Hospital reinstating 24/7 visitor policy; masks still required

Meritus Medical Center’s full 24/7 visitor policy will resume Thursday, but masks will still be required.

Visitor restrictions remain in place for patients diagnosed with or under investigation for COVID-19 as a continuing precaution for families, staff and providers, Meritus Health announced in a news release Wednesday afternoon.

In the cases of compassionate care, support or disability needs, one visitor older than 12 may be allowed with the patient with consent from the health care team prior to the visit.

Due to construction at the John R. Marsh Cancer Center, visitors are limited to one qualified support person at this time.

Well-fitted masks covering both nose and mouth will still be required for all patients and visitors in the hospital and all Meritus Health outpatient practices.

The exceptions to the mask requirement are those younger than age 2 or those with an underlying health condition directly affected by the use of a mask.

Masks with exhalation valves or vents are prohibited.

Visitors will still be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure to the virus within the last 14 days, and they are asked not to visit the hospital if those criteria apply.

While visitors will be permitted again in waiting areas and the Robin’s Cove dining room, social distancing whenever possible is encouraged.

Patients going to outpatient facilities who have COVID-like symptoms or exposure to the virus within the last 14 days should notify their practice prior to appointments so that reasonable accommodations may be made for the safety of staff, patients and families.

Pet therapy and visitation are being reinstated as part of this change.