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Local Hospitals Announce New COVID-19 Protocols

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Katie Stacy, Director of Communications and Community Engagement at Oak Hill Hospital made the following statement:

“Like hospitals across the country, and those particularly in Florida, Oak Hill Hospital is seeing a significant surge in the number of hospitalized COVID-positive patients. Similarly, the patients tend to be younger —both young adults as well as children, who are seen in our pediatric emergency department —and unvaccinated. Due to this increase, Oak Hill Hospital limited visitation effective August 2. That policy is available at oakhillhospital.com by clicking on the “COVID-19 Response” tab at the top of the home screen, and then “Visitor Policy.” Oak Hill Hospital continues to strongly recommend that anyone eligible for the vaccine get vaccinated, now.”

Oak Hill’s New Temporary Visitor Policy  effective Monday, August 2, 2021 is as follows:

Visitors are not allowed to visit COVID-19 positive patients and patients under investigation for COVID-19.

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Visitors must be over age 18 unless the visitor is the parent of a hospitalized child.

Visitor Hours are generally 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM with one adult visitor allowed per patient for that calendar day. Additional modifications apply to certain patient care areas as outlined below.

Patients Undergoing Procedures – One visitor is allowed per patient. Visitor must remain in the designated waiting area. If the patient is admitted, the visitor can visit with the patient after the patient is admitted to his/her room.

Emergency Room (ER) – One visitor is allowed per patient in the ER (except COVID-positive or Patients Under Investigation for COVID).

Pediatric ER – One designated parent/guardian.

Women’s Services (Labor & Delivery and Mother/Baby) – One banded support person 24/7. This person can stay overnight.

Children’s Services (NICU, Pediatrics) – One designated parent/guardian. This person can stay overnight.

Vaccinated Volunteers – Are allowed in all areas apart from designated COVID-19 units.
Exceptions must first be approved by the Hospital Administrator on Call (AOC) or House Supervisor, and will be considered in specific circumstances such as for hospice patients.

The Main Entrance at the North Tower and the Emergency Department Entrance are open 24/7. Entrance C, located at the four-story Hernando Medical Offices building, is open Monday-Saturday from 6:00am – 6:00pm. Outside of those hours, please enter through the Main Entrance at the North Tower for visitation, and through the Emergency Department for emergency situations.

Director of Marketing & Public Relations for Bayfront Hospital, Jennifer Siem also reports increased inpatients at both Hernando County locations. “In June, our daily average was two to three COVID-19 patients at Brooksville and four to five at Spring Hill, in July it was seven to eight at Brooksville and six to seven at Spring Hill.  We have seen an increase and are currently caring for thirty-five COVID positive patients at Brooksville and twenty-three COVID positive patients at Spring Hill.”

She added that Bayfront is following CDC guidance and enhanced cleaning protocols. “Our hospitals remain prepared to care for all patients who need medical attention and we encourage patients experiencing a medical emergency to seek care promptly.”

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, do not let fear of COVID stop you from seeking care.

Vaccinations and vigilance are encouraged.  Vaccination is an important step in protecting yourself and stopping the spread of COVID-19 with its potentially devastating consequences.  Unless you are seeking medical care, please stay at home when you are sick.

Bayfront has adapted regularly based on what we have learned during the pandemic and through ongoing guidance from the CDC. Bayfront’s visitation and mask policies were effective Friday, July 30, 2021 at both locations:

Patients admitted to the hospital will be permitted one visitor, including labor and delivery and NICU, and it will be the same person throughout the patient’s entire length of stay.  This person will be listed as the patient’s emergency contact.

Emergency Room patients are permitted one visitor in the treatment room once the patient is stabilized. The Physician or Charge Nurse may restrict the visitation based on patient condition.

Patients with visitor restrictions, such as on isolation precautions, will be permitted a visitor when their condition improves. Additionally, we do not allow visitation with COVID-19 patients or those patients under investigation for COVID-19.  Exceptions will be considered for end of life situations.

Surgical Patients are permitted one person to accompany them before and after the procedure.  During the procedure they will have the option to wait in the outpatient waiting room or in their car and to leave a contact number with the staff for a status call.  For surgical patients admitted to the hospital, one visitor will be permitted and it will be the same person throughout the patient’s entire length of stay.  This person will be listed as the patient’s emergency contact.

Anyone visiting should bring a face mask. The face mask must be worn the entire time they are in the facility.

What You Can Do

Wear a mask.  They are required in all areas of the hospital.
Wash Your Hands Often
Perform hand hygiene frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty or with soap and water if hands are dirty.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Practice respiratory hygiene by coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow or tissue and then immediately disposing of the tissue.

We also encourage our patients to connect with family and friends by using Facetime or another video communication app.



Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil is a reporter for the Hernando Sun as well as a business technology developer, specializing in website development, content management systems, and data analysis.
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