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Sentara relaxes some coronavirus restrictions to allow visitors for certain patients

Sentara Healthcare said it was revising elements of the visitor policy which it tightened up in response to COVID-19.

NORFOLK, Va. — Sentara Healthcare said it was welcoming visitors back to most of its hospitals beginning on Thursday, May 7.

Sentara, like all health care systems, had restricted access to its buildings in response to COVID-19 and to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

These are the changes that are effective as of 12 p.m. Thursday:

  • All non-COVID-19 patients and patients who are not under investigation for the disease are allowed to have one visitor.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and end-of-life patients are allowed to have two visitors.

Sentara said that the revised policies apply to most of its hospitals and included all levels of care and its emergency departments. There may be additional guidelines at hospitals, so it's best to check with a hospital before heading there.

All visitors will be screened and have their temperatures taken before entering a building. Visitors will have to wear masks while they're at a hospital. If someone doesn't have a mask, Sentara said it will provide a community-made mask.

The health care system said it's doing everything it can to keep its hospitals safe and clean. That includes carefully cleaning and disinfecting the buildings on an ongoing basis. All employees also are wearing masks.

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