ARH announces no regular visitation at hospitals in wake of COVID-19 increase

7/30/2020

Due to a steady increase in COVID-19 cases and in an abundance of caution to prevent the continued spread of the virus and support the safest hospital environments for all patients, ARH staff and limited visitors, the following revised guidelines are effective July 31, 2020.

Beginning on Friday, July 31, no regular visitation will be permitted at ARH Hospitals. Only the following visitation exceptions will be made:

  • Patients at the end of life - Two (2) people will be allowed to visit.
  • Pediatric patients (age 17 and younger) – One (1) responsible adult.
  • Maternity patients – One (1) designated support person for labor, delivery and duration of the mother’s hospital stay. The one designated support person is deemed the support person throughout the mother’s stay.

Important information for all visitors

  • All visitors (18 years or older) should arrive wearing a mask, and the mask must be worn at all times while in an ARH facility.
  • All visitors will be screened when entering an ARH facility. Those with fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, body aches or respiratory symptoms will not be allowed entry.
  • All visitors should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or apply hand sanitizer when entering and leaving patient rooms.
  • Any visitor must stay in the patient’s room the entire time of the visit. Once the visitor leaves the patient’s room, they must leave the facility immediately and the visitor will not be permitted to return for that day.

“The health and safety of our patients and healthcare teams are our top priority as we move through this pandemic,” stated Maria Braman, MD, ARH Chief Medical Officer. “We must take these measures in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our communities.”

Family and friends of ARH patients are encouraged to use FaceTime, Skype and phone calls to visit with loved ones who are in the hospital.

“We are asking our communities to partner with us to keep each other safe,” said Dr. Braman. “You can do your part by following CDC guidelines: keep a safe physical distance of six feet or more, wear a mask when around others and wash your hands regularly.”

ARH Virtual Care Clinic Services Available

Remember, during this time of increased cases of COVID-19 to take care of your health. It is important that you are keeping your appointments, managing your health issues and talking with your healthcare provider. ARH Virtual Care Clinic services can help you remain proactively in control of your health.

“Patients throughout our communities are taking advantage of our ARH Virtual Care clinic services,” said Dr. Braman. “Our goal is to provide quality healthcare services for you—your way. You have a choice of in-person or virtual care patient visits.”

A virtual care visit is like a traditional visit, but instead of seeing your healthcare provider in person, you see your provider on an eScreen (phone, tablet or computer). You and your healthcare provider can see and hear each other. During the visit if you need a medication or even medical equipment, your ARH healthcare provider will order it for you.

“The real benefit of virtual care visits is that you can be in the comfort of your home, car or office and you can reduce the risk of exposure to possible germs in clinic waiting areas,” added Dr. Braman. For more information about virtual care visits with your ARH healthcare provider, call your provider today or visit the ARH website at www.arh.org.

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ARH is a not-for-profit health system operating 13 hospitals in Barbourville, Hazard, Harlan, Hyden, Martin, McDowell, Middlesboro, Prestonsburg, West Liberty, Whitesburg and South Williamson in Kentucky and Beckley and Hinton in West Virginia, as well as multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, home medical equipment stores and retail pharmacies. ARH employs more than 6,000 people with an annual payroll and benefits of $330 million generated into our local economies. ARH also has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members. ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia.

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