Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System announces updated visitation policy

Amid novel coronavirus (COVID-19) rise in number of cases, Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System announced an updated visitation policy, instructions for patients coming to the emergency department who are exhibiting COVID-19 and what to do if you are experiencing any related symptoms.

To ensure the health and safety of patients and staff, current visitation policy is below:

• Inpatients: No visitors allowed unless vital to the patient’s care, in which one designated person may visit. Exceptions made for end of life care situations.

• Labor and delivery patients: Mothers may have one birthing partner, doula, or caregiver with them during labor and delivery.

• Emergency department patients: No visitors unless vital to the patient’s care or Pediatrics, in which one designated person may visit.

• Day Surgery, ambulatory surgery: Visitation is limited to one visitor.

• Outpatient diagnostics: No visitors allowed unless vital to the patient’s care, in which one designated person may visit.

• Patients with disabilities: Provisions will be made to ensure designated support persons are authorized to stay and/or visit patients with disabilities.

“We still have limited access entry points into our facility,” a hospital spokesperson said. “All visitors are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and required to wear masks.

“Minors currently are not permitted to visit in our hospitals.”

Those experiencing fever, coughing or breathing problems who are coming to Morristown-Hamblen’s emergency department, are encouraged to call 423-492-5400 to receive previsit instructions.

Upon arrival, patients will be screened by a staff member. Once assessed, patients will be given a mask and asked to wear it before entering the facility.

“We encourage you to bring a mask from home. You will be escorted to the emergency department by a staff member,” the spokesperson said. “The health and safety of our community is our No. 1 priority, and we urge the public to take COVID-19 seriously.”

The most effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus are:

• Wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face.

• Wear a mask in public places. All patients, visitors and employees must wear masks in Covenant Health facilities, including Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System.

• Practice social distancing. Avoid crowds and non-mandatory travel.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (phones, doorknobs, counters, etc.) regularly.

• Stay home if you are sick.