HAMPTON ROADS – As COVID-19 positivity rates decline in the region, Sentara Healthcare has announced new policies regarding visitors and coronavirus testing.
The healthcare provider updated its visitor policy and pre-operation COVID-19 testing policy, according to a Sentara press release, which took effect Monday, June 14.
With the exception of the Sentara Albemarle Medical Center (SAMC), all of the healthcare system’s locations will now allow each patient to have two visitors so long as the positivity rate in the region remains under 5 percent. SAMC is located in Pasquotank County, North Carolina, which had a positivity rate of 6.7 percent as of Monday.
Some policies will remain in effect at all Sentara locations. Patients who are confirmed as having COVID-19 or are awaiting a test for the virus will not be allowed to have any visitors. End-of-life patients with COVID-19 will be permitted to have one guest in the room, and such patients who are receiving Aerosol Generating Procedures (such an intubation or a ventilator) will be allowed to have a guest outside of the room.
Visitors must be 12 years or older and will be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing when inside a Sentara facility. All guests will also be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering one of Sentara’s facilities.
Patients who are scheduled for an operation will no longer be tested for COVID-19. If the patient shows proof of vaccination and are at least two weeks removed from their final dose. Those who are unvaccinated will be required to take a COVID-19 test 48 hours ahead of some procedures and then self-quarantine between the test and the appointment.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still require masks for all persons inside healthcare settings, regardless of whether or not they’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19.