Prisma Health announced it has restricted patient visitation due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in South Carolina. The policy went into effect Jan. 9.
There have been a total of 323,855 positive cases of the novel coronavirus in the state as of Jan. 11, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control with almost 45,000 cases in Greenville County.
“We know that being with families is itself a healing therapy, and so we wrestled with this decision. But we believe this measure is needed in the wake of the growing post-holiday surge of COVID-19, especially given the growing community spread,” said Dr. Eric Ossmann, a Prisma emergency medicine physician who leads its COVID-19 response systemwide, in a statement.
Staff will work with patients and their families to help patients stay connected for virtual visits. Broad visitation has been suspended.
Prisma will offer limited visitation in the following instances:
- Pediatric patients, with only one care partner allowed 24-7 except for a one-hour daily transition period in which both parents or legal guardians may be present for physician discussions and joint training.
- Obstetric patients who are pre-term, in imminent labor, laboring, high-risk and postpartum may have one care partner.
- Patients undergoing sedating procedures such as colonoscopies may have one care partner.
- Case-by-case approval is required for visitation for those requiring additional assistance from care partners, such as for patients with dementia.
- For emergency department care, the emergency department team will use their discretion in the interest of patient care in the treatment of children, older adults and any patients with special needs.
- Up to three visitors may be allowed in end-of-life situations.
- Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are not permitted to have visitation except under special case-by-case approvals.
Visitors will have to undergo screening for COVID-19 and be required to wear a face mask while at the hospital. Children under 18 cannot visit except for end-of-life situations.
“Prisma Health looks forward to reopening broader visitation in the future,” said Ossmann. “Since this pandemic likely will be with us into the near future, we ask you for your continued patience as we strive to provide extraordinary care under challenging circumstances. We also ask that everyone use extra vigilance and continue to socially distance, mask and hand-wash.”