Baton Rouge hospitals begin changing visitation policies amid latest COVID case increase
BATON ROUGE - Amid a rapid rise in COVID cases, mostly among unvaccinated people and youngsters, area hospitals announced visitor policy changes to facilities beginning Sunday.
Friday, the hospital's doctor at the forefront of the pandemic warned in a disturbing and widely circulated quote: "If you don't chose the vaccine, you're choosing death," Lake's Dr. Catherine O'Neal said.
Days later, on Sunday, the hospital announced the visitation policy change, similar to restrictions added to facilities amid the initial surges of coronavirus last year.
Visitation policy changes start Sunday (July 18) and include one visitor or advocate over 18 per patient. Visitation hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
COVID-positive patients can have only one visitor for one hour a day, the hospital said.
For children seeking care with Our Lady of the Lake and at its Children's Hospital, two "essential adult patient advocates" can be by the bedside for the child's entire stay.
WBRZ featured an in-depth report on the concerning increase in COVID cases impacting children in a special report Friday. Read and watch more here.
“We are troubled by the trend in cases and hospitalizations throughout our community,” said Dr. O’Neal in a statement Sunday.
“We know how important the support of family and loved ones are to our patients while we care for them, but limiting visitation is important to protect our patients and our medical teams.”
Visitors who are allowed in the facility will be required to go through a screening process including a temperature check and answering symptom-related questions, including fever greater than or equal to 100.4°F, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, congestion that differs from their typical seasonal allergies, body aches, fatigue, loss of smell/taste, and/or diarrhea.
All visitors and patients will be required to wear masks upon entering and while inside our facilities.
Baton Rouge General also announced Sunday, it was updating its visitor policy, too.
BRG said its policy change Sunday includes: One visitor per patient in most units, including its Labor and Delivery ward and emergency room. One visitor is allowed to spend the night.
Baton Rouge General said its locations will allow one visitor per patient in surgery waiting areas.
BRG visiting hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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