COVID-19 Patient and Visitor Information

COVID-19 Patient and Visitor Information

Your Safety is Our Top Priority

You may be concerned about news of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and its implications for your health and those of your loved ones. Your safety and well-being are our top priority.

Please know that:

  • We are taking all necessary measures and precautions to protect the safety of our patients and staff.
  • We specialize in the care of patients with complex illnesses and have experience with managing and containing novel viruses.
  • This is a rapidly evolving situation and we suggest you check out the latest updates on the CDC website as well as the website of your state health department.

Visitor Policy:

  • Hospital visitor policies have been updated to reflect national efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. This policy may change at any time due to the rapidly evolving situation.
  • Visitors will be screened at the Arlington Entrance by a staff member and if asymptomatic, required to sign in and out, and be provided a visitor sticker for the duration of their stay. Returning visitors will be re-screened.
  • We are requesting all visitors wear handcrafted masks to the hospital. Patients may remove their face covering when in their room, but should put it back on when leaving the room or when others enter the room.
  • Effective Sunday, March 22, 2020 Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center will be restricting all visitation, with the following exceptions:
    • Patients who are receiving lodging services as part of their medical treatment plan are excluded from the visitor restriction policy.
    • Emergency Room visitation exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
    • Patients undergoing surgery or procedures may have 1 visitor.
    • Minors under the age of 18 may have parents/guardians only.
    • Patients requiring a 24-hour caregiver may have 1 visitor.
    • Patients with disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care, may have 1 visitor.
    • Patients who are at the end-of-life.
    • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) visitation is limited to parents only.
    • Certified Doulas are permitted to assist in the birthing process. They must pass the screening when they enter the hospital and must reside in the room with the laboring patient.
    • Obstetric patients (birthing and post-partum) may have their significant partner accompany them.
  • Please note in all cases the visitor must adhere to the following:
    • A visitor must be 12 years or older (except in extraordinary circumstances)
    • Will only be allowed if they do not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath).
    • No visitors will be allowed for patients with a pending or positive COVID-19 test.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Novel Coronavirus

What is our hospital doing to protect patients?

  • We are screening patients with symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath and with a history of travel within the past 14 days to communities with widespread or sustained community transmission of the coronavirus.
  • If we have a confirmed or potential patient with COVID-19, we will institute standard infectious disease protocols, as well as additional measures, to prevent the potential spread of the virus. All healthcare providers who have contact with the patient will use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

How concerned should I be about the coronavirus?

  • As of now, the seasonal flu remains a significant health risk.
  • Coronaviruses can cause the common cold and pneumonia. Most people infected with the novel coronavirus have mild cold symptoms. A small fraction of people, however, may require more intensive care. The CDC has launched an online self-checker for the novel coronavirus in the form of a bot named Clara (click the green “Coronavirus Self-Checker” banner to launch it). We understand your concern about protecting yourself from respiratory diseases. There is no recommendation to routinely wear a mask at this time.
  • Keep informed of the risk by checking the situation update on the CDC website.

What can I do to protect myself?

It is understandable to feel uncertain or anxious during a public health crisis, and we need to remember to avoid making assumptions about others' perceived symptoms or any characteristics of identity. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent the novel coronavirus infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Here are the current CDC recommendations to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Take everyday preventive actions for respiratory infections, such as avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying home when sick, and washing hands often.
  • Avoid traveling to places with widespread or sustained community transmission of the coronavirus. A good place for reliable travel information can be found on the CDC's travel advisory page.

Should I wear a mask?

The CDC does not recommend the use of face masks for the general U.S. public to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including the novel coronavirus.

The best way to protect your health is by practicing preventive measures listed above to help prevent illness and symptoms similar to the novel coronavirus.

Where can I learn more?

Concerned patients and family members should talk with their healthcare provider.

You can also find more information about the virus from these websites.