By Theresa Goodwin
The requirements for visiting the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre will be adjusted once more as the country continues to record an increase in active Covid-19 cases.
A statement released by the hospital over the weekend indicated that, as of today, only one person who is legally authorised to make decisions for a patient who is admitted in the hospital, or those supporting a patient with an impairment or other neurological injury or disabilities, will be allowed on the premises to assist that individual.
Relating to emergency care, minors will be allowed only one visitor, a parent or guardian, and all visits outside of the restricted time would have to be approved in advance.
Approved visitors must follow all the visitation guideless including the mandatory wearing of face masks, six feet social distancing rule, and avoid exiting and entering the patient’s room once they have settled down.
Only one person at a time will also be allowed to access the Paediatric Unit, Neonatal ICU, Intensive Care, Labour and Delivery and well as the Emergency room.
Head of Marketing & Communication Salma Crump said on Sunday that the care team at the hospital was in the process of reaching out to patients with clinic appointments and asking them to reschedule.
She said the hospital does not intend to cancel such appointments; however, they are seeking to reduce the number of clinics per day in an effort to minimise crowded waiting rooms.
“Let’s be clear, this policy is not ideal or preferred—we’re grateful for the patience and understanding of everyone,” said Crump.
“Our hospital looks forward to the time when we can return to a more patient-focused visitor policy. We also understand how important our patients’ connections are to their loved ones and we encourage family members and friends to call, use WhatsApp, FaceTime—utilise technologies available to them to stay engaged and provide support during their loved-one’s stay,” she added.
Health authorities recorded 43 new cases of the virus as of August 20, pushing the total number of cases thus far to 1,490 inclusive of 148 active cases.
The ministry also added that the Epidemiology Unit is still in the process of ascertaining whether the cases are imported or non-imported, and once the investigation is completed, the information will be given in a subsequent publication.
Meanwhile, 32,733 individuals are now considered to be fully vaccinated while 6,679 have only received a first dose.