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Sentara updates guidelines for masking, visitors, and pre-procedure testing

Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital (FILE)
Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital (FILE)(WHSV)
Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 3:20 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Sentara Health announced that starting Monday, June 14, all their hospitals will allow two visitors for non-COVID-19 patients, testing will no longer be required for pre-op patients, and masks will still be required regardless of vaccination status.

According to a release Monday, Sentara updated its visitor policy based on current COVID-19 dashboard data from the Virginia Department of Health and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

All Sentara hospitals, except for Sentara Albemarle Medical Center (SAMC), will allow two visitors. The same exceptions to the visitor policy still apply:

  • COVID-19 confirmed patients (who are not end-of-life patients) or patients awaiting COVID-19 test results continue to have no visitors, regardless of hospital location.
  • End-of-life patients who have COVID-19 may have one visitor inside the room in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Hospital staff will provide PPE for the visitor aside from the mask the visitor is required to wear when entering the hospital.
  • End-of-life patients who have COVID-19 and are undergoing any Aerosol Generating Procedure (for example, intubation, on a ventilator or on high flow oxygen), can have one visitor outside of the room.

The same Visitor Safety Guidelines still apply. Those include:

  • Visitors age 12 and older are allowed at this time.
  • Visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the facility.
  • Visitors are required to wear a mask and observe social distancing guidelines.

Sentara says it will reassess the Visitor Guidelines in late June/early July and will provide an update.

COVID-19 testing is no longer required for pre-op patients who have a scheduled surgery or procedure if they can show proof of being fully vaccinated from COVID-19.

Senntara says fully vaccinated means the patient must be at least two weeks past the date of their second dose in a two-dose vaccine series, or two weeks past their first dose in a single-dose vaccine.

If a pre-op patient is not fully vaccinated or cannot show proof of vaccination, the patient must complete a COVID-19 test 48 hours in advance of certain scheduled surgeries or procedures.

Patients who complete a pre-op COVID-19 test are required to self-quarantine between the test and procedure, according to the release.

Sentara reminds patients and the community that masks are still required in healthcare settings in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Healthcare settings include hospitals, doctors’ offices, long-term care facilities, acute care facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, home healthcare, vehicles where healthcare is delivered and outpatient facilities such as dialysis centers, the release states.

Officials say all who are inside Sentara Healthcare clinical facilities in areas where patients are present are still required to wear a mask and screened for COVID-19 signs and symptoms before entering, regardless of vaccination status.

Areas where patients are present include clinical areas like medical examination rooms or inpatient rooms, and common public areas such as elevators, lobbies, waiting rooms, cafeterias and hallways.

For more updates from Sentara, click here.

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