Nash UNC Health Care Revises Visitation Policies
Effective Thursday, May 27th, Nash UNC Health Care is revising their visitation policy for various areas of the hospital.
“As our COVID census and community spread metrics have come down in the last month, the Nash UNC COVID Task Force has approved several COVID-related policy changes to improve the patient experience while maintaining a safe environment for our staff, patients and visitors,” said Dr. L. Lee Isley, president and CEO of Nash UNC Health Care. “As COVID metrics continue to improve, we plan to further expand visitation with safety as our top priority.”
Under the new visitation guidelines, non-COVID inpatients and outpatients are permitted to have two designated, screened, visitors at the same time. Previous guidelines allowed two designated visitors, but required them to visit one at a time, and also only allowed one visitor for outpatients. Children 12 and under are also now exempt from the designated visitor count and can accompany the designated visitor if necessary.
While this visitation policy includes most areas of the hospital, there are a few areas that will have slightly different visitation policies that better align with the type of care that is being provided.
The Nash Women’s Center will allow three designated visitors, but only two may visit the patient at the same time. Children 12 and under are permitted with a designated visitor and are exempt from the designated visitor maximum.
“This visitation change for the Women’s Center helps accommodate patient birthing plans that may include additional support, like doulas, for the birthing mother, while maintaining proper social distancing in the room.” said Isley.
The Emergency Department, including the pediatric areas, will have no changes in their current visitation guidelines at this time. The Emergency Department will continue to allow only one designated visitor per non-COVID patient. The Pediatric Emergency Department will continue to allow two designated visitors per patient.. For COVID or COVID-suspected patients in the ED, visitors are not permitted.
COVID inpatients will be allowed one designated visitor during scheduled times by the unit, however, for their safety, children will not be permitted to visit COVID patients. COVID patient visitors will be required to put on full personal protective equipment (PPE) for the duration of the visit and must remove the PPE appropriately after the visit. Nash UNC staff members will assist with PPE education.
With all policies, exceptions will continue to be granted for extenuating circumstances such as end of life or other special needs determined by the clinical care team.
All visitors will be required to follow all safety policies, including a health screening upon entrance, wearing a mask for the duration of their visit, and following proper infection prevention practices such as frequent hand washing and social distancing.
“As COVID cases fluctuate in our community, we may need to restrict visitation guidelines again should we see an increase in the community spread of COVID. We will continue to monitor our local situation and determine if any changes are needed should a rise in cases occur,” said Isley.
Nash UNC Health Care currently has 4 COVID inpatients, and has seen recent changes to the types of patients they are seeing.
“While we are seeing a large downtrend in cases, we are also seeing that patients needing hospitalization are younger than those that were hospitalized at the peak of the pandemic, prior to vaccinations being available to the public,” said Isley.
Nash UNC reported that between the months of December 2020 and January 2021, 65% of their COVID inpatient census was comprised of patients aged 60 and above, and 35% were less than 60 years old. Between the months of April and May 2021, 45% of COVID patients were 60 years and older, and 55% were less than the age of 60.
“With COVID-19 still affecting our community, we strongly encourage the community to get vaccinated if they have not already,” said Isley. “While we’ve seen a significant decrease in hospitalizations, the fight with COVID is not over and is still a present threat to our community.”
Nash UNC has established a COVID-19 Vaccination Walk-In Clinic, offering the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines for people ages 18 and older. The clinic will be open on Tuesdays and Thursday from 8:30am to 4:00pm, and on Wednesdays from 12pm to 6:30pm at Nash Day Hospital. As of now, the clinic is set to be open through June 30th, 2021. No appointments necessary.
For questions or to make an appointment, call Nash UNC’s Community Vaccination Line at (252) 962-8624 or schedule online at YourShot.org.
For more information on visitor policies or vaccine information visit NashUNCHealthCare.org/coronavirus.