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Is COVID surge affecting hospital rules? Mount Sinai, Baptist and others restrict visitors

·3 min read

AS COVID-19 cases continue to increase at an alarming rate, Mount Sinai Medical Center joined other local hospitals in reverting to prior pandemic measures — including limiting visitation.

On Thursday, Mount Sinai announced that visitors will not be allowed at their medical center or physician offices starting Friday, except for certain strict exceptions. Mount Sinai’s emergency centers in Miami Beach, Aventura and Hialeah will continue permitting one visitor per patient.

One visitor per surgical patient will be allowed as well but only during the registration and COVID-19 screening portions of the surgery. Visitors will not be allowed to stay during procedures, the medical center said.

At the sole discretion of the medical center, visitor exceptions may be made for certain critically ill patients, or patients at or approaching “end of life.” These exceptions will be restricted to people 18 years and older and who have cleared a COVID screening.

The labor and delivery unit and NICU will still keep its visitor policy, which can be found here.

These policy changes comes at a critical time as Florida enters its third peak of COVID cases. The state reported 17,589 new cases on Wednesday to the federal government, the eighth consecutive day Florida had reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than 12,000 new daily cases.

This newest increase is also the fourth largest single-day increase in Florida pandemic history, according to state data.

Most hospitals in South Florida have also changed their policies in line with the increase of COVID cases.

South Florida hospital policy changes

Jackson Health System

Jackson Health System began implementing visitor restrictions last week.

Visitors will not be allowed for patients in Jackson Health’s emergency department and for most inpatients. Outpatients will still be allowed one “healthy” visitor, the hospital said. Those in long-term care will also allowed be allowed visitors.

There are exceptions to the hospitals revised visitation policy for rehabilitation, pediatrics, the neonatal intensive care unit, maternity ward and non-COVID end-of-life cases.

Read more on Jackson Health policies here.

Baptist Health South Florida

Baptist Health South Florida’s policies are less stringent than Jackson Health and Mount Sinai.

Visitors will still be allowed at outpatient surgery centers and stand alone emergency departments, however only one adult visitor. At physician offices, only patients who are minors or have special needs will be allowed one visitor.

Urgent care centers, the Miami Cancer Institute and Lynn Cancer Institute will not be allowing any visitors. At urgent care centers, the only exceptions will be for pediatrics and other special circumstances.

Specific Baptist Health hospitals also have their own policies. For example, no visitors are allowed at Homestead Hospital, with exceptions for Labor and Delivery and Maternity patients along with diagnostic imaging patients. However, at Baptist Hospital of Miami a “limited amount of visitors” are allowed.

Read more on Baptist Health policies here.

Memorial Healthcare System

Memorial Healthcare System is under a Red Status for visitation — meaning a very high risk of exposure. Because of this the hospital only allowing limited visitation.

For hospitalized patients, only one fully vaccinated visitor is allowed for two hours once a day from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.. Those in critical care get a reduced visitation time of one hour between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. with their single fully vaccinated visitor.

Labor and delivery, special needs, hospitalized behavioral health and pediatric are all allowed one visitor as well, who can be unvaccinated.

Patients at “end-of-life” are allowed two visitors who can be unvaccinated too.

Read more on Memorial Healthcare policies here.

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