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BRH visitor policy & surgery update

August 23, 2021 – News

To best protect our community and respond to the current surge in COVID-19 cases requiring hospitalization, Bartlett Regional Hospital is updating its visitor policy and evaluating surgeries to determine the level of urgency.

“The surge of COVID-19 infections is concerning,” said Chief Executive Officer Rose Lawhorne. “We see increased deaths and serious illness related to this infection, particularly in the unvaccinated population. The Delta variant is more transmissible with higher viral loads, making symptoms more intense and having a greater impact on the health of our community.”

Visitor Policy

Admitted inpatients are allowed two designated visitors over the course of their stay, one per day. Visitors must be 16 years or older; visitors under this age would need an exception by the unit director or house supervisor on duty. Outpatients (receiving medical treatment without being admitted to the hospital) are allowed one visitor. Obstetrics patients are allowed one primary support person and one additional support person. No visitors are allowed in the Emergency Department unless exclusion criteria are met.

“While I know it is distressing to have limitations on visitors for patients in the hospital, it is critical that Bartlett provide the safest and best care possible with the increase in COVID-19 cases,” said Bartlett’s Patient and Family Advisor Nancy Davis. “We all need to support these safety efforts to protect everyone in the hospital-patients, visitors, and staff.”

Bartlett Regional Hospital understands the importance of having family support and patient advocates to assist the healing process of our patients. Variations, exclusions and accommodations to BRH Visitor Policies can be considered on a case-by-case basis. For questions or more details, please see the entire updated BRH Visitor Directive here. Visitors are required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at all times, in all areas of the hospital including within the patient room. All visitors will remain in the patient room or designated treatment or waiting area.

Surgery Update

In response to the current limited local and regional capacity to house and transfer patients, BRH is evaluating all surgeries with predictable inpatient post-op stays to determine level of urgency. BRH will however, postpone elective lower-acuity cases that will need inpatient care. This situation is assessed weekly, with exceptions made on a case-by-case basis.

Bartlett leadership reminds the community that we all need to do our part to mitigate the spread of the Delta variant by getting back to the basics: get vaccinated, mask up in public, and maintain social distance recommendations.

“We acknowledge the economic impact and fatigue associated with mitigation measures, but we need all of you to help us get this surge under control. Together, we can make a difference,” said Lawhorne. “Thank you.”