ROCK SPRINGS — Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County has changed its visitation and masking policies due to COVID-19 cases continuing to drop at the facility.
Emergency Services Director Kim White updated the Board of Trustees on the COVID policies this afternoon and said the changes went into effect at the end of June.
White said the incident command team took a long look at several areas of concern regarding COVID-19 prior to recommending the changes, including emergency room visits, patient admissions, and the number of employees still out due to contracting the virus.
Employees who are in direct contact with patients, within 6 feet of someone, or are unvaccinated will still be required to wear masks, she said.
“This policy did not come easy. As I said we have been monitoring these things for a long time. It took about two months to make a final decision on what we wanted to do as far as this goes,” White said.
Even though the hospital is loosening up its mask wearing policies it will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases as well as other viruses. Mask wearing may be reinstated to keep employees and patients safe if cases increase.
Visitors will still be encouraged to wear masks though it will no longer be a requirement. Free masks will also be offered at the hospital entrance and other locations.
Patients are now allowed to have visitors 12 years and older instead of the 18 and older policy that was previously in place. However in obstetrics, an exception may be made to allow siblings of newborns to visit their new brother or sister. Exceptions are also being made for end-of-life situations.
All visitors who are going to the nursery, dialysis or cancer centers will be required to wear a mask at all times.
Changes have also been made to the number of visitors allowed per patient. Patients in the Emergency Department or ICU are allowed two people per visit. Patients who are admitted to inpatient units, including the medical or surgical unit and obstetrics will be allowed to have four visitors at one time.
The Dialysis and the Oncology Centers will continue with restricted visitation. If things change, the hospital will review its policies.
“We hope that we do not have to return to stricter policies. It just depends on where things go with COVID and with other infectious diseases that we are seeing right now,” White said.
For more information on the visitation policies, click here.