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story.lead_photo.caption A file photo of the National Park Medical Center campus. - File photo by The Sentinel-Record

National Park Medical Center is transitioning from a zero-visitor protocol to limited visitor restrictions as the hospital gradually resumes elective and non-urgent cases and services at its facilities.

"The decision was made as current projections continue to indicate a lower than expected volume of COVID-19 in the region and after careful review of state and federal guidance," the hospital said in a news release. "The updated restrictions, which will now allow most patients to have one visitor or support person per day, have been implemented effective immediately."

Interim NPMC CEO Joann Ettien said in the release the hospital's top priority is safeguarding the health and well-being of its patients, providers, employees and community.

"We continue to monitor closely the prevalence of the virus in our community as we adapt our operations to safely care for and support our patients, and we feel confident that it is safe to begin allowing limited visitors again at this time," Ettien said.

As part of the updated visitor restrictions, patients are now limited to one well visitor per day, including one companion for outpatient appointments and one support person for obstetric patients. All visitors must be 12 years of age or older, must provide their own face covering or mask, will be screened upon entry and are required to wear a mask and an armband while in the facility.

"Visitors (who) do not pass the screening at entry will be asked to reschedule their visit until they are symptom-free," the release said. "Visitors are not allowed for high-risk, isolation, immunocompromised or patients who are under observation or test positive for COVID-19."

The hospital continues to screen everyone who enters the facility for symptoms consistent with COVID-19, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

According to NPMC's website, all patients, visitors and staff entering the facility will be screened with questions regarding respiratory symptoms, travel history and temperature per CDC recommendations. Patients with symptoms will immediately be provided masks and managed per CDC guidelines. Based on the screening, visitors may also be asked to speak further with someone or come back at a later date. Screening will occur upon every entry.

Until otherwise notified, everyone entering the facility should come through the main entrance in the mornings from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or the Emergency Department entrance facing Malvern Avenue around the clock. All other entry points will be closed until further notice.

Local on 05/21/2020

Print Headline: NPMC eases visitor restrictions

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