Beebe, Peninsula implement visitor restrictions

LEWES – Beebe Healthcare, under certain infection control circumstances and with the guidance of the Infection Prevention Department and state and federal agencies, said it will institute visitor restrictions effective immediately.

Beebe Healthcare officials said they continually evaluate the rapidly changing information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and take the health and safety of their team members, medical staff, patients and visitors seriously.

 Beebe Healthcare has implemented the following visitor restrictions:

 For Patients admitted to Beebe Healthcare’s Margaret H. Rollin’s Lewes Campus hospital

  • Patients will need to specify two essential visitors such as spouse, parent, caregiver, domestic partner, support person, or adult child 17 and over, who will be permitted to visit them while in the hospital. The names of the two essential visitors will be recorded in the hospital’s system.
  • Only those two essential visitors will be permitted to visit the patient for the duration of their stay. Other visitors will not be permitted to enter the Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus to wait in any area of the facility including waiting rooms, cafeterias or hallways.
  • Identified essential visitors will be screened upon arrival to the hospital and may not be able to enter if they are deemed potentially infectious. Children 16 and under will not be allowed to visit.

For patients in Beebe Healthcare’s Outpatient areas, which include: Emergency Department, Same Day Surgery, Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Diagnostic Services at the Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus; Surgery and Endoscopy Centers, Tunnell Cancer Center, Rehabilitation Services Centers, Diagnostic Imaging Centers, Lab Express Centers, Beebe Medical Group Physician Practices, Walk-in Centers, etc.,

  • Patients may check in with no more than two visitors, who will be screened prior to entry. Only one of those two visitors may accompany the patient to the treatment area.

Beebe Healthcare said it realizes that this might be a hindrance for some, and apologized in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

Beebe Healthcare is committed to helping the public access the resources to stay updated as Coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves in the community. Visit www.beebehealthcare.org to find links to the latest information about this disease as well as how to protect yourself.

Restrictions at Nanticoke

The Peninsula Regional Health System, which operates Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and the McCready Health Pavilion, Thursday announced an enhanced COVID-19 Patient Safety and Visitation Policy.

 Foremost in the plan, if you’re not feeling well or if you don’t have to visit, in particular during this time of COVID-19, don’t visit. 

In an effort to protect staff, patients, visitors and community, PRHS will be implementing additional precautions and practices starting Friday, March 13.

They include visiting hours restricted to Noon until 8:00 p.m. at Nanticoke and Peninsula Regional.  These will be implemented starting on Monday, March 16.

The remainder of these changes will begin on Friday, March 13:

  • No visitors under the age of 18 unless they are parents of hospitalized children.  This includes infants and siblings across all areas of the hospitals;
  • Limit of one visitor per patient.  Only one person may accompany a patient into the hospital or into any of PRHS’s physician offices or immediate care centers. Additional visitors will not be permitted in the building and may not stay in lobbies or waiting areas.  They may visit, but only after the first person has completed their visit and left the building;
  • Visitors are required to check in at the front desk of any location;
  • Visitors may be screened for flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat).  Those exhibiting symptoms will be asked to leave and referred to their primary care provider.  They will not be allowed to visit;
  • If screening questions determine a visitor has traveled internationally, they will not be allowed to visit patients until after 14 days back in the United States;
  • Labor and Delivery will be restricted to two visitors including the professional support person/post-partum helper.

Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis for situations including events such as end of life.  PRHS encourages friends, family and loved ones to use electronic devices and applications (phones, FaceTime, Skype, etc.) to keep in contact with patients. 

Peninsula Regional Health System thanks its visitors for their help in keeping its patients, staff and other visitors healthy.  The best protection against COVID-19 is to continue washing and sanitizing your hands.  Use soap and water for 20 seconds and alcohol-based hand gel frequently. 

For the latest information on how PRHS facilities are prepared for COVID-19, visit either of our websites at www.peninsula.org or www.nanticoke.org. 

If you have questions, call 211 or visit health.maryland.gov/coronavirus and www.cdc.gov for up-to-date information and resources, including the latest information on COVID-19.

In the future, the Peninsula Regional Health System may adjust this policy, including and up to a complete ban on visitation, based on COVID-19 virus prominence in and around our region.

DHSS recommends nursing homes temporarily ban visitors

NEW CASTLE – The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is recommending that all Delaware nursing homes, long-term care facilities and adult day-care centers temporarily end visitation as a way to reduce the risk of residents and clients contracting coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The recommendation follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance that urges long-term care facilities to be vigilant in preventing the introduction and spread of COVID-19. 

DHSS’ Division of Public Health and DEMA are working with DHSS’ Division of Health Care Quality (DHCQ), Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) and other community partners to implement strategies and restrictions to keep residents safe and healthy. In addition to restricting visitors, DHSS is urging Delaware’s long-term care facilities to:

  • Make online methods of face-to face communication and phone calls available.
  • Staff should be monitored if they are showing any signs of respiratory infection such as fever, cough or sore throat.
  • Any staff member who has these signs or symptoms should not go to work. Any staff that develop these signs or symptoms on the job should immediately stop working, put on a face mask, and self-isolate at home.
  • Nursing homes should increase availability of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, tissues, no-touch receptacles for disposal, and face masks at entrances, waiting rooms, and resident check-ins.
  • Signage should be increased for vigilant infection prevention.
  • Properly clean, disinfect, and limit sharing of medical equipment between residents and areas of the facility.

The CDC has found that early data suggests older people are twice as likely to suffer a serious illness from coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19.

Earlier this week, DHSS urged older Delawareans and people with severe chronic health conditions to follow CDC guidance that they “avoid crowds as much as possible” as a way to reduce their risk.

The Department of Health and Social Services advises that community preparedness planning – recommended by CDC – should include older adults and people with disabilities, and the organizations that support them in their communities, to ensure their needs are taken into consideration.

Many of these individuals live in the community, and many depend on services and supports provided in their homes or in the community to maintain their independence and their health. For family members and caregivers providing support, the CDC recommends these steps:

  • Know what medications your loved one is taking and see if you can help them have extra on hand.
  • Monitor food and other medical supplies (oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, wound care) needed and create a back-up plan.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food items to have on hand in your home to minimize trips to stores.
  • If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.


Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

Have a question, tip, or resources about the coronavirus pandemic? Submit it to our newsroom and we’ll do what we can to provide answers.