Auburn Community Hospital announced on Friday that it will end its COVID-19 visitation policy and update masking requirements for employees. The changes will take effect on Monday, April 17, as the hospital returns to normal visiting hours.
From noon to 8 p.m. daily, up to two people will be allowed to visit patients. The emergency department and urgent care center will have a one-visitor limit, but pediatric patients can have up to two visitors. In the behavioral health unit, patients may receive up to two adult visitors aged 18 or older. Visitors aged 16 and 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, while no visitors under the age of 16 will be allowed. Visiting hours for the behavioral health unit are from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
COVID-19 positive patients may have one visitor, who will be required to wear full personal protective equipment. The hospital initially restricted visitation in 2020, easing limits as the pandemic progressed, and occasionally reducing visiting hours during COVID-19 spikes.
Auburn Community Hospital will also amend its mask policy for employees. Staff will no longer be required to wear masks unless they are in areas where they may encounter patients, such as patient care areas and hallways. Patients and visitors must continue to wear masks inside the hospital, with screeners reinforcing mask wearing upon entry.
Screenings will persist in areas where patients may be encountered until the federal COVID-19 emergency ends on May 11. However, screenings for outpatient cases will be suspended if the patient is asymptomatic and has not been exposed to the virus. Testing will be conducted for those with symptoms or close contact with COVID-19 positive individuals.
COVID-19 testing will continue for all inpatient cases and outpatient cases requiring an overnight stay. The hospital will monitor COVID-19 positivity and transmission levels for potential surges, which may necessitate adjusting these measures.
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