MHHS updates visitation policy

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

To ensure the health and safety of patients and staff, the hospital temporarily has limited visitation except in these instances:

• Visiting a loved one for end-of-life care

• A visitor vital to the care of the patient

• Patients coming for surgery may have one caregiver accompany them

• Women giving birth may have one birthing partner, doula, or caregiver

The hospital still has limited access entry points into our facility. All visitors are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and required to wear masks. Please note: Minors currently are not permitted to visit in our hospital.

“We appreciate the community working with us as we continue to change our visitation based on patient volume and the pandemic. Our ultimate goal is patient, staff and visitor safety,” said Gordon Lintz, Chief Administrator Officer.

If you are experiencing fever, coughing or breathing problems and you are going to Morristown-Hamblen’s emergency department, please call 423-492-5400 to recieve pre-visit instructions.

Upon arrival, you will be screened by a staff member. Once assessed, you will be given a mask, if you don’t have one, and asked to wear it before entering the facility.

“The health and safety of our community is our No. 1 priority, and we urge the public to take COVID-19 seriously,” hospital officials said in a statement.

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.

In addition, to protect your health and the health of the community during this year’s flu season, hospital officials urge everyone ages 6 months and older to get a flu shot.