Dayton region’s hospital visitor rules change amid coronavirus

A nurse works at Grandview Medical Center in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED

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A nurse works at Grandview Medical Center in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED

Visitor rules are changing at local hospitals this Thursday, the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association announced.

Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association represents hospitals in Auglaize, Butler, Darke, Champaign, Clark, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby and Warren counties.

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In the region’s outpatient, ambulatory, emergency department, and hospital facilities, patients will be permitted one support person in the building at a time, as long as people can maintain distance and that the hospital’s personal protective equipment supply remains stable. The previous rule permitted one visitor per day, so this will allow for more people to visit if they visit one at a time.

“The additional flexibility of allowing one visitor at a time per the updated regional visitor restrictions will allow families to better engage in the care and recovery of individuals receiving care from one of our member hospitals,” Sarah Hackenbracht, President & CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, said in a statement.

The association said it wanted to clarify neonatal rules and said that visits in neonatal intensive care units are not allowed if the mother or partner is COVID-19 positive and still able to transmit the virus and visits are not allowed from anyone else COVID-19 positive or symptomatic and waiting test results.

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There may be exceptions to the hospital visitor restrictions including end-of-life situations; maternity patients, who may have an additional support person such as a doula; and minor maternity patients, who also can have a parent or guardian present. Patients who need help due to mobility, reorienting/confusion, interpretation, court-ordered, or health care decision making may have one additional assistance person.

Babies in the NICU can have two visitors for the duration of stay, with one visitor allowed at a time. Confirmed COVID-19 mothers and partners should not visit NICU infants while able to transmit COVID-19.

Visitors will not be permitted for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients in the hospital unless the patient meets one of the above exceptions.

Local hospitals have had universal masking policies since at least May.

Patients and visitors may provide and wear their own mask or will be required to accept and wear the mask provided by the hospital facility. Exceptions may be made on an individual basis for those individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to health or disability issues.

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