ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -Starting on Friday, hospital visitation is suspended at all Phoebe Putney Health System locations because of the recent increase of COVID cases in southwest Georgia.
Health officials have reinstated visitor restrictions, fearing outside visitors can bring the virus into the hospital.
Hospital officials say the number of COVID cases and hospitalizations have risen significantly across the state and locally.
After the holidays, they are concerned with the numbers. They want to take all steps necessary to try to avoid a spread inside the facilities.
“I’m happy to say it is not last year. We don’t see it at the rate it was last year, so we are nowhere near that. If you want to say percentage-wise maybe we are close to maybe 50 or 60 percent from where you were at your worst period of time,” said Dr. Dianna Grant, Phoebe Putney Health System Chief Medical Officer.
Health Officials are restricting how many visitors can come inside the hospital and into each room, depending on the patient’s condition.
They want to reinforce mask-wearing at all times around patients when visiting.
Dr. Dianna Grant says physical health and mental health are very important during these times, and the hospital is willing to accommodate anyone’s spiritual care or mental health needs.
Restrictions apply throughout the Phoebe health system.
Exceptions to the visitor restrictions include:
- Obstetric patients.
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients at Phoebe’s main campus may have one birth parent plus one significant other.
- Patients who are at end-of-life may have up to three visitors.
- Patients with conditions that require a caregiver (as determined by the care team) may have one visitor.
- Minors under age 18 may have two parents or guardians.
- Patients undergoing urgent/emergent surgery or procedures may have one visitor on-site during the procedure/surgery.
- Patients in the emergency center may have one visitor, only if that visitor is identified as a medically-necessary caregiver.
- Patients who request spiritual or religious care may be visited by one clergy member.
Phoebe leaders say they will monitor the situation daily and will adjust visitation rules when necessary.