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Your Healthy Family: UCHealth tightens hospital visitor policy

Posted at 9:44 AM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 00:24:01-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — UPDATE: March 20th, 7:00 p.m.

Effective March 20th, at 8 p.m., UCHealth is implementing a no-visitors policy at all of its hospitals and clinics, per a release.

The only exceptions are for maternity, NICU, pediatric and end-of-life care and one person is allowed to accompany outpatient clinic patients, if needed for support.

In addition, UCHealth encourages patients to call ahead if they are on their way to an appointment, emergency room or urgent care and have a fever, cold, or flu symptoms, or if they may have been exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

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In this Your Healthy Family, we are letting you know that UCHealth has adapted its hospital visitor policy statewide to protect patients, visitors and health care workers.

The new visitor policies are in place in southern Colorado at Memorial Central, Memorial North, Grandview Hospital and at Pikes Peak Regional Hospital in Teller county.

Any patient checking in should tell staff if they have a fever, cold or flu symptoms and ask for a mask. Remember, masks prevent the spread of illness to others, so people with symptoms are the ones who need them.

Visitors with cold or flu symptoms are asked not to visit any area of the hospital, and visitors are being limited to two at a time. Anyone under 12 years of age is not allowed to visit any area of the hospital.

For people who are not feeling well but can’t get to their doctor, a virtual visit with a provider can be a good option. This service is not only convenient for patients, it also may help ease the burden on hospitals for many reasons. Right now all you need is a smartphone, tablet or computer and you can get care from anywhere in Colorado. There's no being around other people and no need to leave home. People across the nation are using virtual urgent visits during this COVID-19 outbreak.

Dr Michelle Barron, an infectious disease expert with UCHealth, says a virtual visit is a good way to assess a viral infection if you’re looking for care advice on things like a cold, the flu or even COVID-19. “We have something called virtual visits that over an internet or cell connection allows you to speak with a physician, nurse practitioner or clinician who can ask you about your symptoms and get a better sense of your story and give you practical medical advice. Sometimes it may just be that reassurance that you need, or sometimes it may be that we think you need to get an appointment and get appropriate care.”

If you think you're having a heart attack, stroke, severe pain or a broken bone, a virtual visit isn't recommended. You should head to the nearest urgent care or emergency room to see a provider in person. Information about virtual visits can be found here [uchealth.org].

UCHealth is a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family.