Piedmont Mountainside Hospital is limiting visitors to special circumstances, upgrading their visitation policy to a level four. Pickens County has two confirmed cases of COVID-19. For more information on the cases, read our story here.
Stacy Fentress, spokesperson for Piedmont and Piedmont Mountainside Hospitals, said the move was to limit exposure to staff and patients.
A level four visitation policy means no visitors are allowed except in special circumstances.
“There are two exceptions,” said Fentress.
Women in labor are allowed one support person with them and patients at the end-of-life are allowed two visitors. Even these visitors will be screened prior to be allowed into the hospital. Also, a guardian may accompany minor children, include those in the neonatal intensive care units.
“It can be confusing when people who want to visit are turned away,” said Fentress adding no decision has been made on how long the level four visitation policy will remain in effect, although she said it would be at least this week.
Piedmont Mountainside recently installed a mobile unit to expand it’s emergency department if needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mobile unit, which is located outside of the Emergency Department, is not a COVID-19 testing center. It will be reserved for patients who are seeking emergency care, but who do not have respiratory symptoms.
“In addition to increasing capacity, the mobile unit will allow us to care for patients who don’t have respiratory symptoms in a different location from patients who do have respiratory symptoms,” said Denise Ray, CEO of Piedmont Mountainside Hospital. “Most importantly, this offers a way to make sure we’re able to offer high-quality care to people in our community in the most efficient way possible.”
The addition of the mobile unit is the latest of a number of efforts at Piedmont Mountainside aimed at protecting patients, visitors and staff from exposure to coronavirus.
From the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Piedmont has worked closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies, including the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), to stay up-to-date with the latest information.
“It’s important to understand that the situation is evolving every day, and as the CDC changes its guidelines, we, in turn, are updating our practices to follow the latest best practices and protocols,” said Ray.