, then will be led directly to the patient’s room to stay the duration of the visit. Like SMH, only one support person will be allowed in a waiting are for those in surgery. In the maternity ward and neonatal unit, up to two visitors will be allowed, with one allowed to stay overnight. Any visitors coming to the hospital will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

Lakewood Ranch Regional Medical center as of July 29 put Limited Visitation policies in effect as well for any inpatient nursing units and its intensive, where only one patient will be allowed at a time for patients and only two visitors will be allowed over a whole day. Families are encouraged to use video conferencing for visitation instead. One individual may come to support those in the hospital for inpatient or outpatient surgeries, and they will be restricted to the pre-op waiting area. Only one person may come along with individuals in the emergency room, and they will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. No one who has traveled outside the country will be allowed to visit the hospital.

Blake Medical Center since July 7 has put temporary limits on visitation, but will allows two visitors for each patient. It also only allows those 18 and older to visit patients, and may put stricter limits in place for some patients. Those being tested or treated for COVID-19 my not have any visitors. Only one visitor may go with a patient to the emergency room and only one individual may wait in designated areas for patients undergoing surgeries.

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota since the start of June has put a two-person limit on visitation, and since June 7 has in place passive screening for COVID-19 for visitors. Masks are required except when individuals are eating or drinking. All visitors to the hospital must be 18 years old or older.

Venice Regional Medical Center continues to allow just two visitors per day for any patients, and only allow one support person for those in surgery. It’s encouraged visitors stay in patient roms or designated waiting areas. Masks are required at all times.

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