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Patients Recovering from COVID-19 May Now Have Visitors at Meritus Medical Center

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HAGERSTOWN – Family members of potential and diagnosed COVID-19 patients may now visit their loved ones at Meritus Medical Center.

“Keeping families outside of hospital rooms has been one of the most tragic circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic, although a necessary one to keep everyone as safe from the virus as possible,” says Melanie Heuston, chief nursing and patient care services officer for Meritus Health. “While our nurses and other staff on the hospital floors have been incredibly supportive with connecting families to patients in other ways – virtually, on the phone and even through the windows looking in – being able to offer these reunions when beneficial to the patient is a huge step forward for all of us living through this.”

Earlier this week, health care team members began contacting family and loved ones about the opportunity to again visit the hospital. All visits must be coordinated with the patient’s nurse ahead of time. Visitors of COVID-19 positive patients are required to sign a waiver stating they understand the risks of visitation and must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) supplied by the hospital. Staff make sure visitors are putting on and taking off PPE safely.

Visiting hours for potential and diagnosed COVID-19 patients are between 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, but only one visitor is permitted per day for the patient.

“The decision to allow visitors into the unit and the length of time they stay completely depends on the condition and needs of the patient,” says Heather Mathews, clinical manager of critical care for Meritus Health. “We believe time with loved ones is so important to a patient’s healing and experience here at our hospital. This is about meeting the care needs of our patients first while working to safely accommodate family members who are missing them dearly.”

To be sure care is not disrupted and healing is not disturbed, visitors must follow all staff directions while at Meritus Medical Center, including proper use of PPE, not visiting other areas of the hospital, not eating or drinking in patient’s rooms and not leaving without guidance from the bedside staff.

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