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Residents have been given the green light to visit their loved ones at the Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) as the hospital has lifted its no-visitation policy which had been put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, the country’s main medical facility announced the resumption of patient visitation “with universal protections in place”.

Medical Director of MSJMC Albert Duncan said in a press release that multiple teams will be working around the clock to define a path towards rapidly scaling and resuming our normal operations.

However, the operations of the hospital will be subject to new visitor guidelines.

Those include the mandatory wearing of a cloth face covering, or mask, and visitors must be 18 years or older with careful consideration of those 65 and older.

For general medical and surgical patients (except those with Covid-19 or who are in isolation), visitation is now possible from 4 pm to 6:30 pm, but is limited to only two visitors per day per patient.

However, special limitations apply to the varying departments.

For example, patients in the Intensive Care Unit are only allowed to have two visitors who are members of their immediate family, and those visits must be between the hours of 11 am and 1 pm.

Patients on the Maternity Ward may have one designated support person for labour and delivery only, and once they are not in isolation, may have two visitors, who should remain in the patient’s room, during the visiting hours of 4 pm to 6:30 pm and during discharge instructions, while overnight visitation may be allowed for one support person if patient is in a private room.

Patients at end of life may have two visitors.

Similar restrictions will apply to the pediatric department but patients are allowed to have their two visitors (parents or guardians from 10:30 am to 9 pm. However, one parent may be allowed overnight visitation and one parent may be allowed to visit the Neonatal Intensive Care unit (NICU) from 8 am to 11 am.

On the other hand, restrictions in the emergency department are as follows: adult patients may have one person accompany them into the facility, while pediatric patients may have one parent/guardian accompany them into the facility and one parent/guardian at a time at the bedside.

According to at MSJMC’s Head of Marketing & Communications, Salma Crump, “the hospital prepared for the worst, and over the past few weeks we’ve been steadily resuming much of what was put on pause during this health crisis”.

Crump also said that she is confident that they “have created a safe environment for everyone who walks through our doors. We thank the community for their cooperation, understanding and their patience too – But most of all, for trusting us with their care.”

Meanwhile, the MSJMC also advised persons who have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, body aches or respiratory symptoms, to avoid coming to the facility.

“Patients who test positive for Covid-19 or for whom a Covid-19 test is pending may not have any visitors,” it added.

All visitors are also expected to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or apply hand sanitizer when entering and leaving patient rooms.

Furthermore, a visitor must stay in the patient’s room the entire time of the visit.

The release also advised that “visitation exceptions for extraordinary situations will be carefully evaluated and must be pre-approved.”

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