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UVA Medical and Sentara Martha Jefferson reinstate visitor restrictions during COVID-19 surge

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 9:22 AM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia Medical Center is putting new restrictions in place on visitors.

The UVA Medical Center announced Thursday, December 30, that visitors will not be allowed at the inpatient units and the Transitional Care Hospital as of 9 p.m.

“This is probably one of the most difficult time periods in our work, is having to tell family members that they cannot come and be with their loved ones,” Bush Bell with UVA.

Additionally, Starting at 7 a.m. Monday, Jan. 3, visitors also will be restricted from the Emergency Department, outpatient clinics and outpatient procedural areas as of 7 a.m. Monday, Jan. 3.

Also, all public spaces – including the hospital lobby, cafeteria, and waiting areas – are closed to the public.

UVA Medical Center says these changes are in connection with COVID-19 cases surging.

“We see after every holiday, people gather. We see an uptick two weeks later, and this new variant is just incredibly contagious,” Catherine Hughes with Sentara said.

Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital is also changing its rules: effective immediately, there will be no visitors allowed in the Emergency Department. Exceptions to this include patients with altered mental status, minors, and patients who are critically ill or injured.

“We’ll have these changes in place for two weeks, but we’ll continue to watch trends, and really, we truly hope that within a week we’ll see improvement,” Hughes said.

“Soon as we see a reduction in community spread and see our census starting to drop, we’ll start to open our hospital again to visitors,” Bell said.

UVA Visitation Policy Exceptions

Limited exceptions for specific patients can be made if the visitor is not COVID-19 positive and does not have symptoms of COVID-19 or other contagious illness. All visitors must be screened before entering the hospital, must always wear a mask and must remain with the patient at all times.

Exceptions include:

  • Pediatric patients and patients with disabilities: May have one adult designated visitor with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout an inpatient admission, emergency department visit or outpatient visit or procedure.
  • Patients at the end of life: May have two adult designated visitors with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Anyone with questions is asked to call 434.924.0000 or visit uvahealth.com/services/covid19-visiting-restrictions before coming to UVA Health.

Visitation Updates from Sentara

With the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in our health district and nationwide, we will be changing our visitation guidelines.

Effective immediately, there will be no visitors allowed in the Emergency Department except:

  • Patients with altered mental status, developmental delays or behavioral health concerns may have 1 visitor
  • Minors under the age of 18 may have 1 visitor, either a parent or a guardian
  • Patients who are critically ill or critically injured may have 1 visitor

Beginning on Monday, January 3, these additional changes will be implemented:

  • One visitor per inpatient will be permitted at a time in the building. All visitors must be 16 or older with exceptions for end of life.
  • Patients in the Family Birth Center and Women’s Services may have one designated support person throughout their stay.
  • COVID-19 patients may receive one designated visitor during the hours of 2-4 p.m.
  • Patients who are at end-of-life may have up to four visitors in the building at a time.

There will be no change to the visitation policy in the Cancer Center at this time.

These changes will be in place for two weeks, at which time we will re-evaluate and make changes based on the trends in COVID-19 cases in our area.

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