BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — Starting today, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) is requiring all healthcare facilities to start restricting visitors.
Visitors will be limited “…to those deemed essential, vital or necessary to the care and well-being of patients, clients and residents,” stated department officials in a press release. ” This action is being taken to limit the spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus, among the populations most vulnerable to the virus.”
The prohibition will last until April 10, 2020, unless otherwise extended by the department.
Each facility will decide which visitors are allowed after consultation with patients and their families. The ban does not extend to non-essential visitors in situations involving end-of-life care, as approved by the facility.
The state has defined those who are restricted as anyone who:
- Has signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat as assessed by the facility.
- In the last 14 days, has had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or is under investigation for COVID-19 or has been or is currently ill with respiratory illness;
- Has been on international travel within the last 14 days to countries with sustained community transmission of COVID-19; or
- Is residing in a community where community-based spread of COVID-19 is occurring.
Facilities are required to provide alternative means of communication, including virtual visitations, and should consider assigning staff as primary contact for families and regular calls to keep families up to date.
The Department also recommends that all facilities consider limiting or restricting all elective or voluntary medical procedures for the next 30 days.