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Catholic Health announces enhanced visitor screenings

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Thu, Mar 12th 2020 03:45 pm

As Catholic Health takes proactive steps to protect the health and safety of its patients, long-term care residents, and associates amid the growing coronavirus crisis, the health system announced enhanced visitor screenings at its member hospitals, including Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, and Sisters of Charity Hospital and its St. Joseph Campus.

The new screening procedures, which go into effect today, include anyone visiting a Catholic Health hospital for any reason. For Catholic Health patients, coronavirus screenings will be part of their regular plan of care. As part of the enhanced visitor screening procedures:

•Patient visiting hours are limited to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

•Only two visitors per patient are allowed to visit at any one time.

•Visitors must complete a verbal screening at all hospital points of entry, which includes questions related to the signs and symptoms of coronavirus and contact with persons under treatment or observation for coronavirus.

•Based on the results of the verbal screening, visitors will be asked to refrain from visiting, submit to a temporal (forehead) scan to check their body temperature, and/or wear a protective mask for the duration of their visit.

•Visitors with elevated temperatures, at or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, will be asked not to visit until their temperature falls below 100 degrees.

•Exceptions to the visitor restrictions include visitations related to:

  • Palliative/end-of-life care
  • Emergency care after visiting hours
  • Admission to hospital (via Emergency room) after visiting hours
  • Maternity/neonatal intensive care

And other special circumstances as determined by the hospital’s nursing supervisor or clinical leadership team.

Based on recommendations from the CDC and local and state health departments, Catholic Health may amend these policies as needed.

A press release read, “We thank our visitors for their cooperation and understanding during this trying time and ask the public to stay home if they are sick and avoid people who are, follow recommended guidelines regarding hand hygiene and covering one’s nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently used surfaces.”

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