Upstate hospitals ease restrictions on visitors amid COVID-19 pandemic

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–Some hospitals in the Upstate are now letting visitors back through doors to see their loved ones.

Ashley Sullivan’s mother underwent surgery Friday at Bon Secours.

“They are opening her up but she’s out now and she’s recovered well,” Sullivan said.

She said the idea of not being able to be by her mom’s side was unbearable.

“Of course you’re sitting out in your car or the waiting room and you’re anxious the whole time it doesn’t feel good,” Sullivan said.

Days ago, that’s exactly what would have happened. But Bon Secours has eased some restrictions on visitors.

“So the reason behind that is we understand family needs to be available it’s tough for patients not being able to see family,” Dr. Marcus Blackstone said.

One person per patient will be allowed in with health precautions in place.

“We’re still doing temperature screenings we’re still doing universal masking,” Blackstone said.

He said this is all possible because of a flattening in the cases admitted to the hospital.

“We’re still in good shape bed wise we still have the cohort units we still have positive patients in the hospital but the numbers are lower,” he said.

Some areas are still off limits for visitors including the COVID-19 and Cancer units.

“The new normal means we still have COVID units, we still have to be on guard,” Blackstone said.

He said there could still be a second wave, and in that case the hospital would be able to pivot immediately.

“We’re still working in the world of the what if,” Blackstone said.

He said people should continue social distancing and wearing masks in public because this is the new reality.

“It’s not normal. And for people to think it is, I think is a mistake.”

For people like Sullivan with loved ones undergoing surgery, the time together is more valuable than ever.

“I was comforted to be by her side. She was as well and we got to say a prayer before we sent her off,” Sullivan said.

The following precautions will be required of all visitors at Bon Secours:

  • All visitors will have a temperature check and appropriate symptom/exposure screening prior to entry to the facility. Visitors presenting with a fever or symptoms suggestive of possible COVID-19 infection (per current CDC recommendations) will not be permitted to enter.
  • All visitors must comply with universal masking, hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
  • Visitors are encouraged to remain in patient’s rooms and to alert nursing staff when they are leaving.

And at AnMed:

  • Beginning Monday, June 1st, one visitor or support person will be allowed in the AnMed Health Emergency Department (ED) with a patient.
  • We also have begun allowing one support person for doctor office visits and outpatient procedures.
  • For the safety of patients and staff, AnMed Health’s visitor restrictions remain unchanged and in place at all AnMed Health inpatient locations. Everyone entering the building — patients, support persons and staff — must wear a mask or face-covering. Those who do not have a mask may use an alternative such as a bandana, scarf or other cloth face-covering.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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