LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – 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.