By Bradly Gill
Ouachita County Medical Center has updated its visitation policy in light of the recent surge in COVID-19 infections in the Ouachita County area. Additionally, the OCMC cafeteria, Cafe 52, is closed to the public.
COVID negative patients not in the ICU are allowed one adult visitor per day along with a clergy member or spiritual advisor. They are allowed one overnight visitor. Both parents may be with their children who are patients at the same time.
ICU patients are allowed one adult visitor per day and one clergy member, with no overnight visitors.
Both ICU and non-ICU patient visiting hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
End of life patients are allowed up to three visitors, including infants and children, at the bedside at the same time and one clergy member. Visiting hours are 24/7. Children over the age of 2 must wear a mask while visiting, be accompanied by an adult at all times and remain in the patient's room for the duration of their visit.
Congregating in waiting areas before or after a visit is not allowed at this time.
Outpatient appointments are not allowed visitors unless the patient requires assistance.
Emergency department patients are allowed one adult visitor. Emergency department physicians may make exceptions for end of life patients.
No visitors are allowed for behavioral health patients or if the visitor is COVID-19 positive or being tested for COVID-19.
Surgery and procedure patients are allowed one visitor per day and no visitation in pre-op unless the patient is a minor or requires special assistance.
Hospital patients suffering from COVID-19 who are not at the end of life are not allowed visitors.
End of life patients who are not in the ICU are allowed one adult visitor who must wear PPE (personal protective equipment) at all times while with the patient.
End of life patients in the ICU are allowed one designated adult visitor for bedside visit; no visitor exchange is permitted. Up to the three visitors, plus a clergy member, may wait outside patients room but are not permitted to exchange/enter patient room.
Additional guidelines may be in place for stem cell and Psychiatric Institute patients; they are advised to ask their care teams for more information.
Additionally:Visitors must pass a health screening and wear a face mask and a screening tag at all times.
Visitors must be adults aged 18 and older. The only exception is children allowed for end-of-life situations.
Visitors required or recommended to quarantine by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) due to illness, potential exposure, travel or other reason are not allowed at OCMC until cleared by ADH.
Visitors must not gather in the lobby, waiting rooms or dining areas. OCMC cafeteria is closed to visitors.
Inpatient visitors may order food from Nutrition Services by calling 836-1291. Payment by credit or debit card is required. Food deliveries from outside vendors are not allowed.
Inpatient visitors must stay in the patient room and wear a face mask unless they are actively eating or drinking.
Visitors may not come and go throughout the day. Once a visitor leaves, no one may visit the patient until the next day.
If a hospital patient's overnight visitor checks out at the information desk in the hospital lobby before 8 a.m., a new visitor may come that day. A new visitor will not be allowed to enter until the first visitor checks out.
Overnight visitors who are staying another day must return to the hospital's main lobby for a health screening and get a new badge before 8 a.m. each day.
Visitors may not use a CPAP machine while in the hospital, as this puts those around them at increased risk of infection.
Patients and visitors are encouraged to use smart phones, tablets and other technologies to keep patients engaged with others.
OCMC strongly recommends that people who are not vaccinated against COVID not visit.
Visitors who do not follow these guidelines will be asked to leave OCMC.