WATERTOWN, NY (WWTI) – Samaritan Medical Center will now allow one adult support person with each emergency department patient.
The change has taken place as of October 21. Samaritan stated in a release that the change was made as a result of stable Jefferson County COVID-19 infection rates and a formalized visitation management system in place at the hospital.
Each patient that presents to the Samaritan Emergency Department will be triaged and their one adult support person will be screened, provided a clean facemask, educated about hand washing and logged into the system for tracking purposes.
All support persons must be over the age of 18, remain in the patient’s room at all times and must stay for the duration of the emergency department visit. All support persons will be issued a visitor badge and must wear it visibly at all times. If a support person does not follow all guidelines, they will be asked to leave the facility.
If a support person has traveled to any region listed on the state Department of Health’s travel advisory or has any COVID symptoms, they will not be able to enter the facility. If an emergency department patient presents with any COVID symptoms, they must receive a negative COVID-19 test result before a support person is allowed in the department with them.
COVID positive patients are not able to have a support person with them in the emergency department.
Anyone entering the hospital as a support person is encouraed to park in the parking garage and enter through the walk-in emergency department entrance only.
If an emergency department patient is admitted to the hospital for any reason, all normal visitation protocols will take effect. Visitation for hospital inpatients is each day from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. and visitors must use the entrance between Samaritan Medical Center and Samaritan Keep Home.
The visitor entrance will be changing soon as the hospital prepares for winter weather.
Samaritan is encouraging all members of the community not to delay treatment. The hospital has witnessed people visiting the emergency department that waited too long for care and experience worse symptoms.
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