Two Huntington hospitals implement no visitation policy due to community spread of COVID-19

Published 1:26 pm Monday, October 12, 2020

(Huntington, W.Va.) —  As of Monday evening, both Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center will have a no visitor policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The policy takes effect at 6 p.m.

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“This was a difficult decision, as we know the importance family plays in a patient’s recovery. But after considering what was best for our patients and employees, it was a decision we had to make,” said Hoyt Burdick, MD, chief clinical officer of Mountain Health Network. “As community spread increases, we must adapt our policies in order to preserve everyone’s safety. We truly appreciate the community’s understanding and cooperation.”


For hospital visitation, the following restrictions are in place until further notice:


∙ No one will be permitted to accompany or visit a patient in the hospital with few exceptions. This restriction also applies to many persons previously considered essential caregivers.


∙ One essential caregiver will be permitted to visit or remain with patients who are on pediatrics, labor and delivery, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and the Neonatal Therapeutic Unit (NTU) subject to the policies of each unit.


∙ Compassionate exceptions to this restriction for patients nearing the end of life are to be authorized on a case-by-case basis.


For all CHH and SMMC outpatient clinics (including Marshall Health and HIMG), urgent cares and ERs:


∙ Family members or friends will not be allowed to accompany their loved ones into the office or exam room unless absolutely necessary.


∙ One parent or guardian may accompany minors for outpatient visits.


∙ If an essential caregiver is needed for assistance, only one person may accompany a patient and the caregiver will be asked to wait in their vehicle during the appointment.


Authorized visitors will be identified with a badge provided to them at the entrance screening checkpoints. Additional visitors will not be permitted in the lobby areas. Hospital staff members are required to wear their ID badges at all times.


MHN will reassess its policy on a weekly basis and will make adjustments as community spread allows. MHN officials encourage the community to follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to prevent the spread of COVID-19:


∙ Wash your hands often.


∙ Avoid close contact (less than 6 ft. apart).


∙ Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.


∙ Cover coughs and sneezes.


∙ Clean and disinfect.


∙ Monitor your health daily.


“It will take all of us working together to protect the health and safety of our patients, visitors and employees,” Dr. Burdick said.