Providence Health and Services for Southwest Washington announced Thursday that facilities including Providence Centralia and St. Peter hospitals would further restrict visitation in an attempt to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection.
“We understand the importance of seeing loved ones while they are receiving care, and know the value visitors bring to our patients,” a press release from the hospital states. “However, during this time, we encourage our patients and their loved ones to communicate more through phone and video calls. If our patients don’t have video capabilities on their personal devices, we will attempt to make this technology available upon request during their stay.”
The hospitals will not allow more than two visitors per patient at a time. Visitors are asked to not sit in waiting rooms or congregate in public areas, but to plan ahead and stagger visiting times.
Visitors with respiratory conditions or fevers are not allowed. Visitors should be immediate family and age 18 or older. All public meetings and gatherings at the hospitals have been canceled.
Providence is urging people to use sanitizer and wash hands with soap and water for 20 to 30 seconds after going to the bathroom, before eating or any time hands are dirty.
In addition, at all Providence clinics, medical assistants and registered nurses are calling patients in advance of primary care appointments to screen them for coronavirus symptoms.
“If the patient needs triage, the call is routed to an RN to triage and give recommendations,” according to the news release. “If patients are negative for screening but have respiratory symptoms and insists on being seen, they are instructed to mask upon entry into the clinic and remain masked throughout the entire visit.”
Also, any patient who calls with respiratory symptoms is sent to a triage nurse.
“We are strongly encouraging all patients to treat symptomatically at home if possible and isolate themselves,” according to Providence. “Do not go to work sick or attend public gatherings if symptomatic.”
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