EASTERN PANHANDLE, W. Va. (WDVM) — As Delta variant cases continue to rise in the Eastern Panhandle, WVU Medicine East has decided to change its visitor policy to protect patients and staff.
According to the most recent data from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Berkeley County is leading the Mountain State with 56 Delta variant cases. This has prompted WVU Medicine East to tighten its visitor policies at Berkeley and Jefferson Medical Centers. Visiting hours will remain open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Dean Thomas, CEO of WVU Hospitals East, says the hospital system is taking a very cautious approach to the matter.
“We take a measure like this very cautiously because we really believe in having visitors in our institutions to support the care and recovery of their loved ones,” Thomas explained. “It’s a dramatic step to take to have to go backward on that but we feel it is the best step we can take to protect our patients and our staff.”
Starting on August 19th, patients in either hospital will only be allowed one approved adult visitor. Furthermore, the approved visitor must be masked and screened for COVID-19 ahead of each visit.
The visitor also cannot leave their patient’s room for the entire visit. Once the approved visitor leaves, they will not be allowed back into the hospital until the next day.
Acceptions can be made for emergency situations as well as the pediatric, obstetrics, and neonatal intensive care units.
No visitors will be allowed in the behavioral health unit.
WVU Medicine East has also updated the emergency department guidelines. Patients may be accompanied by one adult who will be screened upon arrival with the patient. The approved visitor will then be asked to return to their vehicle and will be notified once the patient has been placed in a treatment room.
For more information about the visitor policy at Berkeley Medical Center, visit their website.
For more information about the visitor policy at Jefferson Medical Center, visit their website.