ChristianaCare has lifted its COVID-19 visitation restrictions at its hospitals. The company’s mask mandate will remain in place.
In a news release Wednesday, the health system said it will return to its pre-COVID visitation policy.
- Hospitalized patients may accept visitors between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- The number of visitors per patient is not restricted.
- Hospital visitors must be 12 years of age or older.
- Visitors to the intensive care units must be 16 years of age or older.
- Visitors to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) must be 12 years of age or older.
- Overnight visitation is not allowed except in the Labor & Delivery, Postpartum, High Risk, Antepartum, Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) and Pediatric units, where one designated support person is allowed overnight visitation.
- Nurses and other members of the patient care team continue to have discretion to reduce or restrict visitation privileges at any time to ensure the health and safety of patients, visitors and caregivers.
Dr. Chris Casscells, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and policy director of the Caesar Rodney Institute’s Center for Health Policy, said ChristianaCare’s policy revision is “long overdue.”
“The previous response to COVID needs to be analyzed with a jaundiced eye and future recommendations should emanate from that,” Casscells said.
In the event a future situation requires the hospital network to change its standard practices, Casscells said it should “take a lesson from the missteps made during COVID.”
“They did it all wrong — they did everything wrong,” Casscells said. “The recommendations for treatment, the recommendations to turn people out of the hospital and send them to nursing homes, to turn them away until they were near death’s door and then put them on ventilators — all of those things were bad decisions and they all caused the death rates to soar.”
According to ChristianaCare, all visitors are required to wear a well-fitting medical, KN95 or N95-style mask at all times while inside any network facility, including while in patient rooms. If not masked — or if wearing a cloth mask upon arrival — a medical mask will be provided.
Casscells said continuing the mask mandate is “idiotic.”
“It’s useless,” he said. “Handwashing is good and keeping your distance is good, but the masks are useless.”
While visitors no longer will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms at the entrances, the company asks visitors to postpone their visit if they feel ill or show symptoms of respiratory illness, flu, or COVID-19.
Visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19 using any home- or laboratory-based test within the past 10 days are not allowed to visit.
“This is to protect our vulnerable patient population, as persons may be contagious beyond 5 days,” ChristianaCare says on its website. “Persons with underlying conditions that weaken their immune systems should defer visitation for at least 20 days.”
Headquartered in Wilmington, ChristianaCare includes an extensive network of primary care and outpatient services, home health care, urgent care centers, three hospitals, a freestanding emergency department, a Level I trauma center and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a comprehensive stroke center and regional centers for heart and vascular care, cancer care, and women’s health.
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