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Sarasota Memorial Hospital Changes Visitation Policy Because Of COVID-19 Spike

aerial shot of a hospital
Sarasota Memorial Hospital
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Sarasota Memorial Hospital is among the first hospitals to change its visitation policy because of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

Starting Tuesday, the hospital will allow visits only between noon and 6 p.m. In addition, the number of patient visitors allowed will also be limited.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital is among the first hospitals in the greater Tampa Bay region to change its visitation policy because of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

Starting Tuesday, the hospital will allow visits only between noon and 6 p.m. In addition, the number of patient visitors allowed will also be limited.

Most inpatients, including those in the Critical Care Unit, are allowed no more than two visitors per day during visiting hours.

Visitors must also wear a mask and be at least 16 years old.

Other limits include:

  • Visitors are not permitted for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, with exceptions in certain extraordinary circumstances such as end-of-life situations.
  • Emergency room patients may have one support person who may accompany the patient to the treatment room or wait in the hospital’s main lobby.
  • Labor and delivery unit patients may have one support person. If the patient is transferred to Sarasota Memorial, a certified doula or community midwife also will be permitted.
  • Mother-baby unit patients may have one support person.
  • Pediatric patients may have two parents/designated caregivers.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit patients may have up to two visitors at a time. The visitors can be the patient’s parent(s), a support person or one designated alternate caregiver (16 or older); changing the alternate caregiver is not allowed.
  • Patients in surgical, procedural and testing areas may each have one support person (16 or older) who must remain in the designated waiting areas.
  • In-person visitation is not permitted at Bayside Center for Behavioral Health. Staff will gladly assist with setting up virtual or phone visitations.
  • Vendor visits require advance hospital approval.

Hospital officials say exceptions to the policy may be made in certain extraordinary circumstances, including end-of-life situations.

According to Sarasota Memorial's daily update, 86 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Monday, up from 54 on Friday. There were 11 COVID patients in the ICU, compared with seven on Friday.

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