University Health Care System brings back no visitor policy due to increase in COVID-19 cases


A hospital bed (Nexstar, file)

AUGUSTA (Ga.) – University Hospital brings back their no visitor policy tomorrow. This comes after an increase of positive coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

The policy includes:


· No visitors at this time.

· All discharges, except those from the Women’s Center, will come through the Heart & Vascular Institute. Women’s Center patients will take the Women’s Center elevators to the first floor and will be discharged through the left-hand side door.


· No visitors at this time.

· Novisitors at this time.

· A maximum of two visitors allowed on a case-by-case basis for patients considered by the physician to be at the end of life.

· Labor & Delivery: 1 support person is allowed who must remain with the patient until discharge.

· NICU: Visitation for mothers or fathers from noon-4 p.m. Extenuating circumstances that need to occur outside of these regular hours will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Vice President of Community Services, University Health Care System, Laurie Ott, says, “obviously we are always accepting patients, we will never turn a patient away. So, we accept patients, and we want to have the staff and physicians here to care for those patients. So, we look at it very closely with our Infection Prevention Director and our Infectious Disease doctors.”

A plan to scale back on elective surgeries and procedures will be effective on Monday. The policy temporary, but indefinite.

This is not the case with Augusta University. They are allowing one family member or support person to accompany a patient to their visits and in the hospital. They’re providing PPE’s and requiring the use of masks and hand sanitizer.

As for surgeries and procedures, they have no plans for delay unless a specialty bed is absolutely needed.

Chief Medical Officer for Augusta University, Dr. Phillip Coule, says, “we’re seeing no patient to staff transmission. We’re seeing no staff to patient transmission, and we’re seeing no visitor to patient or patient to visitor transmission. So, right now tracking our information, there’s no information at all that there is any harm to having visitors.”

Dr. Coule says they work closely with area hospitals. If they receive a request to transport a patient, they accommodate the space if it’s available.

Doctors Hospital sent us a statement:

We are currently evaluating our visitor policy and the need to make an adjustment given the current surge in the community, but there are no changes to announce at this time.

NewsChannel 6 will keep you updated as soon as more information becomes available.

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