UK Healthcare, Baptist Health say no visitors except in these cases

LEXINGTON, Ky. — To protect patients, families, employees and the community during the outbreak of COVID-19, UK HealthCare is implementing a no visitation policy beginning midnight tonight in its hospitals and clinics until the threat of COVID-19 transmission has decreased significantly.

“These are extraordinary times and we ask for your cooperation and assistance in complying with these restrictions,” said Dr. Mark Newman, University of Kentucky executive vice president for health affairs. “The safety and well-being of our patients, employees and our community is our greatest concern and priority in making these decisions.”

Exceptions to hospital inpatient visitation restrictions include:

  • Obstetric patients may have one partner or one birth support person over the age of 16 accompanythem.
  • Pediatric patients may have parents or guardians, not to exceed two visitors, for the length of time cleared by the attending physician.
  • Nursery/Neonatal Intensive Care patients may have a birth parent plus one significant-other visit as cleared by the attending physician.
  • Patients who are at the end-of-life may have up to two visitors for the length of time cleared by the attending physician.
  • Patients with altered mental status, cognitive impairment, developmental delays or disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care, may have one (1) visitor.
  • Patients who require a home caregiver(s) to be trained may have up to one visitor.
  • Patients undergoing surgery or procedure may have one visitor and the visitor must leave the medical center as soon as possible after the procedure/surgery.
  • Once the visitor leaves the patient’s room, he or she must immediately leave the hospital.

In addition, Emergency Department patients may be accompanied by one person. Patients who have an appointment at UK HealthCare clinics, laboratory or radiology and need family/caregiver assistance may have one person with them. Pediatric patients at clinics, laboratory, or radiology may be accompanied by one parent or guardian.

The following additional restrictions apply to visitors and accompanying guardians or caregivers:

  • Any person who appears ill or fails screening will be denied access.

• No person will be allowed in rooms of persons under investigation (PUIs) or COVID-19 positive patients (unless at end of life).

  • Visitation Access Restriction policy includes UK HealthCare employees who have family members in the hospital.
  • All visitors permitted on the unit must stay in the room for the duration of the visit.
  • Exceptions to the exclusion of visitors and length of time for visitation will be individualized and take into consideration what is in the best interest of patient care and safety of patients and employees.
  • Interfaith needs and support will be addressed by internal chaplains who will consult with external consultants as needed.

Baptist Health suspends visitation at its hospitals, medical offices to safeguard patients, staff

Effective Tuesday, March 24, Baptist Health is suspending visitation at all of its hospitals, and allowing only essential caregivers to accompany patients for medical appointments or tests. There will be limited exceptions.

For the past two weeks, Baptist Health has been progressively restricting access to its hospitals and Baptist Health Medical Group offices to protect patients from the COVID-19 virus.

“This is a difficult but necessary step to help deal with this ever-changing situation,” said Baptist Health CEO Gerard Colman. “We apologize for the inconvenience to our patients and their loved ones, but we must keep patient and staff safety our top priority. With Baptist Health’s long-standing reputation of providing ‘treat-you-like-family’ care, you know your family members and friends are in good hands.”

At the hospitals, there will be limited exceptions, allowing one healthy visitor or companion for:

  • Patients under age 18 (must be a parent or guardian)
  • Women in labor (birthing partner)
  • End-of-life patients (clergy)
  • Hospice or end-of-life patients (visitor)
  • Dependent patients who require assistance (caregiver)

Those allowed to visit or accompany a patient will be screened prior to visitation, which may include having a temperature taken. Only one visitor or companion for a patient may be in the hospital at one time.

Access to the hospital is restricted to the main entrance of the North Tower and for emergency care, patients will still go to the Emergency Department. At those points, screenings will include a temperature check and questions about travel history and previous contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

“We encourage everyone to use their personal electronic devices to use virtual means such as FaceTime or Skype to communicate with their loved ones in the hospital,” said Bill Sisson, president of Baptist Health Lexington.

For Baptist Health Medical Group offices and outpatient facilities, a single essential caregiver will be allowed for:

  • Child under age 18 (parent)
  • Dependent adult who requires assistance (caregiver)
  • End-of-life patient (determined on case-by-case basis)

Other recent measures taken by Baptist Health include postponement of elective surgeries and of certain diagnostic screening tests.

For the latest information on Baptist Health Lexington policies and response to COVID-19, visit BaptistHealth.com or follow Baptist Health Lexington on social media.