Ballad shares information on visitor guidelines, urges masks during press conference

Published 4:51 pm Thursday, May 28, 2020

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Ballad Health is now lifting some of their visitor restrictions implemented due to COVID-19.
Details surrounding the announcement, and the guidelines for visitors, came during a media briefing on Thursday.
One visitor per inpatient, ER patient, pediatric ER patient, outpatient surgery patient, labor and delivery patient will now be permitted. This will be during the hours of 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Two parents or guardians will also be allowed to visit the NICU, PICU and pediatric rooms. There are no visitation hours for this. No visitors under the age of 18 are allowed unless there are extenuating circumstances.
This does not apply to behavioral health and long-term care facilities. Additionally, it does not apply to COVID-19 patients.
Eric Deaton, COO of Ballad, said that visitors will be screened prior to entrance. They will also be required to wear a cloth covering over their nose and mouth when inside the facility. Deaton could not stress enough the importance of wearing masks, and bringing your own due to PPE supply limitations for staff.
“We’re asking that all visitors wear a cloth mask that they can provide themselves,” he said. “As you know, PPE is limited, so we cannot provide masks to everyone, we need to maintain that supply for our team members. So please, if you are coming to one of our facilities to visit, please bring your own mask, a cloth covering to cover your face.”
Deaton said that these guidelines will remain in place for the time being, but noted that should there be a surge in cases, or a decrease, this will be subject to change.
In addition to guidelines for visitors, Dr. Clay Runnels, Chief Physician Executive, wanted to continue encouraging people to seek medical help if they need it, rather than avoiding facilities to avoid COVID, during the briefing.
Runnels noted the precautions in place at facilities, with screenings, face coverings required to be worn by everyone, redesigned areas to increase social distancing, improved hand sanitation and increased cleanings. He also said telehealth is an option to those still fearful.
“The message today is twofold,” he said. “One, don’t pass up routine care, this can lead to serious illness, and two, don’t put off emergent care with serious symptoms you might have. You are safe with us.”
Jamie Swift, Corporate Director of Infection Prevention, provided updates to COVID patients during the briefing. She said there are currently three patients being treated in Ballad facilities for the virus. Likewise, she urged that as things reopen, people continue to practice social distancing and wearing a mask. Swift also noted that some cases handled by Ballad since reopenings have begun have been travel related.
For more updates from Ballad Health, you can go to

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