EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – All the major hospitals in the El Paso area have taken a “no visitors” policy as the latest effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Hospitals of Providence, Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare and University Medical Center of El Paso sent a joint statement Monday morning announcing the new policy, which began immediately.
“Our priority is to reduce the transmission risk within our sites of care,” the statement said.
Exceptions will be made for laboring and postpartum patients; patients with disabilities or impairments or who are elderly; patients in the neonatal ICU (NICU) and pediatric units; patients requiring surgery or other emergency or trauma-related medical procedures; and patients requiring end-of-life care at The Hospitals of Providence, Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare and University Medical Center of El Paso, the statement said.
Only one patient will be allowed to accompany those patients, but they must pass a previously established health-screening criteria. No other visitors will be allowed into the lobby or waiting rooms.
At the area children’s hospitals, El Paso Children’s Hospital and Providence Children’s Hospital, only parent or legal guardian at a time. If parents or guardians rotate, it should be limited to reduce any potential risk, the statement said.
“While we understand the importance of having the support of loved ones during a hospital visit or stay, we must prioritize the health and safety of our patients and caregivers during this unprecedented pandemic,” the statement said. “We encourage support persons to use alternate methods of communication to stay in contact with loved ones, such as phone calls, video chats or texting.”
The hospitals said they will continue to modify their protocols as the situation evolves.