CHESAPEAKE, Va. — We all know how busy hospitals are right now. Every day, healthcare workers are learning new things about COVID-19, which is why many hospitals across the nations are adjusting visitation policies.
Chesapeake Regional officials changed their polices on March 16 and hospital workers say they don’t know when these restrictions will be lifted. One big change is that people under the age of 18 are no longer allowed in the hospital.
“It’s important to protect not only our patients but also the visitors [themselves] as we are learning this pandemic and the disease as we know it is rapidly evolving,” explained Amber Egyud.
Egyud is Chesapeake Regional's Chief Operating and Chief Nursing Officer. She said one visitor is allowed with a patient, but only in certain specialized departments.
Routine visits have been suspended except for the following circumstances:
- Surgery Department: One person may escort patient to the surgical waiting room
- The Surgical Waiting Area is now divided to establish distance between patients.
- Emergency Department: One person may accompany patient
- The Emergency Department has been divided so that patients with respiratory illnesses are separated. We have also initiated a negative pressure waiting room.
- Labor & Delivery: One support person may stay with patient
- Mother/Baby: One support person may accompany a patient
- Special Care Nursery: Only patient/care giver with wrist band may stay with baby
Before a visitor can step inside Chesapeake Regional, they are evaluated by a member of the healthcare team.
“We screen then related to their risk of COVID and we check their temperature," Egyud said.
Egyud said it’s hard for some families not to see their loved ones during a difficult time even though the restrictions are protecting them from getting sick.
“There is a level of disappointment for sure, but I think with technology and FaceTime and other venues of communication, it’s a little bit easier,” she explained.
For more information on Chesapeake Regional's visitor policy, click here.