BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – United Hospital Center is changing its visitor policy again after the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the state of West Virginia.
Starting Sept. 17, the following policies will be in place:
- Visitation remains restricted to those 16 years of age or older.
- An adult patient admitted to the hospital is limited to one adult visit per day during designated visiting hours. Visitors are not permitted to exit the hospital and return in same day.
- A labor and delivery patient is limited to one adult support person visit per 24 hour period.
- A pediatric patient (pediatric patients only) is limited to one adult support person visit per 24 hour period.
- All approved visitors must wear a mask at all times and will be screened upon entering the facility.
- If visitor screening is positive, visitation will not be permitted.
- Visitation for COVID-19 positive patients or COVID-19 persons under investigation (PUIs) may be ordered, as per West Virginia House Bill 2368, through a department manager.
- All visitors will receive and must wear a visitor badge to indicate they have been screened.
- Adult patients are encouraged to attend any diagnostic appointments alone.
- Patients are asked not to arrive for their appointment more than 15 minutes early.
The new policies come after WVU Medicine relaxed its visitor policies in July.
Hospitals officials are also asking the public to be truthful and honest when arriving to visit a patient.
“I’m asking people to be honest with their screening at the door. This is happening at other facilities. It doesn’t help us maintain safety for our patients, and/or our staff, to have individuals be untruthful or purposely incomplete in their screen criteria,” said Dr. Mark Povroznik, Chief Quality Officer and Chairman of Infection Control at United Hospital Center.
As of Sept. 16, Dr. Povroznik said the hospital is at its highest number of COVID-19 positive patients since the start of the pandemic, with 62 patients. Of those 62 patients, 18 are in critical care and six are holding in the emergency room.
Dr. Povroznik also said the hospital has curtailed elective surgeries requiring an inpatient stay so that more hospital beds could be available.