Aiken Regional suspends visitation until further notice


AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — Aiken Regional Medical Centers will temporarily suspend visitation as of Wednesday, July 15 at 6 p.m. until further notice. The move is due to the increase in positive COVID-19 cases throughout the two-state area.

“Our team continues to review necessary precautionary measures to ensure all patients, medical staff, associates and the community remain safe,” said Jim O’Loughlin, chief executive officer at Aiken Regional Medical Centers. “With the staggering increase of positive cases throughout the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) over the past couple of weeks, it is imperative the hospital enhance our safety protocols to ensure we continue to do our part to limit the further spread of the virus. Likewise, we will continue to monitor the spread of the virus in our community and state, and are prepared to adjust our scheduling of elective procedures as necessary to keep beds open and available to handle a potential increase in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.”

Visitor restrictions will be escalated to no visitors for inpatient and outpatient settings with the following exceptions:

  • A patient is at the end of life.
  • Emergency Department (ED) patients are limited to one visitor who can stay in the ED but is no longer permitted in the hospital once the patient is taken to an inpatient unit. If the visitor leaves the ED, he/she may not return.
  • Labor and Delivery/Postpartum will allow one overnight visitor.
  • Surgery patients can be picked up outside of Outpatient Registration at the hospital and the side entrance to the Surgery Center of Aiken.

“We understand the difficulty of loved ones being separated while one is in the hospital,” said Bridget Denzik, chief nursing officer at Aiken Regional Medical Centers. “Our nursing team is able to help ease this process and keep loved ones updated and connected by assisting the patient with phone or video calls.” Loved ones can also visit to send a personalized ePatient Note that will be hand delivered to the patient.

Outpatient appointments are limited to the patient only, no visitors; others should remain in their vehicles. The aforementioned screenings and restrictions include Aiken Regional Medical Centers, Aurora Pavilion Behavioral Health Services, Business and Industry, Cancer Care Institute of Carolina, Diabetes and Nutrition Teaching Center, Hitchcock Rehab Services (Adult and Children), Palmetto Pediatric Center, Southside Imaging, Surgery Center of Aiken, Women’s Breast Health and Imaging, and the Wound Healing Institute of Carolina. Furthermore, all in-person visitation at Aurora Behavioral Health Pavilion remains suspended (with limited critical exceptions).

Those with young children should make alternate arrangements prior to arriving at the hospital or an outpatient facility. Parents/guardians who need to bring their child to an outpatient facility or the Emergency Department should plan to accompany the child alone and make alternate arrangements for other children.

Furthermore, volunteers are currently suspended and not permitted in Aiken Regional facilities. And no vendors are permitted, with the exception of essential roles to maintain a high quality of patient care.

While visitation is suspended, it is important to remember that if an individual is experiencing symptoms that could possibly be an indicator of a medical emergency, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, trouble lifting arms, and weakness, please visit the nearest Emergency Department. Aiken Regional’s Emergency Departments is prepared and available to safely evaluate patients 24/7.

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