Area hospitals, rehabilitation centers and senior-living facilities have had to change their policies on visitors as the coronavirus continues to push closer to West Orange County.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a recommendation that all such facilities restrict visitation to certain compassionate-care and end-of-life situations.
Inside the facilities, the CDC recommends they cancel communal dining and all group activities, both internal and external.
In West Orange County, healthcare facilities were taking these precautions seriously and working to maintain a safe environment for patients and residents. The first change in rules last week limited visiting hours. A few days later, that policy changed again as facilities resorted to banning all visitors indefinitely.
Orlando Health has discontinued visitors to the Health Central Park skilled-nursing facility in Winter Garden, the Orlando Health Center for Rehabilitation in Ocoee and Orlando Health South Lake Hospital’s SkyTop View Rehabilitation Center. The entrance to outpatient services at the Orlando Health Center for Rehabilitation has been relocated.
As of press time, visitors and outside vendors are allowed in all Orlando Health hospitals but are being screened every time they enter. Hospitals are limiting the number of visitors to two. At Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, visitors must be over 18 years of age and the same two individuals for the patient’s entire length of stay.
“These changes are in response to the growing concerns surrounding the recent coronavirus outbreak,” according to a press release from Orlando Health. “Orlando Health is committed to providing the highest quality of care while ensuring the health and safety of patients, visitors and team members.”
AdventHealth modified its visitor policies effective March 16 for patients, outpatient labs and imaging centers and March 18 for Centra Care and physician practices. All visitors, including outside vendors, are being screened each time they enter. Children under the age of 12 are prohibited from visiting a facility unless they are seeking care. Pediatric care will continue.
All AdventHealth hospitals are equipped to rapidly identify, isolate and care for a suspected or confirmed coronavirus patient.
In a press release issued by AdventHealth, the company addressed inquiries about preparations following president’s declaration of a State of Emergency.
“AdventHealth leaders have been planning for and continue to be prepared for a patient with coronavirus. These preparations include:
• Educating physicians and clinical teams on the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Florida Department of Health.
• Screening all patients at care entry points at all facilities.
• Deploying measures at our facilities, screening posters and questionnaires, that ensure we are capturing patient travel history and symptoms.
• Working with our vendors and internal teams to ensure we have adequate supplies such as masks, protective equipment for team members, wipes and hand sanitizers.
• Established a multidisciplinary leadership team who is working around-the-clock to ensure we have capacity, supplies, equipment and staffing to handle a potential coronavirus patient or influx of patients.”