RMC Health System restricting all visitation

Visitors, elective surgeries limited at RMC

ANNISTON, Ala. (WBRC) - Regional Medical Center (RMC) Anniston and Stringfellow Memorial Hospital (SMH) have updated hospital guidelines to restrict all visitation effective December 7, 2020 at 9 p.m.

From RMC Health System: In order to stem the spread of illness, including COVID-19, and safeguard the health of our patients, staff and physicians, visitors will be restricted for all patients at our hospitals and emergency rooms, unless deemed by the care team as necessary for patient care or end-of-life considerations.

  • For end-of-life care, two visitors (subject to established criteria) will be permitted to remain in the patient’s room, without leaving or re-entering the building and without substitution.
  • In other situations when deemed necessary, one visitor (subject to established criteria) will be permitted to remain in the patient’s room, without leaving or re-entering the building and without substitution.
  • Maternity patients may be accompanied by one visitor who meets visitation criteria and must remain with the patient, without leaving or re-entering the building and without substitution.

“These decisions aren’t made lightly,” said Louis Bass, CEO of RMC Health System. “We have carefully considered the current care environments given the increased incidence of COVID-19 in the community, combined with other seasonal and ongoing care needs. Our top priority is to protect the health and safety of patients in our hospitals and our team members caring for them.”

“We need those staff, we need the beds, we need the vents, we need the high-flows, we need everything that’s available if a person should have difficulty after an elective procedure,” says Dr. Almena Free, an Internal Medicine Specialist at RMC who deals especially with infectious diseases.

Free said as of Wednesday morning RMC had 53 COVID-positive patients. They had 22 patients in COVID 1 - an ICU unit where many people who are ventilated. COVID 2 had 20 patients and COVID 3 had nine. Two more were in the hospital’s psychiatric unit.

Free describes RMC’s current personnel situation as “all hands on deck,” and stressed the importance of protecting the entire staff, from doctors to housekeeping.

RMC leadership will continue to review and adjust visitation guidelines in order to minimize risks to patients, staff and the community at large.

For complete guidelines and required criteria for visitors when allowed, visit www.RMCCares.org.

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