Phoebe extends visitation hours following end of COVID emergency

Friends and family are now able to see their loved ones in a more relaxed setting.
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 5:13 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Now that the COVID emergency is over, Phoebe Putney Health System is extending its visitation hours.

“The COVID emergency being over does not mean that there isn’t COVID or coronavirus in the community anymore,” Dr. Charles Kemp with Albany Internal Medicine said. “It means that that level of the disease is over with now. And we just are going to have to deal with it on a more regular basis like we do a variety of other health problems.”

This is just one of the many reasons why Phoebe decided to change its visitation hours.

Friends and family are now able to see their loved ones in a more relaxed setting.

“Right now, we’re doing 7 a.m.-9 p.m. During COVID, we had a number of different hours depending on the surges and things,” Scott Steiner, Phoebe Putney Health System CEO and president, said. “Family is really a part of the healing process, and we wanted to make sure that we’re including our families and friends in that healing process.”

The amount of visitors patients are allowed to have will be changing as well.

“Right now, we allow up to five. But every circumstance is different. And one of the reasons we did that, we expanded that, is that every room now is a private patient room,” Steiner said. “Before we had semi-private patient rooms or we had two patients in a room. There just wasn’t the physical space, but now everyone’s in a private room.”

Phoebe officials said of the health system’s current patients, a very low number are there for COVID.

“I don’t know today, but at any given time, we have just a small handful. I think we have one here because of COVID as of this weekend. I’m not sure if they’ve been discharged today, but the numbers are very small,” Steiner said.