Hospitals tighten visitation rules in Delaware

DOVER — Bayhealth is no longer allowing visitors, part of the effort to halt the spread of coronavirus, the hospital said Thursday.

Due to the virus, the hospital’s Kent and Sussex campuses will not take any visitors. Exceptions will be made on a case by case basis for laboring mothers, neonatal intensive care patients, pediatric patients, end-of-life patients and individuals undergoing urgent procedures or surgeries.

Bayhealth Medical Group practices, Bayhealth Emergency Center in Smyrna, Bayhealth Cancer Centers and Bayhealth Outpatient Centers will only allow visitors if the patient requires assistance.

Joining other regional hospitals who have tightened visitor policies, Peninsula Regional Health System suspended all inpatient visitation beginning on Friday, March 20 at both Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury and Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford.

Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis for specific situations including end of life.

Two parents or caregivers of pediatric patients will be permitted as long as neither is symptomatic. 

In Labor & Delivery, two visitors including the professional support person or postpartum helper will be allowed.  One visitor will be allowed in the surgery waiting area per patients, and social distancing is encouraged. 

ChristianaCare said Thursday it is putting new visitation rules in place due to the coronavirus.

No visitors are allowed to hospitals, outpatient services and the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute. Exceptions exist for patients in palliative care or hospice and laboring mothers, who are allowed one visitor each.

Additionally, one support person is permitted for patients in the emergency department or outpatient services and a single visitor is allowed for NICU and pediatric patients.

Hospital visiting hours are 8 to 8, and all visitors to the hospital will be screened for coronavirus risk before they are allowed to enter. Visitors who display symptoms or do not meet the screening criteria will not be allowed to enter the hospital.

Hospital visitors must be age 16 or older, and ChristianaCare recommends older individuals or people who are especially vulnerable to illness refrain from coming.

To practice social distancing, visitors should not gather in the cafeteria or waiting areas.

Individuals with loved ones in a hospital are urged to consider alternative ways of communicating, such as video and phone chats.

People who are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as a fever and coughing should not come to the hospital or outpatient practices.

Beebe announced its own restrictions recently.

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

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