LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Responding to the changing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Baptist Health has amended its previous guidance regarding visitor restrictions at the health care system’s medical centers.
Effective 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 18, all Baptist Health hospitals will allow only one visitor per day, non-transferable, to visit patients who are not on special isolation precautions, with the exception of labor and delivery and postpartum. In labor and delivery and postpartum, two visitors will be allowed per day, non-transferable. The NICU will limit visitors to parents only – two visitors per day.
- Any visitor should come and stay rather than making multiple trips in order to decrease traffic through the hospital.
- They should also remain in the patient room at all times.
- This includes critical care, surgical services and procedural areas.
Patients who are on special isolation in any care setting will not be allowed in-person visitors, but coordination will be made with patients and their families to address communication via other means including phone calls and video messaging.
Children under the age of 15 are not allowed to visit Baptist Health’s medical centers, though care will continue for patients of all ages. This includes sibling visits in labor and delivery, postpartum and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Normal visitation hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Overnight guests will be required to stay in the patient’s room and not leave the hospital from 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
All common areas such as public waiting areas and hospital cafeterias remain closed.
No visitors are allowed in behavioral health units.
End-of-life situations will allow visitation at the discretion of the hospital clinical leadership, in conjunction with security.
Baptist Health’s hospitals have also implemented restrictions on entry points across the health care system, and continue to monitor guidance from the Arkansas Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for possible additional measures.
Those seeking entry into the system’s medical centers will be asked to sign in, designate who is visiting and answer the following health screening questions:
- Do you have a fever?
- Have you traveled outside the country within the last 14 days?
- Do you have respiratory or flu-like symptoms?
- Have you had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?
These restrictions on visitation are intended to keep Baptist Health patients, visitors, caregivers and facilities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
People who feel they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and are showing symptoms should avoid coming to the hospital or a physician’s office, if at all possible. If someone is in need of immediate medical attention and suspects COVID-19 exposure, they should notify their provider or the 9-1-1 operator and let them know the situation before visiting any facility.
Baptist Health is Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization with more than 200 points of access that include 11 hospitals; urgent care centers; a senior living community and over 100 primary and specialty care clinics in Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. The system additionally offers a college with studies in nursing and allied health; a graduate residency program; and access to virtual care anytime, anywhere. Baptist Health, as the largest not-for-profit health care organization based in Arkansas, provides care to patients wherever they are through the support of approximately 11,000 employees, groundbreaking treatments, renowned physicians and community outreach programs. For more information about Baptist Health, visit baptist-health.com, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST or download the myBaptistHealth app. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.