LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2020) — To protect our patients, families, employees and the community during the outbreak of COVID-19, and in guidance with steps announced by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear to help limit the spread of the virus, UK HealthCare will put measures into place that restrict visitors in its hospitals and clinics until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat.
Starting immediately, only one designated visitor, age 18 or older, will be permitted in patient areas. This includes inpatient visitors at UK Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children’s Hospital and UK Good Samaritan Hospital as well as those accompanying patients to clinics, including Kentucky Clinics and UK HealthCare Turfland.
In addition, children should not visit or accompany UK HealthCare patients except for end-of-life and other extreme situations where their presence has been approved.
Exceptions will be made for certain situations such as in end-of-life or hospice care situations; mother in labor; patients with cognitive, physical, or mental disability requiring help with the provision of medical care or activities; and other situations on a case by case basis.
If approved to visit, special rules to help prevent the spread of infection also are being enforced. These include:
- You must remain in the patient’s room at all times, except for quick trips to the bathroom or to purchase food.
- Limit the number of personal items that you bring into the hospital. Bringing fewer items into the hospital will reduce the number of unwanted germs that you take back home with you.
- When visiting is over, you must leave the hospital and not spend time in public areas, including lobbies, waiting areas, cafeterias and vending areas.
- You may be screened for symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, runny nose, cough and shortness of breath) prior to entering one of our hospitals and clinics. Anyone with a positive health screen will not be able to visit and will be directed to the proper resources if you are suspected of having COVID-19.
- You MUST wash your hands or use hand sanitizer EVERY time you enter or exit a patient room.
To stay connected with family and friends, we recommend that you connect with your loved one and their health care team through technology. Hospital phones are available in patient rooms. Patients and families are also encouraged to use their personal phones, computers and tablets to stay connected with through audio and video chatting and texting. “We ask for your cooperation and assistance in complying with these restrictions,” said Dr. Mark Newman, University of Kentucky executive vice president for health affairs. “We appreciate your understanding during this time that the safety and well-being of our patients, employees and our community is our greatest concern and priority in making these decisions.”