Visitation changing at RMC, Stringfellow because of COVID spike

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 12:36 PM CDT
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ANNISTON, Ala. (WBRC) - Starting Wednesday, August 11, 2021 RMC and Stringfellow Memorial Hospital in Anniston will restrict visitation to one nonrotating visitor per patient.

Hospital leaders said they will also resume screening at the main entrances, and visitors will receive a dated wristband on their way in.

Exceptions include:

  • Patients who test positive or patients under investigation for COVID-19 are NOT allowed in-person visitors.
  • Emergency Room patients at RMC are allowed one visitor once the patient has been placed in a room. No visitors allowed in the waiting area. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of staff based on physical or psychological needs of the patient.
  • ER patients at Stringfellow are NOT allowed a visitor, due to space constraints. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of staff based on the needs of the patient.
  • Behavioral Health inpatients are allowed visitation between 6-7pm, as scheduled by staff.
  • Radiation Oncology patients are allowed one caretaker to escort them to treatment.

Dr. George Crawford is a surgeon and serves on board of directors at RMC. He shares why this is necessary in helping stop the spread of Covid 19.

Last week, Crawford said he left the hospital with less than 25 COVID patients. Monday he returned to find out that number almost doubled. He says these changes must happen in order to keep the hospital staff, patients and visitors safe.

“The most alarming part is that last week when I left on Thursday we had 23 patients in the hospital,” says Dr. Crawford. “When I came back on Monday we’re up to 42.”

“Right now this peak is not really a peak,” says Crawford. “I think it’s just us still on the climb up and if we don’t do those social distancing, wearing a mask. If you’re not vaccinated, getting vaccinated. If you don’t do those things this can only get worse.”

Dr. Crawford wants people to understand that this is only the start of what the rest of the year will look like. The more preventative measures the more we’ll slow the spread. He asks for patience, they’re biggest responsibility is keeping everyone who enters RMC healthy and safe.

“We are still in the beginning phases of what COVID will be throughout the winter. So everything that we’re doing now is to prevent it from getting worse.”

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