Special to Iredell Free News
WINSTON-SALEM – Wake Forest Baptist Health will be implementing a more family-friendly visitation policy, effective Tuesday, June 9. These changes apply to all Wake Forest Baptist locations, with the exception of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are considered a patient under investigation (PUI).
For the safety of patients and staff, all visitors will be required to properly wear a mask that covers the nose, mouth and chin while in any Wake Forest Baptist facility.
Two healthy parents or guardians may visit pediatric patients who are hospitalized. Likewise, children undergoing same-day procedures or visiting the Brenner Children’s emergency department or outpatient clinics may be accompanied by two adult parents or guardians.
One healthy adult may visit adult patients who are hospitalized. Adult patients who are undergoing same-day procedures or visiting one of Wake Forest Baptist’s emergency departments or outpatient clinics may be joined by one healthy adult support person.
Children, including siblings of patients, continue to not be permitted as visitors at this time. Families with special situations should contact their care team and attending physician.
“To ensure a safe environment and to protect our patients and health care workers, we still wish to limit visitors at all times – please do not come to medical facilities for casual visits. However, we do understand that the separation of patients from their loved ones during a hospital stay can often add anxiety to an already stressful situation, and is one of the most difficult aspects of this pandemic,” said Dr. Kevin P. High, health system president of Wake Forest Baptist Health. “We also advise all visitors to be diligent in washing their hands – use of a face mask is mandatory – and we continue to encourage family and friends of patients to use other forms of support via phone calls or video chats.”
For adult patients, visitation hours will be limited to between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. with a maximum of four hours per patient per day. Healthy adult parents or guardians may stay overnight with children who are hospitalized.
At The Birth Center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and other labor and delivery units throughout the health system, one support person may remain with an expectant mother throughout her stay.
Access remains limited to specific entrances at each hospital within the Wake Forest Baptist Health system and all visitors will continue to undergo screening for fever, cough or other symptoms of respiratory illness.
“We now have experience testing several thousand preoperative patients and have found very low COVID-19 positivity rates,” High said. “This low rate suggests that adequate at-the-door screening, combined with mandatory, universal face mask usage and distancing measures should allow for safe, limited visitation.”