East Georgia Regional Medical Center modified its visitation policy, effective Monday, June 21, to allow two visitors at a time per patient. All visitors must be at least 16 years old.
Over the past year and a quarter EGRMC has adjusted its visitation rules more than once in efforts to protect patients and the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning in March 2020 each patient was limited to being visited by one immediate family member, partner or significant other ages 18 and older at a time. Later, in July, visitor access was barred for several weeks except for one support person per maternity patient, for example, and in "end of life" situations.
Visitation resumed with a one-visitor policy again in place from last fall through Sunday. So the new two-visitor policy, with no mention of the visitors' relationship to the patient, represents a further easing of restrictions.
But the number of open entrances to the hospital remains limited. All visitors for patients should enter the outpatient entrance Monday-Friday between 5:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. After hours, visitors must enter through the Emergency Department entrance. Those visiting patients in the Women's Pavilion may enter through the Women's Pavilion entrance.
Several other precautions remain in effect.
Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are under evaluation as possibly having the novel coronavirus may not have visitors. The hospital encourages family and friends to use electronic communication such as FaceTime and Skype for "virtual visitation" with these patients.
By entering the hospital, each visitor attests that:
➤ You do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
➤ You do not have any new loss of taste or smell.
➤ You do not have a fever higher than 100.0 F.
➤ You have not had recent unprotected close contact with a COVID-19 positive person.
➤ You are not currently COVID-19 positive.
Under the heading "A few reminders to help keep you safe," the hospital staff urges visitors to take these precautions.
➤ Wear a Face Covering at all times, completely covering your mouth and nose.
➤ Social Distancing: Maintain 6 feet separation.
➤ Wash Your Hands or Use Hand Sanitizer. Practice good hand hygiene.
"If you are sick, please stay home and visit when you are feeling better," the hospital's notice states. "All of the above items are for your safety and to mitigate risks for you, our patients, and our staff members. We appreciate your understanding and compliance."