Blount Memorial Hospital is adjusting its visitation policy on Monday, July 27.
Beginning Monday, hospitalized patients will be allowed one visitor who is designated by the patient upon admission. Additionally, the visitation hours are changing to 2-6 p.m. weekdays, Monday through Friday, with the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekends remaining in place.
No changes are being made to the hospital’s existing policy for emergency, surgical and outpatient services patients, which allow for one support person.
Any visitor and/or support person should be age 16 or older.
“We are at a point, when looking at the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in our community, that we feel we need to further restrict our visitation, while also understanding the need for a member of the patient’s family to be part of the recovery process,” said Blount Memorial chief medical officer Dr. Harold Naramore.
Visitors continue to enter the hospital through the outpatient entrance, where they should be prepared to be screened with a temperature check and specific questions. Additionally, anyone entering the facility is required to wear a facial covering that covers the mouth and nose for the duration of the visit, and facial coverings may not be removed while inside the facility.
“We have definitely seen an increase in COVID-19 in our community, both on the outpatient side where those who are diagnosed can recover at home, but also in the number of hospitalizations,” Naramore said. “We really need our community’s help in stopping the spread. We continue to urge our community to wear a mask as you’re out and to make good decisions about gathering with others. We also need our community to adhere to social distancing, and continue to wash your hands as often as possible.”
These recommendations, Naramore says, are our only resources in fighting the spread of COVID-19, right now, and he encourages our community to support them.
“We continue to recommend these things, and we will continue to emphasize their importance, as the medical research and health-related experts all agree that these things are our only tools in fighting the spread of COVID-19 in communities all across the globe.”
Naramore says, by working together as a community, we can make a difference.
“Without this level of commitment by our entire community, we are going to continue to struggle with this virus,” Naramore said. “None of us wants to see this. There are a lot of things that our community does well when we work together to try to solve a problem or make life better in Blount County. This is one of those times, and every member of our community – regardless of age – has an opportunity to step up and help.”