Asante’s screeners have been a constant presence for the past two years, working to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the health facilities. In addition to screeners, patient visitation restrictions were put in place to help keep patients and employees safe.
Now, on Friday, April 1, Asante will remove screening procedure and lifts patient visitation restrictions based on updated CMS guidelines. Asante hospitals will return to pre-pandemic patient visitation policy.
“The visitation restrictions have been a daily challenge for our staff and caregivers who have had to monitor visitor access to our patients,” said Holly Nickerson, Asante’s vice president of Quality and Patient Safety. “I want to express my deepest gratitude for every employee who has worked endlessly to keep our patients and each other safe.”
In its updated guidelines, CMS stated that visitation restriction policies were used to lessen COVID infection rates, while recognizing “that restricting visitation from family and other loved ones has taken a physical and emotional toll on patients.”
As such, CMS has determined that continued federal guidance on visitation restrictions for acute and continuing care facilities is no longer necessary. Asante will continue to display signs that screen visitors and remind all coming into Asante facilities of the safety protocols such as masking and hand hygiene.
Rules on masking remain unchanged. Anyone entering Asante health care facilities (hospitals, APP clinics, cancer centers, pharmacy, outpatient center, business offices, etc.) still are required to wear a mask, which are available at visitor entrances. Masks should be worn in all Asante facilities and should only be removed when eating or drinking.
With visitation restrictions and in-person screening requirements being lifted, the cafeterias at all three hospitals will open once again to the general public on April 1.
Although local COVID rates are down, the virus continues to have a presence in the community, and the threat of transmitting the virus remains. Publicly, Asante will continue to stress the importance of limiting the number of visitors per patient to help reduce the chance of infecting people who are hospitalized as well as medical employees.
Staff stated that if the community experiences another surge, patient visitation restrictions could be put back in place at Asante as a preventive measure.
Courtesy of Asante