St. Francis Medical Center Announces New Visitor Restrictions

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UPDATE: MONROE, La. (9/17/20) – According to St. Francis Medical Center, they’ve updated their visitation policy for patients, effective Friday, September 18, 2020.

The hospital says visitation of patients, who are not COVID positive or being ruled out for COVID, will be limited to two visitors (18 years or older) per patient per day and one support person per patient per day.

This support person will be allowed to stay overnight in the patient’s room, however all others visiting or supporting patients are asked to stay in the patient’s room and are not allowed to leave and re-enter the facility on the same day.

Kristin Wolkart, President of St. Francis Medical Center made a statement which can be read below:

Patient and team member safety continues to be our highest priority as we provide care during this pandemic. While we continue safety measures to protect our community and employees, we also recognize how important in-person support is for patients while recovering in the hospital. Once Governor John Bel Edwards announced the move to Phase III of reopening in Louisiana, and in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Health and the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System COVID-19 Task Force, the decision was made to relax our visitation restrictions at this time.

Kristin Wolkart, President of St. Francis Medical Center

St. Francis Medical Center’s new visitation policy includes the following guidelines and exceptions:

Patient Visitation Guidelines:

  • Visitation of patients will be limited to two visitors and one support person (18 years or older) per day. All those visiting or supporting patients are asked to stay in the patient’s room and are not allowed to leave and re-enter the facility on the same day. The support person may stay overnight, but must be in patient’s room prior to 6 pm daily.
  • Visiting hours will continue to be from 10 am – 6 pm.
  • Visitors will be screened for symptoms daily and will receive a wristband with the current date that must be worn for the duration of their visit.
  • We strongly recommend people who have chronic conditions such as diabetes, lung or heart disease or are older than 70 do not visit patients in our facilities for their own protection.

Exceptions to the Visitor Policy:

  • Patients who are confirmed COVID-19 or are persons under investigation for COVID-19: no visitors will be permitted, except for end-of-life situations.
  • Pre-Admit Surgery Clinic Appointment: Patient may have one adult person accompany them to their appointment ONLY if assistance is needed.
  • Outpatient Appointments: Patients may have one visitor to accompany them during their appointment if assistance is needed.
  • Surgery and Procedures (day of surgery): Patients undergoing surgery or procedures may have one designated visitor who will be permitted to assist with the arrival, registration and the post-operative process if needed.
  • Emergency Department: One visitor is allowed during a patient’s emergency department stay.
  • Intensive Care Units: One visitor at a time for a total of three visitors each day (10 am – 6 pm only). Each visitor must check out at the front entrance desk before the next visitor will be allowed in.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): Parents only may visit Level II between 10 am – 6 pm. Parents only may visit Level III 10 am – 12 pm and 4 pm – 6 pm.
  • Acute Rehab: one support person and two visitors per patient per day between 3 pm – 6 pm. Support person is allowed to stay overnight.
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF): Patients in our SNF unit are not allowed visitors at this time.
  • End of Life: Special exceptions are made for visitation in these circumstances.

Screening:
All visitors will be screened daily for symptoms, including:

  • Fever greater than or equal to 100.4°F
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion that differs from their typical seasonal allergies
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of smell/taste
  • Diarrhea

If a visitor says “YES” to any of the screening symptoms, they will not be allowed entry into the facility.

Masks

St. Francis Medical Center is requiring all visitors and patients to wear a maks upon entering and while inside the facility. This is for the well-being and protection of our team, patients and community. Visitors are asked to provide their own personal cloth mask or facial covering.

Connecting Virtually

St. Francis Medical Center says they understand and recognize how important the support of family and loved ones are to their patients while they are being cared for. The hospital encourages patients to visit virtually with their loved ones through cellular devices, so they can still be connected and feel supported. The hospital says they have iPads available to help facilitate virtual communication between patients and their loved ones who may be unable to visit at this time.


MONROE, LA. (Press Release) – St. Francis Medical Center today announced updates to its visitor guidelines and screening criteria that will go into effect tomorrow, March 21 at 6 am until further notice. 

For the safety of everyone during this unprecedented pandemic, all visitors are restricted from St. Francis Medical Center facilities.

There are a few exceptions to the policy:

  • Hospitalized pregnant and delivering moms – one adult visitor per day
  • Pediatrics/NICU – one adult visitor per day
  • End-of-life – one adult healthcare decision maker per day
  • Surgical patient – one adult visitor may stay until physician communicates with them immediately after surgery.

As alternatives to visiting, family members and loved ones are advised to use methods for reaching out to patients such as phone calls, video chats or sending cards. Pastoral Care Services are also available for patients upon request.

“We’re keenly aware of how difficult this step of no visitors may be. These are unprecedented times. Like all healthcare organizations, we are protecting our community and especially the medical teams who must be available to care for you throughout this pandemic. The Monroe region is strong and we appreciate your understanding and tireless support for St. Francis Medical Center,” said Kristin Wolkart, St, Francis Medical Center president.

St. Francis Medical Center continues to remind the community that we all play an important part in preventing the spread of COVID-19, influenza and all other viruses. We should all continue to practice social distancing, frequently wash our hands, cover coughs, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you are sick or experiencing flu-like symptoms, stay home and contact your primary care physician.

For more information and resources on COVID-19, visit stfran.com/COVID19.

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