Southcoast Health restricts visitors amid covid-19 surge

Dec 6, 2021

Due to the increased spread of covid-19 in the region and the beginning of the cold and flu season, Southcoast Health has instituted a new, temporary visitor policy beginning Dec. 6.

All visitors will be required to show either proof of vaccination or, for unvaccinated people, a negative covid-19 PCR lab test, taken 24 hours prior to the visit. No visitors experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, a temperature over 100 degrees or other covid-19 symptoms will be allowed.

In the Emergency Room, visitors are allowed at the discretion of the care team. Exceptions can be made for guardians, essential companions or in other circumstances.

Inpatients can see one visitor at a time, with a maximum of three per day. If a visitor is between the ages of 5 and 17 years old, two visitors are allowed so the minor can be accompanied. In the maternity ward, birth partners are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. Unvaccinated partners will be tested for covid-19 when they arrive. No visitors under five, including siblings, will be allowed to visit post-partum patients. 

No visitors under 12, regardless of vaccination status, will be allowed in the pediatric unit.

The hospital notes that the clinical team has the discretion to make exceptions to these rules, including for end-of-life or comfort-care only patients, the parents of infant or pediatric patients or designated support people for patients with disabilities.

Only one visitor is allowed to visit or accompany patients who are surgical patients, in the same day surgery center, or in physician’s offices or the Imaging/Radiology/Laboratory patient service center. 

Visiting hours for the hospital, including the maternity ward, are between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and between 5 and 8 p.m.