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Navicent Health Modifies Essential Visitation Policy to Accommodate Patients, Loved Ones

Health System Continues Commitment to Protecting Patients and Caregivers from COVID-19

As the state of Georgia continues its limited, phased reopening process, Navicent Health is returning to pre-COVID patient volumes across its health system. After careful review of its policies and local novel coronavirus (COVID-19) data, Navicent Health has chosen to modify certain portions of its essential visitation policy. The essential visitation policy was put into place on March 12, 2020 to protect patients, visitors and caregivers from the threat of COVID-19. While the majority of the policy remains in effect, modifications have been made to accommodate those in specific units and those coming for surgical procedures. The changes are effective Thursday, June 11, 2020.

What Has Changed

Patients in critical care units, palliative care units, pediatric units and birth centers may have two essential visitors for the duration of their stay.

Only one visitor will be permitted at the patient’s bedside at a time.

Visitation passes are nontransferable.

Patients visiting Diagnostics, Navicent Health for imaging services may have one essential visitor.

Visitors will accompany the patient to imaging services. Once the patient is taken for the diagnostics test, the visitor may move to the waiting room, which has been arranged to promote social distancing.

Navicent Health teammates will provide visitors with updates and dismissal information.

Adult patients coming for surgical procedures may have one essential visitor accompany the patient on the day of the procedure.

Specific guidelines for The Medical Center, Navicent Health’s Surgery Center

Visitors will accompany the patient to pre-op, where they must remain with the patient until the patient is taken to surgery. At that time, the visitor will be asked to exit the facility. Due to spacing concerns and the need for social distancing, waiting rooms will not be utilized at this time.

Once the patient is taken for surgery, visitors will be provided updates via text message.

Specific guidelines for Ambulatory Surgery Center, Navicent Health and Heart Center, Navicent Health

Visitors will accompany the patient to pre-op, where they must remain with the patient until the patient is taken for the procedure. At that time, the visitor may move to the waiting room, which has been arranged to promote social distancing.

Once the patient is taken for the procedure, visitors will be provided updates via text message.

Specific guidelines for Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health’s and Navicent Health Baldwin’s surgery departments

Visitors will wait in the surgery department waiting area, which has been arranged to promote social distancing, for the duration of the patient’s visit.

Once the patient is taken for surgery, Navicent Health teammates will provide visitors with updates.

Pediatric patients coming for surgical procedures at Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health may have two parents or guardians accompany the patient on the day of the procedure.

Visitors will accompany the patient to pre-op, where they will remain for the duration of the child’s procedure.

Once the patient is taken for surgery, visitors will be provided updates via text message.

Each visitor will receive a visitor badge that they must wear while in the facility.

Visitors must wait in the designated area and will not be permitted to wander the facility.

What Remains the Same

Essential visitation hours will be held 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily.

Essential visitors are asked to stay no longer than two hours per visit.

Patients at Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health may have one parent or guardian stay overnight.

Patients in family birth centers may have one essential visitor stay overnight.

Navicent Health’s youth visitation policy – instituted annually as a precaution during flu season – remains in effect as a safeguard against COVID-19. Children must be age 12 or older in order to visit The Medical Center (Macon), Medical Center of Peach County (Byron), Navicent Health Baldwin (Milledgeville), Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital (Macon), and Rehabilitation Hospital (Macon).

All visitors will be screened at for signs of illness upon arrival, as part of Navicent Health’s COVID Safe initiative.

Visitors will be required to wear a mask at all times, in accordance with Navicent Health’s universal masking policy.

Individuals with cough, fever, shortness of breath or other flu-like symptoms are asked to reschedule their visit.

Patient Access to Our Facilities

The Medical Center, Navicent Health may be accessed at the following locations. All other entrances will be closed.

777 Hemlock Street (main lobby)

765 Hemlock Street (Luce Heart Institute, enter through Orange Parking Deck entrance)

770 Pine Street (Emergency Center)

840 Pine Street (Surgery Center)

Entrances at the Peyton Anderson Health Education Center (877 Hemlock Street) and the pedestrian bridges at the Green and Red Parking Decks will be closed.

Any essential visitors arriving separate from a patient should enter at 777 Hemlock Street (main lobby).

All other Navicent Health facilities may be accessed through their main lobbies and/or emergency centers as usual.

Greeters at public entrances will screen each individual entering the facility, guiding those seeking treatment to the appropriate location while assisting visitors as needed. Valet parking service remains suspended at this time. Valet staff will continue to assist with screenings and guide visitors as they arrive at our facilities.

“We understand that families and friends are eager to be with hospitalized patients. We’re eager to return to normal business operations as well. We thoughtfully considered our patients and their needs when modifying our visitation policy, and the health of our patients and our community remains the highest concern at this time. Our policies and actions are designed to safeguard our community, and we will continue to monitor patient needs and area COVID-19 data to make informed decisions about our policies. We appreciate the community’s cooperation and understanding with our efforts to mitigate the threat of COVID-19,” said Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, President and CEO of Navicent Health.

For up-to-date information on Navicent Health’s COVID-19 response, please visit www.navicenthealth.org.

About Navicent Health

Navicent Health, the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia, is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Providing more than 1,000 beds and offering care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region, Navicent Health provides care for healthcare consumers’ through an academic medical center; community, pediatric and rehabilitation hospitals; urgent care centers; physician practices; diagnostic centers; home health; hospice and palliative care; and a life plan community. Navicent Health is dedicated enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. For more information, please visit www.navicenthealth.org.


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