With a recent increase in COVID cases, Cape Fear Valley Medical Center is updating its visitation policy for its children’s emergency department.
As of Friday, only one parent or guardian will be allowed in the waiting room with pediatric patients in the emergency department. The previous limit was two. Once a child is assigned a room, two parents will be allowed at the same time, according to a news release.
“We have seen a slight uptick in COVID cases, and this is to help ease crowding issues in our children’s emergency department waiting room,” said Brian Pearce, vice president of emergency management and engineering.
The number of COVID cases in the children’s emergency department had been none to two per day for more than a month. But between Aug. 27 and Sept. 2, 12 cases were reported there. The week of Sept. 3-9, that number climbed to 51, and there were 45 the week of Sept. 10-16, the news release said.
Systemwide, there have been about 260 positive COVID tests for adults and pediatric patients each week since Sept. 3. There are currently 25 inpatient COVID patients in the health system.
All areas of the health system are open to visitors 12 and older who are with a parent or guardian, with the exception of the neonatal intensive care unit.
No visitors or patients will be required to wear a mask, unless they have respiratory symptoms or are in the emergency waiting room.
Patients are allowed as many as two visitors at a time between 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., the release said. They may have one overnight visitor if space allows, but that visitor cannot leave and return to the room after 8 p.m.
Emergency visitors are not allowed in the waiting room unless the patient is 65 or older or is cognitively impaired, the release said.
Exceptions apply for women in labor, pediatric patients and end-of-life patients.