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Cape Fear Valley to ease restrictions on visitors


Citing improvements in the local positivity rates for COVID-19 and the dropping rate of COVID-19 admissions, Cape Fear Valley Health said it will ease restrictions on visitors starting Tuesday.

Patients who have not tested positive for COVID-19 will be allowed two visitors a day between noon and 8 p.m., the hospital system said in a release. COVID-19 patients will be allowed one visitor a day during that same timeframe. Those visitors will not be allowed to come and go during that time, the release said.

Visitors will not be allowed in the waiting room of the hospital’s Emergency Department. Once a patient has been given a room, one visitor will be allowed, the release said. Those visitors will be allowed to leave and return.

“We believe this is the right decision at this time due to the current trend in positive test rates and COVID-19 admissions,” said Daniel Weatherly, the chief operating officer. “Masking requirements for staff and visitors will continue, and we will continue to assess the situation to possibly relax visitation restrictions further if these trends continue. Though we are seeing improving signs, we realize the pandemic is still with us and strongly encourage everyone in the community to get vaccinated and get their booster shot when it’s due.”

Those visiting long-term acute care patients at Highsmith-Rainey Specialty Hospital must show proof of vaccination, the release said.

The hospital system listed the following exceptions to the visitation policy:

  • Surgery and procedural patients can have two visitors in the pre-op area, or their visitors may wait in the surgical waiting room if they arrive with the patient. Visitors for surgery patients may also wait in the post-anesthesia care unit if they are waiting to be admitted to the hospital. Once a surgery or procedural patient has been admitted, two visitors can go with the patient to the room.
  •  Inpatients awaiting surgery or a procedure may have two visitors during visiting hours. Care companions may stay with the patient overnight and remain until the patient is taken to surgery.
  •  Highsmith-Rainey Specialty Hospital surgical patients may have two support persons, who may wait in the lobby during the procedure.
  • Outpatient clinics and Fayetteville Ambulatory Surgical Center will allow no more than two visitors per patient.
  • Labor & Delivery: Those in labor may have two support people/visitors during their stay. If a support person/visitor leaves, he or she will not be allowed back into the building.
  • Family-centered care unit: May have two visitors/support people during their stay. Those visitors may leave and return. 
  • Pediatric patients: A legal minor may have two parents or guardians with them who may leave and return. 
  • Patients who need a healthcare decision-maker or who require communication assistance may have one care companion with them. That person may be changed one time each day between noon and 8 p.m. 
  • Cancer Center patients may have two people with them for a consultation. 
  • End of life patients (with or without COVID-19) may have one end of life visit with up to four family members for a combined total of one hour. Only two visitors at a time may be present at bedside. In certain circumstances, the nursing supervisor may make exceptions.

 The health system said visitors with a fever, shortness of breath, cough or other symptoms of respiratory illness should stay home.

Masks will be required at all times for visitors and patients.

Visitors must answer a few questions verbally and have their temperature checked before they can enter a facility. Those who refuse to answer the questions or who have a temperature above 100.3 Fahrenheit will be denied entry, the release said.

Cape Fear Valley Health System, COVID-19, restrictions, visitation policy